Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush asserted in a live-streamed interview Wednesday that American workers need to put in longer hours in order to reach the economic growth goal he has in mind.
Bush made the statement during an interview that was streamed on Periscope, according to ABC News. Speaking with New Hampshire’s The Union Leader, Jeb was answering a question about his thoughts on tax reform when he suggested that American workers needed to put in longer hours.
“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 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.”
— POLITICO (@politico) July 9, 2015
The Democratic National Committee was quick to pounce on Bush’s statement, tweeting out video of Jeb speaking and directly addressing his remarks.
“It is easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle,” said DNC national press secretary Holly Shulman.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 9, 2015
Bush’s camp responded by asserting that Jeb’s remark was taken out of context, and that Democrats were themselves out-of-touch. Bush’s spokesperson Allie Brandenburger cited the current workforce participation rate, asserting that it is at its lowest point since 1977. Jeb Bush, who recently became a target of Donald Trump on Twitter, as the Inquisitr previously reported, addressed the statement himself after a town hall in Hudson, New Hampshire.
“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.”
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 9, 2015
As the Huffington Post points out, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that some 6.5 million workers are currently employed in part-time jobs but seeking full-time work. Meanwhile, 19 million individuals work part-time jobs for reasons that are non-economic in nature.
Last year, a Gallup poll found that many full-time employees report working 47 hours a week, while four out of every 10 say they work 50 hours or more. Despite Jeb Bush’s comments, American workers regularly put in more hours weekly than employees in any other major industrialized nation, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
[Photo by Kayana Szymczak / Getty Images]