While there is not time enough in the world to refute every line of Jeb Bush, Jr.'s recent op-ed in Politico, several of the more hilariously wrong remarks could not pass without comment.
Welcome Jeb. Jr. to the Bush Family Circus.
It pushes the standard hits on President Obama—that Obamacare is creating a part-time jobs economy (it’s not)—and calls for the usual Republican cold medicine, like “fundamental tax reform” (which typically means “massive tax cuts”). And while there is not time enough in the world to refute every line, several of Bush & Co.’s more hilariously wrong remarks could not pass without comment.
“The real problem is that we expect these [GDP] numbers to either decline or remain stagnant once the Treasury (finally) decides to stop printing money.”
We assume they’re talking here about quantitative easing, a central bank method to help grow the economy. And if that’s the case, Bush and his co-author are wrong—about a lot of things.
The Treasury doesn’t decide to print money, the Federal Reserve does. And when that money is printed, the Treasury does it, not the Federal Reserve. Only, the Federal Reserve isn’t having money printed to grow the economy: It’s receiving already purchased bonds on the secondary market, and it’s not so much “buying” them as essentially conducting an asset swap.
It’s difficult to figure out what Bush was trying to say here—but it’s safe to assume his version of both the mechanics and philosophy (whether or not he agrees with it) of quantitative easing are wrong.
“As further evidence of a slowing economy, corporate earnings, retail sales, and existing home sales have all stalled in the first part of the year.”
In order: Misleading, more misleading and just plain wrong.
Misleading: Earnings in the second quarter haven’t stalled, they’re more “meh” than anything: climbing but nothing to brag about.
More misleading: Retail sales are growing. The numbers aren’t big. But they are helping boost the economy.
Just plain wrong: Existing home sales are definitely NOT stalling. The latest numbers are up 15% year over year—despite hitting a bump in June—and prices are on a tear. Better, fewer foreclosures and short sales are composing those monthly numbers. What’s more, it’s new home sales—not existing home sales—that provide a wide angle lens on the economy, and in June those numbers hit a five-year high.
“Google, whose sales are considered to echo the health of small businesses, failed to surpass earnings expectations for the first time in quite a while.”
Google a bellwether for small business? No. In fact, a survey released Tuesday showed small business confidence rising. And incidentally, Google’s miss is because no one in tech can figure out how to make mobile advertising succeed.
“We need to teach our kids the value of STEM and entrepreneurial knowledge.”
Dear God: He’s not Jeb Bush, Jr. — he’s Mitt Romney, Jr!