National Politics - 2016

Jeb Bush’s GDP Boast …

“ONE, TWO … FIVE!” || By FITSNEWS || In case you missed it, the American economy isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders.  In fact the latest gross domestic product projections look downright terrible.  Almost as though the country is headed into another recession.  Err, bagel. Establishment “Republican” presidential hopeful Jeb…


|| By FITSNEWS || In case you missed it, the American economy isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders.  In fact the latest gross domestic product projections look downright terrible.  Almost as though the country is headed into another recession.  Err, bagel.

Establishment “Republican” presidential hopeful Jeb Bush thinks he can fix that.  The former Florida governor gave a speech earlier this year in Detroit in which he claimed his administration would – in contrast to the policies of Barack Obama – “stimulate” economic growth to the tune of four percent a year.

Wait … just four percent?  During his 2012 presidential campaign, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty vowed to hit the five percent annual growth mark – although his setting of that “big, positive goal” clearly did not translate into popular support for his candidacy.

So … when was the last time the American economy grew at a five percent clip?  1984.

That’s right … more than three decades ago.  The last time it grew at a four percent clip? 2000.  Fifteen years ago …

In fact, GDP grew at four percent or better from 1997-2000 – roughly mirroring the second term of former U.S. president Bill Clinton. Of course as this website noted at the outset of the “Great Recession,” Clinton’s economic legacy was tarnished by his administration’s support for politically correct home loan mandates which helped usher in the utter collapse of America’s sub-prime lending market.

Since 2000, peak U.S. GDP clocked in at 3.8 percent in 2004.  It last hit the three percent threshold in 2005 – at 3.5 percent.

Embarrassing …

By contrast, growth exceeded five percent in twelve out of thirty years from 1950-1980.  And it exceeded four percent in seventeen out of those thirty years.

Of course this was before the era of obscenely big government – before the perpetual expansion of the welfare state, before the dawn of unchecked crony capitalism, before the radical redistribution of wealth, before Obamacare and before two totally unsuccessful “Wars on Terror.”

In one of our favorite West Wing episodes, fictitious U.S. president Jed Bartlett discusses the difference between a “robust” and “anemic” economy.

“I’ll tell you what else; historically two to two-and-a-half percent GDP expansion is classified as lackluster – even anemic economic growth,” he explained. “Four-and-a-half to five percent is needed just to be considered robust and not even spectacular.”

Well America’s economy has been anemic for a long time … and it will continue to be as long as “Republicans” and Democrats in Washington, D.C. continue pursuing their current fiscal policies.

In fact aside from his rock solid views on education, we’ve seen nothing from Bush to indicate he would actually pursue the sort of policies that would put free markets first.


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Rocky April 8, 2015 at 2:42 pm

But take away the housing bubble, and Jeb never accomplished that level of growth for Florida. In fact, take away the housing bubble of 2003 to 2006 – and Jeb Bush watched over a net loss of technology and financial services jobs in Florida. It’s sort of like Vandy saying – “I could beat Duke.” Saying it, and having a record of doing it are two different things. Also, interesting that Wil would point out, the last period of really strong growth (Bill Clinton) came after a tax increase on wealthier Americans and the dramatic reduction it brought in the deficit (and in fact brought us a surplus over time). So my question is this – “Is Jeb promoting a tax increase?”

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm

I think Bill Clinton was a good President, regardless what happened in his personal life. However, I will say, I do give Bush “some” credit. Clinton didn’t walk into the mess Bush Jr. did, nor Obama.

If they tax wealthier Americans anymore, I am telling you those people will take their business elsewhere – Google Rolling Stones Tax Exile.

Unless you are talking Capital Gains, the wealthy are paying a buttload of taxes. All taxes combined, more than 1/2 what they are making.

tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Cannot understand why there are any wealthy left from the days when all taxes combined ran over 80% of what they were making.

BTW: I challenge your “more than 1/2” claim. Got a source? Here’s mine:

There is even a graph for our reading-challenged friends.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

I don’t need a source – I have my own. I know how much I pay in taxes. We are not your billionaires, but I can tell you that what we pay in fees, taxes (states, federal, sales taxes) is more than 1/2 our income.

Your fat cats can find a way to work the system. I can’t legally and consciously make a decision to work around the system. So we get screwed year after year on taxes.

Birthers For Cruz April 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Hers was a standard Republican response.

Always worrying about the poor ol Rich folks.

Of course,you could triple their taxes.

They ain’t goin anywhere.Theyve never had it do good.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Reading deficit? You obviously have not read my posts that I will not vote Cruz.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I read your source, but you are talking the fat cats, not wealthy but EXTREMELY wealthy. There are books written about Romney and his venture/vulture capitalism.

tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Anybody else having a problem understanding the graph that shows the total tax burden of the entire range of incomes — from the poorest to the richest?

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 3:34 pm

I don’t have a problem “understanding” the graph, I just flat out dispute it. It’s a bunch of BS that is totally biased, with some truth sprinkled in.

When you pay more than 50% of your income to taxes, come back and let’s talk.

One of the things they are not taking into consideration is the amount of “charitable” contributions. I make “some” charitable contributions that can be written off, but what if you decide to give someone something? We don’t get a deduction for that. Then look at the maximum “gift” – totally ridiculous.

Gift taxes, let’s assume you have someone who is barely getting by and makes 15,000 per year, last I checked and it may be a 1k more, but if I gift that person more than 13k of money that we have already paid taxes on, then there is “gifting” issue, UNLESS you are contributing to one of those non-profits.

Romney did contribute a huge sum to charity of his choosing.

tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm

If you have a source (other than your personal anecdote) that is less “a bunch of BS” than the graph from Citizens for Tax Justice, post it.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Keep posting Tom and I will keep disputing. Are you going to listen to some left leaning site, who hates anyone who makes money and feels we owe them something, or maybe we should feel guilty that we have worked hard, that we actually saved money.

Or do you want to know how it REALLY works. I would love to publish my damn taxes for years and let everyone see, but for obvious reason I won’t.

Your bitch is with the billionaires who still pay the majority of taxes.

I’m not going to change your mind, nor you mine. But one day, if you ever have a small business, ever sell it, every have to pay taxes for endless days and years, you might think differently.

tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 3:46 pm

You use that word “disputing.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

Here is a table for 2014:

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm

I just looked at the table, it is not true. I know what dispute means, look it up at

That table is not accurate. I know people who are in that bottom bracket that I have gifted money to, within the confines of the law, they usu get credits to offset income. They pay zero property tax and get state/government assistance, whether that is SNAP, child care credit, below poverty line depending on state, and other benefits, that I am not trying to deny them.

But…. I am taxed enough already. When 1/2 your income goes to taxes, there is little incentive to work. We are in our 40’s and looking for retirement. Think about that for a minute.

tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

When you post a link to a source that others may access to make a judgement on who is slinging the BS in this dispute, we can then upgrade this conversation to “debate.”

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Your articles are nothing more than opinion based on someone’s data. Why is my data point invalid? Maybe I should break it down and send to FITS to publish, you might listen then?

Or….maybe you should read the IRS code? State Tax Code? Talk to a CPA? Hmmmmm….

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

FYI, I am sure I can likely find a link on Tax Foundation that would put things in perspective. If I find time, I might look it up. Or you might use some of your unspent energy finding it for yourself.

You remind me of talking to some of my family members. I was Republican while they were still Democrats. Then they changed parties and I became more center. They call me a DAMNED liberal. Imagine that!

I find that the people who would benefit the most from liberal policies call themselves Republican, because many of them live in this system, but detest diversity. They also hate the fact someone makes more money than they do, and it often gets call racism? The blacks are against the white, they have fancy cars, cell phones, live in nicer homes … blah blah blah. The homosexuals are destroying the very fabric our nation was built on.

I’m not sure who I dislike arguing with more – you’re both biased and refuse to look at any source that does not fit your world view.

I suggest to some of my Republican friends they watch news besides Fox and to my Liberal, you might want to read something besides WA Post or LA news.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm
tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

The data I have posted applies to the percentage of each individual’s personal income that is paid in state, local and federal taxes.

The data point you have posted is what the rich pay as a percentage of all federal income taxes compared to the rest of us. I do not dispute this data, merely observe that it’s irrelevant to the original argument.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm

The truth is Tom, I have been busy and didn’t have the time to find resources. I know the answers, I just need to find them in black and white, so we can have a real conversation.

If you don’t dispute the data, I am having a really hard time with your graph, but let me see what I can dig up. BBS (be back soon).

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 5:17 pm

I understand, and let’s talk federal, because some states have a zero income tax rate while others have higher (tourism typically or business i.e. NY).

Here is a chart that shows only Federal Taxes. Assuming you live in SC, you know what the sales tax is, property taxes, state tax rate, and yes those businesses that do not get incentive, you know those small ones that make up a large portion of the working sector, but don’t get any freebies :)

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm

I apologize for being short, I was running short on time, no excuse, but now we can debate facts :)

tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Let us not stray from the original point of dispute, which was IIRC whether any group of taxpayers pay more than 1/2 of their income in taxes — federal, state, local, excise — whatever.

Links to federal income tax rates are off-topic, since federal income taxes are merely a subset of all potential taxes paid by individuals. The article at the end of my original link stressed the point that many political arguments try to confuse the public in these matters. Reread the article. From the second graf:

“This entire conversation is the result of a (largely successful) effort to redefine the debate over taxes from “how much in taxes do you pay” to “how much in federal income taxes do you pay?” This is good framing if you want to cut taxes on the rich. It’s bad framing if you want to have even a basic understanding of who pays how much in taxes.”

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm

I see what you are saying, but I view it in aggregate – what is left of profits net all taxes and fees.

Federal Income tax is the largest, but then you factor in other benefits: i.e. homestead exemption, childcare exemption, charity exemption. While on the other side, if you own more than one home, you have to pay investment insurance at a much higher rate, gift taxes, and not all of us can deduct those “charitable contributions, because we don’t want to pay the overhead to those “charitable” organizations to give to the needy.

I favor a flat tax/consumption tax hybrid. Flat tax, because it cuts out some of the loopholes. Consumption for much of the same reason, but with caps – for example, how many people work under the table (i.e. dealers) and pay no taxes?

Simple Simon April 8, 2015 at 4:26 pm

“Cannot understand why there are any wealthy left from the days when all taxes combined ran over 80% of what they were making.”

That’s because you’re not differentiating between the top rates and the “effective” rates:

bgates April 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Simple. The rich enjoyed loop holes and shelters…heck you could even write off a yacht in the 1980s…now the rich mainly shelter their cash in …wait for it…Foundations!

Yep! April 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm


Tom likes to pretend some great macro-economic knowledge, but at times he really falls short.

Rocky April 8, 2015 at 3:48 pm

PT – not sure I agree with “the mess Bush Jr.” walked into. In 2001 the economy slowed, cyclicaly, but it was never a “recession” as the right-wing pundits always claimed. There was one quarter of flat growth (maybe negative to the tune of like -0.1), but he used it to justify a huge tax cut, and the economy limped along ever since. I always hoped someone with modeling experience would take the GDP growth 2002 to 2007, and if you could factor out GDP portion that was bubble related, what would that number look like. Also, to pre-empt those likely to start whining about CRA etc – the vast majority of toxic homeloans were private conventional loans (re: Option ARMS, negative amortizing graduated rates, ALT-A products) that were never, and I mean never, counted as CRA loans, nor purchased by FNMA / FHLMC. They were originated and bundled by Wall Street firms into private securities that tanked. CRA loans, that banks used for credit against the Community Re-Investment Act, actually out-performed the junk. Anyway, another story another day.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Bush Jr. – 9/11 was the mess.

I didn’t agree with his capital gains cut, but did agree with cuts across the board. At that time, we were just an average 2 parent working family. Had it not been for 9/11 and the fear factor and had he not cut taxes, I am not sure it would have been better. I am no taking up Bush Jr., while I voted for him, not a huge fan. I do think he did the best he could given the circumstances he had to deal with.

After 9/11 America loved him, he followed their lead and listened. Mistakes? Yes. But he did listen.

If you are interested in Bubbles, there is an interesting show on Nova – the difference in logical v. behavioral economics. I also strongly recommend reading Alan Greenspan: Age of Turbulence.

I understand where you are going with all those home loans. We were terrified of buying a house, more than we could afford. However, one thing we did insist on, which I recommend everyone does, is a fixed interest rate.

Google Tulip Bulbs, our first bubble. Who would have ever thought a damn tulip bulb would be worth the price of an estate? Sometimes it just takes common sense, unless we want to let the government make all our choices. If we let them make our choices, well we deserve the crap we get.

I know everyone on this site hates HARP and I have no use for it, but read an article this morning it is getting ready to expire in 2015. If you have a home mortgage it could save you money.

Rocky April 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

I’ve seen that bubble mentality show. How once it’s going, even if you know it’s a loser you still buy into. We HARPed our other home, before we bought the one we have now. Reduced the term and rate, and with it now rented, it should sell and pay off our new home in about 9 years. HARP was great. So was HAMP – actually good friend with the guy who helped come up with HAMP – it was actually done in the private sector at the request of Treasury and Paulson.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm

While I hate some of these government programs, if I were able to take advantage of them – I damn straight would. Good for you! :)

tomstickler April 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

You overlooked a factor that contributed to good economic growth in the 1950 – 1980 era: many good jobs protected by contracts negotiated between management and employees represented by a union.

Then St. Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers, and it’s been downhill ever since for the common worker.

aikencounty April 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm

And the AFL-CIO stood by and did absolutely nothing for the PATCO members.
It was their LEADERSHIP that endorsed RAYGUN’s, not the rank and file.

Bible Thumper April 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm

Airlines and airports don’t exist for the employees. They exist to serve customers.
Downhill ever since Reagan? Triple the passenger miles, more employed, fewer deaths, lower costs in inflation adjusted dollars.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Thanks BT – I am going between threads. I don’t like TSA and the difficulties we have flying. I had to fly as soon as airports were open after 9/11, it was horrible. At one point I was stuck in Cincinnati for HOURS because some idiot tried to bootleg a joint on the plane.

Prices are cheaper if you price shop. For example, you can get a direct flight with Allegiance to fly from Greenville, SC to Orlando FL for about $100.

Not sure how they pull it off, maybe gas tax exemptions?

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Add On: I certainly prefer TSA v. the alternative. I smoke, I know uuuuugh, but I was once stopped because my purse set off alarms. I probably had 10+ lighters in my purse….LOL

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 2:54 pm

I am not impressed with anyone who is currently running on the Republican ticket. At the risk of horrible backlash, I would love to see Condaleeza Rice run. She won’t, heck she can’t even visit SC without protest, but I would vote for her.

Who? April 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm

I need to know who Haley is going to back, so that I can cross them off my list.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm

I doubt she would back Condaleeza? She might? But even if she crossed her off the list, I’d vote for her, IF she would run. She is very intelligent, well spoken and no bull shit. She might make Haley look good if Haley endorsed her. However, I do think it would do Ms. Rice more damage than good.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm

There are two sides to every coin, but most only look at the front – the back side, while rich in history is considered “bad luck” for all you mystics.

Torch April 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm

“before the radical redistribution of wealth,” Would that be the rich getting richer and getting tax breaks while the middle class disappears.

Domu Takashi October 5, 2015 at 6:06 pm

That, and in relation, the mass exodus of our manufacturing industry, the now defunct backbone of our economy. The greatest flaw of our free and open market is what many consider its greatest strength. Our nations “wealth” shouldn’t be defined by its GDP, but by the prosperity and the freedom from poverty of all its citizens. Unfortunately, the almighty dollar reminds us that good business practice includes pulling jobs from the average American worker and giving them to the world’s most exploited individuals.

Bible Thumper April 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

We could have the growth that existed from 1950 +. Just need another world war that destroys the rest of the world’s industry and take the “Pill” off the market so that we have another “Baby boom”.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 8:31 pm

The Broken Window Fallacy.

Bible Thumper April 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm

You get only the appearance of growth if it’s your broken glass. If it’s everybody else’s broken glass, it works like a charm.

Pineapple Twist April 8, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Just the opposite, but same thing. The man who has a broken window, has to pay more, hire workers, but at the end of the project, it would have cheaper, not to have broken the window in the first place. Yes, it did create jobs, but at someone else’s expense.


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