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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush defends his tax cut plan and John Boehner



Jeb Bush, appearing on Fox News Sunday, defended remarks about African-Americans and “free stuff” and also said implied people would regret running House Speaker John Boehner out of town.

“I admire John Boehner greatly. He's a great public service,” Bush said. “He left at the apex of his -- of his time in service to this -- to the country with the pope speaking in Congress.  I think people are going to miss him in the long run, because he's a -- he's a person that is focused on solving problems.”

Last week Democrats latched onto Bush’s comment that black voters couldn’t be attracted to the GOP by offering more “free stuff,” raising comparisons to something Mitt Romney said in 2012.

“You know, the left argues all the time taking things out of context,” Bush said.

“What we've heard is 6 million more people are in poverty today than the day that Barack Obama got elected president. Six million more people. Two thousand less dollars in Americans' families in the -- in disposable income.

“This -- this idea that you can regulate and tax and spend your way to prosperity has failed.  We spend a trillion dollars a year on poverty programs. And the net result is the percentage of people in poverty has remained the same.

“We should try something different, which is to give people the capacity to achieve earned success, fix our schools, fix our economy, lessen the crime rates in the big urban areas and I think people in poverty could be lifted up.”

Host Chris Wallace also asked Bush about his tax proposal and criticism that it gives a larger cut to the top 1 percent wage earners.

“An analysis of your tax returns for the last six years, which you have released to the public, the last six years indicates that you would save, under your tax plan, $3 million,” Wallace said. “Does Jeb Bush need a $3 million tax cut?

BUSH: Look, the benefit of this goes disproportionately to the middle class. If you look at what the middle class pays today compared to what they would pay in our tax plan --  

WALLACE:  But they get a 2.9 percent increase in after tax income --  

BUSH:  Because higher income people pay more taxes right now and proportionally, everybody will get a benefit. But proportionally, they'll pay more in with my plan than what they pay today.

WALLACE:  Well, I mean forgive me, sir, but -- but 2.9 seems like it's less than 11.6.

BUSH: The simple fact is 1 percent of people pay 40 percent of all the taxes. And so, of course, tax cuts for everybody is going to generate more for people that are paying a lot more.  I mean that's just the way it is.

[Last modified: Sunday, September 27, 2015 5:13pm]


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