Earlier this month, Florida GOP U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio unveiled his economic plan, which is basically just a double-down on the Bush tax cuts with, as the Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo noted, “an unspecified corporate tax cut thrown on top for good measure.” How does Rubio plan to pay for all these tax cuts? His campaign “couldn’t give an answer.”
Today, Rubio laid out a new plan to cut spending — “12 Simple Ways To Cut Spending,” his campaign calls it. The plan contains many ideas that would do very little in terms of paying down the debt and reducing the deficit — including eliminating earmarks, reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy, and cutting Congressional and White House budgets. Others are outright gimmicks, such as allowing taxpayers to allocate taxes to the debt and calling for a balanced budget amendment.
But also, Rubio — like some of his colleagues on the right — wants to end the stimulus program:
• IDEA #4: End The Stimulus Program And Use The Savings To Cut The Debt. We must end the wasteful stimulus program that has failed to create jobs. Stimulus money that has not been spent should be used for something that will actually help the economy and create jobs, or to pay down the debt. Canceling unspent stimulus funds could save over $300 billion.
Of course, it’s simply not true that the Recovery Act has “failed to create jobs” as Rubio’s outline says. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently found that the stimulus has created up to 2.8 million jobs and projects that nearly 4 million could be attributed to the Recovery Act by September.
Moreover, ending the stimulus would eliminate the remaining funds that are set aside for middle class tax cuts. The stimulus provides a tax cut to 95 percent of Americans and according to Recovery.gov, $55 billion remains to be spent on tax benefits. So, on the one hand, Rubio wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy at a cost of $700 billion and has no idea how to pay for it (thus increasing the debt and deficit), while on the other, he wants to repeal middle class tax to pay down the debt.
So how much money will Rubio’s new spending cuts plan actually save? The outline does not provide any figures and his campaign has not responded to an inquiry from ThinkProgress.