FORMER GOP FRONTRUNNER STILL DOGGED BY COMMENT
|| By ROBERT ROMANO ||On July 9, former Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush proclaimed that if Americans wanted higher incomes and to get back to 4-percent-a-year economic growth, they need to work longer hours.
“[P]eople need to work longer hours and through their productivity gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we are going to get out of this rut that we’re in,” Bush told the New Hampshire Union Leader in an interview.
That’s probably not what most Americans want to hear, particularly if you’re already working full-time or lost your savings in the recession, putting your retirement plans on the skids. Who wants to be told the sluggish economy or their financial struggles are their fault for not working hard enough when they’re working hard already?
Bush has subsequently tanked in the polls.
A Monmouth poll taken July 9 through July 12 had Bush polling at 15 percent versus Donald Trump at 13 percent. It was the last national GOP poll that Bush led.
Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton immediately hit back at Bush, tweeting that “Anyone who believes Americans aren’t working hard enough hasn’t met enough American workers.” She posted a chart from the Economic Policy Institute showing productivity hitting near all-time highs even while incomes remain flat.
Bush attempted to backtrack on the statement, clarifying his position to the Boston Herald, saying, “If we’re going to grow our economy, people need to stop being part-time workers and need to be having access to greater opportunities to work. You can take it out of context all you want, but high-sustaining growth means people work 40 hours, rather than 30 hours.”
There’s only one problem. That was a great talking point in 2009, when the percent of those with jobs working part-time peaked at nearly 20 percent. But that was thanks to the recession and labor markets imploding …
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