Previewing his speech for The Weekly Standard’s Stephen F. Hayes, Rubio said he would make the case that the national debt “has a direct impact on unemployment” and that it is hurting job growth:
“The debt has a direct impact on unemployment. Every dollar that is being lent to the government is a dollar that is not being invested in our economy,” he says. “The immediate danger of the debt, and the one that speaks to people in the real world, is the fact that the debt is contributing to the fact that they don’t have a good job.”
You know, I’ve been saying for a few years now that this is exactly what the right wing wants people to believe and have taken Democrats to task for helping them by making the idiotic argument about government being like a household and having to pull in its belt. Very Serious People told me that that’s a hysterical reaction and that nobody’s really making that argument. Well there’s Marco Rubio making that argument.
I know my regular readers don’t need this, but it’s good to have it on the record. Travis Waldron at Think Progress explains why this is so wrong:
The idea that the national debt is harming economic growth is a favorite tenet of conservative orthodoxy, but there’s no evidence of that orthodoxy being correct. European politicians have spent the last four years attempting to spark economic growth through deficit and debt reduction, and the result has been total failure. Multiple rounds of spending cuts across Eurozone countries were never followed by economic growth, and now the Eurozone is back in recession, as are seven of its 17 countries, while unemployment is at record highs.
The United States bucked that trend and pursued economic stimulus, resulting in faster growth than Europe. Still, spending cuts have dampened the recovery. Government spending flatlined in recent years, and crunched state and federal budgets have led to the loss of roughly 700,000 government jobs — most of which are teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other middle-class public workers that could be contributing to economic growth if only they had a paycheck. The loss of those jobs has reduced demand and led to the loss of more jobs in the private sector.
America’s problem is that it is focused on spending cuts (which the Congressional Budget Office says will further dampen growth in 2013) and is not investing enough to offset the lack of private demand.
This is the great Republican hope saying this. And he’s the mainstream choice. Just imagine what Rand Paul will say in the Tea Party response.