RUBIO: THE REAL FISCAL CLIFF IS OUR UNSUSTAINABLE LEVEL OF DEBT
Excerpts from Senator Marco Rubio on The Sean Hannity Show January 2, 2013
RUBIO: This was not a fiscal cliff. The real fiscal cliff is the fact that the middle class is not growing, the economy is not growing and our country continues to owe more money than our economy produces every single year. I mean our debt’s $16 trillion, our economy does – produces less than that every single year. So think about it, our debt is now larger than our economy. And the fundamental issue before us is how can we get the middle class growing again, how can we get the economy growing again, and how can we bring the debt under control which is one of the reasons why the economy and jobs aren’t growing. And this bill [has] nothing to do with that. Now look, I appreciate the hard work that went into it and that the folks that worked on it were trying to make the best of a tough situation where taxes were going to go up automatically anyway but I just continue to get frustrated that we’re always being given false choices to vote on here. And- and I just, you know I – we’re going to be right back at this in two months when the debt limit issue comes up.
HANNITY: Well, you know I used the analogy earlier today: this is the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a gun wound and the Band-Aid was infected. You know, it just seems that bad to me. Is there any cutting in this at all, because if you read the CBO numbers, and I know some conservatives don’t agree with them, that this fiscal cliff deal is going to add $4 trillion to the deficit compared to current law? Now I know they include tax cuts as lowering income to the government, but is that about right?
RUBIO: Well it is, and obviously, and now we get real technical on it, it depends on which baseline you’re using to compare it from. Were you assuming the tax cuts were going to go away? Were you assuming they were going to stay in place? Are you assuming the sequester is going to go in in two months? So there’s a lot of assumptions still … Here’s a better way to understand it, you know, our economy today is headed toward an unsustainable level of debt, I mean at 22 – 23 trillion before the end of the next four years. And what’s driving that – the single greatest thing that’s driving that, it’s not foreign aid and discretionary spending, it’s the entitlement programs, in particular medicare, which is going bankrupt and needs to be saved. And the longer we wait to deal with that the harder it’s going to be to fix this and more disruptive it’s going to be to fix it.