The only positive to be drawn from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's latest interview with the Southwest Florida daily News-Press is that a swarm of wasps didn't immediately spill out when the state's junior U.S. senator opened his mouth. Otherwise, he conducted himself like the pathetic, indecisive jackass we all know
and love. Asked about the catastrophic tax bill he just voted for this month, he full-on admitted the entire thing was based on a pile of lies and not likely to grow the economy or help anyone except major corporations. Merry Christmas!
"If I were king for a day, this tax bill would have looked different," Rubio told the newspaper after the editorial staff asked for his impressions of the bill. "I thought we probably went too far on [helping] corporations."
You think? Literally everyone left of Rush Limbaugh has said this about the bill for months. This was not a surprise. You did not have to vote for the bill.
Rubio spent weeks whining and caterwauling about how the bill didn't do enough to help the limping remnants of the American "middle class." He even lobbed some hollow threats that he might not support the measure if it didn't improve tax credits, which amount to an extra $75 total, per year, for the nation's poorest, single parents. Rubio voted for the bill anyway, claiming it would help "grow the economy." See Exhibit A:
But in his interview today, Rubio admitted either he was lying before or he has no idea what he's doing — or perhaps he suffers from Victorian-era brain fever. While saying he thinks the bill is "significantly better" than the current tax code, he straight-up admitted corporations will mostly use their new tax bonuses to give extra money to shareholders and CEOs, which "isn't going to create dramatic economic growth."
If those past few paragraphs didn't give you a migraine, read the full exchange:
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Q: You voted for the tax bill after winning a key concession on the Child Tax Credit. Your view of the overall bill the president just signed into law?
A: If I were king for a day, this tax bill would have looked different. I thought we probably went too far on (helping) corporations. By and large, you’re going to see a lot of these multinationals buy back shares to drive up the price. Some of them will be forced, because they’re sitting on historic levels of cash, to pay out dividends to shareholders. That isn’t going to create dramatic economic growth. (But) there’s a lot of things in the bill that I have supported for a long time (such as) doubling the Child Tax Credit. And it is better – significantly better – than the current code.
No interview with Lil Marco is complete without some base-level insults directed at working people and the poor, and Rubio sure delivered: After admitting he had been basically lying to the public for months to pass a needless gift package for the rich, he insinuated that most Americans won't give a shit once they notice their tax bills are a few hundred bucks cheaper once a year (until Obamacare craters or the middle-class tax cuts expire in 2027, but who's counting?).
"By the time we get to November of next year, their opinion about the tax bill is not going to be based on media coverage," Rubio said. "It’s going to be based on what their paycheck is telling them."
So what in hell did this whole multimonth tax-cutting charade mean, then? Marco has himself offered hints: Just before the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, Rubio gave a speech to Wall Street lobbyists where he admitted that, since the bill will almost certainly blow up the national deficit by an expected $1 trillion, Republicans will claim they must cut social services such as social security and Medicaid. The tax bill was simply a first step toward dismantling the American welfare state — and Rubio's latest interview shows he believes the electorate is so dejected and broken that he can just admit that in print and nobody will even care. The sad thing is he's probably right.