After President Obama laid out his blue print for America in the State of the Union Speech, the Republicans countered with Marco Rubio, their olive branch to the Latin Community. Rubio came out swinging. He took a lot of cheap shots at the President’s proposed goals for his second administration without offering superior or substantive alternatives. Essentially he espoused the old and inane Ronald Reagan line, “the government is the problem, not the solution.”
For example, Rubio asserts that more government won’t help you get ahead. For openers, that’s patently false. Pat Brown, a former California governor in the 1960s, made education affordable for the masses. The Republicans who followed for the next 30 years lacked his vision and shrunk educational funding. Consequently, the cost of education soared. Today a college degree is ten to twenty-fold more expensive in California, due to educational cutbacks. Rubio is 41 and by his own admission spent 15 years paying back college loans. The economy would have faired far better if Rubio and all the other graduates like him had been able to pump that money into product purchases or investments in their future instead of loan payments. Government can play a substantial role in helping middle-class America achieve affordable education.
Senator Rubio states that the housing downturn was caused by governmental policies. Actually it was caused to a large extent by greedy profiteers such as Countrywide Funding who pushed unaffordable sub-prime loans on unsuspecting home buyers. Eliminate government as a watchdog, and you open the flood gates to disaster.
Rubio advocates for tax cuts too. George W. Bush fought two wars on a credit card, yet cut taxes at the same time. The net result was an unemployment figure that went from 4%-8% under his reign and a mammoth recession for President Obama to dig out of. Obviously, cutting taxes again will produce the same results as before, and likely thrust us back into a deep recession.
Government maintains our core infrastructure. Take away their dollars and say hello to crumbling bridges and perpetual potholes that will grow larger by the day. Also, Uncle Sam often provides research and development to private industry in order to give them a leg up on their global competition. Eliminate the government’s regulatory powers and dirty water along with more polluted air will surely come our way. Continued emphasis on natural resources for our energy is a piñata that’s doomed to break. The faster we wean ourselves from coal oil and gas, the better.
Mr. Rubio, if you are concerned with our soaring national debt, ask your leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, why he slipped through a half billion handout to Amgen in the dead of night in exchange for some favored financing for his next campaign.
Beyond the Republican’s contrived rhetoric concerning the middle class, just look who brought us Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, a Minimum Wage Act and various other programs that help Main Street America. I dare say there were few Republicans on board with these programs. However, if it’s tax cuts for the “uber” rich, even if they undermine government programs for the not so fortunate, Republicans can be seen standing tall, front and center.
Senator Rubio, your response to President Obama was loaded with coded phrases for the Tea Party and the religious right. Should you seek national limelight or a run in 2016, move to the center and speak meaningfully to all people. You’re a new face but your ideas are the same hackneyed cliques that run Republicans off cliffs. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world isn’t flat anymore.