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Jeb's Florida Experience Instills Confidence He Can Pull off His 'Reform D.C.' Plan

July 20, 2015 - 3:30pm

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush returned to Tallahassee this morning, site of his greatest accomplishments during eight years in office.

Proclaiming “voters want to know what we believe in, but also what we’ve accomplished,” he went through a litany of his policies that made Florida a better place to live, work and play.  

He cut governmental bureaucracy by more than 10 percent, he tackled the systemic problems of child welfare by creating the cutting-edge Community Based Care system, and he vetoed more than 2,500 budget items, thus earning him the nickname “Veto Corleone.”  

Acknowledging that it was really meant as a compliment, he matter-of-factly called himself an “equal opportunity” vetoer, which indeed he was. But he also left Florida with more than $9 billion in the state's reserves, a tribute to his conservative governing principles.

I liked Gov. Bush from the first time I met him at a fundraiser hosted by Ambassador Mel Sembler in St. Petersburg back in late 1997. He’s an energetic leader who loves getting into the weeds on policies while simultaneously promoting out-of-the-box thinking.

He’s different from other GOP candidates to the extent that he’s deftly attuned to technology. He was, after all, Florida’s “IT Governor,” but he’s also pragmatic enough to know that the status quo needs to be constantly challenged.

So his admonishment that we need to “disrupt the establishment and make it accountable to the people” is not just some slick bumper sticker, but a proven mantra that he brought to his governing style.

When he added that “more and more people believe that government doesn’t work for them, but I believe it can,” he strikes you as someone who thinks that government can be managed to accomplish good but that the rules of the road must be changed.

Striking out in deliberate fashion, he went on to lay out a plan to change the culture of Washington in a very radical way, one that makes sense if only elected leaders in the nation’s capital are committed to revitalizing the federal management system.

Part One is to stop deficit spending by declaring, “I will support a balanced budget amendment.”  Of course, he will need a willing Congress to support that effort and then a supermajority of the states to make it happen, but our debt is growing so large that we’re beginning to look a lot like Europe.

Next, he wants to have a “line-item veto,” which many presidents have craved only to never have the chance to make it happen.  Washington politicians and bureaucrats should take heed, because if he gets elected, he will work night and day to get the authority to kill projects that are parochial and unjustified.

Proving that he’s a policy wonk, he then went after government procurement -- an overly expensive and slow process -- which no candidate has yet touched upon. In the defense budget, he spoke about a process that is so complicated only the largest defense companies in America can compete. 

In the Veterans Affairs budget he cited the recent example of a VA hospital in Denver that was originally slated to cost $200 million. That figure subsequently ballooned to $1.8 billion and this is too often what the federal government does best -- effect cost overruns for which no one is ever held accountable.

As an aside, talking about the VA, when he said “John McCain -- he’s a real hero,” it made the best applause line of the speech.

He then turned his comments to the federal budget and he heaped scorn on the concept of "baseline budgeting," which is in vogue now, but which he rightfully described as a system designed to help government grow.  

Bush promised that the first task he will undertake once he becomes president is limit new federal hiring to the 3:1 rule. For every three federal workers who retire, he’ll add one employee, because while he supports the full spectrum of employee rights, “job security is one thing, job entitlement is another.”

Mentioning lobbyists, of which I’m one, he talked about the undue influence that some lobbyists have in the system. Not one to be easily offended, I took his jabs as a legitimate attempt to tell the American public that he will always work to do the right thing and that there need to be limits on influence-peddling.

He even volunteered that there should be a ban on the so-called revolving door of federal elected officials going to the private sector by suggesting that the current two-year ban should be expanded to a six-year ban, a concept that will certainly resonate with Americans who feel like nothing ever really changes in D.C. because the players are always the same -- in or out of government.

He also charged federal legislators with not working hard at their jobs because, on average, they only work about three days per week. He then quickly cited the maxim that all private employees must live by:  If you miss work, your pay is docked.

The governor’s solution is that congressmen, congresswomen and senators need to be incentivized, just like anyone else, and as such he wants to propose a law that would dock these elected officials if they miss a vote. 

He readily admitted that he didn’t know if it would pass, but he was sure that the officials would at least show up and vote on this proposal, which got the best laugh of the speech.

As a conservative Republican, Gov. Jeb Bush is a leader who has a proven track record, can clearly state what he believes in, is willing to challenge the status quo for the good of the country and has a plan on how to make it happen -- and that’s what I’m looking for in a president.

Barney Bishop III, one of the most familiar faces within the state business community, is CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting LLC in Tallahassee.

Comments

Jeb is every bit the big government progressive. He staked his reputation on destroying local control over education and helping Barack Obama and Arne Duncan take over control over standards, curriculums and testing via Common Core. He is unfit to be elected dog catcher in any other scenario other than running as a Progressive Liberal.

Jeb filled Florida with illegals in his "Act of Love". Now S FL is like a third world country since English is no longer important. Jeb dumbed the kids with his FCAT so he could continue Bro George NCLB joke. Florida spends more on education but gets less and now he is a Common Core pusher. Common Core = Limited Learning for Lifelong Labor. Jeb partnered Florida with the UN floridaearth.org so now we have international corporations own land which once belonged to private citizens. Jeb is no difference from globalist Hillary wnating big government while telling you he is for the people. He intimidated the Florida legislators (Florida is one of the most corrupt states) into his pet projects like Common Core just telling Scott to change the name. I can hardly wait to see how he will destroy America and he replaces the US with the UN.

As an aside, talking about the VA, when he said “John McCain -- he’s a real hero,” Song Bird McCain, and what about that showboating and 167 Sailors that died, kinda falls in about McCain. Where's McCain's "ACE" award and how many fighter Jets did McCain destroy, around 5 of them and there's so much more. No John McCain is not a hero! Jeb Bush, and what did you do for Florida on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION? Nothing! We can expect the same if your elected President... But that's not going to happen.

Barney Bishop is just a big ass suck up and a political hack has been!! Jeb Bush is an asshole, who twice vetoed important agriculture property rights legislation and was an arrogant prick while Governor. As a republican I will do everything possible to work against his campaign!!! Scott Walker is the guy and Marco Rubio as his VP would be a great ticket!!! And please, no more Barney "BS" Bishop articles!!

Nothing said about ruining the education system where they can't even get any decent uni presidents to apply as they want nothing to do working for Fla Government. -----------------------------------The testing which is a good idea they managed to totally screw up badly by greed. Why are we paying many millions for testing, text books? Just do them ourselves for near free. But Bushs friends wouldn't be able to rip Fla taxpayers off. -------------------------------------Or that the reserves comes from shifting the cost to the counties, cities in higher property taxes, etc.---------------------By the time Bush left office the poor, middle classes were paying 10% total Fla tax vs the wealthy 1% were only paying 2% Fla tax or so. ---------------------------------Bush kept the free market in electricity closed so we haven't developed a solar, clean energy industry, behind NJ in solar for instance losing 30k jobs in fla repub refuse to make.------------------- And let's not forget Bush's privatizing as much gov as he could. Which sadly cost more for worse service, paid the workers less, Bush had to make them public jobs again as better service, lower cost. -------------------------And his business scams, wife a felony smuggler, Daughter a convicted drug fraud, possession and general analness, lack of tolerance of anything doesn't agree with.------------------------And finally he still can't beat Hillary in recent polls here in Fla, his home state because we know him too well.

I really did not think I'd find Bush cheerleaders at SSN. What is a bigger boondoggle than Jeb's Common Core scam pushed by the Governors' Association and all the big textbook publishers? Who is a bigger lobbyist than the Council for Foreign Relations, for whom Jeb Bush writes immigration reform white papers? A Washington reformer? Jeb BUSH?? Such folly!

Barney Bishop is nothing more than a dreamer who only looks for the limelight. Jeb Bush is already down as one of the worst Governors (Rick Scott is actually more worse than Jeb) Florida has seen. The entire Bush regime is awful and no members of the Bush regime should ever be elected to any Federal post again! Enough, is enough. Liars, cheats, scoundrels, and some of the worst ranchers this whole country has seen. Let's also not forget when Jeb's wife tried smuggling in a bunch of stuff she didn't want to declare. You or I would be locked up but nope, this little Mexican chiquita got away with violating the law. And Jeb? No apologies or anything else, but assisting me in making up my mind to never, ever, vote for a Bush! Too many varmints pee in the bushes making them stink real bad! NO MORE BUSHES!!

Jeb is a loser and "Barney the Lobbiest" is also a loser. Don't be fooled by 'washed up' politicians and their pratboy lobbiests Floridians. "Stay out of the Bushes" folks, we ALWAYS get assaulted in there...

Mr.Bishop accurately summarized Jeb's speech and provided a good context of the former governor's record. I think time will show that enough people will ultimately agree with Mr. Bishop that Jeb has the leadership record and courage to challenge Mt. Washington, to get him elected to the presidency.

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