Jeb Bush’s tax plan: “We need to let the big dog eat”

Jeb Bush really isn’t getting the whole “median American voter” part about elections.

In a deep hole against anti-elite, pro-taxing the rich Donald Trump, Jeb Bush went straight to the Republicans most respected supply-siders for advice on what his tax plan should look like. The result? One part George Bush, one part Rand Paul.

From the Washington Post:

If Bush becomes president, he would seek to condense seven tax brackets into three: 10 percent, 25, percent and 28 percent. He would slash the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, end the Alternative Minimum Tax, the estate tax and the so-called marriage penalty tax, while continuing deductions for charitable giving. Bush also would cut home mortgage deductions to just 2 percent and eliminate state and local tax deductions, essentially goading local governments to slash high tax rates.

Bush justified these massive tax cuts for the wealthy by saying, “We need to let the big dog eat. We need to focus on creating a fair environment, and then let people pursue their dreams as they see fit.”

Setting aside for the moment that Bush just called the rest of us the runts of the American litter, how in the world is cutting taxes on the wealthy “creating a fair environment.” Unless he means that progressive taxation is unfair to those who are already ahead, in which case why not go all the way and flatten the tax brackets out entirely?

As the Post added, even Bush’s own internal analysis of his plan — with a series of assumptions about the effects of regulatory reforms — wouldn’t get him close to the four percent economic growth he promised earlier in his campaign. Because, if you remember, that requires Americans to further extend their already-long workdays.

If this is the best the Republican establishment can pull together, then there’s no reason to believe that Donald Trump is anything other than the frontrunner in the GOP field.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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21 Responses to “Jeb Bush’s tax plan: “We need to let the big dog eat””

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  2. hidflect says:

    Jeb is low energy. He clutches the lectern like it’s a Zimmer frame.

  3. 2karmanot says:


  4. gratuitous says:

    Ah, the big dogs. The ones who have snarfed up every last kibble for the last 35 years of trickle down economics are still hungry, are they? That’s about all the proof I need that for the overrich, there is no such thing as “enough.” They want their fair share, and in their minds, their fair share is everything.

    Time for the big dogs to go on a diet and let the rest of us have our seats at the table.

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  7. Houndentenor says:

    Sort of. Yes, Shrub slashed taxes for the rich, but he didn’t eliminate major deductions for the middle class. That’s the part of this that I find shocking.

  8. Houndentenor says:

    People believe that about Hillary because it’s true. That’s a belief based on evidence.

  9. Houndentenor says:

    So basically his plan raises taxes on the vast majority of Americans who work?

    What color is the sky in the universe where people like this live?

  10. Bob Munck says:

    “We need to let the big dog eat.

    Isn’t “the big dog” Bill Clinton? I’m confused.

  11. BeccaM says:

    Semi off-topic, I give to you all the Paint With Donald Trump time-wasting website:

    Trust me, it’s worth a minute or three of your time.

  12. emjayay says:

    The number of brackets is the least important thing about income taxes. You look the amount up on a chart, or a computer does it for you. Either way, one, two, or a hundred: doesn’t matter.

  13. FLL says:

    Even if he isn’t sincere about it, Trump is the only one in the Republican field who is incorporating some of the populist, tax-the-one-percent rhetoric that has been swelling over the last several years. And it shows in Trump’s poll numbers. The traditional Reaganomics “trickle-down” message of the Republican establishment is doomed in this election cycle. One reason why Hillary fares so badly is that people don’t believe any of her recent statements about helping the middle class. People still think Hillary is a dyed-in-the-wool corporatist. Trump probably outpolls Hillary, and Sanders probably outpolls them both. Jeb Bush doesn’t even register.

  14. marknc says:

    The problem with the 2nd half of your statement is that they don’t think past screw everybody, I got mine. Or, they think angels will repair the roads?

    For that matter, who will pay for their glorious military?

  15. marknc says:

    You are forgetting that this worked for Shrub. He was at a ultra-rich fundraiser and literally laughed about them being his “base”.

    Republicans know they have the 27% hard-core wingers who would vote for Hitler’s cousin if he was Republican, they have the NRA voters, the anti-abortion voters, Muslim haters, etc and with enough money you can buy enough misinformation to get a few more % by getting the gullible to vote to slit their own throats.

    Plus, and probably most important – the MSLM will NEVER explain how this screws the 99% and will probably call him centrist.

  16. Bcre8ve says:

    Kind of reminds me of the time when the other Bush brother, when asked about his tax plan that heavily benefited the wealthy, at the expense of the average taxpayer, replied that “We know that if we raise their tax rate, they will just do more to avoid those taxes and the rest of the taxpayers will end up having to make up the difference, so we just skipped that step to make it easier.” (I paraphrase, but it’s close.)

    It’s obviously not a glitch, but a family philosophy.

  17. Quilla says:

    They say he’s the “smart one”?

  18. JosephP says:

    It’s astounding that someone as experienced at politics as Jeb could be so tone deaf. I had to do a google search on “let the big dog eat” to confirm that he actually did say that. Bush has been hanging out with his super-rich buddies for so long that this is indeed the way he thinks. Trump may be an arrogant clown but honestly I think that Jeb is a far more dangerous man to let near the White House.

  19. That’s Palin-level stoopid.

  20. Sally says:

    Since people like Bush and Rmoney don’t pay taxes anyway, as their income is all capital gains, what does he care? The GOP does not want a government. They want towns and cities to fund whatever schools, roads, and public works they themselves can afford. The GOP does not see this country as a society where we help one another, but as a place for them to make as much money as they can before dying, then pass it on tax free to the next generation. Not sure how they plan to drive their Mercedes’ on crumbling roads, or fly their private jets onto broken runways with fewer and fewer controllers, but hey, maybe a few of them will die from their lack of human feelings, and the rest will wake up.

  21. BeccaM says:

    Actually, flattening the tax brackets as Bush is proposing is just a step along the way to the plutocrats’ wet dream of a non-progressive flat-tax with a whole pile of hidden deductions and exemptions reserved for the rich to further invert the tax rates.

    Take a look at those numbers: 10% at the bottom, as a sop for the very poor, then 25% and 28%. I bet anything within a year, the next proposal would be to cut that 28 to 25.

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