October 6, 2015


Both Rubio and Jeb Are Running for Another Bush Term : They are George W. Bush Republicans in every conventional sense. (Jamelle Bouie, 10/06/15, Slate)

[T]hey come from a specific GOP tradition--they are both George W. Bush Republicans. What this means is straightforward: They primarily represent the affluent donor base of the GOP, but bundle those interests--broad tax cuts and privatization in particular--with a few policies that benefit more modest families.

You see this with their economic plans. In the 2000 election, George W. Bush bridged the divide between the Republican donor class and ordinary voters with a massive upper-income tax cut, sold as middle-class tax relief. The Bush plan also had a large child tax credit and gave a break to married couples. It was, his campaign argued, a tax plan for everyone. "High-income people would pay a bigger proportion of the tax bill after the Bush tax cuts than before them," said his head economic advisor. This was only true in the axiomatic sense that wealthy people pay more taxes than poorer ones. In terms of value, however, the vast bulk of the worth of Bush's tax cuts would eventually go to the highest earners.

This is the Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush tax approach, full stop. On the more populist side, Rubio would create a new child tax credit, Bush would "nearly double" the standard deduction, and both would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit. Both would reduce deductions and other tax subsidies for high-income families, and both would reduce rates for low- and middle-income Americans. But most of the Bush and Rubio tax cuts would go to the wealthiest Americans, from the huge rate cuts for high-income earners and an end to the estate tax, to slashing corporate tax rates and--in the Rubio plan--ending taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest.

You also see George W. Bush's influence on immigration, a key priority for business conservatives. Going against a part of his base, the older Bush brother made a failed push for comprehensive immigration reform in his second term in office. Before that, he used a friendly message, sustained outreach, and visible diversity in his administration to build ground with Latino voters. Contrary to exit polls, Bush probably didn't win 44 percent of Latino voters in the 2004 election. But he certainly broke the 30 percent mark in 2000 and 2004, outperforming every Republican in recent memory. Indeed, Bush--who also made modest inroads with black and Asian American voters--is the only Republican since his dad did it in 1988 to capture 50 percent or more of the national vote.

The UR is essentially just continuing the Clinton/Bush presidencies himself.
Posted by at October 6, 2015 7:20 PM

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