Marco Rubio, unclear on the concept
On the heels of its multiple failures to repeal Obamacare, the troublesome Senate has finally gotten its act together enough to pass a $1.6-trillion tax cut. If it passes as expected, Americans can finally get the tax cut they elected a Republican Congress for, following years of Obama-era tax-harvestings and stagnation. But it was a close call.
One name stands out as a stinker here, and it still stands out as a stinker even though he's now voting yes: Senator Marco Rubio. The supposed conservative from Florida was willing to derail the whole thing for all of us and cost the Senate its majority if he didn't get the tax refund credit he wanted.
In reality, it wasn't a tax cut, but a dollop of pork slipped into the package, a refundable tax credit to hand to people whose incomes are so low they don't pay taxes at all. Read: illegals and unwed mothers who get all kinds of free stuff already. Now they each get $1,400 checks and another disincentive to work, courtesy of the taxpayers, something Rubio will be sure to tout as he seeks re-election votes from the underclass as a Bush-style "compassionate conservative." It always helps to be seen as a distributor of pork.
Annoyingly, he called it pro-growth, just as former President Obama would have done, on the now discredited assumption that consumer spending creates growth.
"For far too long, Washington has ignored and left behind the American working class. Increasing the refundability of the Child Tax Credit from 55% to 70% is a solid step toward broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker," Rubio tweeted Friday.
Frankly, this is unclear on the concept.
Tax cuts are what create growth. And when businesses get tax cuts, guess what! They create jobs...and give them to the poor. What Rubio insisted on, and got, was redistribution. He also got the corporate tax cut lessened to 21%, which will mean fewer jobs created and American corporations less competitive by OECD standards.
It's sad because Rubio can be so good on many things, particularly foreign policy. But on domestic policy, he seems to be going back to his Jeb Bush roots. Yes, he lives in Florida, and it's a state being inundated by residents of now bankrupt Puerto Rico who will be looking for the same kind of government they elected with policies that drove it into insolvency earlier.
But Americans elected a Republican Congress because they wanted change. They wanted the fresh air of free markets, the bracing effect of tax cuts, the boom-boom go-go years of the Reagan era, where everyone got something, not more of the suffocating expropriation and redistribution of the Obama years.
Just lamenting Rubio's bad behavior won't do. He tried to derail our tax cuts and destroy our economic recovery. That was what we voted for, and he failed to respect that. He wanted to keep the status quo if Congress didn't increase the Obama-era distribution pile in order to pander for votes for himself. Something like this deserves a primary challenge. He can never tell us he's a free-market conservative now.