President Barack Obama is presenting Americans with a choice between Washington and Wall Street that not only is false but also ignores the nation’s founding principles, says U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
The most “prevalent false choice in modern American politics” is the idea that there are only two ways forward, Rubio said today during a speech at the National Lawyers Convention of the Federalist Society in Washington.
“We can either rely on big government, or we can rely on big business. We can either rely on Wall Street or we can rely on Washington,” he said. “That is a false choice — that is a false choice that absolutely ignores our legacy as a people, the founding principles of our nation and our history as a nation of extraordinary prosperity.”
The freshman senator and tea party favorite evoked laughter when he added that there is a “role for government — we’re not anarchists.” Government can and must provide public safety workers such as firefighters and provide for national security, he said.
“The president of the United States and those who support him are giving us a false choice,” said Rubio, an oft-mentioned potential vice-presidential candidate for 2012 and even president eventually.
The real choice, he said, “is whether we still believe in ourselves. Do people believe Americans have run out of good idea or do we believe that are a bunch of good ideas waiting to take place if only we would let them.”
Neither Washington nor Wall Street is the source of America’s greatness, he said. Instead, the nation’s power is founded on “something much more common, much more understated and much more misunderstood and that is that everyday lives of everyday people, hardworking people every single day are changing the world one day one block one family one community at a time.”
Despite the battles that rage in Washington and across the country, Rubio said, there are issues that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on — but there is no movement because of Obama.
“The president is going to go around saying ‘this Congress refuses to act. Congress is a do-nothing Congress, they won’t do anything, we can’t wait, whatever and ever.’ In essence, that is the strategy, the strategy is we want to be able to campaign against Congress, we want to campaign against Republicans in Congress, we want to be able to say they refuse to do anything all they do is block things.
“And so if that’s going to be your campaign theme, then you’re not going to be very cooperative in terms of making things happen because it doesn’t go with your campaign theme. That’s clearly a factor. We have to break through that it’s inexcusable. There should be no reason why Republican, Democrats, conservatives, and liberals should be fighting about the things we agree on.”
It is a natural reaction when confronted with a problem to look to government to solve it, he said. Government has created programs that serve a valuable purpose and provide a “safety net necessary in a free enterprise system,” he noted.
“I believe that we are too rich, too compassionate, and too prosperous a people to say to the infirm, to say to the disabled, to say to the elderly go out and fend for yourself in the marketplace,” Rubio said. “Now, what’s happened, of course, is these programs have been designed in a way that they’ve have grown faster than our ability to sustain them.”
As a result, he said, the “richest, most prosperous economy in the history of the world” is confronted by a government so large and so expensive that not even “the richest, most prosperous economy in the history of the world can afford it.”
“Just as often that, as we should be looking at what government should do, we should looking at what should the government not be doing,” he said.
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