U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., isn’t using the phrase “America first” but the policies he is advocating as President Donald Trump prepares to leave office are a reminder that the outgoing president’s legacy with the GOP will last after he leaves the Oval Office.
In an article for the Ripon Forum, Rubio would not advocate for the GOP’s past support of laissez-faire capitalism.
“We must instead embrace a pro-American capitalism – one that promotes the common good, as opposed to one that prioritizes Wall Street and Beijing – and become a patriotic, pro-worker party that fights for dignified work, strong families, and vibrant communities,” Rubio wrote.
Rubio told Florida Daily during a call on modern conservatism that government should not own industries but “we have to acknowledge that if there are some industries that we have to want to have in either a domestic or allied capacity, then we are going to have to do some things to incentivize those being located in the U.S.” which means taxing and regulating them differently and better.
For example, Rubio believes stock buy backs are good for shareholders but rewarding them with favorable tax policy is not good for America.
“If you take that money and actually invest it in building a new factory in America, that is where the incentive and the benefit would come from,” Rubio told Florida Daily.
“We can’t just be a country that invents things. It’s great that we do, and it’s great that we have people that can design things and do all kinds of innovation on software, and on the technology side, but ultimately if you are not the country that makes those things, eventually you won’t be the ones that invent them either. Those two things are interrelated,” Rubio added.
Rubio is pointing to the pharmaceutical industry as a prime example of American exceptionalism that isn’t necessarily working for Americans.
“These medicines out there, some of them are like cents, and then the others who have been around a while just as long are like two thousand a month out of pocket. There is some real incongruency there on how all of this works, and we do have to have an answer,” Rubio said.
Rubio is calling for creating a tax policy that rewards having jobs in America better than the current tax code.
“It may be more effective to make protective equipment for a pandemic or pharmaceuticals in China. I’m not sure most people agree that is in our national interest,” Rubio said.
Rubio pointed to personal protection equipment (PPE) being made in America as another example, saying that many Americans would support this idea even if it is not the most economically efficient option. “They think we should do something about it,” Rubio insisted, stressing that Americans want the government to serve them more than the international community no matter which party registration they have next to their name.
Looking ahead to 2024, Rubio sounds ready to tap into the culture wars if he makes another presidential bid.
“It’s gone too far, this sort of ‘wokeness’, political correctness, careful what you say stuff. Ironically, there is one ethnic minority group that it is acceptable to attack on Twitter and call names and vilify. At this moment that happens to be Cuban-Americans. For some reason you can say anything you want about them on Twitter because they happened to have voted for Trump,” Rubio said, adding that it is difficult to hold comedy shows on college campuses and saying conservatives now have to think twice about speaking on campuses.
Rubio said the next generation of Republican leaders will have to find a way to win over the working class and the pandemic does not seem to have helped.
“Basically, it’s been a year of people who get paid to work from home on Zoom lecturing the people who don’t about why everything needs to be shut down, and it is creating real tension,” Rubio said.
This week, Rubio sounded ready to take a step in trying to appeal to working-class voters by being one of the first Republican senators to back Trump’s call for paying Americans $2,000 each in the latest round of stimulus efforts.
“I agree with the president that millions of working-class families are in dire need of additional relief, which is why I support $2,000 in direct payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic,” Rubio said on Monday. “For months, Republicans tried to pass additional relief for workers, families, and small businesses — only to be rejected by Democrats at every turn. Remember, months ago Speaker Pelosi and Democrats rejected the Administration’s previous offer of $1,200 per adult and $1,000 per child. Thankfully, she’s finally stopped holding working families hostage.
“I share many of my colleagues’ concern about the long-term effects of additional spending, but we cannot ignore the fact that millions of working-class families across the nation are still in dire need of relief,” Rubio continued. “Congress should quickly pass legislation to increase direct payments to Americans to $2,000.
“I also stand ready to work with my colleagues to make much-needed changes to Section 230 and take steps to ensure the American people can once again have confidence in our elections,” Rubio concluded.
Reach Mike Synan at firstname.lastname@example.org.