WASHINGTON -- Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio laid out a broad plan Monday to boost prosperity in America, saying in a speech that his plans for tax and regulatory reforms would help unleash the economy and restore hope for people “losing confidence in the American Dream.”
“A growing number of our people are gripped by economic insecurity, haunted by the realization that they are one bad break away from financial ruin,” he said in his prepared remarks delivered at the Washington offices of technology giant Google. “Despite their hard work, they feel they can’t get ahead.”
The event was sponsored by the Jack Kemp Foundation, and contained plenty of references to the economic ideas espoused by the late Republican congressman and vice presidential candidate as well as the technological prowess of Google.
Rubio, a potential Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, talked about how his grandfather, born in rural Cuba, marveled at the possibility for advancement in the United States.
“My grandfather loved this country and he never took it for granted, because he knew what life was like outside of it,” Rubio said.
But the economic engine of the United States has been throttled, he said, and he suggested ways to re-ignite it. The current economic recovery from the financial crash of 2008 is weak, and Rubio said that economic trends going forward only offer troubling signs that — despite its many innovations — the nation is failing to reach its potential.
“The power of innovation is present in this room right now,” he said. “You have technology in your pocket that couldn’t fit in an entire room 30 years ago. But 30 years from now, this technology may fit on the tip of your finger, or in a single blood cell. This progress is happening whether we like it or not. The question is whether Americans will continue to stand at the helm of discovery, or fall behind and watch others take our place.”
His plans for helping spur economic growth include:
• Legislation, soon to be introduced, that would reallocate the wireless communication spectrum currently controlled by the federal government and make it available for commercial wireless services.
• Recently introduced legislation to make it easier for businesses to capitalize on the research of federal labs, allowing that research to come to market.
• A push for a territorial taxation system that would change the way profits earned overseas by U.S. companies are taxed.
• A proposal for a “National Regulatory Budget” in which federal agencies would face limits on the cost of the regulations they impose on businesses. The system would force federal agencies to enact “only those regulations that serve an essential role,” he said.
Citing the ongoing conflict over the Keystone XL Pipeline, Rubio said too many regulations on the books “are decades old” and in the case of the energy industry, result in a “sluggish administrative certification process that often prompts years of litigation.”
The Democratic National Committee quickly pounced on Rubio’s speech, saying in a statement that it consisted of “a host of failed and recycled GOP ideas.” Democrats directly criticized the territorial tax system, saying it was out of the playbook of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and could allow corporations investing overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.