It’s finally happened. Marco Rubio has reached political puberty.
During last night’s embarrassingly puerile GOP debate, the previously puny Rubio finally dope-slapped the dopey bully, and although the bully didn’t exactly collapse, he was roughed up. And Trump’s move this morning to bring in another bully, Chris Christie, to give him moral support may be a smart way of trying to minimize the damage that Rubio did to Trump last night, but there is no doubt that—if journalists don’t get distracted by the slick Christie play—some real and lasting damage was done. And even given the Christie endorsement of Trump, there are now a lot of Republican bigwigs who have some hope, especially with Romney raising the issue of Trump’s tax returns, that Rubio can somehow stop Trump before he destroys what’s left of their national party.
Don’t get me wrong. Marco still has some growing up to do. He didn’t exactly look the bully in the eye while he was, among other things, ratting him out for his fraudulent university and for hiring undocumented Polish workers and losing a civil lawsuit for doing so. But he did what he has been afraid to do up until now and that is attack, attack, attack. Desperation, and sagging poll numbers in his home state, is the mother of invention, I suppose.
This morning, CNN broadcast most of Rubio’s new anti-Trump stump speech, which he debuted in Dallas. All you have to know about it is that he told his audience, “Friends don’t let friends vote for con artists!”
Well, yes they do. Because no matter whether your Republican friends vote for Donald J. Trump or Marco Rubio—or Ted Cruz, who will never be the nominee—they will most certainly be voting for a con artist. Thanks to Vox (“We’ve lost sight of how wildly irresponsible the Republican tax plans are” and “The huge Republican tax cut plans, in 4 charts“) we can see why. I’ll steal just two charts from Vox to make the point.
For all the talk right-wingers do about the national debt, their tax plans would wildly increase it, even more than the famously disastrous Bush tax cuts:
And for all the talk Republicans do about taking care of the middle class, they won’t. As always, their plans would take care of their rich donor-constituents:
Finally, because I don’t think Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will ever be president, I want to specifically focus on Marco Rubio’s tax plan. Again, Vox points out that Rubio’s tax cuts amount to $6.8 trillion over ten years. And Vox asks the simple question: How will he pay for his supply-side voodoo? Here are some possibilities that demonstrate what a con he is running:
On day one of Marco Rubio’s presidency, he announces that he’ll pay for his tax cuts by doing something truly big: ending funding for Medicaid and for the Children’s Health Insurance Program — which 71 million Americans, or 22 percent of the country,rely on for health care. Impressive, right?
The problem is that only gets Rubio about $4.7 trillion.
To close the gap, Rubio could find another trillion dollars by eliminating all education spending — Pell grants, the Department of Education, K-12 funds, school nutrition programs, Head Start, all of it. That gets him to roughly $5.7 trillion.
Knocking out all justice spending could net another $561 billion. But there might be some political resistance to wiping out the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, much of the Department of Justice, all United States attorneys, the entire federal judiciary, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The good news is Rubio is pretty close now. All he needs is another $540 billion or so. And he could get that by wiping out international spending — so closing all US embassies and consulates around the world, zeroing all aid to developing nations, ending all military funding for allies, and closing the State Department, among other functions.
At this point, Rubio’s there. Of course, he’s also proposed increasing military spending by somewhere in the range of $1 trillion, so he somehow needs to pay for that, too. And then to fulfill his balanced budget promise, he’s got to get rid of the deficits that already exist and are projected to grow in the coming years.
By now you get it. Rubio, even with his newly engorged testicles, is as big a con artist as Donald Trump. It’s just that most journalists would rather cover the admittedly entertaining circus that is the Republican primary than cover the nuts and bolts of what Republicans claim they would do if they had total power in Washington.
Ask yourself: When was the last time you heard a journalist ask the remaining Republican candidates about their ridiculous tax plans?