Former President George W. Bush spoke on fiscal policy on Tuesday, taking a jab at President Obama's tax plan and expressing a regret on his own cuts enacted during his first term.
“I don’t think it’s good for our country to undermine our president and I don’t intend to do so,” Bush clarified during his speech at the New York Historical Society for the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s conference on “Tax Policies For 4% Growth.” The Bush Institute is in the process of writing a book on how to achieve 4 percent growth in the private sector. It's an undertaking that he joked -- as he has before -- must be shocking to the cynics who "didn't think [he] could read, much less write a book."
Bush then turned to tax policy, outlining a broad principle that he believes will help spur growth in the private sector.
"Most small businesses pay tax at the individual income level, therefore if you raise taxes on the so-called rich, you’re really raising taxes on the job creators," he said, indirectly countering Obama's stated goal to return tax rates on the wealthy to pre-Bush levels. "If the goal is private sector growth, you've got to recognize that the best way to achieve that growth is to leave capital in the treasuries of the job creators."
Bush went on to suggest that his tax cuts are such a popular target for Democrats simply because his name is attached to them.
"I wish they weren’t called the Bush tax cuts," the former president admitted. "If they were called some other body's tax cuts, they're probably less likely to be raised."
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