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Marco Rubio: After Tax Cuts, We’re Cutting The Social Safety Net

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The senator insists the drivers of our debt are Medicare and Social Security.

In a statement that comes as no real surprise, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told Politico reporters Wednesday that Republican tax cuts will inevitably lead to the gutting of America's social safety net.

“We have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.”

Budget experts saw this move coming, as Congress has to find a way to counter its increase to the deficit:

[T]he damage begins with the so-called Paygo law (for “pay as you go”), which requires Congress to offset any increase in the federal deficit with spending cuts. The law limits Medicare cuts to 4% of its budget per year, or $25 billion of its $625-billion budget. Because the tax cut proposals the Senate was preparing to vote on late Friday would expand the deficit by about $1.5 trillion over 10 years, it’s likely to trigger the cuts.

Rubio insisted that spurring economic growth and cutting spending are the only two options for attacking the deficit, omitting the possibility of raising taxes, and further opined that Medicare and Social Security are "the driver of our debt".

“We still have time to responsibly structure those programs,” he said of Social Security and Medicare, “in a way that doesn’t impact current retirees or people about to retire, but in a way that would probably impact it for me and people younger than me.” (He’s 46.) This could be done “in ways you wouldn’t really notice and wouldn’t really object to.”

As to the benefit of tax cuts, the Los Angeles Times notes,

[E]conomic growth at the moment is near a recent historical high; most serious economists don’t expect the GOP’s tax cuts for the rich and for corporations to have any significant further impact.

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