Playbook Interview: Sen. Marco Rubio

Politico, November 29, 2017

Jake Sherman: Let’s circle back to taxes for a second ’cause that’s what you guys in the Senate are going over this week. There’s concerns about deficits…it’s like Whack-a-Mole…you try to solve one problem and someone else has another issue. Besides the child tax credit, do you have any lingering concerns on the package you’re going to vote on, presumably this week?

Sen. Marco Rubio: Yah, except I analyze it very differently. People look at…Okay…Here’s…The argument would be that we can’t cut taxes because it would drive up the deficit. That assumes that somehow we could fix the deficit through higher taxes, and we can’t. The only way you’re going to deal with the debt is you have to do two things. You can’t do one; you’ve got to do both. You’ve got to…you’ve got to generate economic growth because growth generates revenue. But you also have to bring spending under control, and not discretionary spending, that isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries. We still have time, not just to save those programs, but responsibly structure them in a way that doesn’t impact current retirees, or people about to retire, but in a way that would probably impact it for me and people younger than me in ways that, quite frankly you really wouldn’t notice and you really wouldn’t object to, because it’s reasonable. And if we did that in combination with growth you could begin to bring the trajectory of the debt to a responsible and acceptable level. That is the only way forward. So I view tax reform as the economic growth component of it. That’s what will ultimately help to generate more revenue. You have more people working, you have more taxpayers. You have more taxpayers, you have more revenue. That’s the first part, but that alone won’t be enough. If you just do that, and you don’t do the other piece, you’re going to have a debt problem. That’s a fact, and we gotta do both. In the absence of that, we’re gonna to continue to be in the cycle, one way or another.…

We’ve heard it many times. To eliminate the deficit, first we have to stimulate the economy by reducing taxes (for the rich), and then we need to reduce the driver of our debt, Social Security and Medicare.

One version of the tax legislation has already passed in the House, and, as of today, the Republicans have the votes to pass the other version in the Senate. Ironing out the differences in Joint Conference will not be much more than a formality. Then the first cuts in Medicare will soon follow automatically because of existing PayGo requirements.

It should be a great secular Christmas for the billionaires. Maybe we should join the celebration…with a hundred million person march on Washington. Don’t forget your placards.

Stay informed! Visit to sign up for daily email updates.