Thursday AM October 23rd, 2008

The former governor of Florida sees the current economic climate as a period of dangerous transition, but full of enormous opportunities. Jeb Bush spoke to Comerica’s annual Houston Business Forum, as Ed Mayberry reports.


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image of Jed BushThe two-time Florida governor says American values will help us weather tough economic times. Jeb Bush says he’d like to see a post-partisan America with the next presidency. Bush hopes the financial rescue plan will generate enough liquidity and confidence so people will lend again. But he told the bankers and their clients that he hopes government doesn’t overreact.

“A lot of times massive government involvement, which was necessary in this case, I guess, you know, has long-term unintended consequences that people need to be very vigilant about. When Enron went under and there was corruption, the goverment correctly responded, but they responded with Sarbanes-Oxley that created a burden that is dramatic in terms of the costs of auditing, the costs of accounting, the costs of liability for businesses that had nothing to with Enron.”

Bush has altered his thinking about offshore drilling.

“Well, I still believe that, you know, anything under 50 miles, for example, doesn’t make sense because of the possible damage to the beaches. Maybe under 25, I don’t know, but my views have changed, because I think the bigger issue now is energy security for our country. It’s essential for us to begin to exploit domestic sources of energy — not just natural gas and oil offshore, but I think Anwar, which I’ve always supported — and figuring out ways to use American innovation to make coal cleaner. And alternatives.”

Bush says he’d like to see a sort of Grace Commission that challenges government structure, with the goal of better delivery of government services.

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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