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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Presidential candidate-to-be Jeb Bush made a rather interesting comment Tuesday during a speech in Berlin, Germany. Bush was speaking at a political party conference for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, when he let slip that he thought the United States should try to be more like Germany when it comes to responsible public finances.

However, if the United States were to actually embrace the fiscal policies of Germany, as Bush suggested, this would be branded as nothing less than tax-and-spend socialism — which can be demonstrated using data compiled by a prominent right-wing think tank.

MSNBC reports:

Turning to the economy, Bush declared his enthusiastic support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in negotiations and hailed Germany’s insistence on austerity measures since the 2008 financial crisis.

“I can think of a few governments these days — my own comes to mind — that can learn from the German example of fiscal integrity,” he said.

But according to the Heritage Foundation’s statistics, the United States’ total government spending as a percentage of GDP is 40.1 percent, with a tax burden of 24.3 percent, and public debt at 104.5 percent of the annual GDP.

Germany, by contrast, has government spending at 44.7 percent of GDP and a tax burden at 37.6 percent, with public debt of 78.1 percent of the annual GDP.

Germany also has mandatory health insurance, which Merkel’s CDU fully supports and would never dream of overturning. Contrast that with the endless political struggles and right-wing efforts to shut down any such system over here. Indeed, as the newspaper Der Spiegel reported in 2012, Germans can’t even understand American conservatives who say they are devoutly Christian, but then deny social benefits and health care access.

Thus, despite its own debates about relative “austerity” within the European contest, Germany has more in the way of taxes and spending than anything we can imagine here in the U.S.

It is true, of course, that they are doing better in terms of their public debt — but that might just be a result of them honestly paying more for the things they want to do.

Photo: Jeb Bush, May 16, 2015, iprimages via Flickr

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  • angryspittle

    And to think that the media portrays him as the smart one……..

    Jesus, he is just as stupid if not more so than his moron brother.

    • FireBaron

      That’s because Karl Rove told him to hire the same folks who worked for his brother (the same ones their father wouldn’t hire because he didn’t think they could find their way out of a paper bag with a road map and a flash light).

  • Dominick Vila

    If Republicans understood what Jeb Bush, and the fact that Germany has some of the best social programs in the world, a modern infrastructure, is focused on climate change and the environment, and supports an outstanding public education system, the GOP base would run Jeb out of town forever.
    The fact that Germany demands austerity and fiscal prudence from the countries they help financially, does not mean they practice austerity at home.

    • FireBaron

      They see the word “Christian” and immediately assume they are a Conservative party. Unfortunately for American Conservatives, they don’t realize that European Conservatives are not the regressionists that we have. Instead, they make sure the social dignity is conserved by providing for all equally.

    • FT66

      Jeb Bush will be run out of the town soon. Just wait when debates start. He will be crashed into ashes. I now understand why Fox News are trying to avoid some of GOP contenders like Santorum to participate in debating.

  • Daniel Jones

    Or just honestly existing.

    Jeb’s such a liar he doesn’t even keep track of his lies. As speeches in Germany go, I actually preferred JFK inadvertently calling himself a jelly doughnut. It was, after all, an honest mistake.

  • Independent1

    The author of this article is misguided. America’s “public debt’ is not 106%, it is closer to 73% given that about 4 Billion plus of America’s debt is owed to itself via accounting; and is not held by the ‘public’.

    • FT66

      Right. Neither Bush nor the writer of this article did their homework before talking or writing.

    • FireBaron

      But a lot of that debt is monies Congress effectively took from either the Social Security Trust Fund or the USPS Pension Fund and has no plans on the books to pay either back (thank you John Boehner and Mitch McConnell for that).

    • CrankyToo

      Do you mean 4 Trillion?

      • Independent1

        Absolutely! It’s actually closer to 5 Trillion. As I’m getting closer to 80, it seems that I make more of these mental slips.

        • CrankyToo

          Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger, Indy1. We all used to be ten foot tall and bulletproof….

  • dana becker

    Jebbie is just as stupid as his imbecile brother Georgie. What a schmuck.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Let me translate John Ellis Bush’s (JEB) Republican double speak as a former Republican female for 33 years. “Let’s keep spending down (unspoken words omitted?) … the south and midwest.

    The reality is that without decimating (Republican translation? Privatize and steal) SS and Medicare, the south and midwest have NO future thanks to their stupidity, ignorance and inability to get off the worst polluter, prison and militiary industries.

    You have to really laugh when you consider that Big Oil knows it is now its last days thanks to their heavy cost of pollution clean other states are getting fed up having to pay. Then, there’s the prison industry states who stuff as many prisoners into a prison cell as sardines in a tin and then beg more federal tax subsidies, another boondoggle becoming all too clear to states paying the most in federal taxes and getting back the least bang for their bucks. Add in the military industry states like AZ, VA, TX and OK and their ideas of keeping their privatized military suppliers in endless for profit wars has not gone missing from the states who fund the defense revenues most.

  • 1Zoe55

    All I needed to know was that Jeb Bush has chosen the same chicken-hawks his brother did, you know the ones such as Cheney’s advisers, to realize Jeb’s foreign policy would be as disastrous. If one of these clowns does get elected, my hope is that young Americans will not join our military. Let all of the Republican/TeaParty members send their children off to another useless war. As far as austerity, when did any of the Bushes ever have to do without or live within a budget?

  • Lynda Groom

    He’s just a tad out of focus on the subject. Lets not forget he’s the smart one. Lord help us.

    • Independent1

      Problem is, being brighter than a total dummy isn’t really saying much!! Brother George had a struggle maintaining a mid C average at Yale.

  • Insinnergy

    Jeb… The other retarded Bush.

  • Mixa