This week, erstwhile Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) criticised his older brother, former President George W. Bush, for excessive spending in his presidency. However, the Floridian might have wanted to look at his own record before throwing the first stone.
On Wednesday, during his visit to New Hampshire, Jeb Bush took his first shot at his older brother since he began considering a 2016 presidential bid. Bush declared that “I think that [in] Washington, during my brother’s time, Republicans spent too much money. I think he could have used the veto power,” according to NBC News.
However, it turns out big spending actually runs in the family.
When Bush served as governor in the Sunshine State from 1999 to 2007, state spending ballooned from $US48.9 billion to an estimated $US71.3 billion. The 46% increase in total state spending came amid a population increase of just 16%.
The conservative Charles Koch-backed Cato Institute applauded Jeb Bush for his aggressive tax cutting measures during his time as governor. However, Cato docked him points for his spending, which earned him the dubious honour of being called “one of the biggest spending Republican governors” in a 2006 review.
“Like George W. Bush, Jeb was good on taxes, but apparently not so good on spending,” Chris Edwards, from the think tank, wrote in a 2014 piece on “Jeb Bush’s fiscal record.”
Longtime Florida political reporter Marc Caputo noted the apparent hypocrisy of Bush’s criticism of his older brother in the Friday edition of Politico’s Florida Playbook.
“Expect to see more about this as the campaign heats up,” he warned about increased scrutiny being paid to Bush’s spending record in Florida.
A representative for Bush’s Right to Rise PAC didn’t respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
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