Tags: Marco Rubio | marco rubio | student loans | retirement | penalty | law firm

WaPo: Rubio's Cashing Out of Retirement Funds Draws Scrutiny

Image: WaPo: Rubio's Cashing Out of Retirement Funds Draws Scrutiny
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By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 03:05 PM

A recent disclosure by Sen. Marco Rubio that he cashed out nearly $70,000 of a retirement fund could bolster claims that the Florida lawmaker may have a "spending problem," according to The Washington Post.

The newspaper reports that a disclosure form filed by Rubio last week shows that in September he sold $68,241 worth of retirement funds, a move experts told the Post indicates "an extraordinary need for immediate cash, since it comes with a sizable tax penalty."

"It means that he is probably on some level living above his means, because he is borrowing against his future," opined Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff.

In an interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," Rubio defended the sale of a retirement account from a law firm where he once worked, saying it was needed for household expenses.

"My refrigerator broke down," Rubio explained. "That was $3,000. I had to replace the air conditioning unit in our home. My kids all go to school and they’re getting closer to college and school is getting more expensive."

The Post reported that Rubio and his wife pay a total of about $40,000 per year in private school tuition for their four children.

Rubio told Wallace he has other retirement accounts as well as earnings from his most recent book "American Dreams," which, according to his presidential financial disclosure, shows he has earned royalties of between $100,001 and $1,000,000, the Post reports.

During his 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate, media reports revealed that Rubio racked up personal charges on his Republican Party American Express card during his tenure as Florida’s House speaker. Rubio has acknowledged bookkeeping mistakes but said any personal expenses were reimbursed.

He’s also had to explain a Tallahassee rental home he co-purchased with longtime friend, David Rivera, a former Florida congressman. The home once faced foreclosure and is now listed for sale at $10,000 less than the $125,000 purchase price in 2005, according to the Post.

In his book "American Son," Rubio dismissed the media reports and criticism of his spending as "motivated by politics or the news media’s thirst for scandal," Politico reported in March.

"Yes, I have debts," he wrote in the book. "But my debts are not some exotic instruments contrived to support my extravagant lifestyle. They consist almost entirely of two things: my mortgages on my two homes and my student loan from law school."

That same month, his spokeswoman, Brooke Sammon, echoed those sentiments to Business Insider, saying that stories published in The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times about Rubio’s "questionable bookkeping in 2010" amount to "nothing more than proven inaccuracies and false attacks from liberals trying to distract from Senator Rubio's optimistic vision for our country in the 21st century."

Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is quick to point out his humble beginnings and that he only recently finished paying off student loans.

The Post reports that he ranked 456 out of 538 in Roll Call’s rankings of Capitol Hill’s wealthiest lawmakers, with a net worth of negative $140,000 as of 2013.

When he left the Florida House in 2008, Rubio had a net worth of about $8,300, according to the Post, which reports that while Rubio was earning about $300,000 a year practicing law at that time, he had more than $900,000 in debt, much of it student loans.

Last year, Rubio earned $174,000 as a U.S. senator, $52,000 from book royalties and a university teaching position, and at least $5,000 more from rental property, according to the Post.

"I'm not poor, but I'm not rich, either," he told Fox News’ Wallace.

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Politics
A recent disclosure by Sen. Marco Rubio that he cashed out nearly $70,000 of a retirement fund could bolster claims that the Florida lawmaker may have a "spending problem," according to The Washington Post.
marco rubio, student loans, retirement, penalty, law firm
603
2015-05-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 03:05 PM
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