Jeb Bests Hillary in an American Worker Tweet-Off

 

Jeb Bush Hillary ClintonJeb Bush is right and Hillary Clinton is wrong. You can probably say that about a lot of things. But in this case it’s about the need for more part-time American workers to work full-time in order to improve their own lots as well as the lot of the economy.

The mini spat started when Jeb Bush short-handed the point that “people should work longer hours” in a meeting with New Hampshire’s Union Leader. Hillary Clinton — who doesn’t say anything to anybody – then tweeted, “Anyone who believes Americans aren’t working hard enough hasn’t met enough American workers.”

A few hours later, Bush clarified his position with his own tweet: “Anyone who discounts 6.5 million people stuck in part-time work and seeking full-time jobs hasn’t listened to working Americans.”

Bush is right about Americans needing to work longer hours. He’s also right that there are far too many involuntary part-time workers — 6.5 million today compared to a pre-recession 4.2 million. These folks are stuck because of economic reasons, traceable in large part to a slow-walking recovery and a variety of government policies that are discouraging full-time work.

Much of this is reflected in the U-6 unemployment rate. In June it stood at 10.5 percent, nearly double the 5.3 percent U-3 unemployment rate that gets the media headlines. The unusually wide spread between these rates in part reflects discouraged people who want to work and can’t find a job, and in part the people who want to work more but can’t get longer hours. You have to go back about 20 years to find such a large gap between the two measures.

And Jeb Bush was probably also thinking about the low labor-force participation rate, which stands at a rock bottom 62.6 percent compared to 66 percent in the prior cyclical peak.

Or perhaps Bush has been briefed by the Hoover Institution’s Ed Lazear, the former Council of Economic Advisors chair. Lazear points out that the employment-to-population ratio stands at an unusually low 59.5 percent today. At the peak of the last economic cycle it was 63.5 percent. The difference is about 7 million or 8 million jobs. The difference in participation rates is at least 6 million jobs.

So I don’t know which candidate is “closer to the people,” but Bush is closer to the statistical truth — at least as registered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In other words, facts.

AEI columnist and TV personality Jim Pethokoukis cites this fact: Of the 6.5 million Americans who work “part time for economic reasons,” about a quarter want to work full time. And that share is about double what it was before the Great Recession.

So Bush is basically saying: There are too many part-timers, they would like to work longer, and if they had that opportunity, they and their families and the economy would benefit.

I still believe these labor-market problems are deeply rooted to this slow-paced recovery. We never had the snapback that other deep recessions produced. And there are a number of ill-conceived tax, regulatory, and monetary policies that have discouraged work, undermined incentives, and created obstacles to the kind of 4 or 5 percent growth that should have occurred over the past six years.

For example, means-tested small entitlements — like overextended unemployment insurance, Social Security disability insurance, and food stamps — have clearly perverted work incentives. Eligibility has been substantially raised and time limits have been removed. So in many cases, on a net after-tax basis, it pays more not to work.

Then there’s Obamacare, which throws off a million economic disincentives. But here’s one that goes directly to the Jeb Bush part-time employment issue: the so called 29ers. If an employee works 29 hours a week, the employer does not have to purchase overly expensive Obamacare. So instead of working 34.5 hours a week, the long-term trend, you now have a lot of people at 29 hours or less because of bad government health-care policy.

By the way, every one-tenth of an hour less worked costs the economy between 350,000 and 400,000 jobs. This is the damage that Bush was likely thinking about when he pointed to involuntary part-timers hurting the economy.

We don’t yet know all the details of Jeb Bush’s economic plan. But on the campaign trail, according to New York Sun columnist Ira Stoll, he’s talking about fixing how we tax and regulate, a broken immigration system, and unleashing a domestic energy revolution.

And we know he favors a 4 percent economic-growth target as a means of recovering from past policy sins and restoring American opportunity and prosperity for all. Governor Chris Christie has adopted the same target. It’s way too early to endorse, but both of these gentleman have the story right.

Hillary so far has it wrong.

There are 25 comments.

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    It would be nice if they’d label the photos so we’d know which is which.

    • #1
  2. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    All I can say is Felony Rodham Clinton makes me ill.

    • #2
  3. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    But what an inept way of putting a legitimate point!

    I swallowed this kind of thing with Romney because there was no. other. option.  Because everyone else on the stage was a bigger disaster waiting to happen.

    This time I’m not.  And if Republicans have any sense, they’ll stop flirting with the loudest candidates and start looking at the conservatives who have an actual chance of beating Bush.  Because if they keep flirting with Trump, Bush is what we will get.

    Mike Lee was right.

    • #3
  4. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    yay team

    • #4
  5. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Jeb Bush = Gerry Cooney

    • #5
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    “Tweet off?” Is that the euphemism du jour?

    Fine. Hillary and Jeb can both tweet off, and the sooner the better.

    • #6
  7. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Kudlow is wrong. Squishes like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie tout schemes to promote economic growth in order to 1) avoid making hard decisions on tough cultural and social issues such as reducing legal immigration and dismantling the central state, and 2) continue dreaming about making everybody happy AND being in charge.

    Growth is their opiate, as it was for Jack Kemp. It is the facilitator of pseudo-conservative “guns-and-butter,” better known as the supply-side doctrine not of “tax and spend” but of “cut taxes and spend.” Unfortunately for conservatives, SPEND is the only constant.

    They expect that if we have a little more money in our pockets we won’t worry about silly things like the culture, liberty, the minds of our children or the future of America. They tell us a rising tide lifts all boats, but they pay no attention to the rotten timbers and broken masts of those temporarily rising boats.

    • #7
  8. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    To The Reticulator, VERY FUNNY!!! To Leigh, “But what an inept way of putting a legitimate point!”—   exactly what I was thinking.

    Mr. Kudlow, thank you for posting here. We understand your point. However, when articulated the way Jeb Bush put it, a winning position loses the argument.

    • #8
  9. LilyBart Inactive
    LilyBart
    @LilyBart

    cdor:Mr. Kudlow, thank you for posting here. We understand your point. However, when articulated the way Jeb Bush put it, a winning position loses the argument.

    Well said.  He might be right on technical points, but with his articulation, he is guaranteed to loose the argument with the pubic.   You could also argue that Romney was technically right about the 47%

    And this is one of the (many) reasons that you can cram this guy down on us in the primaries, but he cannot win the general election.  He is no less out-of-touch than Hillary, but Hillary’s message sounds better to the Low-Infos.

    • #9
  10. LilyBart Inactive
    LilyBart
    @LilyBart

    Just like the new Pope, it seems Jeb’s supporters need to constantly defend what he said with articles and posts helping us understand what he really meant.  Its just not  a winning position.

    • #10
  11. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    It is beyond dismaying to have yet another RNC Certified Frontrunner, barely out of the starting gate, who requires a lengthy translation to unravel his innate incoherence.  I spent a great deal of time doing this for his brother and his father, and I simply don’t have it in me to do it again. I guess someone should probably start working on a plausible interpretation of the Liberty Medal issue too.

    • #11
  12. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Dave Carter:It is beyond dismaying to have yet another RNC Certified Frontrunner, barely out of the starting gate, who requires a lengthy translation to unravel his innate incoherence. I spent a great deal of time doing this for his brother and his father, and I simply don’t have it in me to do it again. I guess someone should probably start working on a plausible interpretation of the Liberty Medal issue too.

    The only answer is PseudoSteynamite

    • #12
  13. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    LilyBart:Just like the new Pope, it seems Jeb’s supporters need to constantly defend what he said with articles and posts helping us understand what he really meant. Its just not a winning position.

    Insert image of Hammer and Sickle Crucifix.

    • #13
  14. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Dave Carter:It is beyond dismaying to have yet another RNC Certified Frontrunner, barely out of the starting gate, who requires a lengthy translation to unravel his innate incoherence. I spent a great deal of time doing this for his brother and his father, and I simply don’t have it in me to do it again. I guess someone should probably start working on a plausible interpretation of the Liberty Medal issue too.

    Liberty Medals are awarded to those who fight for our freedom from Islamaphobic Youtube videos so our overseas embassy personnel can have a dignified dismemberment away from the prying eyes of roped off journalists.

    • #14
  15. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Dave Carter:It is beyond dismaying to have yet another RNC Certified Frontrunner, barely out of the starting gate, who requires a lengthy translation to unravel his innate incoherence. I spent a great deal of time doing this for his brother and his father, and I simply don’t have it in me to do it again. I guess someone should probably start working on a plausible interpretation of the Liberty Medal issue too.

    Well, Jeb’s speech, at Liberty Medal ceremony, highlighting Hillary’s heroic endeavors convinced me to vote for Hillary.

    • #15
  16. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Pseudodionysius:

    LilyBart:Just like the new Pope, it seems Jeb’s supporters need to constantly defend what he said with articles and posts helping us understand what he really meant. Its just not a winning position.

    Insert image of Hammer and Sickle Crucifix.

    Insert where?

    • #16
  17. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    I’m now convinced there is a DNA marker for speech-to-syntax formulation running through the Bush family. Can that concept possibly be articulated in a worse way?
    Maybe guys like Larry tout Bush because they will always have a job explaining what he really meant.

    But it is very instructive to know who in the GOP aligns with this faction. I wouldn’t take ANY kind of advice from these folks.

    • #17
  18. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    Why would we want to compete via Tweets when, if you have to make an argument, there’s no space to make one, other than through a link?

    Hillary voters will vote for Hillary regardless of what she says.  It’s the people in the middle they’re after, so I can see why short sound-bites in the form of tweets would be useful.  I’m just not sure how much is gained by competing in that space.

    Maybe the candidates have to.  Maybe it’s a space to take that fight to the stupidity of the left, constantly, but it has to be coherent, and biting.  Sardonic.  Witty.  If you want to take the steam out of someone’s argument, make it laughable.

    And if you want to make a narcissist fume, laugh at them – and then watch their idiotic statements afterwards get them in trouble.

    • #18
  19. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Pseudodionysius:

    LilyBart:Just like the new Pope, it seems Jeb’s supporters need to constantly defend what he said with articles and posts helping us understand what he really meant. Its just not a winning position.

    Insert image of Hammer and Sickle Crucifix.

    Insert where?

    LilyBart: he is guaranteed to loose the argument with the pubic.

    He’ll just have to loose it a lot.

    • #19
  20. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    If people are judging candidates by the coherence of 140 character policy positions then let’s just end the American experiment now.

    • #20
  21. Carol Member
    Carol
    @

    Leigh:But what an inept way of putting a legitimate point!

    I swallowed this kind of thing with Romney because there was no. other. option. Because everyone else on the stage was a bigger disaster waiting to happen.

    This time I’m not. And if Republicans have any sense, they’ll stop flirting with the loudest candidates and start looking at the conservatives who have an actual chance of beating Bush. Because if they keep flirting with Trump, Bush is what we will get.

    Mike Lee was right.

    Yes. I have seen idiot leftists all over the web screeching that “BUSH WILL LOSE because he said Americans need to work more!”  Everyone knew what he meant. But I remember the ridiculous hysteria over ” Binders Full of Women!!. Everyone knew what Romney meant too. We have to remember the low information voters we are trying to convince. Do we have anyone who can speak English and keep their feet out of their mouth?

    • #21
  22. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    In the original Rocky movie, Jeb Bush played the role of the side of beef that Sylvester Stallone punched out.

    • #22
  23. Pseudodionysius Coolidge
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #23
  24. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Carol:

    Leigh:But what an inept way of putting a legitimate point!

    I swallowed this kind of thing with Romney because there was no. other. option. Because everyone else on the stage was a bigger disaster waiting to happen.

    This time I’m not. And if Republicans have any sense, they’ll stop flirting with the loudest candidates and start looking at the conservatives who have an actual chance of beating Bush. Because if they keep flirting with Trump, Bush is what we will get.

    Mike Lee was right.

    Yes. I have seen idiot leftists all over the web screeching that “BUSH WILL LOSE because he said Americans need to work more!” Everyone knew what he meant. But I remember the ridiculous hysteria over ” Binders Full of Women!!. Everyone knew what Romney meant too. We have to remember the low information voters we are trying to convince. Do we have anyone who can speak English and keep their feet out of their mouth?

    A few.  They’re the ones the really smart people keep telling us are unelectable.

    • #24
  25. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Carol:

    Leigh:But what an inept way of putting a legitimate point!

    I swallowed this kind of thing with Romney because there was no. other. option. Because everyone else on the stage was a bigger disaster waiting to happen.

    This time I’m not. And if Republicans have any sense, they’ll stop flirting with the loudest candidates and start looking at the conservatives who have an actual chance of beating Bush. Because if they keep flirting with Trump, Bush is what we will get.

    Mike Lee was right.

    Yes. I have seen idiot leftists all over the web screeching that “BUSH WILL LOSE because he said Americans need to work more!” Everyone knew what he meant. But I remember the ridiculous hysteria over ” Binders Full of Women!!. Everyone knew what Romney meant too. We have to remember the low information voters we are trying to convince. Do we have anyone who can speak English and keep their feet out of their mouth?

    Yes.  You just mentioned two.  The problem is not our own feet in mouth, it’s the lefty media foot-in-ass, and the lack of a fiery enough response.  Folks like Gingrich and Trump at least know where the enemy is and what to do about it.  Name them and shame them, and stop pretending that good behavior will somehow be rewarded.  It won’t, and to act otherwise is just plain stupid, no matter how articulate the presentation might be.

    • #25

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