Jeb Bush Jr.: Obama the Architect of 'Phony' Economic Recovery

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 03:44 PM

By Dan Weil

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While President Barack Obama has declared the scandals besetting his administration "phony," what really meets that description is the economic recovery under his watch, says Jeb Bush Jr.

A line uttered by Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen a few years ago sums up the current economy well, the youngest of the former Florida governor's three children writes on Politico. The "pace of the recovery will be frustratingly slow," Yellen said.

"Despite what administration cheerleaders may say, that would be a kind description of today’s anemic growth rate," Bush says in an article co-written with Justin Vélez-Hagan, an adjunct professor of economics in the University System of Maryland.

They note that economic growth totaled only 1.7 percent in the second quarter and 1.1 percent in the first quarter. "The real problem is that we expect these numbers to either decline or remain stagnant once the Treasury (finally) decides to stop printing money."

Retail sales are weak, and home sales fell in June for the first time this year, Bush and Vélez-Hagan say. The labor market continues to struggle as well.

"Even if employment makes a drastic turn for the better, unemployment and household wealth is worsening for African-Americans and Hispanics, further dividing the country and increasing the oft-touted 'wealth gap,'" they write.

Meanwhile, rising interest rates benefit overseas investors, but may hurt housing and average Americans, Bush and Vélez-Hagan state. "This is not a strategy for long-term growth."

They offer four solutions to the problems.

"Step one: roll back Obamacare. This complicated law has done nothing but hurt employment and confuse small-business owners and investors.

"Step two: give Congress a say on executive-branch regulations that have the largest economic impact." Bush and Vélez-Hagan favor something akin to the REINS Act, which would give Congress approval power over major regulations.

"Step three: Enact fundamental tax reform." The duo wants a more clear tax regime that closes "unfair loopholes for the well-connected." That would allow for the growth of businesses that hire the most workers, they say.

"Step four: Boost America’s high-skilled labor force. We need to allow more of our expert, immigrant brethren the opportunity to help us grow, and we need to teach our kids the value of STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] and entrepreneurial knowledge."

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