Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Capital Times: Did Marco Rubio just take a swipe at Paul Ryan on poverty?

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, has made poverty a pet issue. For months the House budget chairman has been visiting blighted urban centers and has offered his own plan to help struggling Americans.
Ryan has also authored a string of budgets that slash the social safety net and has harped relentlessly on the failures of the War on Poverty.

Democrats have consistently hammered the former VP candidate for giving lip service to the poor then trying to pull the rug out from under them. Now he's getting push-back from within the GOP.
"Our debt isn’t driven by discretionary spending on poverty programs,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told the New York Times magazine. “We’re not going to balance the budget by saving money on safety-net programs.”

"Marco Rubio Said What?!" reads a headline to a story by Danny Vinik in the New Republic.
"Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a subtle message to Rep. Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party on Tuesday: Stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor," Vinik writes. "It’s a sweeping change for a prominent presidential candidate from a party that has spent the last few years endorsing a document — the Ryan budget — that proposes drastic cuts to low-income programs."

This is a good place to note that both Ryan and Rubio are potential contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, and Rubio's snub of Ryan's policies was implicit.

"Now, Rubio didn’t refute the Ryan budget explicitly," Vinik writes. "His comments came in a New York Times magazine article by Sam Tanenhaus on the reform conservatism movement."