January 5, 2015


New Book on Jeb Bush Offers a Startling Look At the GOP Contender (IRA STOLL,  January 5, 2015, NY Sun)

On economic policy, Mr. Bush turned Florida, which already had no state income tax, into an even lower-tax state by implementing what Professor Corrigan describes as "the largest tax cut in Florida's history," a reduction of about $20 billion. Tort reform capped punitive damages for businesses. He privatized the state government's personnel department, its child protective services, its prison food services, its Medicaid program, and its defense of death-row inmates.

The state government workforce was reduced by 12%, as Mr. Bush pursued a goal he set out in his second inaugural address: "I look forward to the time when these buildings of government are empty. There would be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these buildings around us empty of workers -- silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill."

On education reform, Mr. Bush gave schools A through F letter grades based on student test scores, gave students in failing schools vouchers for private schools, and implemented merit pay for teachers. Test scores jumped, as did high school graduation rates.

On social issues, Mr. Bush put an emphasis on life. The state issued optional "choose life" license plates, passed a parental notification law for minors who wanted abortions, and restricted late-term "partial-birth" abortions. He went to great lengths in an ultimately fruitless attempt to prevent Terri Schiavo's husband from having Schiavo's feeding tube removed.

He created two "faith-based prisons" over the objections of the American Civil Liberties Union. By executive order, he eliminated race and gender-based affirmative action in public college admissions and in state contracting, denouncing a sit-in protest by two black lawmakers as "childish."

Mr. Bush backed gun rights by supporting a "stand-your-ground" law, signing legislation preventing gun ranges for being sued for causing pollution, requiring stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses to make voter registration applications available, and exempting concealed-weapons licenses from disclosure under the state's public records laws.

8 more years of Bill/W.
Posted by at January 5, 2015 4:54 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus