Marco Rubio on Raising the Debt Limit: Are You With Him?

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has chosen to high-profile affirmation of his strong policy positions, and not only did the Miami Republican give an in-depth nationally televised interview to ABC News this week, but he delivered a no-nonsense oped column in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal.

Here are excerpts from the column he titles, "Why I Won't Vote to Raise the Debt Limit":

"Our generation's greatest challenge is an economy that isn't growing, alongside a national debt that is. If we fail to confront this, our children will be the first Americans ever to inherit a country worse off than the one their parents were given.

"Current federal policies make it harder for job creators to start and grow businesses. Taxes on individuals are complicated and set to rise in less than two years. Corporate taxes will soon be the highest in the industrialized world. Federal agencies torment job creators with an endless string of rules and regulations.

"On top of all this, we have an unsustainable national debt. Leaders of both parties have grown our government for decades by spending money we didn't have. To pay for it, they borrowed $4 billion a day, leaving us with today's $14 trillion debt. Half of that debt is held by foreign investors, mostly China. And there is no plan to stop. In fact, President Obama's latest budget request spends more than $46 trillion over the next decade. Under this plan, public debt will equal 87 percent of our economy in less than 10 years. This will scare away job creators and lead to higher taxes, higher interest rates and greater inflation. ..."

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"'Raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.' So said then-Sen. Obama in 2006, when he voted against raising the debt ceiling by less than $800 billion to a new limit of $8.965 trillion. As America's debt now approaches its current $14.29 trillion limit, we are witnessing leadership failure of epic proportions.

"I will vote to defeat an increase in the debt limit unless it is the last one we ever authorize and is accompanied by a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced-budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

"There is still time to accomplish all this. Rep. Dave Camp has already introduced proposals to lower and simplify our tax rates, close loopholes, and make permanent low rates on capital gains and dividends. Even Mr. Obama has endorsed the idea of lowering our corporate tax rate. Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, has a bill that would require an up-or-down vote on "major" regulations, those that cost the economy $100 million or more. And the House has already passed a spending plan this year that lowered discretionary spending by $862 billion over 10 years.

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"No changes should be made to Medicare and Social Security for people who are currently in the system, like my mother. But people decades away from retirement, like me, must accept that reforms are necessary if we want Social Security and Medicare to exist at all by the time we are eligible for them.

"Finally, instead of simply raising the debt limit, we should reassure job creators by setting a firm statutory cap on our public debt-to-GDP ratio. A comprehensive plan would wind down our debt to sustainable levels of approximately 60 percent within a decade and no more than half of the economy shortly thereafter. If Congress fails to meet these debt targets, automatic across-the-board spending reductions should be triggered to close the gap. These public debt caps could go in tandem with a constitutional balanced budget amendment."

See if you're in tune with Rubio on raising the debt limit. Read the whole Wall Street Journal column.  And watch the Rubio clip below from ABC News'  "Nightline" interview Tuesday night.

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