Sunday, December 9, 2012
LISTEN IN SPANISH I'm Marco Rubio. I have the honor of representing Florida in the United States Senate, and the privilege of addressing you today on behalf of my fellow Republicans.
"Our middle class has made America different from the rest of the world. Every country has rich people. But only a few places have achieved a vibrant and stable middle class. And none has been more vibrant and more stable than ours. But now a growing opportunity gap has developed between the dreams of millions of Americans and the opportunities for them to actually realize them.
"Americans are struggling to find or keep middle class jobs for two reasons: because our economy is not creating enough of these jobs and because too many of our people don't have the education or skills required for the jobs that are being created.
"A limited government can and must help solve these challenges.
"We must get the national debt under control. Tax increases will not solve our $16 trillion debt. Only economic growth and a reform of entitlement programs will help control the debt.
"We must reform our complicated, uncertain, job-killing tax code, by getting rid of unjustified loopholes. But our goal should be to generate new revenue by creating new taxpayers, not new taxes.
"We must follow a balanced approach to regulations. Regulations are needed, but they cost money to follow. The more expensive a regulation is, the less money a business has leftover to give raises or hire new people.
"We must not let American innovation in our energy industry go to waste. We have the potential for all kinds of new middle class jobs--from the fields and platforms where we drill, to the manufacturing plants that will return to the U.S. with the lower cost of energy. But we need government to encourage these job opportunities, not continue to block them.
"A return to sound monetary policy would also help by making the future value of a dollar more predictable.
"And we must get the cost of health insurance under control. You should be able to get a health care plan that fits your needs and your budget, from any company in America that's willing to sell it to you, and with the same tax benefit if you buy it yourself or have an employer buy it for you.
"These ideas will help create middle class jobs. But we also have to make sure that our people have the skills to do these new jobs.
"And a limited government can help by promoting curriculum reform, teacher training and empowering parents with the freedom to choose their kids' school.
"Our tax code should reward education investments the same way companies are encouraged to invest in equipment.
"Let's encourage career, technical and vocational education, stop discriminating against online courses, encourage skill development that doesn't require the traditional four year college route, and reform our federal grant and loan programs.
"And let's make sure our students and parents know what they're getting into financially when it comes to planning their college studies.
"The bottom line is, let's stop preparing 21st century students using a 20th century education model, instead let's be creative, innovative and daring in reforming the way we provide our people the skills they're going to need to make it to the middle class.
"And finally, we must realize that our social well-being has a direct impact on our economic well-being. Societal breakdown can't be solved by government, but it also can't be ignored by government.
"Helping people make it into the middle class is a personal issue for me.
"My parents worked in the service industry. In almost any other nation on earth, their jobs would barely provide for daily living much less a better future. But in America, my parents made it to the middle class.
"Today, the journey my parents made from poor immigrants to middle class, it's harder than it was in their time because the world has changed. The economy has changed. But whether or not the journey my parents made is still possible to all who are willing to work for it, well that will decide whether America will decline or whether America will remain exceptional.
"The emergence of a strong, 21st century American middle class is the answer to our most pressing challenges. And it all starts with our people.
"In our hotel kitchens, in the landscaping crews working in our neighborhoods, and in the late night janitorial shifts that clean our offices. There. There you will find the dreams America was built on. There you will find the promise of tomorrow.
"Their journey is also our nation's destiny. And if they can give their children what our parents gave us, well then life in 21st century America can be better than it has ever been.
"May God bless all of you. And may God bless the United States of America."
Posted by Barbara at 6:20 AM