October 9, 2015


The Tragedy of Marco Rubio (Ira Stoll, 10/09/15, Future of Capitalism)

And yet a day spent with Mr. Rubio at three campaign events in the Granite State leaves one with the distinct impression that for all his formidable campaign strengths, Mr. Rubio will have to grow as a politician and up his game considerably if he wants to win the nomination or the presidency, let alone if he is to be an effective president. He may even have a difficult time beating out Jeb Bush, John Kasich, or Ted Cruz as the non-Trump, non-Carson candidate around whom Republicans can coalesce.

What's the problem, exactly? One obstacle is that he's shaky when it comes to facts. The kindest way to describe it is that he exaggerates. That is a tendency that will get him in trouble in the scrutiny of a national campaign.

Talking about health reform, Mr. Rubio contrasts his own family of six, where someone is at the doctor once a month, with his brother-in-law, a healthy 28- or 29-year-old single who "thinks he's never gonna die." The "system we have now says we both need to have the exact same insurance," Mr. Rubio says. That's just flat-out false. The law does sets a minimum standard for creditable coverage, but it also does allow consumers the ability to choose between plans with higher and lower deductibles and premiums, and between insurers and plans with smaller or larger networks. A "bronze" plan is not "the exact same" as a "gold" plan.

Talking about immigration law, Mr. Rubio faulted the current system for giving a family reunification preference to relatives of those already here. On the other hand, someone who is "the best physicist on the planet...may or may not get to come," Mr. Obama said. That is also nonsense. Existing law provides for the O-1 and EB-1 categories, also known as "genius" visas. A Nobel laureate physicist or novelist or chemist -- or an employer who wanted to bring them over -- might have to pay an immigration lawyer to prepare an application, but the super-talented, high-achieving immigrant would get in, in a matter of months. Meanwhile, plenty of applicants for family reunification visas face wait times of up to 20 years.

Talking about taxes, Mr. Rubio promised, "we're gonna have a tax code that no longer has the highest business tax rate on the planet." In fact the United Arab Emirates and Chad -- both on planet Earth -- have higher corporate tax rates, according to the Tax Foundation.

Even if one gives Mr. Rubio a pass on the exaggeration or sloppiness on details, there are entire policy areas where his campaign's approach seems bizarre or ill-thought out.

The only tragedy would be if we fail to learn from the UR's example and elect a legislator with no executive experience again.  Six years is too long to get a president up to speed.

Posted by at October 9, 2015 2:33 PM

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