US Senate candidate Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) held a joint press conference by phone with Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) on Tuesday, saying Florida has “suffered greatly because of job losses” during the country’s economic downturn. LeMieux implied that big government is part of the problem, “creating thousands of pages of new federal programs that are job killers.”
LeMieux also said government is creating “such uncertainty businesses can’t hire people.” Business owners don’t know what the next mandate or regulation or new tax will be. “Eighteen months ago,” he said, “this administration said 3 ½ million new jobs would be created by August, 2010.” That didn’t happen. “Florida was 50 out of 50 in Stimulus dollars received.”
President Barack Obama won the state of Florida in the 2008 presidential election.
Rubio elaborated on LeMieux’s position, saying, “Politicians don’t create jobs…the American job creator is sitting on the sidelines until the federal government figures out what the rules are going to be…This administration has taken us further from the free enterprise zone than any other in American history.”
Once Obamacare was passed, Florida was predicted to lose 700 employees in Lynn Haven because of the bill. The federal government decided to privatize the student loan business and Sallie Mae announced it would close the facility there by early 2011. Layoffs have already begun. Democrats claim the privatization will save approximately $67 million, but Rubio said projected savings in Obamacare are “suspect because they’re based on assumptions that will not hold up over time.”
Rubio’s claim parallels a report from the Congressional Budget Office. CBO stated discretionary spending in the healthcare bill could not be determined and in some cases, sufficient information was not provided by the legislature. The CBO report did not receive attention from media, although The US Report covered it.
LeMieux said it was “a shame” the Sallie Mae employees would be out of work, and he explained that the savings the government estimated would not be passed along to students, but instead will be used “to pay for this new entitlement.”
Ironically the $67 million in claimed savings will be offset by $50 million from the Dept. of Education to retrain Sallie Mae workers if they desire.
LeMieux also said the US is paying nearly $200 billion a year in interest on government debt.
Asked why he endorsed Rubio for the Senate while LeMieux is friends with Gov. Charlie Crist who is running as an independent, the senator Crist appointed to fill a vacant seat said, “The reason I endorsed Marco Rubio is he’s a Republican candidate and a person of conviction…a man of ideas. When he gets to Washington, D.C., he will make the tough decisions and will bring forth new ideas.”
Rubio has unveiled a very specific platform on his website. Among his ‘Ideas to Reclaim America’ are using attrition to reduce the size of the federal work force, thereby reducing benefits and pension costs in the future. He also has put forth ideas to sunset unnecessary government programs, a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget and one that will resonate with most Americans, reforming the leviathan we know as the US tax code.
Rubio will be in Jacksonville on Wednesday for several events and he said he will roll out ideas for veterans then. The website Military.com reported, “Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signaled that the department's fiscal 2012 budget request to be sent to Congress early next year will include recommendations to raise TRICARE premiums for some beneficiaries.”
Rubio said there are structural problems in the US budget. “America is headed towards a day of reckoning.”
(By Kay B. Day/Aug. 17, 2010)