Who is the Republicans’ best guy? Lately the focus has been mostly on the party’s presidential candidates, while John Boehner and Mitch McConnell also have been in the spotlight. So we haven’t seen much of Marco Rubio. Yesterday, Rubio made the talk radio rounds and reminded us why he is, in my opinion, the most exciting conservative to come along in a long time. Here he is on the Rush Limbaugh show:
The debt limit is a symptom, it’s not our problem. The core problem is our debt and the fact that our government borrows 40 cents out of every dollar and has no idea how it is going to pay it back. And that’s a combination of spending, we just spend way too much as a government, and loss of revenues, again not loss of revenues because our taxes aren’t high enough, loss of revenues because we have too many people who are out of work that are not paying taxes.
So the solution seems to me to be a combination of fiscal discipline on the spending side, which you have to enforce through spending caps, a balanced budget amendment and cuts starting right now. And, at the same time, some sort of pro-growth measures that get people back to work, that creates not new taxes, but new tax payers. People that are working, paying their taxes and adding new revenue to government so that government can use that revenue not to grow government but to pay down the debt and put us on a sustainable path. That just seems to me to be the common sense approach to this. Instead we’ve got this President’s obsession with raising taxes. And, what bothers me the most about it is not just that it will kill jobs and is bad for our economy, what bothers me the most is there isn’t a single tax package out there that’s reasonable and realistic that would even put a dent on this debt crisis.
People have no idea what you would have to raise the taxes to, just to begin to make a difference. And of course you never can raise it to that level because you won’t be able to collect them; people aren’t dumb enough to work for free. If you are going to tax all their money, they aren’t going to keep working.
Later in the day, Rubio was on Hugh Hewitt’s show. The transcript is here. Another excerpt:
HH: Do you think the President understands the underlying economics, Senator Rubio, and is just demagoguing it? Or is he fundamentally misinformed about how capitalism works?
MR: I think there are three things going on here. Number one, I think he’s a prisoner to extremist elements in his own base who not only, they don’t care that the taxes don’t solve any problems. They want their pound of flesh. They want to punish somebody, they want class warfare. That’s what they believe in. And this is their chance to do it, and they’re putting pressure on him to do that. So I think that’s his first problem. His second problem is that I think he’s surrounded by a bunch of people who philosophically do not believe fully in the free enterprise system, and in fact, they’d like to see government play a greater role. And they see this downturn in the economy, and crisis such as this, as an opportunity to exert more government involvement in our economy. And that’s the second problem. And his third problem is a level of incompetence. I think the President, quite frankly, is not up to the job. And if you look at every measure of quality of life in America today, unemployment is higher. The debt is higher. The only thing lower is the value of your home. If you look at every measurable economic thing in America today, they are all worse than they were the day he took over. Two and a half years into his presidency, things continue to get worse, not better, and it’s because the President is incompetent in his job as president. He is not, he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
As I say, Rubio has been a bit out of the spotlight recently. But it is hard to imagine that he won’t be one of the or three finalists for the VP slot, regardless of which Republican gets the nomination.