Dear Jeb! Bush,
Welcome (officially) to the Republican presidential nomination process
I saw that you posted here claiming that you can fix what ails America because you’ve done it before — in Florida. That’s a pretty amazing argument coming from a man whose my-way-or-the-highway approach put you at odds with the legislature, the courts, and most importantly, the hardworking families of Florida who had to live with your disastrous decisions.
After reading through your argument, I’m frankly a little confused. I’m confused because I witnessed firsthand your reckless economic agenda play out as families across Florida suffered. I’m confused because in line after line you make claim after claim that simply doesn’t jibe with reality.
Shall we go through them? Let’s.
“So many challenges could be overcome if we just get this economy growing at full strength. There is not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of four percent a year.”
Then why on earth didn’t your brother do this? After 8 destructive years in office riddled with policies you endorsed, like the failed tax cuts that benefitted millionaires, George W. Bush left us with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. We know what a Bush economy looks like and we can’t afford another one.
“And that will be my goal as president — four percent growth, and the 19 million new jobs that come with it”
You shouldn’t make promises you can’t keep. We’ve heard this tune before from both you and your brother. We know what the end result looks like: economic policies that favor the rich over the middle class, ever-increasing debt, and cuts to programs that help middle class and struggling families get ahead — all in the name of a failed, trickle-down agenda that does nothing to lift up hardworking families and only serves to benefit people just like you. We’ll pass this time around.
“Economic growth that makes a difference for hard-working men and women — who don’t need reminding that the economy is more than the stock market.”
This is incredible. A reminder for you, Governor Bush: Since leaving Tallahassee, you’ve created a multi-million dollar fund that operates like an offshore tax haven, you’ve continued to leverage your family name for personal gain, you sat on the board of a company that defrauded investors of millions of dollars and you’ve cashed in on your Wall Street connections right as many Americans were hit by the financial crisis. I’m referring of course to your stint at Lehman Brothers, the now-defunct Wall Street titan that epitomized Wall Street greed, self-destructing at the expense of Main Street.
“Growth that lifts up the middle class — all the families who haven’t gotten a raise in 15 years. Growth that makes a difference for everyone.”
Next time you’re in a town hall in Iowa or New Hampshire, why don’t you explain to the families living on $7.25 an hour why you don’t support raising the federal minimum wage? I’m sure they’d be thrilled to hear what you’ve said before, that “we need to leave it to the private sector.” And if you want to talk about the middle class, let’s talk about your agenda to take away quality health care from millions, slash Pell Grants, privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher system. Truly stellar.
“We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation. 1.3 million new jobs, 4.4 percent growth, higher family income, eight balanced budgets, and tax cuts eight years in a row that saved our people and businesses 19 billion dollars.”
Let’s talk about some other numbers: income inequality exploded in Florida under your failed economic agenda, you ballooned our state’s debt, tuition skyrocketed, and your tax policy gave massive breaks to the wealthy and powerful corporations. That’s your Florida story, Governor Bush. You may not want to tell it, but the people of Florida remember it. We remember it, and we will continue to remind the American people why your misplaced priorities are wrong for America.
The author is a Florida Congresswoman representing parts of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, and serves as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee.