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Jeb Bush on Technology

Republican FL Governor; V.P. prospect


US tech revolution needs more foreign-born scientists

We have for many years attracted a vastly disproportionate share of the world's greatest scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. More than 1/4 of all US scientists & engineers are foreign-born. That openness has fueled American leadership in the technology revolution. More than 1/3 of US Nobel Prize winners have been foreign-born. By 2009, more patents were granted to foreign-born scientists (96,000) than to Americans (93,000).
Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 90-92 , Mar 5, 2013

Biometrics for tourist visas; but make it easy as possible

We recommend a biometric electronic verification system, featuring tamper-proof fingerprint identification cards, for all visa holders. Such requirements will allow us to determine for the 1st time who exactly is in our country and whether they have overstayed their visas. That process is reinforced by the interview system for people from foreign countries who wish to obtain US visas. Biometric data thus serves the dual objectives of monitoring and enforcing both immigration and national security.

Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 56-57 , Mar 5, 2013

WikiLeaks is abhorrent but showed seriousness of Iran threat

Bush commented on the heels of a disclosure of secret U.S. diplomatic communications made by WikiLeaks. Several documents indicated that Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, had pressed the U.S. to bomb Iran.

Bush called the latest WikiLeaks disclosure of tens of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables "abhorrent" and "absolutely disgusting." But the Florida Republican said the content of the cables do reveal the true source of the ongoing instability roiling the Middle East.

"It does show that Iran poses the greatest threat in the region, when countries that publicly say Israel is the greatest threat, privately say the obvious, which is that Iran is the greatest threat," Bush told Newsmax. "It should bring home the fact that this should be a higher priority in terms of our own foreign policy." Bush also said sanctions against Iran, whose nuclear-arms program he termed "a huge threat," should be further strengthened as well.

Source: David A. Patten and Kathleen Walter on Newsmax.com , Nov 29, 2010

Increased transportation budget by 96% over 8 years

He promoted business development relentlessly, claiming to have made at least one business location phone call per day. He employed multiple economic development strategies: infrastructure development, locational incentives, entrepreneurial activities.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 28 , Dec 11, 2009

Enraged by citizen initiative mandating high speed rail

[Some] citizen initiatives absolutely enraged him: one in 2000 that mandated a high-speed rail system among the major Florida population centers. Jeb did not have a moral aversion to trains, fast or slow. [What enraged Jeb was than the] voters had passed a constitutional amendment over Jeb's objections.

The high-speed rail amendment had a champion, a longtime proponent of fast trains who happened to be a millionaire and was not afraid to take on Jeb. The proponents went to the voters to force Jeb to reconsider a decision he had made in 1999: undoing the long-standing state policy to bring high-speed rail to Florida. True, after more than a decade, the project seemed mired in endless delays.

But set aside for a moment the relative merits of keeping or canceling the bullet train. Jeb failed to understand that there was a much more reasonable way to build a consensus that high-speed rail should be terminated, than the method he chose, which was to decree this by fiat.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.148-149 , Feb 15, 2007

1998 transition team records not subject to open records law

Jeb's people were not going to release documents they were producing as part of the transition. Here was a guy, occupying publicly-owned office space, using publicly-owned telephones and computers, with publicly-paid employees, doing the work of the public--yet arguing that we did not have a right to see that work product.

Others agreed with me and my "Palm Beach Post" editors that we could not let the governor-elect get away with this one or we would see a guy used to the unaccountability of the private sector set up his government office on that model. A group of us newspapers got lawyers to draft a lawsuit under the state's open records law.

His staff came to our editors with a compromise: they would not admit that a transition team was, in fact, a public body subject to the open records law, but they would give us full access to all the documents we were seeking. We took the deal. It was a huge mistake.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.242 , Feb 15, 2007

OpEd: Promised open administration; but delayed all releases

In Florida, the law states that custodians of public records must make these records available in no more time than it literally takes to make the records available. Even at the start of his administration, which he promised would be the most ethical and open in history, Jeb's office was never forthcoming.

But the more that Jeb's "system" got into place, the longer it took for Jeb's press office to turn over documents. There was, naturally, a good reason for delaying the release of these records, at least from Jeb's point of view. These documents, most particularly the email correspondence among his own staff, were generating damaging press coverage.

The longer you could delay the release of this harmful material, the less its likely impact and the more likely that the reporters in question would have lost interest and moved on to more fertile ground by the time they finally received it.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.244-245 , Feb 15, 2007

$24M for X-ray truck inspection & bioterrorism labs

We will enhance our ability to aggressively confront bioterrorism by building new labs that will quickly analyze and respond to terrorist threats. We also propose nearly $10 million to strengthen our network of truck inspection stations, including the purchase of machines that can provide an X-ray picture of the contents of an entire truck at one time. We have set aside nearly $4 million to continue to fortify our regional domestic security task forces and fund the statewide domestic security database and training. Over $14 million is devoted to expand critical laboratory capacity, response capability and staffing for the seven regional disaster areas including Medical Assistance Teams. Let me be clear: we will do all within our means to thwart any terrorist attack
Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature , Jan 22, 2002

$100M for Florida Technology Development Initiative

I propose that we dedicate $100 million to create the Florida Technology Development Initiative. This initiative will build centers of excellence among our universities dedicated to the key research necessary for building our promising technology sectors. New facilities, laboratories, and endowed academic chairs will be the catalysts for entrepreneurial investment. If we build it, they will come. If we seize this opportunity, the best and the brightest academics, researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs will call Florida home. And they in turn will help build businesses that will fuel our economy for the next century.
Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature , Jan 22, 2002

Practice tech in context of virtue; not isolated pleasure

[With e-mail], not only do we lose the human contact with the persons we are communicating with, but also the time spent online or tuning out with your Walkman is time spent away from your spouse, your children, your neighbor. We are becoming socially disconnected from our fellowman.

We spend too much time downloading gobs of useless information and this is becoming a serious problem for our culture. The social canyons created by rushing rivers of technology and modernization must be bridged. But we must be careful not to undo the good things these rivers have brought us.

We must reengage ourselves in our social settings, in our neighborhoods and communities, but do so in a way that acknowledges the advances made by our society. We should practice our technology in the context of character and virtue. Use it for the benefit of mankind, not to stimulate isolated pleasure. We must continue our technological revolution but we cannot use it as a substitute for social interaction.

Source: Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush & B.Yablonski, p. 71-73 , Nov 1, 1995

Level playing field for Main Street vs. Internet sales tax.

Bush adopted a letter to Congress from 44 Governors:

The nation’s governors have a strong and unified message to Congress: deal fairly with Main Street retailers, consumers, and local governments. In a letter sent to all members of Congress late Friday, 44 governors said:

If you care about a level playing field for Main Street retail businesses and local control of states, local governments, and schools, extend the moratorium on taxing Internet access ONLY with authorization for the states to streamline and simplify the existing sales tax system. To do otherwise perpetuates a fundamental inequity and ignores a growing problem.
The current moratorium on Internet access taxes, like those consumers pay to Internet service providers, and multiple and discriminatory taxes is scheduled to expire in October. The moratorium does not apply to sales taxes.

Currently, sales and use taxes are owed on all online transactions, but states are prohibited from requiring “remote sellers” to collect and remit those levies. A 1992 US Supreme Court decision said states can only require sellers that have a physical presence in the same state as the consumer to collect so-called use taxes. In instances when a seller does not have a physical presence, consumers are required to calculate and remit the taxes owed to their home states at the end of the year. The problem is most people are unaware that they’re supposed to pay, and states lack an effective enforcement mechanism. Online and catalog sellers, thereby, have a significant price advantage over Main Street businesses that must collect a sales tax on all transactions.

The loophole creates serious budget problems for schools, states, and local governments. A study estimated that states could lose as much as $14 billion by 2004 if they are unable to collect existing taxes on Web-based sales. Nearly half of state revenues come from sales taxes.

Source: NGA Press Release, "Level Playing Field" 01-NGA18 on Aug 20, 2001

Permanent R&D tax incentive & more R&D funding.

Bush signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution:

  • Whereas, the federal government’s investment in research and development (R&D) has dropped from 70% of total, national R&D at the height of the “cold war” to merely 27% in 1999; and,
  • Whereas, federal R&D spending has dropped from 1.5% of the Gross National Product (GDP) in 1987 to only 0.6% today; and,
  • Whereas, industry-sponsored R&D has off-set this decline by merely growing from 1.5% of GDP in 1987 to 1.6% today; and,
  • Whereas, federal leadership in technology transfer is of critical importance to the development and commercialization of established intellectual property; and,
  • Whereas, broadband, high-speed Internet technology is an essential asset to support the New Economy and foster a climate to aid R&D efforts; and,
  • Whereas, the advancement of digital government can foster supportive services important to research and development including cataloging of labor, statistics and venture capital, and further, can enhance citizen access and coordination of government information and services; now, therefore, be it
  • Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on Federal R&D 01-SGA4 on Sep 9, 2001

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    Page last updated: Mar 19, 2014