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Jeb Bush on Social Security

Republican FL Governor; V.P. prospect


Wrong to scare seniors about not protecting Social Security

A statement from former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Charlie Crist's dishonest Social Security attack on Marco Rubio:

"Charlie Crist should be ashamed of his false attack against Marco Rubio on Social Security. Charlie Crist is purposely trying to scare seniors in order to win votes. "The fact is, Marco Rubio will protect Social Security. His own mother relies on Social Security and he has repeatedly stated that he would not support or propose any benefit reductions for current retirees or people who are close to retirement.

"Charlie Crist used to believe that scaring seniors to win votes was wrong. I know this first-hand because in 1995 he spoke out forcefully in my defense when the very same kind of false attacks were made against me. It is sad that he has become so enamored with winning political office that he has abandoned the very principles that steered him into public service in the first place. I am disappointed, but can't say I am surprised."

Source: John McCormack, The Weekly Standard, "Jeb Rips Crist" , Oct 5, 2010

Privatization became administration's fundamental philosophy

The governor sought to extend the use of privatization, and adopted the theory as the fundamental philosophical principle of his administration. He declared, "I would look at any outsource opportunity."

The governor was extraordinarily successful in achieving his legislative goals regarding privatization: Florida hired private sector companies to administer programs that other states had also privatized: managing state prisons, collecting fees on the state's tollways, and cleaning state buildings. But Bush expanded privatization into uncharted territory and contracted out state personnel services (payroll, benefits, training, recruitment, etc.), the management of Medicaid billing.

Like other officials throughout the nation, Bush argued that he was privatizing Florida state government in order to bring about cost savings and efficiency. However, the speed and manner in which he initiated and carried out his plans led some to suggest that political philosophy was the driving force.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.116-7 , Dec 11, 2009

Social service benefits via private & faith-based companies

The Bush social services reform program [was] designed, in large part, to enable private companies, nonprofit organizations and faith-based organizations to provide services that had traditionally been provided by the state: economic benefits to low-income citizens, protective services to children at risk of harm, community services to people who suffered from developmental disabilities, and medical services to poor citizens.

The larger issue regarding the faith-based initiative was that virtually no effort was made to evaluate the activities of the organizations that received public money or to compare their costs and quality of service with those of other service providers. Analysis was impossible and as a consequence the state knows very little about the relative advantages and disadvantages of using faith-based organizations to deliver public services.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.144-6 , Dec 11, 2009

1994 opponent falsely accused Jeb of cutting Social Security

In 1994, my brothers George W and Jeb officially announced they would run for governors in Texas and Florida, respectively. Each would face tough, popular incumbents--Governor Ann Richards for George, and Governor Lawton Chiles for Jeb.

Jeb ran a positive campaign on the issues--namely, law enforcement, education, and welfare reform--and was locked in a tight race coming down to the stretch. Then an automated phone call claiming to be from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)--but really originating from the Chiles campaign--went out to 750,000 senior citizens in Florida claiming, falsely, that if elected, Jeb would cut their Social Security payments.

On election day, George won by a comfortable margin with 53.5%, but Jeb lost by 64,000 votes--the closest gubernatorial election in Florida history.

Source: My Father, My President, by Doro Koch Bush, p.449-451 , Oct 6, 2006

Maintain long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

With the first federal budget surplus in a generation and estimates of non-Social Security surpluses ranging from $750 billion to $1.9 trillion over the next decade, the issue is whether Congress and the President will agree to dedicate a portion of the projected surplus to tax cuts and, if so, what the impacts on states might be.

NGAís Position

NGA opposes reductions from current discretionary spending levels or changes that could risk the long-term solvency of the nationís Social Security and Medicare systems. NGA supports provisions to ensure reduced barriers to state and local capital finance through tax-exempt bonds and to ensure maximum flexibility in setting and maintaining state retirement plans and programs.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA16 on Aug 1, 2001

Other candidates on Social Security: Jeb Bush on other issues:
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Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
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Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(MA)
2016 GOP Candidates:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
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Donald Trump(NY)
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Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Aug 18, 2014