Marco Rubio Unveils Plan to 'Reclaim' the American Dream

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: June 26, 2014 3:55 AM
Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, spoke at conservative Hillsdale College’s Washington campus on Wednesday about his plans to help working families across America. 

"Too many are starting to believe the American dream is no longer possible for people like them,” Rubio said in his speech.

In his speech, Rubio called for increasing private-sector options for Medicare and Social Security. He also called for tax reform, including backing education tax credits on student loans and for mothers who have gone back to school. Rubio also called, once again, for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

Rubio made the rounds on the national media on Wednesday, looking to make his case.

“Let’s understand what the problem is,” Rubio said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. “I go back to my own upbringing, where my parents were not highly educated, didn’t have much of a formal education, came here as immigrants and were able to make it to the American middle class working service jobs. And the more important part of my childhood is that I grew up believing that I could go as far as my talent and my work will take me. That I could have the same dreams and the same future as the son of a president, as the son of a millionaire. Now you have a growing number of Americans that don’t think that’s true anymore.”

Pointing toward the examples of many Floridians that he mentioned in his speech, Rubio said the American dream needs to be within their reach.

“For all these people, their dreams are not exotic,” Rubio said. “None of them are looking to be billionaires, or anything like that. They just want to be able to own a home, raise a family in a safe environment, have children with the opportunity to have a life better than themselves. And we need to reclaim that.

“The fundamental challenge that we face is that every single one of our institutions in this country – from government to higher education and everything in between – has completely failed to adjust to 21st century reality,” Rubio added. “None of them are responsive to the new world that we now live in, where globalization and information technology have changed the nature of our economy. And our laws and our education system simply don’t reflect this.”

But Rubio drew fire on Wednesday from liberal PAC American Bridge for backing the budget crafted by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and standing against extending unemployment benefits.

“Rubio has consistently advocated against policies that support working-class families, including the minimum wage and the extension of unemployment benefits,” American Bridge insisted. “Today's speech is as phony as it is calculated, smoke and mirrors meant to distract voters from the anti-working class agenda Rubio has consistently pushed in the Senate.

“With so many attacks on the middle class -- including his support for the Ryan budget and the sequester -- we can't be exactly sure which impacts he means,” American Bridge continued. “Is he talking about the 1.3 million Americans for whom he attempted to block UI benefits? The 300,000 people who aren't receiving heat assistance because of the sequester? The millions of low-income families who would lose SNAP, CHIP and other critical benefits under the Ryan budget?”

Earlier in the week, Obama unveiled his program for middle-class America. Obama outlined his proposals on Monday, calling for more flexible workplaces, paid parental leave and more benefits for same-sex couples. To that end, Obama is backing more flexible workplace options in the federal government and calling on Congress to pass legislation mandating businesses to offer more accommodations for pregnant employees instead of leave and extending the Family Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples. Obama also called for education reforms, including backing earlier childhood education and including more women in STEM programs.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (5)

H.E. "Pete" Ashley
3:55PM JUN 29TH 2014
Rubio is one BIG reason we have no southern borders any more. He had our vote until he became "The Amnesty Salesman".
4:48AM JUN 27TH 2014
Rubio should be judged by the way he votes, not by what he says.
10:06AM JUN 26TH 2014
I actually hoped Rubio would have a least one groundbreaking idea that could lead to a bipartisan plan to help the middle class. Instead, he regurgitates the same old schemes to privatize Social Security and Medicare, the two most successful government run programs; and the worn out and totally useless repeal of a health care law that is helping millions of Americans get life-saving care.

He does not explain his current ideas for tax reform but his old ideas, including replacement of property taxes with consumption taxes, have gone no where because half-way smart people could see this would HURT not help the middle class. Or his idea from his March 2014 growth plan to decrease taxes of overseas US corporations, presumably benefiting the middle class through the old and failed “trickle-down” effect.

He suggests tax credits for students, yet just voted against the more extensive relief of allowing students to refinance student loans for lower interest rate, like refinancing your car or house.

There must a Republican law-maker out there who is smart enough to come up with real ideas to help the middle class.
9:11AM JUN 26TH 2014
I apologize for this next comment: Rubio Sucks.
9:45AM JUN 26TH 2014
I do not know what Rubio's idea is of the American dream, but I do not share it. Where has he been for the last 3 years? We all know where, with his tea party friends trying to ruin the American dream. He has two faces and neither represent the American dream.

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