Friday, February 20, 2015

Jeb Bush sounds like another “government grows” outcome


There is a push going on within the GOP establishment to support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for President in 2016.

Bush is saying many of the right things, and recognizing in some areas the limits of what the federal government can and should do. But, there remains an undertone of government as an agent for good, rather than as something that should be continually viewed with a wary eye.

In particular, Bush's statements on education are still loaded with a big-government flavor. Good for him that he tackled Florida’s schools, but that should not motivate greater federal involvement in schools. Education, if it is to be publicly funded, is a state and local concern.

And, the bit about establishing success as a good thing by offering role models? Please. The press won’t let that fly, and in any case talk is cheap. Reward success by not punishing it. How? Tax and regulatory reform, things I don’t see addressed, except in vague allusion.

I’d consider the risk of running someone named Bush for the White House if that someone really showed that he “got it” regarding the relationship between government and the citizens. But, couched among all the feel-good words about less government and more personal responsibility is the same sort of “government is an agent for good” that statist-lite Republicans still cling to.

The old-guard GOP who wants to magically restore the glory days of the early 2000s with their brand of statism-lite with a lot of soc-con talk and an addiction to spending as long as it’s the right sort of spending, and the small government folks who are butting heads with them?

There’s no unity to be had there. There is a choice. Two different paths. Which it’ll be remains to be seen.

As for small government folks like me – if the GOP opts for the old-school path, why should we bother supporting it? That path won’t fix the nation, even if the party manages to regain power.

We’ve been told, a few times now, to back the “electable” moderate so that he can get into office instead of the liberal Democrat. George W. Bush beat Gore and government grew. W beat Kerry and government grew even more. John McCain lost to Obama and government grew more and more. Mitt Romney lost to Obama and government continues to grow out of control.

Jeb Bush? Sounds to me like another “government grows” outcome.

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