Fighting for Florida

Rob Williams: “That’s the other topic that’s on the radar screen, and that is the debt limit. Let’s see, one, two, three weeks away, they’re giving us some sort of deadline. What’s your take on the whole thing?”

Sen. Marco Rubio: “My take is it’s a royal mess. I don’t understand why it takes so long—I really don’t. I understand I’m not a veteran of Washington, and maybe there’s some things I’m still learning, but for the life of me, I will never understand why they leave everything for the last minute. I’ve been talking and writing about the debt limit since January and February. We knew this was out there, why did we wait so long? And now you’ve got this ‘up against the clock,’ the entire country is being held hostage because neither side will budge. I think it’s pretty simple. We have to do two things: one, we have to reduce spending. We can’t continue to spend money we don’t have, and I think everyone needs to understand that. And the places where we need to reduce spending is the places where spending is happening. So, while people talk about all the discretionary spending and the military budget, the spending is in the entitlement programs that are going bankrupt, particularly Medicare. You want to save Medicare? Then we have to reform it and not politicize it or demagogue it.

“And the other thing we have to do, because you can’t just cut your way, you’ve also got to generate revenue and you’ve got to have more money coming into the government so they can use it to pay down the debt. And the debate is how do you generate more money for government? The President wants to raise taxes, and I’m not going to get into that today because I don’t want to politicize this hearing, but I guarantee you that the last thing that these business owners in Northwest Florida who have been hurt by the oil spill need is a tax increase. The President will go out and say, ‘Well, it’s a tax increase on rich people.’ But the way he defines ‘rich people’ is very different from the way you and I would define ‘rich people.’ His definition of ‘rich people’ is anybody who makes over $200,000 a year, or anybody whose business makes over $200,000 a year, and that’s a lot of people and a lot of small businesses.

“So, I think the way to generate money for government is to grow the economy. We don’t need new taxes, we need more taxpayers. And that means getting people back to work, and what’s going to get people back to work is regulatory reform and tax reform that encourages businesses, business owners and investors to start reinvesting money in the American economy to create new business and new jobs.”