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Jeb Bush has a plan to fix the economy: Got a job? Work longer hours

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Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Americans should have the chance to work longer hours, a remark that drew criticism from Democrats but which he said was intended to highlight that an improved U.S. economy could create more full-time jobs.

Bush told a forum hosted by the Union-Leader newspaper of Manchester that his aspiration for the country if he is elected in November 2016 would be to generate annual 4 percent economic growth “as far as the eye can see, which means we have to be a lot more productive.”

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“Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows,” Bush said. This means, he said, “that people need to work longer hours and through their productivity gain more income for their families.”

The Democratic National Committee quickly pounced on the comment as being out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans. Democrats were successful in making that charge against 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and would like to do the same with Bush.

“It is easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle. Jeb Bush would not fight for the middle class as president,” DNC spokeswoman Holly Shulman said in a statement.

Bush was asked about the comment by reporters after a town hall event in Hudson. He said the U.S. economy needs to grow far faster than currently to allow people to move from part-time work to full-time so they can better provide for their families.

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“You can take it out of context all you want, but high sustained growth means people work 40 hours rather than 30 hours and that by our success they have disposable income for their families to decide how they want to spend it rather than standing in line and being dependent upon government,” he said.

Bush frequently cites the need to improve what he calls a weak Obama economy. In June, the U.S. economy generated 223,000 jobs and the jobless rate dropped to 5.3 percent, but the reduction had much to do with people leaving the workforce. The labor participation rate dropped to 62.6 percent, the lowest since 1977, and average hourly earnings did not rise.

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“If anyone is celebrating this anemic recovery, then they are totally out of touch,” Bush said. “The simple fact is people are really struggling. So giving people a chance to work longer hours has got to be part of the answer. If not, you are going to see people lose hope — and that’s where we are today.”

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Ken Wills)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."

The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

Watch below:

Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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