Jeb Bush Comes Out in Favor of Raising Taxes, Well, Just a Wee Bit
The former Republican Governor of Florida came out today in favor of slight increases in taxes to reduce the federal budget deficit. Though he had one big caveat: every $1 in new taxes should be accompanied with a $10 cut to federal spending.
Bush was speaking in front of the House Budget Committee today when he broke ever so slightly from many in his party who have pledged not to raise taxes by even a dime.
"If you could bring to me a majority of people to say that we're going to have $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue enhancement -- put me in, coach," Bush said. "This will prove I'm not running for anything."
It's actually sort of sad that a slight bow (and this is very, very slight one) to moderation and compromise would be a strike against anyone looking to one day enter elected Republican politics, but that's just how the party operates now.
The 10-to-1 plan isn't exactly new, but it hasn't gained traction. All of the GOP's presidential hopefuls, including Mitt Romney, opposed such a plan at a debate last August.
The Republican party line is to fix the deficit without raising any taxes. Democrats claim it shows how unwilling to compromise the party has become.
Bush also pointed out during the hearing that he had refused to sign activist Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge three times throughout his career. That anti-tax pledge is considered, in some areas at least, a prerequisite to running for office as a Republican.
"I don't believe you outsource your principles and convictions to people. I respect Grover's political involvement, he has every right to do it, but I never signed any pledge," said Bush.
However, on almost every other issue Bush addressed at the hearing, he towed the GOP line.
Undoubtedly, Bush's statements will be used by Democrats hoping to convince the GOP to drop their no tax increase stance on balancing the budget.
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