Jeb Bush on Technology
Republican FL Governor; V.P. prospect
Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 56-57 , Mar 5, 2013
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: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 28 , Dec 11, 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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