In an interview with New Hampshire’s Union Leader on Wednesday, Bush was asked if he had any plans for tax reform, such as a flat tax, and he replied:
[quote_center]“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is four percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”[/quote_center]
When asking Bush about his plans for tax reform, the Union Leader inquired about a possible flat tax, which has already been proposed by Bush’s rival, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who announced his plan to make more than $2 trillion in tax cuts by replacing the IRS tax code with a flat tax of 14.5 percent on individuals and businesses in June.
ABC News reported that the Democratic National Committee was quick to release a statement, calling Bush’s comment “easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle,” and saying that Bush would not support the middle class as president.
Bush responded by releasing a statement claiming that his comment was not about full-time workers, and was instead directed towards the under underemployed and part-time workers.
“Under President Obama, we have the lowest workforce participation rate since 1977, and too many Americans are falling behind,” Bush said. “Only Washington Democrats could be out-of-touch enough to criticize giving more Americans the ability to work, earn a paycheck, and make ends meet.”
The Washington Post reported that Bush told reporters that he blames the Obama administration and congressional Democrats for “enacting a series of policies that have made it harder for businesses to create jobs and for Americans to work longer hours.”
“If we’re going to grow the economy people need to stop being part-time workers, they need to be having access to greater opportunities to work,” Bush said. “You can take it out of context all you want, but high-sustained growth means that people work 40 hours rather than 30 hours and that by our success, they have money, disposable income for their families to decide how they want to spend it rather than getting in line and being dependent on government.”
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