Bush Pushes Immigration Reform, Says Let’s Give D.C. Some ‘Austerity’

by Katrina Trinko

Jeb Bush, echoing Bobby Jindal, urged conservatives today to push back against the narrative embraced by the pundit class that the only choices for Americans are “austerity” or “stimulus.”

“Let’s turn that around and give a little austerity to Washington so prosperity can take root again in the real America,” Bush said in a speech today at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority Conference.

“I truly feel sick to my stomach,” he added, when people say the “new normal” is a decline in the rate of growth and American prosperity.

Bush advocated strongly for immigration reform, arguing that the decline in American fertility rates could only be offset by opening America to immigrants. “We’re below break-even today,” he observed about current fertility rates. He also argued that immigrants were likely to have more children, which would also help.

About the importance of family, Bush said, “We’ve rendered unto Caesar responsibilities that don’t belong to Caesar, and we’re all the worse for it.”

“Women are increasingly choosing non-marriage, and worse, men are increasingly not engaged in the rearing of their offspring,” he continued.

Referring to the energy boom in North Dakota and Pennsylvania, Bush wryly noted that “it’s not cool like the Internet is,” but pointed out that it helped produce jobs. He talked about creating a short-term incentive structure that would encourage vehicles, including trucks, to use more natural gas, but he also deplored government intervention in free markets.

“I don’t believe it is appropriate for the government to have a venture-capital arm in the Department of Energy,” Bush said.

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