If there was any doubt what constituency is most important to Marco Rubio, tune into his speech at “FreedomFest” in Las Vegas tonight. What you’ll hear is a carefully crafted argument to appeal to two men: Charles and David Koch.
It’s no secret the Koch primary is on. And for the five candidates who made the shortlist, winning that contest means a faithful allegiance to their “libertarian” causes.
For example, just a few days ago Rubio called higher education “a cartel.” That little gem mimics a Koch front group’s website trying to convince younger Americans that more student debt and a deregulated higher education system will somehow improve their futures.
Wondering what other acts Rubio will do in his Vegas Koch show? The same tired policies that help billionaires like the Kochs cloaked in grandiose language of a “New American Century.” In addition to calling education “a cartel,” other items on the Koch agenda that Rubio will undoubtedly recycle are positions at odds with a vast majority of Americans — like opposing a raise in the minimum wage and net-neutrality.
Because you have better things to do tonight, here’s what you won’t be missing:
Marco Rubio AND the Koch Brothers’ Anti-Minimum Wage Agenda
Rubio Claimed That Raising The Minimum Wage Would “Accelerate Automation And Outsourcing.” According to a July 2015 policy speech, Marco Rubio said “Hiking the minimum wage by a few dollars will not save the American Dream; it will accelerate automation and outsourcing.” [Rubio Speech, 7/7/15]
- The Koch Brothers’ “Top Political Strategist” Richard Fink Argued The Minimum Wage Leads To Increased Joblessness And “Fascism.” According to the Huffington Post, “Psychology shows that is the main recruiting ground for totalitarianism, for fascism, for conformism, when people feel like they’re victims,’ said Fink. ‘So the big danger of minimum wage isn’t the fact that some people are being paid more than their value-added — that’s not great. It’s not that it’s hard to stay in business — that’s not great, either. But it’s the 500,000 people that will not have a job because of minimum wage. He continued, ‘We’re taking these 500,000 people that would’ve had a job, and putting them unemployed, making dependence part of government programs, and destroying their opportunity for earned success. And so we see this is a very big part of recruitment in Germany in the ’20s.’” [Huffington Post, 9/3/14]
- San Francisco Bay Guardian: The Charles Koch Foundation Launched Initial $200,000 Campaign In July Against Raising Minimum Wage. According to The San Francisco Bay Guardian, “An initial $200,000 campaign was launched by the Charles Koch Foundation in July. A well-produced advertisement, which ran in Wichita, Kansas, asserts that people earning $34,000 are already on the ‘road to economic freedom.’ Charles Koch later told the Wichita Eagle newspaper that minimum wage is an obstacle preventing workers on limited income from ‘rising up.’” [San Francisco Bay Guardian, 8/22/14]
- AFP Called Los Angeles’ Minimum Wage Increase To $15 Per Hour A “Counterproductive Policy.” According to web post from Americans For Prosperity, “The saga began in May 2015 when the Los Angeles city council rubber-stamped a job-killing, minimum wage hike to $15 per hour by a vote of 14 to 1. Similar artificially inflated wage mandates have been enacted in cities like Seattle and San Francisco, and with negative consequences. Businesses are closing up shop and workers now face greater difficulty in securing entry level positions. Yet rather than learning from these experiences, politicians in the City of Angels chose to embrace this counterproductive policy.” [AmericansForProsperity.org, 5/29/15]
Marco Rubio AND the Koch Brothers oppose net neutrality
Rubio Advocated Against Regulation Of Internet Providers. According to a July 2015 policy speech, Marco Rubio said “We must also recognize the industries that need special protection in the 21st century. In its short life, the Internet has become one of humanity’s greatest treasures, which is why it belongs in the hands of our people, not our government. In the Senate, I have fought to safeguard and reinforce Internet freedom and digital opportunity, and will continue that fight as president.” [Rubio Speech, 7/7/15]
- AFP: Net Neutrality Rules “Would Grant Unprecedented New Government Control Over The Internet, Threatening The Largely Free And Unfettered Market That Has Allowed Our Digital Economy To Flourish.” According to a legislative alert from AFP, “This week, President Obama came out in support of far-reaching new regulations that would grant unprecedented new government control over the internet, threatening the largely free and unfettered market that has allowed our digital economy to flourish […] Title II reclassification would give the government authority over the business models of ISPs by dictating how they manage traffic on their networks while also determining the prices they charge consumers for services. This of course is only the tip of the iceberg, as ISPs would be subject to a plethora of other regulations which would ultimately slow or even halt network expansion, and choke competition by making it much harder for new competitors to enter the market.” [AFP Legislative Alert, 11/13/14]
- GenOpp: Net Neutrality Regulations Would “Change The Internet As We Know It, With Devastating Consequences For Our Generation.” According to a press release from Generation Opportunity, “Today, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to regulate Internet Service Providers as public utilities under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. These regulations would change the Internet as we know it, with devastating consequences for our generation. Prices, providers, access, content, and privacy will all be at the discretionary hand of the FCC, as the government agency will be able to decide what is ‘just and reasonable’ for everything associated with the Internet.” [Generation Opportunity Press Release, 2/26/15]
Marco Rubio will work for the Koch Brothers’ agenda of cutting taxes for the rich
Rubio Pledged To “Cut Our Corporate Tax Rate To Be Competitive With The Average Of 25 Percent For Developed Nations.” In a July 2015 policy speech, Marco Rubio said “When I am president, I will empower innovators rather than punish them. I will cut our corporate tax rate to be competitive with the average of 25 percent for developed nations.” [Rubio Speech, 7/7/15]
Marco Rubio: The United States Tax Code “Punishes American Companies For Competing In The Global Economy.” In a July 2015 policy speech, Marco Rubio said “To build the most innovation-friendly economy in the world, we must build the most business-friendly economy in the world. Right now we have, quite nearly, the exact opposite. The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. We have a tax code that punishes American companies for competing in the global economy, and a regulatory system that prevents small businesses – the primary engines of innovation and job creation – from competing against established players.” [Rubio Speech, 7/7/15]
- Politico: Charles Koch Promised To Abolish Corporate Taxes As Part Of His 1980 Campaign Platform. According to Politico, “Koch ran with Libertarian presidential candidate Ed Clark in 1980, against Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Jimmy Carter. Clark and Koch promised to abolish Social Security, corporate taxes, minimum-wage laws.” [Politico, 4/14/14]
- AFP’s Vice President Of Government Affairs: Lowering The Corporate Tax Rate “Is A Long-Overdue Policy Change.” According to an open letter by AFP Vice President of Government Affairs Brent Gardner to Rep. Mike Pompeo, “To offset the increase from closing these loopholes, your legislation would lower the corporate tax rate. This is a long-overdue policy change that would improve our country’s international competitiveness while also protecting American taxpayers from tax hikes. This proposal is revenue neutral and wouldn’t add to any future deficits.” [Brent Gardner – AFP Open Letter, 1/22/15]
Marco Rubio Echoed Koch groups in calling U.S. education a cartel and pushing for a new accreditation process
Marco Rubio: “Within My First 100 Days, I Will Bust This Cartel By Establishing A New Accreditation Process That Welcomes Low-Cost, Innovative Providers.” According to a July 2015 policy speech, Marco Rubio said “As president, I will begin with a powerful but simple reform. Our higher education system is controlled by what amounts to a cartel of existing colleges and universities, which use their power over the accreditation process to block innovative, low-cost competitors from entering the market. Within my first 100 days, I will bust this cartel by establishing a new accreditation process that welcomes low-cost, innovative providers.” [Rubio Speech, 7/7/15]
- GenOpp’s Wes Coopersmith: “When The Government Continues To Throw Money At The Higher Education Cartel, The Losers Are The Students.” According to a web post by Generation Opportunity’s policy team member Wes Coopersmith, “One simple way to reduce the rising cost of college, right now, is to break up the federal government’s monopoly on higher education accreditation standards […] Like any other business, higher education institutions must serve their customers—the students—and adapt to the changing environment. When the government continues to throw money at the higher education cartel, the losers are the students.’” [Post via GenerationOpportunity.org, 2/9/15]
- Generation Opportunity Colorado State Director: “The Current Accreditation System Has Effectively Turned Higher Education Into A Cartel.” According to an opinion by the Colorado State Director for Generation Opportunity, “Aside from being ineffective in measuring quality, the current accreditation system has effectively turned higher education into a cartel. The regulators are also the regulated, creating an obvious conflict of interest. Guidelines and quality standards are not transparent and serve to prevent new institutions from successfully entering the education marketplace.” [Denver Post, 9/21/14]