Pardon the diversion from my usual focus on Vermont politics, but I just couldn’t resist.
When I first heard about Jeb Bush’s “Americans need to work harder” statement, two thoughts came mind:
1. Isn’t he supposed to be the “smart” Bush brother?
2. Is this really what it means to be a moderate, “responsible” Republican in 2015? And if so, how is the VTGOP going to try to package and sell this manure pile to Vermont voters?
I was paraphrasing his actual quote; here’s the original, as stated in his interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader:
“My aspiration for the country — and I believe we can achieve it — is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”
There’s a lot of bad to unpack in that single paragraph, but let’s move on to Bush’s attempt to re-contextualize that little turd he laid on the heads of American workers:
“If we’re going to grow the economy people need to stop being part-time workers, they need to be having access to greater opportunities to work,” he told reporters.
… “You can take it out of context all you want, but high-sustained growth means that people work 40 hours rather than 30 hours and that by our success, they have money, disposable income for their families to decide how they want to spend it rather than getting in line and being dependent on government,” Bush said.
In actual fact, his clarification isn’t much of an improvement on the silver-spoon original.