Rubio: “The basics of economic growth have been unchanging. ... Some of the things that I hope government will focus on in months to come – things that I believe we can embrace on a bipartisan level, things that are not about ideology or a belief in a certain set of principles held by a particular party, but the basic elements of economic growth – are the things that I hope the policy makers like myself will begin to focus on again.”
Senator Marco Rubio, Remarks As Delivered
U.S. Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Annual Convention
September 18, 2011
Miami Beach, FL
RUBIO ON PRO-GROWTH TAX, REGULATORY & ENERGY POLICIES
RUBIO: “There’s a lot of talk about what government can do to help create jobs and opportunity, but I want to share a few things, basic things, that I think government can do. And let me say right now, when I talk about these issues, sometimes there’s a level of frustration because people want to hear something novel and unique and different. The reality is that the basics of economic growth have been unchanging. The American free enterprise system is providing more opportunity than any economic system in the history of the world. And these are the things I hope we will embrace again as a nation.
“So, some of the things that I hope government will focus on in months to come, things that I believe we can embrace on a bipartisan level, things that are not about ideology or a belief in a certain set of principles held by a particular party, but the basic elements of economic growth are the things that I hope the policy makers like myself will begin to focus on again. Things like a tax code that is simple. That’s why we need tax reform. It’s not simply about tax cuts, it is about creating a tax system that is fair, easy to understand and possible to predict. About a regulatory code whose cost of compliance is not so high that people decide not to do business in this country. About our energy needs. The cost of energy is a real cost of doing business. There is a reason why the Chinese will drill a hole anywhere they can get their hands on. Because energy costs are real. Lucky for us as a nation, we don’t have to be environmentally irresponsible as China is, but we do need policies that encourage energy innovation and energy independence for the United States”.
RUBIO ON PROMOTING A 21ST CENTURY WORKFORCE
RUBIO: “Two more things I hope we’ll touch upon: number one is investing in our people. The lifeblood of any economic system is a qualified and motivated workforce. And that begins with us, number one by placing a premium on education, as a cultural value. We must be frank with our children and grandchildren, that in this new century, in the twenty-first century, there will simply not be enough jobs in America for people that do not have some sort of advanced education. And that’s why it is the proper role of our federal government to invest in things like Pell grants and our student loan program. But it is incumbent on us as a community to also place value on this and to incentivize these things.
“In addition, I grow increasingly frustrated at how, in our nation, we have stigmatized career education. How we’ve made career education appear to be something beneath people when in fact it is something we desperately need. There are kids that don’t want to go to a four year university, but they’re really good at fixing things, making airplane engines or maybe they’ve never met a computer program they can’t solve. There is no reason why this nation cannot have an educational system that allows children to graduate high school, not just with a high school diploma, but an industry certification and some technical skill that they can use to provide for themselves & their families in the future”.
RUBIO ON APPROVING FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
RUBIO: “Another thing that is near and dear to the heart of this community, and to this group, is international trade which is a logical thing, particularly in this hemisphere. The twenty-first century holds extraordinary promise for the Western Hemisphere. Not just for Latin America, by the way, not just for the Western Hemisphere, but for the whole world, and particularly for the United States. Imagine the growing number of nations with people prosperous enough and secure enough to trade with us, and to buy the things that our children and grandchildren will invent and hopefully build. That is the promise of free trade agreements.
“That’s the promise of political and economic policies that this nation can undertake. To dedicate with seriousness of purpose, rededicate ourselves to growth, economic and political, in the Western Hemisphere in this century. And that’s why I hope that as soon as possible the United States Congress will ratify the free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea”.
RUBIO ON TACKLING OUR DEBT
RUBIO: “And last but not least, something that we need to deal with is our national debt. Now look the focus in Washington is on the budget and the debt, and that’s an important issue. But while the debt is the most important issue in Washington, the most important issue in America is the job crisis that you’re facing every single day and that all Americans are facing in their daily lives. And the debt is a part of that. Because as you know better than I do or any politician does, ultimately in order for someone to invest in a nation and in its economy, you must have confidence in the future. You must believe that the worst has passed, that tomorrow has a chance to be better than today. You have to somehow be able to predict what’s around the corner. And so long as our nation faces a debt that is larger than our economy, no one is going to feel like tomorrow is better than today. And so we have to deal with our debt. And I hope that’s something Washington will begin to take seriously after years of letting it grow under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
“Today the national debt hangs over our economy as a dark cloud, creating uncertainty and fear about the future. A fear that tomorrow will bring about higher interest rates and punitive tax rates that will stifle economic growth and opportunity. I sincerely hope and I am willing to work with anyone in any party to seriously deal with the drivers of our national debt. Now that means we have to tackle discretionary spending, there is no doubt there have to be reductions in government spending. But here is what I fear: number one, there is not enough money in the discretionary part of the budget. And so if all we do is cut programs, you will end up getting rid of legitimate government spending programs, things like education and infrastructure that our nation desperately needs. ...
“One more point about budget cutting. There is a lot of focus on defense spending. And believe me we should find fraud, and abuse, and waste anywhere it exists. But if you think national debt is bad for our economy, terrorism is even worse. The world is as dangerous today as it has ever been and it desperately needs a strong and vibrant America able to protect its national interest anywhere in the world, politically and diplomatically, and if there is no other choice, militarily. And to do so requires us to spend money to ensure that America’s armed forces remain the strongest and most powerful in all of the world”.
RUBIO ON SAVING MEDICARE
RUBIO: “We must fix, if we want to save, America’s entitlement programs. In particular, Medicare is a program near and dear to my heart. It has provided high quality health care for my father before he passed away a year ago and as I stand here before you today is providing quality healthcare for my mother, who has recently been ill. I want Medicare to exist. I want Medicare to survive. I want Medicare to thrive. I want it to exist without any changes for people like my parents, like my mother, and her generation without any changes. But I also want it to exist for me and for my children when we retire. And the sad truth is that if things continue the way they are in that program not only will it bankrupt our country, but the program itself will cease to exist.
“And so I hope that on a bipartisan basis American leadership will do whatever it takes to save Medicare, and do so in a way that does not harm or change anything for people currently in the program, but preserves it for people like myself and for our children. In a way that allows our nation to once again grapple with its national debt. But to do that it will require people like me, and people like you, that are decades away from retirement to accept the simple but powerful truth that if we want Medicare to survive without changes for our parents and to exist for us, that our Medicare will have to look different than our parents’. And the sooner we accept that, the better off our parents and grandparents will be, the better off we will be, and the better off our nation will be”.
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