Congress won’t have to vote again on raising the debt ceiling until next year, but Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned Thursday that the country is dealing with a “debt ceiling crisis on a daily basis” and suggested that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s claim that a debt ceiling crisis does not currently exist is itself a problem.
Republicans on Capitol Hill and President Obama reached an agreement last year to raise the ceiling, and won’t have to fight that legislative battle again until after the November election.
But Rubio, a favorite of the Tea Party who is often mentioned as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, said the nation should view the debt more immediately – and every day.
“We are having a debt ceiling crisis on a daily basis, and here’s why,” said Rubio on Fox. ”Because this government every year is spending $1.5 trillion more than it takes in.”
“When is the United States federal government and when is this president going to begin to seriously address the fact that this is a government that spends $1.5 trillion a year more than it takes in? That has to be dealt with. That is not going to solve itself. It’s not going to go away on its own. And every year that goes by that it remains unresolved, the harder it becomes to solve. ”
But how to solve the problems is controversial to say the least. President Obama pledged after a meeting yesterday to protect entitlement spending. House Speaker John Boehner has said any rise in the debt ceiling must be off-set by a greater number of spending cuts.
Most Republicans have pledged not to raise taxes. But some Democrats on Capitol Hill have targeted people like Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who renounced his U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes on the money he will make from Facebook’s initial public offering. Rubio said he wasn’t going to celebrate Saverin’s decision, but he added that high tax rates also lead companies to move business out of the U.S., suggesting he would oppose any law directed at Saverin and people like him.
“I’m not going to celebrate what he’s done or the decision that he’s made. We were elected to deal with the big issues, not one guy, and the bigger issue here is that the U.S. is becoming a less and less friendly place for some people to do business,” Rubio said. “People are looking to move their companies and their assets overseas because of that. So, I think that’s really the issue we should focus on more. I’m not excusing what he’s done. I’m not celebrating it. I’m not telling you I’m happy about what I’ve read with regard to this one person and the decision that he’s made.”