Tag: Marco Rubio

GOP Tax Cut Fever!


shutterstock_123625477“Republicans Vie Over Who Can Cut Taxes Most as Deficit Shrinks” by Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin sums up the challenge for Republican 2016ers who want to offer big, splashy, Reaganesque tax cut plans at a time when the national debt is three times as high as it was in 1980 and top tax rates are 50% lower:

By removing budgetary and income-distribution constraints from their tax plans, Republicans are seeking to avoid some of the criticism that had their 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, playing defense on tax policy in the campaign’s final months. Obama, bolstered by independent analyses, said Romney couldn’t find enough tax breaks to eliminate in order to offset the cost of lowering tax rates as much as he wanted. The result, Obama maintained, was that Romney’s plan would cause middle-class families to pay more or increase the budget deficit. … That argument may be replayed in 2016, particularly if Republicans spend the next year in a tax-cut race. The rate cuts and business write-offs that are attractive to Republican primary voters may not fare as well with a wider audience. In a Republican primary, you want “a plan that is very pro-growth and is very simple to understand, and as a result you could put yourself in difficult positions,” said Lanhee Chen, who was Romney’s policy director in 2012. “I don’t think it’s insurmountable by any means, but it makes their job harder.”

And thus you get snarky headlines like this one in the New York Times, “Marco Rubio’s Puppies-and-Rainbows Tax Plan,” which I comment about over at NRO’s The Corner. (I have a quote in the NYT piece.)

Further Thoughts on the Lee-Rubio Tax Plan


I say some good things about the Mike Lee-Marco Rubio tax plan in my The Week piece, “Marco Rubio and Mike Lee have cooked up the first great tax cut plan of the 21st century.”  Yes, an (overly) effusive headline. As I write:

So Lee and Rubio seem to be following the same general Reagan formula, just updated for modern realities. They would immediately attack income stagnation for the middle-class. And they would transform the income tax code into a consumption tax code, which economists tend to agree would promote more investment and long-run economic growth.



RubioI’m in Washington, D.C., where some of the political buzz centers around Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the “to be or not to be”/”will he or won’t he?” question of his future plans. Here’s Rubio’s dilemma: run for re-election in 2016, or run for the White House.

It’s an either/or question, as Rubio’s said repeatedly that he won’t go national while trying to hold on to his day job (something that Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan did in 2012 and that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul may attempt in 2016 — that is, if he can sell the idea back home).

Rubio’s second dilemma: he has to make up his mind soon, in order for Florida Republicans to get their act together should he vacate the Senate seat.

Member Post


Is this the deepiest GOP bench evah, OR WHAT!?!1??!? In all previous presidential elections, I’ve known years in advance whom I would support in the GOP primaries. Even in 2012, although technically I did cast a vote for Santorum, that was merely a “message” and I (reluctantly) supported Romney. But this year, I find myself […]

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Crises of Climate


Over at Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait forecasts impending doom now that the committees that oversee NASA and NOAA (The National Atmospheric Administration) will be chaired, respectively, by Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Plait’s primary cause for concern is that both men are climate change “deniers” (a “staunch denier” in Cruz’s case). More specifically, he cites both of them saying that global warming has paused for more than a decade. As Cruz puts it in an interview Plait embeds:

More Thoughts On Normalizing Relations With Cuba


President Obama’s announcement on Wednesday that he would seek to normalize relations with Cuba reminded me of an aphorism: even a broken clock is right twice a day.

And so it is that Barack Obama — a man who is objectively terrible at his job — is right about Cuba. He is right because he is reversing (or trying to, anyway) a policy that has been an utter failure for half a century. Obama’s plan is (1) to normalize relations, (2) lift the travel and financial restrictions, (3) build an embassy, (4) seek to lift the embargo.

Bush, Romney, or Rubio: Who’d You Rather Have?


JebMarcoMittAn interesting observation this morning from the folks at NBC News’ First Read:

After Jeb Bush’s news [that he’s release a new e-book, as well as e-mail records of his time as governor, both taken by the media as suggestions that he’ll run for president] this weekend, we received a press release that supporters of Mitt Romney have created a Super PAC urging the 2012 GOP presidential nominee to make a run in ’16. This Super PAC sure feels like a response to Jeb, because if Jeb does get in, there won’t be as much pining for Romney, especially among the Republican Party’s wealthy donors. Here’s one more thing to consider: If Jeb is ultimately a “yes,” that probably also freezes out a bid by Marco Rubio, who’s a political disciple of Bush’s.

Now, here’s an interesting question for Ricochet: my read of the assembled Ricochetti is that there’s not much appetite for either a Bush or Romney candidacy, and that a Rubio bid — while not repellant — is also not a major fixation for most of our readers. So here’s the question, putting aside for the moment your feelings about other candidates: if each of these three candidates has the potential to crowd out the other two, which one would you most like to see make the race and why?

Foreign Policy President Needed: Any Republicans Qualified?


5203873918_7fc7c3833d_zBarack Obama seems too rigid, narrow-minded, and ideologically obsessed with transforming America to learn from his foreign policy failures. As such, I think we can assume that our enemies — China, Russia, Iran, ISIS, and North Korea — have all taken his measure and will aggressively pursue their interests via political/military aggression in the near future.

If that happens, the next president will be handed a mess in foreign policy, as well as a looming debt crisis. (Hillary, recognizing this, is furiously trying to simultaneously distance herself from Obama’s disastrous policies, while emphasizing her experience as Secretary of State; it might work).

Republicans will need a nominee who is credible and well-versed in foreign policy. But is this true of any of them? Rick Perry recently visited China to gain some credibility and experience. Chris Christie, who in the past shrugged off foreign policy questions as inappropriate for a mere governor to comment on, has criticized Obama for ignoring ISIS’ rise. However, I don’t find any of the other possibilities — Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio — are particularly strong in this area (though I’m happy to be corrected).

Dubio about Rubio


shutterstock_180970304I’m asking a lot of my politicians, I know, but I don’t really care about what they did in their youth or whether they were absolute straight arrows. In fact, I prefer that they had at least a little bit of a rebel streak in their teens. They didn’t have to get great grades in high school either. 

But I do expect them to have a certain level of common sense and an ability to address silly notions, and here is where Marco Rubio has shown some incompetence.

Rubio explained that his decision not to answer the question [of whether he’s ever used marijuana] goes back to an encounter he had after publishing his memoir, “American Son.” In the book, Rubio reveals that he was not a disciplined student in his youth and had a 2.1 GPA in high school.

Putin, the Pauls, and the Direction of the GOP’s Foreign Policy — Troy Senik


Over the weekend, Politico ran a feature penned by Elizabeth Wahl, the American journalist whose Crimea-inspired on-air resignation from RT (the Russian television network dedicated to bringing Moscow-approved propaganda to the West) went viral —and, a cynic might note, earned her a measure of notoriety she had previously lacked.

The piece doesn’t leave Wahl in the best light — which is probably a sign that she deserves praise for her candor. What emerges is a picture of a somewhat naive young woman who was slow to wrap her head around the fact that RT functions primarily as an annex of the Kremlin, and slower yet to conclude that any such institution is inherently anathema to the practice of anything like real journalism. Still, if ever the phrase “better late than never” applies, it’s probably here.