“While our people and economy are pushing the boundaries of the 21st century, too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio told supporters during his presidential campaign announcement earlier this month. Rubio might as well consider himself among those leaders trapped in time.
“I believe that Roe v. Wade was not only morally wrong, but it was a poorly decided legal precedent and should be overturned,” Rubio’s official campaign site reads. Women’s reproductive healthcare is hardly the only view of Rubio’s “stuck in the 20th century.”
When President Obama announced his administration would no longer enforce the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2011, a policy that did not recognize same-sex marriages, Rubio responded it was “unfortunate” and a “regrettable” decision.
Rubio’s bigoted views against the LGBTQ community are actually among the harshest you will hear from a candidate on the national stage.
In 2013, Rubio (and his fellow GOP candidates, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz) voted against The Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The Act prohibits “employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Prior to the Senate vote, Rubio spoke out against the concept behind the legislation:
“By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation.”
To Rubio, equality is a “special protection.” I don’t even think Plastic Man could wrap his head around that one.
You may recall Rubio was a member of the “Gang of Eight,” a bi-partisan group of senators who were working on immigration reform.
“If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill,” Rubio told Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros. “I’m gone, I’m off it, and I’ve said that repeatedly. And I don’t think that’s going to happen, and it shouldn’t happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is.”
The bill passed the senate without Vermont Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy’s amendment that would have given bi-national same-sex spouses the same rights as heterosexual spouses.
Rubio’s home state made headlines last week when the legislature repealed a nearly 40 year-old state ban on gay adoption. Guess who wasn’t uncorking the champagne bottle.
Speaking with the Tallahassee Democrat in 2006, then Florida House Majority Leader Rubio said on the subject of gay adoption: “Some of these kids are the most disadvantaged in the state, they shouldn’t be forced to be part of a social experiment.”
Rubio’s disdain for the LGBTQ community is not the only thing he shares with Cruz and Paul. The Florida Senator joined his colleagues in supporting the 2013 government shutdown in a foolish attempt to defund the President’s landmark healthcare law. Unlike the other two senators, Rubio has a “three part plan” to replace it.
Later this year, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will determine if the federal government can continue to provide subsidies for premiums under the Affordable Care Act.
In an op-ed published by Fox News, Rubio explains his “framework” to begin replacing the ACA if the the court rules against it:
1. “First, we should provide an advanceable, refundable tax credit that Americans can use to purchase health insurance.”
There is absolutely no indication of how this is paid for or the value the credit would begin at.
2. “Americans with pre-existing conditions should be able to find coverage through their state’s federally-supported, actuarially-sound high risk pools.”
Rubio essentially described what Obamacare does right now.
3. “I believe we must move Medicaid into a per-capita cap system, preserving funding for Medicaid’s unique populations while freeing states from Washington mandates. Medicare, meanwhile, should be transitioned into a premium support system, empowering seniors with choice and market competition…”
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s similar to Paul Ryan’s proposed transformation of Medicare into a voucher program. Former Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett responded to Ryan’s plan of freeing the program of government regulations in 2012:
“Ryan just assumes that private health insurers would create policies that would provide equal benefits to what Medicare now provides, and does nothing whatsoever to ensure that such an option will exist when the existing Medicare program ceases to exist. Ironically, Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which Ryan wants to repeal, actually creates a mechanism that would facilitate Ryan’s Medicare proposal.”
In 2008, as Speaker of the Florida House, Rubio supported a market-based alternative to Obamacare. Rubio’s Florida Health Choices opened last year, resulting in the enrollment of 80 Floridians. Yes, EIGHT-ZERO. 1.6 million Floridians have enrolled into Obamacare.
Guess which Florida senator also enrolled into Obamacare and accepted an annual $10,000 subsidy?
Rubio has not yet proposed a tax plan under his campaign, but in February he released a plan with Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee.
Under the Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Plan, personal income taxes will break down from 7 different possible rates into two: 15% and 35%.
This of course means the largest income earners currently taxed at 39.6% will see a nearly 5% tax cut.
Like the Rand Paul plan, dividends, interest and capitol gains would be exempt from taxation.
Using dynamic scoring (an incredibly misleading method), the conservative-leaning The Tax Foundation found the plan would increase revenue by $94 billion… however, there is a catch. This only occurs after ten years of revenue loss that would total $1.7 trillion.
Using the more accurate static method, The Tax Foundation found the Rubio-Lee plan would lower government revenue by $414 billion a year.
To put that number in perspective, it is nearly the entire projected 2016 deficit ($474 billion) under President Obama’s recent budget plan.
Like his fellow candidates, Rubio also struggles with the acceptance of science.
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” Rubio told ABC’S This Week in 2014.
I guess it’s easier to ignore the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 95% level of certainty that human emissions are contributing to climate change when you receive $308,508 from the oil & gas industry.
Rubio repeated his ridiculous stance just last Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation. Marco further explained that the cap and trade solutions to climate change “would have a devastating impact on our economy.”
Like many Tea Party-backed Republican views, this is complete bullshit.
The independent economic consulting firm, the Analysis Group, published a study in 2011 covering the ten northeastern states that reduced power plant emissions by participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The report reads:
“All told, electricity consumers overall – households, businesses, government users and others – enjoy a net gain of nearly $1.1 billion, as their overall electric bills drop over time. This reflects average savings of $25 for residential consumers, $181 for commercial consumers, and $2,493 for industrial consumers over the study period. Consumers of natural gas and heating oil saved another $174 million.”
Guess what is mentioned in the RGGI report but not on Rubio’s campaign site? Jobs.
“But the net effect is that, according to our analysis, the first three years of RGGI will lead to over 16,000 new job-years, with each of the ten states showing net job additions.”
Rubio may say “the 21st century is going to be better than the 20th century,” but he’s sitting in the driver’s seat of the DeLorean and has the coordinates set to 1973.