Author: Charles Pierce
Probably because he has rocketed within sniffing distance of double-digits in the latest polls, people are talking seriously about the threat that Marco Rubio, a lost child in a wilderness of rakes, could be president of the United States. That’s why we’re hearing all this stuff about his personal finances, and about the Florida Republican party and its credit cards. (Senator Professor Warren made the only point worth making about this subject last night on Chris Hayes’s electric teevee show. She wondered why someone who’s had the problems with his personal finances that Rubio has had could be so oblivious to the plight of families struggling with debt. That’s a question he should be made to answer in specifics.) But I am less concerned with what’s in Rubio’s wallet, and more concerned with his plans for the public purse because, based on what he’s released so far, this country’s going to be selling apples on the sidewalk by his second State of the Union address.
First, there’s his tax plan, which is a massive shove of wealth upwards. Estimates have suggested that Rubio’s tax cut would increase deficits by anywhere from $4 trillion to $12 trillion over 10 years, depending on how you count. Either way, it’d be a staggering amount of money — so staggering that even prominent conservatives have blanched at the price tag. But according to the CTJ analysis, the poorest one-fifth of the country would keep just 6 percent of the money while the bottom 60 percent, as a whole, would get just 22 percent. By contrast, the richest 5 percent of Americans would pocket nearly half of the tax cut while the richest 1 percent alone would receive more than one-third.