When you’re running against candidates like Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee, appearing serious on foreign policy isn’t hard. But the closer you look at the “doctrine” that supposedly guides Rubio’s approach to the world, the less serious it looks. Anyone can enunciate “timeless truths.” Serious candidates explain novel ways to pursue them given the particular circumstances of their time. At the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Rubio barely tried.
On Tax Day, House Republicans decided it was important to vote on a bill that would remind the American people how their party had turned a record surplus into a record deficit — while helping to create the worst inequality of wealth since the Great Depression.
After years of cuts affecting the people most injured by the Great Recession, Republicans voted 240-179 to repeal the Estate Tax, which currently only applies to the 5,400 richest estates, each totaling at least $5.43 million. This repeal would cost $269 billion over the next 10 years, which will be close to half the cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, better known as food stamps), which benefits 46.5 million of the poorest Americans. They need that money for luxuries like breakfast or dinner.
Apparently Republicans looked at this chart (above), which shows how the richest 16,000 or so families have sucked up nearly all of the gains of the economy over the last few decades, and thought, “How can we help that top squiggle go higher?”
There’s no chance this bill will become law under President Obama. But Republicans still believed this was an important statement to make, after years of maligning deficit spending and blasting struggling Americans as “takers.” Conservatives, who often see taxes as incentives, are fine with the taxes you pay on your labor. But to encourage you to play with money in the markets, taxes on investments should be lower. And to encourage you to have the richest parents possible, you should pay no taxes on inheritance. It’s all about personal responsibility.
Why won’t Republicans let this idea die? Because they don’t have to.
By calling this tax on the people who have benefited most from the society we’ve built together the “Death Tax,” they’ve made it extremely unpopular. They also push the lie that it’s meant to help “family” farmers, without producing one “family” farmer it helps. And they argue that the money has already been taxed, though billions of it hasn’t, thanks to another tax shelter for the rich known as “step-up tax” basis. Actually, the person inheriting the money has never paid a dime of taxes on it.
It’s fallacious economics, designed to warp our economy with avaricious accumulation of wealth by those who need it least. And yet it’s still good politics.
That’s our Republican Party, where the life expectancy of a horrible idea is forever. Here are five more horrible ideas Republicans won’t let die.
1. The richest should pay no taxes — or just pay lower taxes than you.
Marco Rubio’s tax plan is amazing for numerous reasons. It doesn’t just slash the top tax rate lower than George W. Bush did. It doesn’t just raise taxes on some middle-class families as it adds $4.5 trillion to our deficit. It cuts the taxes on investments to zero. When billionaire Warren Buffett complained that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, Rubio thought the problem was that Buffett pays any taxes at all. Imagine how much more his kids could earn on their tax-free inheritance if their dad never paid taxes on his earnings! With incentives like that, why would anyone ever be poor again?
It’s a tax cut that’s so huge that New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait suggests it achieved a metaphysical impossibility: It’s too large for Republicans to believe it exists. But the massive, gold coin-filled swimming pools this plan hands out to the rich aren’t the problem for the Wall St. Journal. It’s the tax credits Rubio wants to give to middle class families, in his attempt to seem like a different sort of Republican. If we pay for those credits, the supply-siders argue, people might choose to be born middle class again. Or, even worse, we won’t be able to cut taxes for billionaires again.
Rubio has already felt the need to “fix” his plan once to make it more friendly to the rich. Looks like he’s going to have to do another draft.
It gets worse, much, much worse.
2. More war
3. Punish the immigrants
4. Keep people uninsured
5. WRECK SOCIAL SECURITY
Which begs the question of how will they pay for #2? But they already have a “solution” to that, it’s TEH FAIR TAX (i.e. TAX THE POORS).
outreach reach-around continues:
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday, the senator said that liberals who criticize him for ignoring climate science are revealing their “hypocrisy” because they ignore the science supporting the idea that life begins at conception. Rubio claimed this concept is a “proven fact” that people on the left are ignoring.
“Let me give you a bit of settled science that they’ll never admit to. The science is settled, it’s not even a consensus, it is a unanimity, that human life begins at conception,” Rubio said. “So I hope the next time someone wags their finger about science, they’ll ask one of these leaders on the left: ‘Do you agree with the consensus of science that human life begins at conception?’”
Marco Rubio says pro-choice Democrats who criticize him for doubting man-made climate change should be questioned on why they support abortion when “it’s a proven fact” that “human life begins at conception.”
Appearing Wednesday on Sean Hannity’s radio show, the Florida Republican accused his critics of hypocrisy for rejecting what the senator described as “scientific consensus.”
“Here’s what I always get a kick out of, and it shows you the hypocrisy. All these people always wag their finger at me about science and settled science. Let me give you a bit of settled science that they’ll never admit to,” Rubio said. “The science is settled, it’s not even a consensus, it is a unanimity, that human life beings at conception. So I hope the next time someone wags their finger about science, they’ll ask one of these leaders on the left: ‘Do you agree with the consensus of scientists that say that human life begins at conception?’ I’d like to see someone ask that question.”
“That’s not even a debatable thing,” Rubio said. “It’s a proven fact. That’s a scientific consensus they conveniently choose to ignore.”
As most of you should be aware, Marco Rubio made comments the other day saying he doesn’t believe in man made climate change. He also strongly signaled he’ll be running for President in 2016. That election will be the first one in which I’ll be able to vote since I’ll be a citizen by then, so I decided to write the Senator a letter, mainly for the purpose of seeing what, if any, reply I get.
Dear Senator Rubio,
It was brought to my attention the other day that you are seriously considering running for President in 2016.
I know you come from a jurisdiction rich in immigrants. I myself am an immigrant, I’ve been in America since 2008. As it so happens, The 2016 Presidential election will bet the first one I vote in as an American Citizen.
I’m certain you would appreciate my support in that regard and I do have generally conservative leanings, but I am concerned over certain comments you recently made concerning climate change.
Now let me be clear, I have no desire to engage in a scientific debate with you. Neither you nor I are trained scientists so such a prospect would be pointless. I also have no desire to engage in a theological debate. Rather, I’m simply seeking clarification on your belief so I can make an informed decision on whether or not to support your Presidential ambitions.
Your comments stated that you don’t believe humans are causing climate change.
Let’s assume for the moment your assumption is correct, that humans are largely not responsible for climate change.
Do you not agree that we, as not only as responsible human beings but also responsible Christians, are called upon to be good stewards of the earth? I like to think the Lord gave us dominion over all creatures for a specific reason: He wanted us to look after them and treat them with respect, so that we might cultivate and develop them for continued use over many generations.
I’m wondering if you’ve ever thought much about God’s instructions to Noah prior to the great flood:
“You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you” - Genesis 6:19, NIV
If God is indeed all powerful He didn’t actually need Noah to accomplish this. He could have repopulated all the animals Himself after the Flood ended and merely sent only Noah and his family on the ark.
But not only did He instruct Noah to take the animals with him, He instructed him to keep them ALIVE. A major reason for this was to underscore the important role humans played in looking after the creatures of this earth.
We have never and can never abdicate that responsibility. The covenants we made with God thousands of years ago are still valid today. The duty we have to care for this earth is non-negotiable.
Think about it this way: You work for a large corporation in a middle management role. The big decisions are of course, made by the CEO and executive management. You’re likely to have little, if any, input into them for the most part. You must accept that, it’s part of what goes along with a command structure.
But even though you may have little influence in the decisions made at the top, you also have very important responsibilities and duties of your own that must be seen to in order for both you individually, and the company as a whole, to prosper and grow.
It’s the same with this planet. God will do things as He sees fit but even though you have limited control over His actions, you still have important roles as a small part of a large plan.
Now at this point you may be thinking: I get what you’re saying, but looking after livestock and corporate responsibility have little if anything to do with climate science.
That may be technically true, but where this all ties together is the fact that being a good steward/good shepherd over the earth does not ONLY mean taking good care of the animals that are here. It means taking care of the environment itself and the natural resources it contains.
Jesus commands us to love one another. Loving someone means, among other things, providing them an adequate environment to develop and realize the full limits of their potential.
We do ourselves and our children and grandchildren no good when we squander our valuable resources. Many of those resources are complex, delicate and extremely difficult if not outright impossible to replace when they are gone.
Regardless of where one comes down on climate change, I believe it’s both a morally and biblically sound argument that humans have a responsibility to respect and care for this planet and the creatures on it.
To abandon that harms not only our future, but our relationship with God.
I hope you hold similar beliefs, because I’m sure you’d love for my first ever Presidential vote to be for you.
Thank you in advance for your time and response.
(obviously my actual name will be on the real thing)
WASHINGTON — Of all the states that stand to suffer from climate change, Florida is facing potentially the bleakest consequences. A New York Times report noted last week that global warming was already having an effect on everyday life, like leading to flooding on streets that never used to flood.
Meanwhile, a National Climate Assessment has named Miami as the city most vulnerable to damage from rising sea levels. While a Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact paper warned that water in the area could rise by as much as two feet by the year 2060.
On Sunday, one of the state’s U.S. senators, Marco Rubio (R), was pressed about the general subject of climate change, and despite the warnings outlined above, he argued that there was nothing lawmakers could or should do to reverse the climate trends (whose origins he also questioned).
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” Rubio said, according to excerpts released by ABC “This Week,” “and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
With a hidey-hidey-hidey-hidey-hidey-hidey-ho.
Don’t take it from me. Take it from foreign policy savant Marco J. Firefl…er…Rubio who, as part of his ongoing effort to apologize for having been empathetic for 11 seconds towards undocumented immigrants, dropped by Disco Dave’s Disco Dance Party to say a lot of sentence-like things about how the shit’s getting real in the Ukraine. Of course, we’re not going to actual war. We are going to war rhetorically. We will fight them at the buffet tables. We will fight them in the Green Rooms. We will fight them in the studios. We will fight them in the think tanks. We will never surrender.
Well, I think our policy towards Russia under this administration deserves a heavy amount of criticism. I usually shy away from that in moments of crisis, when it’s important for the nation to speak with one voice. And I’m encouraged by much of what I heard Secretary Kerry just say a moment ago, although there are things I’d like to see a few in addition to the steps he’s outlined.
Mr. Passive? I’d like you to meet Mr. Aggressive.
Well, I think if you’re asking whether the U.S. should be taking military strikes against Russian troops in Ukraine or in Crimea, I would argue to you that I don’t think anyone is advocating for that. I am saying however that our NATO alliance needs to be reinvigorated. It’s an important alliance. If you look at countries that neighbor Ukraine now, for example Poland and others who are part of that alliance, I think we need to be providing them assurances of the importance of this alliance, including perhaps revisiting, or in fact, I think we should revisit the missile defense shield that we talked about so often.
Open the rathole again! Pour in some more money! That’ll show ‘em.
His strength is failing. The shrink-wrap is winning. And Marco Rubio (R-Flashinthepan) continues to flail around like a scarecrow in a windstorm. When our adventure began, young Marco was going to be the smiling face of the rebranding of the Republican party, which was going to habla the daylights out of the ol’ espanol because it finally had concluded that it wasn’t going to win an national election even if it did get the votes of everyone who owns the complete Murder, She Wrote on Blu-Ray. Of course, then Rubio made the mistake of believing that the party was serious about this whole rebranding business, proposed an immigration reform plan that made a little bit of sense, and then found his standing in the party sinking into Middle Earth. Ever since, he has done everything to romance the base save dress up as Angela Lansbury.
Sen. Marco Rubio pledged Thursday morning that he won’t vote for a short-term spending bill to keep the government open unless it defunds the Affordable Care Act.
“I will not vote for a continuing resolution unless it defunds Obamacare,” the Florida Republican said at a breakfast hosted by the Weekly Standard and Concerned Veterans for America. He called on his fellow senators to do the same. “I believe we should not vote or pass a continuing resolution unless that continuing resolution defunds Obamacare.”
After what we saw last weekend in Washington at the annual Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, it’s possible that Ralph Reed’s coalition might just tank.
The event gave off the same vibes as last year’s Republican primary contests, which some pundits unkindly referred to as a “freak show.” Many of the same characters showed up: Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Herman Cain and Rick Perry, along with Pat Robertson, Reince Priebus and Grover Norquist. And there were a couple of new faces who I bet would prefer to distance themselves from that group: Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had the good sense not to show up.
There was one new face, however, who stole the show; someone who would have done last year’s contests proud and promises to be a star in some future round of Republican primaries. That would be the Virginia GOP’s nominee for lieutenant governor, Bishop E.W. Jackson.
Jackson, an African American, is the founder of Exodus Faith Ministries and STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny).
Jackson is puzzled as to why black Christian voters support President Obama. In an article written for the Washington Times, he asked, “How have [the Democrats] managed to hold on to black Christians in spite of an agenda worthy of the Antichrist?”