Last week, Marco Rubio publicly stated, “Let Romney’s Vice Presidential search process play out—a contrast to Rubio’s days-old declaration that he would turn down Mitt Romney if he offered him a spot on the GOP ticket. Public speculation has Rubio slated as an obvious choice for a running mate, which makes Rubio’s controversial position against Medicare and Social Security, characterizing it as “Generation Theft,” more pertinent than ever.
Most may recall that Rubio voted for Paul Ryan’s Republican budget that called for “significant cuts to future Medicare benefits.” Friday afternoon, Senate Democrats forced Republicans to take a stand on the House budget proposal containing the controversial Medicare overhaul. Not surprisingly, most Republicans voted for the plan, but it died 40-57, despite its potential as a campaign issue. Also not surprisingly, Sen. Marco Rubio was among the plan’s supporters.”
According to The Hill, Ryan’s bill “calls for significant cuts to future Medicare benefits,” by eliminating “Medicare’s fee-for-service payment plan. It would instead give government subsidies directly to health insurance plans to compete for senior customers through an exchange.”
According to Rubio, he said that entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security “Weakened us as a people.” Speaking at the Reagan Presidential Library in August 2011, Rubio said, “So, we are a nation that aspires to two things — prosperity and compassion. Now, America’s leaders during the last century set out to accomplish that. Both Republicans and Democrats established a role for government in America that said, yes, we’ll have a free economy, but we will also have a strong government that through regulations and taxes will control the free economy and through a series of government programs will take care of those in our society who are falling behind.”
“Though it was well intentioned,” Rubio continued. “It was doomed to fail because it forgot that the strength of our nation begins with its people and that these programs actually weakened us as a people.”
Rubio’s criticism of Social Security is well-documented and long-standing.
On Sept. 15, 2009, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham announced that Rubio was among those who signed her “Ten for ’10” pledge that included support for privatization of Social Security. The relevant part of Ingraham’s petition reads: 8) End Generational Theft. As few believe America’s entitlement programs will be able to pay benefits to future generations, provide younger workers the choice of diverting payroll/Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts.
As the Romney VP search process moves forward, it is likely that Rubio’s strong position against Medicare and Social Security will bear a greater weight than ever before on his political marketability.
Daphne Taylor Street, correspondent. You may reach Daphne at firstname.lastname@example.org.