Jeb Bush’s Hypocrisy on W. Privatizing Social Security

Jeb Bush backed down on supporting his brother’s plan to privatize parts of Social Security and cut benefits. After going all in during a June event that “the next president’s gonna have to try again” on W’s privatization plan, Jeb today reversed course and said that he doesn’t support it.

What’s more, did Jeb really just say that he would go even further than W’s privatization? He said, quote, “It would have made sense back then and now we’re way beyond that.”

Watch American Bridge’s footage of Jeb today:

Jeb in June:

Background:

Jeb Bush Pitched George W. Bush’s Social Security Proposal To Florida Voters

2005: Jeb Bush Pitched George W. Bush’s Social Security Plan. According to Florida Today, “Republican leaders in the Senate, while supportive of Bush, warned that more needs to be done to persuade Americans the changes are necessary. Although he doesn’t have a formal role in the Bush administration’s Social Security sales pitch, Gov. Bush said Florida seniors having nothing to fear. ‘What the president has proposed won’t have any impact on people already receiving Social Security,’ he said.” [Florida Today, 3/3/05]

2005: Jeb Bush Took The Stage At Event To Pitch Social Security Reform With Mother, Brother. According to The Associated Press, “President Bush, needing more converts to his plan for Social Security reform, brought his mom to help with the sales pitch Friday. Wearing her trademark pearls, Barbara Bush took the stage with the president and another of her sons, Gov. Jeb Bush. George W. Bush opened the program by reassuring people born before 1950 that their Social Security benefits would not change.” [Associated Press, 3/18/05]

2008: Bush Said He Was “Disappointed” Republicans Did Not Rally Around His Brother on Social Security Reform

Jeb Bush, 2008: “I Was Disappointed That The Republicans Didn’t Rally Around The President” For Social Security, Medicare Reform. According to The Daily Herald, “One issue on which Jeb Bush believes Republicans dropped the ball was Social Security and Medicare reform. ‘I was disappointed that the Republicans didn’t rally around (the president),’ he says. It wasn’t just Democrats being opposed to it. I think it was the gutless nature of a lot of Republicans in Congress. This was the beginning of what I saw as the demise. When they had a chance to unite behind the president to advance a solution to this ticking time bomb, some did, but many blinked.’” [Daily Herald, 9/11/08]

2000: JEB BUSH BACKED GEORGE W. BUSH’S PLAN TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO INVEST THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY VIA “IRA-TYPE ACCOUNT”

2000: Jeb Bush Backed George W. Bush’s Individual Retirement Account Proposal For Social Security

2000: Jeb Bush Backed George W. Bush’s Proposal To Add “IRA-Type Account” To Social Security. According to ABC News, Jeb Bush said, “DONALDSON: Governor, you and your brother have both been asked about the question of individual retirement accounts.  Your brother wants to set up, for younger people, just a small portion of the Social Security payroll tax that they can invest themselves.  And the question you’ve been asked is, ‘But if the stock market or the other investments go bad, will the government guarantee against loss?’ And I must tell you, sir, so far, I’m looking at what both of you have said, you’ve dodged the question, so what is it? Gov. J. BUSH: Well, I think people have the option to invest.  It–the money doesn’t leave the Social Security system.  So if you take what–what the current beneficiaries are going to get, which, clearly, they’re going to get. And there’s a still–a sizeable surplus, a small percentage of that ought to be able to be invested in an IRA type account for–for people.  And over–over time, all history shows that the returns are far better than what–what–what the returns are right now. […]Sam, the point is, that–in order to make sure that there’s going to be benefits for all Americans for the next generation, we have to try something different, and the other guys are saying, ‘Well, let’s just bond it, let’s just indebt the next generations forever and ever.’ And I think that is inappropriate.  Now, what will happen in January is that the next president, George W. Bush, will work with Democrats and Republicans alike to craft a sensible approach to reforming Social Security.” [Jeb Bush, ABC News, 11/5/00]

2005: Jeb Bush Praised George W. Bush For Proposed Social Security Reform. According to Florida Today, “Brushing aside concerns that large numbers of Floridians oppose President Bush’s Social Security reform proposal, Gov. Jeb Bush praised his brother for tackling the issue Wednesday. ‘I appreciate he (President Bush) is willing to deal with an issue that is so long-term in nature,’ Gov. Bush said. President Bush was here for the day to meet with congressional and White House officials about Medicaid and education.” [Florida Today, 3/3/05]

Jeb Bush Defended George W. Bush’s 2005 Social Security Reform Proposal: “He Could Let This Be A Problem That Festers For A Long Time. But That’s Not George W. Bush.” According to Chicago Tribune, “The president already has carried his uphill campaign for an overhaul of Social Security to 17 states. This was his second Social Security pitch in Florida. Stops by Bush Monday and Tuesday in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will bring to 20 the number of states visited to urge Social Security’s changes. ‘He doesn’t have to deal with this,’ the president’s brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, told the first audience Friday. ‘He could let this be a problem that festers for a long time. But that’s not George W. Bush.’” [Chicago Tribune, 3/19/05]

Jeb Bush Backed Full Overhaul Of Social Security, Criticized Small Tweaks

2005: Jeb Bush Opposed Only “Tweaking” Social Security, Advocated For Reform “Structurally.” According to The Frontrunner, “The AP (8/16) notes that Davis ‘blasted President Bush’s Social Security plan and accusing him of ‘fear-mongering.’ … Davis said the president should take off the table his proposal to partially privatize Social Security. But Davis thinks the debate should include the option of raising Social Security taxes. ‘Potentially you could pay more, you could, in order to make sure that the benefit is going to be there when you retire,’ Davis said.’ Responded Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R): ‘If you’re a politician that’s worried about the next year, I guess advocating tweaking is fine, but if you want to fix something that structurally needs to be fixed over the next generation of time, I think the time is now. The sooner we do it the less difficult the choices will be. But Congressman Davis, last time I checked, is running for governor, so perhaps he’s trying to make political points.’” [Frontrunner, 8/16/05]