If the American people care at all about the well-being of their country, they will do everything in their power to prevent Jeb Bush from winning the presidency in 2016. Though Bush has yet to officially announce his candidacy, the former governor of Florida is on the GOP shortlist for potential nominees in the next presidential election.
Granted it has been a long six years since the last time a member of the Bush family was president, so let’s review some of the highlights – or lowlights, depending on how you see it – of his brother’s presidency.
After narrowly defeating former Vice President Al Gore in Florida – then governed by Jeb Bush, where up to 20,000, mostly African-American citizens were purged from the voter rolls – President George W. Bush settled into office and got to work.
In his first term in office, Bush endorsed an amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriage and increased federal spending by 26 percent, while at the same time cutting $1.35 trillion in taxes over 10 years. The increase in spending coupled with massive tax cuts precipitated the nation’s gigantic budget deficit.
According to The New York Times these two moves in confluence reduced revenue by $1.8 trillion between 2002 and 2009. Furthermore, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the cuts added $1.6 trillion to the national debt, excluding interest.
In many ways, the Bush tax cuts were a precursor to our current national economic debate. Though supporters of the cuts point to the increased tax burden shouldered by the wealthy, many critics point out that income inequality grew at an increasing rate under this tax policy.
The tax cuts are not exclusively to blame for growing inequality in the United States, but they do help paint a broader portrait of the Bushes’ utter disregard for anyone not in the American upper class.
Bush then pushed us into the Iraq War on faulty intelligence, a move that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. It may seem foolish of Bush to start what would become such an unpopular war, but there were larger factors at play.
When all was said and done, the company that profited the most off of the Iraq War was Halliburton – the company where former Vice President Dick Cheney served as CEO less than a year before taking office. During the Iraq War, Halliburton received $39.5 billion in government contracts via its engineering and contracting wing, KBR, Inc.. In 2007, Halliburton and KBR, Inc. split.
This is not just some leftist conspiracy theory connecting dots where there really aren’t any. Back in 2009, GOP-darling U.S. Sen. Rand Paul acknowledged that Halliburton stood to gain immense profits from the Iraq War.
Bush’s failure to lead the country while in office is not even a partisan issue at this point. He has a substantial amount of critics on both the left and the right, yet some people are clamoring for another Bush president.
Putting another Bush in the White House would be at least another four years of the mediocrity and ineptitude that defined George Bush’s presidency. To believe that Jeb Bush would be at all different from his brother is an exercise in naiveté.