Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had a rough campaign. He started out in the summer of 2015 as the heavy favorite, swelled with contribution cash from financial institutions and many others, but he was quickly overtaken by anti-establishment candidates like Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. Despite his family pedigree and heavy advertising, Bush was never able to gain traction. After performing poorly in the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, Bush dropped out on Feb. 20.
The following is where Bush stood on banking, tax and healthcare policy:
'Too Big to Fail'
Jeb Bush surprised the financial industry during the fourth Republican primary debate in November by calling for the largest institutions to hold more capital. He erroneously claimed that capital levels had declined following the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, but rightly pointed out that the largest institutions have grown in size since the financial crisis. He argued that higher capital requirements are the key to ending "too big to fail."
"What we ought to do is raise the capital requirements so that banks aren't 'too big to fail,' " Bush said. "Dodd-Frank did the opposite, totally the opposite. Banks now have higher concentration in risk and assets and the capital requirements aren't high enough."
On his website, Bush says he would seek to repeal Dodd-Frank if elected president and cut regulations for small banks. During the debate, Bush cited a small-town Iowa bank that he claimed had seen its compliance costs skyrocket to $600,000 from $100,000 in a two-year period. He argued that Dodd-Frank is in danger of destroying community banks.
"Imagine America without its community banks. Well, that's what's happening. That's my worry."
Bush added he would establish a new commission "charged with reviewing regulations from the perspective of the regulated and shifting more power from Congress back to states."
Bush, a major banking industry recipient, has said little about the relationship between Wall Street and government.
But he has cited concerns with the revolving door between Washington and the private sector, suggesting regulators purposely make rules complex so that they can later get jobs helping firms to implement them.
"Regulation feeds into Washington's revolving-door culture. Regulators spend years writing complex rules, then leave for the private sector to sell their inside knowledge to the highest bidder — usually a big, well-entrenched company," Bush wrote. "No wonder so many Americans are cynical about who Washington really works for."
Jeb Bush has specifically cited the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an example of Washington overreach, and proposed forcing it and other independent financial regulators to undergo a rigorous White House review process for any new rules or regulations.
In a September op-ed, Bush specifically blamed the CFPB's recent mortgage rules for making credit availability more difficult.
"If you're wondering why it's hard to get a mortgage, why no new banks are opening up, why your power bill will be going up, why your health insurance costs more, why we don't build new highways, why you can't get medicines that are available in Europe, Barack Obama's rules are a big part of the story," Bush wrote.
In contrast to many of his GOP rivals, Jeb Bush has been notably quiet about the Federal Reserve Board and its monetary policy.
Individual income tax: Bush would reduce the number of brackets from the current seven to three: 10%, 25% and 28%. His plan would raise the standard deduction to $11,300 for single filers and $22,600 for joint filers. It would eliminate the state and local tax deduction and limit all other itemized deductions, other than the charitable deduction, to 2% of adjusted gross income. It would also eliminate the alternative minimum tax, the net investment income tax, the limitation on itemized deductions and the personal exemption phase-outs.
Capital gains: Carried interest would no longer receive capital-gains treatment.
Corporate tax: Top rate would be lowered to 20% from its current 35%, and would change from a worldwide system (which taxes income made anywhere) to a territorial system (taxes income made only in the U.S.).
Estate tax: Bush would eliminate the estate tax.
Health Care and Employee Benefits
Like others in the GOP field, Bush favors a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He's outlined specifics of other changes he would like to make:
- Provide a tax credit for the purchase of affordable, portable health plans that protect Americans from high-cost medical events.
- Increase contribution limits and uses for health savings accounts to help with out-of-pocket costs.
- Facilitate transparency on costs and outcomes.
- Cap the employer tax exclusion to lower insurance premiums.
- Allow employers to use financial incentives to encourage wellness programs.
- Enable small businesses to make tax-free contributions to their workers' individual, portable health plans.
- Push back the retirement age for Social Security by as many as five years to 68 or 70. (Source, The Hill)
|Top 10 Financial Donors|
|Bank of America||$84,910|
Source: Center for Responsive Politics. Data as of Sept. 30, 2015