GOP leader and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday blamed the looming fiscal cliff – which many economists warn could touch off another recession -- squarely on President Barack Obama’s lack of leadership.
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Also in the exclusive Newsmax TV interview, Bush warned that “serious economic hardships for millions of Americans” will result if Congress and President Obama fail to strike a deal on spending and taxes.
Bush called the current policy impasse in Congress a “dysfunction.” The backlog Congress must deal with includes the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, the implementation of taxes associated with the president’s healthcare reforms, plus the reduction of over $1 trillion from domestic and military spending as part of the sequestration process.
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“The uncertainty is the problem right now,” he told NewsmaxTV in the exclusive interview. “Consumers’ sentiment is kind of up. The government’s doing quite well. But private investment is what’s been lagging, and that’s why we haven’t seen the kind of job growth that one would hope.
“With all this uncertainty,” Bush said, “people are freezing in place, and that’s the danger. It already has had an impact. Our recovery is the worst recovery of any since the great depression in terms of its robustness.”
The younger brother of former President George W. Bush said the responsibility for the fiscal cliff lies squarely with Obama.
“I would say that the president is primarily responsible for this because he’s the president, and he has a disproportionate responsibility for creating a catalyst through leadership of a different approach,” he said. “Had he done it, he’d probably be winning the election -- which seems to be his organizing focus right now -- and we would probably be in better shape.”
He added that expecting Congress to resolve its issues without presidential leadership is unrealistic.
“You can’t do this without presidential leadership, and our president spends most of his time blaming others for the problems that we face,” said Bush.
See other exclusive excerpts from the Newsmax interview with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush:
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