Last night on CNBC, Marco Rubio, a right-wing Republican running for US Senate in Florida, told host Larry Kudlow about his “solutions to the high unemployment” and economic recession. Rubio chafed at responding with any actual ideas, policies, or solutions. In fact, Rubio proposed that if he were elected, he would call for “a two year recess or something” so no laws or reforms could be enacted:
KUDLOW: If you were elected Senator, what would you do about the 10% unemployment rate, which may or may not be 10% if and when you get in? But, what are your general solutions to the high unemployment and worries about the economic recession?
RUBIO: Well the problem is the people in Washington don’t understand what’s causing it. They think that Presidents and Senators are job creators and they’re not. The job creators are people who have access to money, whether it’s their own or borrowed, who use that money to open up a new business or expand an existing one. And they’re not doing that right now because of the tax chaos and all the regulatory chaos and all of this uncertainty created in Washington DC. Perhaps the most stimulative thing they can do right now is take a two year recess or something.
This patently unserious approach to governing and fixing the economic recession illustrates the gimmickry that the GOP is willing to employ to try to recapture the Congress in the midterm elections. As Mike Allen reported today in the Politico Playbook, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) explained that the Republicans intend to campaign on a new “Contract with America” — the poll-tested message document Newt Gingrich used in 1994. But this time, the GOP “Contract” will be even more vague, outlining “principles” instead of actual policies.
Clearly, right-wing Republicans like Rubio hope to capitalize on economic anxiety by directing a backlash at a Democratic-controlled Congress. But what Rubio and Cantor will not tell tea partiers or the wider public is that they plan to use their political power to return to Bush-era unregulated capitalism. Nowhere on his sparse issue page does Rubio outline ways to deal with poverty, reckless financial products, the mortgage crisis, or a declining Middle Class. Moreover, the right wing is turning to the architects of failed economic policies to draft their agenda. As reported by Pat Garofalo at the Wonk Room, Congressional Republicans are working with an “economic roundtable” of former Bush advisers responsible for inflating the housing market, refusing to increase financial oversight, and funneling tax subsidies to the privileged elite.