Ex-Gov. Jeb Bush rallies Kansas business leaders

AP News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2012 1:11 AM
Ex-Gov. Jeb Bush rallies Kansas business leaders

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sidestepped talk of presidential campaign politics to focus on business issues Tuesday during a speech at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner.

While Bush didn't talk about the Republican nomination fight, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported ( http://bit.ly/wVClQn) he was sharply critical of President Barack Obama's policies on domestic energy production, environmental regulations and education.

"We need to celebrate every time someone starts a business in this country _ not regulate it to death," Bush said. "A new business? Great. Go and compete. Do your best and make a lot of money."

Bush told the gathering of business leaders that boosting the nation's economy depends on adopting a "patriotic" energy policy, simplifying the federal tax code, easing regulations and bolstering the education system.

"If we do those four things, while we're fighting the big fights about the size and scope of government, I believe our country could grow at a much more sustained rate," Bush said.

He said the Obama administration's policies governing energy production were hurting the nation's economy and security.

"The EPA is embarking on new rules to restrict its development," he said. "We truly need a patriotic energy policy."

Bush also backed Gov. Sam Brownback's push to cut state income tax rates.

"Elimination of income taxes in Kansas will definitely make this state more competitive. It will attract investment and jobs," Bush said.