Yahoo: Bush had a 21.3% average tax rate

It turns out Jeb Bush had an average effective tax rate of 21.3 percent according to financial planner Michael Kitces on Yahoo Finance, not the 36 percent he’s been fudging about. Bush only paid more than 36 percent in one year — 2013 — while his rate was less than that in the other 32 years.

As Kitces explains, Bush’s “total tax liabilities are also inflated by the fact that for many years when he was self-employed, he paid self-employment (SECA) taxes. While this is certainly part of one’s total tax liability, it is somewhat confusing to include it in a normal effective income tax rate calculation as these taxes appear on the personal tax return simply because Bush was self-employed.”

Even though Jeb has released 13 years of new tax returns (bringing the total to 33 years), outlets like the Tampa Bay Times and Wall Street Journal are calling him out for his lack of […]

Read more after the jump.

What To Expect At The Western Conservative Summit

The long road to the Republican nomination is winding through America’s highest-profile home for Illuminati and Reptoids this week with Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and more attending the Western Conservative Summit.  Here’s what to expect from this weekend’s cattle call:

1. The New GOP Litmus Test:  Gay Marriage

The Western Conservative Summit made news earlier this year when they barred the Log Cabin Republicans from attending their conference, but their backwards attitude towards the LGBT community won’t stop there.  Summit Gala headliner Scott Walker has already doubled down on his call for a constitutional amendment, and panelist Tony Perkins went on an epic Twitter rant Friday, calling the ruling a “shocking abuse of power” and promising it would “supercharge” opposition to gay marriage.  Don’t take Perkins’ word for it: Rick Santorum didn’t even wait for his speech to begin teeing off, telling Denver radio station KNUS that the ruling was the court’s attempt to be “trendy” with marriage equality and would lead to polygamy.

Read more after the jump.

Walker Leaves Wisconsin In His Harley’s Rear-View

Scott Walker is running for president and Wisconsin is paying the price. As reported by The New York Times yesterday,”Critics say the governor’s spending blueprint is aimed more at appealing to conservatives in early-voting states like Iowa than doing what is best for Wisconsin.” Walker’s radical budget proposals are catching flak from across the political spectrum. Today, the state Senate leader said even the Republican caucus is at a standstill with how to proceed on a plan that reflects Walker’s national political ambitions and not Wisconsin’s policy problems.

Associated Press: Fitzgerald says he still doesn’t have votes for budget

Read more after the jump.

This presidential candidate just reached zero percent nationally

Who is Bobby Jindal?

The GOP is so eager to elect an extreme conservative that Bobby Jindal is jumping into the race – a governor who’s polling in Louisiana at 31.8 percent to 64.7 percent. You’d have to double his favorability and add one to get to his unfavorables.

Yikes. Sit back and enjoy the show. Social issues like religious discrimination and marriage inequality are about to be an even bigger litmus test then they were before.

American Bridge’s Scouting Report on Bobby Jindal

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Jeb! Didn’t Last Long

Jeb Bush’s formal entry into the presidential race this week lowered the bar for White House aspirants everywhere. Not since Ludacris has America been forced to endure such a terrible “roll-out.”

For a typical candidate, the attention gleaned from a campaign announcement results in a media honeymoon. Bush, however, is not your average candidate; he’s plagued by his lockstep support for his brother’s unpopular polices and positions that are either toxic to the conservative base or unacceptable to the general electorate. A scratch beneath the surface of his record as governor and in the private sector reveals a reality not matched by his rhetoric. Whether its challenging the pope, promoting cuts to social security, or giving the voters and the conservative base more reason for suspicion, Bush’s campaign is tripping over itself right out of the gates.

Read more after the jump.

Campaigning On “Crap”

Scott Walker’s week is quickly nose-diving into another disaster for the governor. Frustrated with his continued absence from important budget decisions, Wisconsin Republicans aren’t wavering on their rejection of the governor’s “crap budget.” Meanwhile, Walker’s flagship jobs program, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), still can’t get taxpayers’ money back from the outsourcing company it loaned it to. Already receiving criticism for phoning it in, these latest developments promise to ruin the very reputation Walker is counting on to win.

From the Associated Press:

While Scott Walker’s fellow Republicans were grousing about his budget plan and part of his proposal to overhaul higher education, the governor was more than 1,000 miles away, gripping the wheel of the Mt. Washington cruise boat on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee.

And when lawmakers met Monday night to reach a final deal on other elements of that budget, the likely presidential candidate was in Canada on his fourth international trip in less than five months.

Read more after the jump.

MEMO: Jeb Bush Enters Phase Two

Jeb Bush is launching Phase Two of his campaign today and is hoping to overcome what has been an underwhelming start. He’s still the same out-of-touch Republican who’s carrying over his brother’s policies and misrepresenting his record to squeeze it into something that passes for a 2016 winning message. Unfortunately for Jeb, he’s facing the same problems among conservatives in the GOP primary and independents in the general election – nobody thinks he should be president.

Maybe Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan should be “Right to Return” – return to his brother’s failed foreign policy and tax cuts for the wealthy.  He’s already returned to a spectacularly failed shock and awe strategy.  In the last week, Bush has demoted his campaign manager-in-waiting, reminded voters that he would publicly shame unwed mothers, “offered little to differentiate himself from Obama” on his trip to Europe, and sent conflicting signals about whether his super PAC will or won’t raise the $100 million he set as the goal in January. (Not to mention the goal was originally to raise $100 million by March.)

Now Jeb is starting his campaign trailing Lord Voldemort and in a virtual tie with Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson.

Here are a few reasons why he’s unlikely to break away from the pack.

NEW VIDEO: Jeb Bush 2016: ‘Mission Accomplished’

Jeb Bush botched his campaign for president before it even began. His “plan” to clear the field with outmatched fundraising and establishment support has failed miserably. What started with predictions of “shock and awe” has quickly devolved into a mismanaged mess. The only person who would consider the roll-out of Jeb’s campaign as a “mission accomplished’ is his older brother.

Watch the latest from American Bridge:

Read more after the jump.

AP: Rubio’s real estate dealings often a drag on his finances

There’s at least one compliment Marco Rubio won’t be getting during his campaign: financially savvy. Rubio’s financial dealings have been subject to scrutiny lately — there aren’t just skeletons hidden in the closets of his foreclosed house with David Rivera, there are new questions being raised daily.

Fueled by his political aspirations, Rubio has been making one “financial mistake” after another, despite earning $4.5 million since his first year in the Florida legislature. This is causing many to ask: if he can’t manage his personal budget — once he became wealthy — how on earth will he be able to handle America’s?

From the AP:

Factor in some questionable moves with money and a hefty load of student loans, and it’s clear that the Republican presidential candidate’s real estate dealings often have been a drag on his finances despite an income most would relish.

Read more after the jump.