Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is promising to chart a new course focused on addressing economic inequality, as he nears a long-expected announcement that he’s running for president in 2016. At the same time, he is bringing on more policy advisers from his family’s administrations who supported policies that contributed to that wealth gap.
Since expressing interest in the nation’s highest office, Jeb Bush has repeatedly lamented the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor and vowed to make closing that gap a central part of his campaign.
“We’re moving to a world that is sticky in the ends, where it’s harder for people in poverty to move up and where the rich are doing really well and the middle is getting squeezed,” he said in a recent speech.
The mainstream media has cited such statements as signs Bush “intends to position himself on economic issues like income inequality in a way that diverges from the approach traditionally championed by the Republican Party.”
But this week, Jeb Bush’s team brought on economist Glenn Hubbard — the lead architect of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. Hubbard also crafted Mitt Romney’s economic plan, which involved de-regulating Wall Street, further slashing taxes on corporations and the wealthy and turn Medicaid into a block grant program in which states could “experiment” with health funding for the poor. He claimed the plan would create 12 million jobs in Romney’s first term alone.
When Romney failed to win the presidency, Hubbard went on to advocate on behalf of subprime loan companies that were illegally defrauding customers and misleading investors. Countrywide Loans paid him $1,200 an hour to testify on their behalf.
Hubbard, like Jeb Bush, also opposes raising the minimum wage.
Bush has also argued that his foreign policy ideas are unique from his father’s and brother’s, and explicitly called out “mistakes made in Iraq” and the reliance on intelligence that “turned out to not be accurate.”
Yet the Bush campaign has hired advisers responsible for those very “mistakes,” including those who pushed for and planned the 2002 invasion of Iraq.