Actress Clara Peller famously asked “Where’s the beef?” in a 1980s commercial for fast-food chain Wendy’s, and the slogan played a role in the 1984 election Democrat primary battle between Walter Monday and Gary Hart.
Now Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is asking essentially the same question about the Senate’s compromise plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax increases and spending cuts set up under the Obama administration.
Rubio was one of just eight senators who opposed the measure. He said today that he appreciates all the hard work that went into compromising, but it just won’t get done the job that America needs.
A summary from the Congressional Budget Office said the deal negotiated by Joe Biden and Senate Republicans would raise taxes, and allow spending to skyrocket by $330 billion over the next decade.
Only $25 billion is cut from spending, and most of that not for years, the report said.
“Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control,” Rubio said.
He said the taxes kill jobs and don’t address the nation’s debt problem – at $16 trillion plus now and surging each day that Obama is in office.
“I appreciate all the hard work that went into avoiding the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’ I especially commend Sen. McConnell’s efforts to make the best out of a bad situation. Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing. But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington,” he said.
“Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won’t go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades. Furthermore, this deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can’t find the work they need.”
Other senators who opposed the measure, which has yet to be considered by the U.S. House, were Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Tom Carper, D-Del.; and Mike Bennett, D-Colo.
Sen. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the result was the best that could be had.
“Each of us could spend the rest of the week discussing what a perfect solution would have looked like, but the end result would have been the largest tax increase in American history,” he said. “It took an imperfect solution to prevent our constituents from [seeing] very real financial pain.”