Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Florida) brought his presidential campaign to the Detroit Economic Club on Thursday to discuss his plan to foster a “new American economy” built on smaller government, lower taxes and fewer regulations.

Rubio is the third candidate vying for the Republican nomination to visit Detroit in recent months. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke to the group in February, when he pitched immigration reform as a key factor in driving the economy. Ohio Gov. John Kasich also visited the club in April, when he spoke about Ohio’s resurgence after the 2008 recession.

Rubio began his speech highlighting Detroit’s industrial and technological feats, saying that Detroit understands the American dream better than any city.

“And that is why this city, the heart of the old economy, is the perfect place to discuss how we can embrace a new American economy — one even grander and richer in opportunity than ever before,” he said.

Rubio said this new economy will adapt to a global economic climate in which innovation is fast-paced and rapidly changing. He said the way to achieve this state is not “to drive in reverse” by creating more regulations, higher taxes and a greater federal footprint — the elements that he said composed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s economic plan.

During the address, Rubio championed Detroit — and some of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s initiatives in the city — as a “pro-growth agenda” success story achieved through lower taxes and reforms designed to encourage economic growth.

“Michigan now has one of the best entrepreneurial environments in the country,” he said. “In fact, as many of the business leaders in this room can attest, one of the biggest obstacles between Detroit and its future continues to be Washington D.C.”

He spoke of two hypothetical Detroiters: David, a small business owner, and Danielle, David’s receptionist, who are struggling to keep themselves afloat as they comply with new federal regulations, including the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of overtime pay and paying taxes derived from what he called an “outdated tax code.”

He said it is federal policies like these that are forcing business owners to close up shop, spurring price hikes and layoffs and preventing them from expanding advertising or making facility improvements.

Rubio said his tax plan would lower the corporate tax rate to about 25 percent, as well as cut tax rates for small businesses.

Rubio also plans to institute a national regulatory budget that limits the cost each government agency can impose through its regulations.

According to Real Clear Politics, which compiled an average of national polls, Republican candidates Donald Trump, Bush, former Detroiter and neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are all ahead of Rubio.

The Democratic National Convention and Michigan Democratic Party responded briefly to Rubio’s speech in a press release. They said his proposed policies defend corporations and wealthy Americans at the expense of the middle class.

“Marco Rubio’s policies are disastrous for the middle class, for Michigan and for America,” the release said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.