ELDER PATRIOT – Jeb Bush’s father and brother both loved spending other people’s money. Jeb’s dad, George Herbert Walker Bush, followed Ronald Reagan as president and raised taxes rather than cut government spending. Not to be outdone, brother George the “Compassionate Conservative” became the most profligate spender in our nation’s history up until the time he left office, almost doubling all of the debt accumulated since 1781.
Now comes Jeb Bush with designs on continuing the family legacy of increased spending and greater debt. How can we say this? One look at his donor base is all that is needed to draw that conclusion.
Jeb’s fundraising had been dwarfing that of the other sixteen candidates he’s vying with for the Republican nomination and that money was pouring in from hedge fund managers and corporate chieftains. Why wouldn’t it? With his family pedigree the special interests believe they can count on Jeb for increasing corporate welfare at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer. Apparently the speeches he has given in private gatherings and closed-door sessions with these big money donors had only encouraged them further. His corporate welfare pitch was so convincing that both big money Republicans and Democrats were giving freely to the man they hoped would control the country’s purse strings for eight years.
A funny thing happened to the Elites’ choice on his way to the White House, though. The money started drying up. The fact that Jeb has slipped in the polls from second to third place behind two political newcomers has everything to do with it. Even his current third place standing is questionable as the most recent poll shows Mr. Bush is in a statistical six-way tie for that position. His big money backers don’t bet on losing horses, and loser is exactly what Jeb Bush is beginning to look like after feeling it necessary to characterize Donald Trump as an “asshole.”
Now comes word that three of Mr. Bush’s top fundraisers have left his campaign. While the Bush campaign claims that they were let go as a cost-cutting measure because his campaign was entering a new phase, the fact that they were immediately replaced suggests that they bailed on him.
This does not speak well for the candidate’s presidential aspirations and those big money backers in the know have recognized that.
Fueling this is Mr. Bush’s debate performance. He was abysmal to the point that a retired neurosurgeon with questionable conservative bona fides has overtaken him for second place in recent polling of Republican voters. Rank and file Republican voters suspect that Mr. Bush is a big spender and one campaign insider confirmed this to be the case saying, “Jeb has a big army, and that army needs to be fed. Jeb might not have a fundraiser problem. He might have a spending problem.”
Meanwhile, political outsider and the front-runner in every poll by wide margins, Donald Trump is accomplishing far more while spending far less, proving two important things: responsible stewardship of money can accomplish as much or more as profligate spending can, and more importantly, U.S. voters are awakening to the fact that they can tell the Republican party who their candidate will be and not the other way around.