tv Sen. Marco Rubio R- Fla. CSPAN December 9, 2012 6:55pm-7:30pm EST
there is a consensus in this country about our obligations to the most vulnerable. those obligations are beyond dispute. the real debate is how best we can meet them. it is whether they are better met by private groups or government, voluntary action or government action. the truth is, there has to be a balance between the two. government must ask for the common good while leaving private groups free to do the work only they can do. there is a vast middle ground between the government and the individual. our families and our neighborhoods. the groups we joined and the places of worship. this is where we live our lives. this is where the needs of each are most clearly recognized and met. our communities shape our character and give our lives direction. they help make us a self-governing people.
the campaign of 2012 is filled with a lot of moments i will always remember. one of my favorites is the day bob talked about. it was to meet with people in cleveland, ohio. bobble brought them together. his center for neighborhood enterprise empowers communities. ryan's story will always stay with me. when he and his wife felt called to open a homeless shelterit is not enough to give food and shelter. people needed spiritual development. people need assistance to get on with their life. they did not just volunteer time. they moved their families. they lived there for seven years. when policy makers try to help struggling families, these are the kinds of leaders we should
be listening to. we must look first to those who have already done the hard work of actually fighting poverty. their example must inform our approach. government must work with them, not against or over them. government's first duty is to do no harm. to secure people paz's rights and respect their purposes and preserve their freedom. nothing undermines the essential work these groups do quite like the abuse of government power. nothing is more troubling. it is not just the abuses of government that undermine civil society. it is also the excesses. look at the road we are on. a trillion dollar deficit every year. a debt crisis on the horizon. debt on this scale is destructive on so many ways. one of them is that it draws resources away from private charity. even worse is the prospect of a
debt crisis, which will, unless we do something very soon. when government finances collapsed, it is the most vulnerable who are the victims, which we are seeing in europe. many feel they have nowhere to turn. we must never let that happen here. and election has come and gone. the people have made their choice. policy-makers still have a duty to choose between ideas that work and those that do not. when one economic policy after another has failed our working families, it is no answer to expressed compassion for them or create government programs that offer promise but do not create reforms. we must come together to advance new strategies for the the people out of poverty. let's go with what works. looking around this room at the men and women who are carrying on jack kemp's legacy, i know we
are answering the call. this cause is right. jack kemp started this. we know the good fight for the american ideal wood -- will go on until we reach all people. thank you for coming in here this evening. thank you for having us this night. congratulations to marco. [applause] >> now senator marco rubio was honoree he discussed policy recommendations he believes that will help all families regardless of class. this is about 35 minutes.i am o. i want to talk a lot about that. has inspired me. a couple of people i do want to
vibrant middle class. in the history of the world, american middle class. make it to the middle class. today, there is this growing opportunity gap developing. millions of americans worry they may never achieve middle- class and i, one of the fundamental challenges is to find an appropriate and sustainable role for government. the key to a vibrant middle
families and enjoy leisure time, save for retirement, and pay for education so they can grow up earning more than their parents. this. the weekend the american economy is not creating any jobs of any kind -- enough jobs of any kind. to many americans cannot have the skills they need. the path to a prosperous middle class is a combination of a vibrant economy that creates and positive role. federal policies on the national debt, taxes and regulations, allclass job creation.
opening and growing a business. they are afraid of getting hit with a massive tax increase to pay off this debt. one of the leading causes of our growing future debt is the way medicare is currently designs for the future -- designed for the future. the sooner we act, the likelier we can do it without making any currently in the system, like paul ryan's and my mother. a complicated tax code is also hampering the creation of jobs. you cannot open a business if uncertain.
that is allied i oppose the present's plans to raise taxes the -- that is why i oppose the dent in the debt. over half of the private sector workers and america work for the plans will raise taxes on. we should a follow the examplewe should keep rates low on everyone, simplify our tax code loopholes. generate revenues by creating
work programs is in miami-dade, florida. years ago, they set up numerous work training programs are working with employers to design the curriculum and provide mentoring and internship opportunities. even if you do not go the traditional college route, you earning an education that tear strength. what are things the federal education? curriculum reforms and a new training. we have an opportunity to do that with the 2013. authorization of the higher education act to make some of parents.
in the way. we should make sure our federal march oysters. college affordability is an issue that is important. it is the only reason i was able federal grants and loans. when i graduate from law school, i had close to $150,000 in student debt. that is a debt i paid off last year. i was able to help pay it off amazon. [applause]
>> pell grant system -- let's make sure parents and students understand how long it will take them to complete the education, the likelihood of completion, make after graduation, and how much their monthly loan will be. it now is the time to be creative and daring and class. beyond education, paul touched on this and i want to reemphasize, but beyond
education, there's another obstacle that is keeping too many young americans from moving ahead. many of them do not have the middle-class job. it is because they grew up in an unstable home environment. they grew up in dangerous neighborhoods with no access to healthcare. single parents and sometimes an elderly grandmother. they may not have a chance to participate in afterschool are working and cannot pick them up. every day some amazing parent or caretaker is of her, and all of it to give these kids a chance at a better life.
consistently found that children struggle in comparison than children raised in more stable family settings. they face a higher risk ofhave lower scores on standardized tests, lower grades, and a much higher chance of dropping out of high school or failing to attend college. this societal breakdown is not something the government has solved, but it is something they cannot ignore. you cannot separate economic well-being of of your people from their social well-being. do is limited, but it is important. rather than pretend we know the answer, we should do as paul ryan suggests by engaging in mentoring young people and leading them onto the right path -- their teachers, coaches, priests, pastors.
conversation in trading a social success. we should look at churches and faith-based organizations. being part of the community is part of the solution. kids are joining the boy scouts and being involved in church youth group are not just things for them to do. one day it might have a real impact on their standard of living. and ultimately on our nationalby the way, let's protect our stand up and try again and help themselves. these programs must be reformed. they must be reformed to enhance family stability and financial opportunity. or have some most important thing we can do and government
about the societal breakdown is has happened. ask any of them easing teachers we are blessed to have your in america. i have for my own family. they are at the front line of this problem every single day. they will be the first to tell you that every single day kids bring their home experience into the classroom. every day these teachers see firsthand how kids living in dysfunctional homes are struggling to make it. as a people, we cannot build a vibrant society if we do not solve this problem. my parents immigrated here with few skills and limited education and no money. they worked in the service industry almost their entire lives. but in america, my parents made enough money to buy a home and own a car. their 40's, they had two children -- me and my sister.
we do not always get what we we needed. we had a family that lived in a safe home and our parents loved they loved us and encouraged us to dream. they made it clear that because we were americans, we could go as far as our talent and hard work would take us. my father grew up poor and my dirt floors and the disabled father who struggle to -- they are now enjoying a standard of living that is significantly higher than their parents. our store is not rare in america, but it is rare in the world. if we were born anywhere else in any other time in history,
our lives may have been very different. i would have been a very opinionated bartender, for example. [laughter] but instead, i was born and raised in late 20th century america where our economy produced jobs for people like my parents to make it into the middle class, where the government helped me and my sibling pay for college, and all of us live lives better than our parents. because of where i was raised and who i was raised by, i know that what we have here in this country, it is the exception rather than the rule. we will lose it if there is nothing to replace it.
if america declines, so will the world. today the journey of my parents made from poor immigrants to the working middle class is much harder than it was in their economy. the world has changed. the economy has changed. our society has changed. whether or not the journey my parents made is still possible to all who are willing to work for it, that is going to decide whether we decline or remain in that special place for nothing represents how special america is more than our middle class. our challenge and our opportunity now is to create the conditions to allow us not just to survive, but to grow. government has a role to play. we must make sure it does its part. it is a supporting role to help create the conditions in our economy.
it is a necessary role. they cannot substitute for what it is meant to enable -- driving our economy. it is not the ever-expanding reach of government, but rather having access to the benefits of a thriving economy that allow support to rise into the middle class and not by making rich people poorer, but by making poor people richer. we need a limited and effective government. you cannot have one without the other. big government has never worked. it is easy to sell, but when you put it into practice, it has failed each and every time. the government has never been able to sustain a vibrant middle class. if any people under should know that, it is us. we need to look no further than our own communities to see where the answers are to our challenges like.
it starts with strong and stable families. it continues with a civil society filled with people their country. with a thriving enterprise economy that creates good paying jobs and can draw upon people with skills to do those jobs, government's role is to support those institutions and those policies that strengthen the family and the community, to implement row-growth policy, the free enterprise economy that about promotes middle-class jobs. the emergence of a strong, vibrant and growing 21st-century american middle class is the challenge we face. think about it -- millions americans with jobs that pay more means more buyers for our products, or customers for our businesses, and more taxpayers for our government. the more they spend, the more jobs they create for others.
if you have that, even with low and stable tax rates, the taxes that they will pay will mean new revenue for our government to provide for national defense, fund our safety nets, and pay down our debt. and we are determined to remain an exceptional nation, this is the only way forward. if we embrace it, the promise of the 21st century is extraordinary. the united states will soon be the world's largest energy producer. it will allow manufacturers to return in force to our shores again. american innovation promises to revolutionize healthcare, communication, and transportation. every year millions of people all around the world are entering the middle class.
they are now able to afford the things we built. i have heard it suggested that the problem is that the american people have changed. too many people want things from government. i'm still convinced that the overwhelming majority of our people just want what my parents had -- a chance, a real chance to earn a good living anda few weeks ago i was giving a speech at a fancy hotel in new york city. when i arrived in the banquet hall, i was approached by a group of u employees like the ones were working here tonight in the hotel's catering department. they had heard the story and had a gift for me. it presented me with this employee name tag -- rubio, bartender. [laughter] [applause]
do you know what this reminds me of? this reminds me that there are millions of marco rubio's out there. they are not looking for a handout. all they want is a chance to vie for their families, that there are not enough jobs out there. many do not have the skills for jobs that are available. they want a chance to earn a life for themselves in a better future for the children. what better chance than now? it all starts with the people in the kitchens of our hotels and the landscaping crews that work in our neighborhoods and the late-night janitorial shifts that clean our offices -- that is where you will find the