Rubio: Obama MIA on Budget Debate

Thursday, 10 Mar 2011 02:17 PM

By Dan Weil

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is unhappy with President Barack Obama’s handling of the budget issue.

The president is missing in action, the freshman senator told “The Jimmy Cefalo Show” on WIOD-AM radio in Miami.

Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio
“Here’s what’s missing in all of this, and I don’t mean to be overly partisan,” Rubio says. “The President is absolutely absent from this debate. He is nowhere to be found. He refuses to engage.”

Obama has said throughout his political career that he was unafraid of making difficult decisions and would fully address the country’s issues. But, “he has completely disengaged from this issue. He assigned Joe Biden to negotiate it for him, and then sent Joe Biden to Russia,” Rubio says.

Two developments are necessary to ease the government’s $14 trillion debt burden, he says. First, “The economy has to grow, and jobs have to be created.” That will lead to higher tax revenue, Rubio says.

“Jobs are a big solution to a lot of these problems.” But regulation, high taxes and uncertainty about the debt currently stand in the way of job creation, he says.

Second, the government has to address entitlements – Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which account for about 70 percent of the problem, Rubio says. “Those programs are going bankrupt. Doing nothing about them isn’t an option.”

He’s encouraged that officials in Washington are talking about cutting spending for the first time in years, rather than reducing increases in spending. But, “The conversation’s not a serious one yet,” Rubio says.

“The bill Senate Democrats offered as an alternative to the House bill only cut $6 billion in spending – that’s really what we’re borrowing in one day. … It’s not really a serious proposal.”

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