There was a moment in the Fox Business GOP Debate on Tuesday that may have seemed out of place to many viewers. Senator Ted Cruz brought up sugar subsidies as an example of cronyism and poor government policy that goes against the conservative movement and the Republican stance on government intervention in business.
The upfront message was that Big Sugar means Big Government. The hidden message was that Marco Rubio is not a conservative. The biggest message is that Marco Rubio will sacrifice his ideology for the sake of political and personal economic gain.
It was a statement that was likely lost on most viewers. That’s not a knock on the Republican voters. It has been a part of mainstream media’s willingness to shield an issue that falls squarely on the type of crony capitalism that they support. The general public isn’t aware of this huge part of Marco Rubio’s political resume because it’s one of the most liberal things that he’s done as a Senator. In essence, they don’t necessarily like him but they like the support he gives to Big Sugar because it helps its other major proponent, far-left Democratic Senator Al Franken from Minnesota.
In a nutshell, Rubio supports subsidizing the US sugar industry with what Cruz called “corporate welfare.” The weak reasoning behind doing this… wait for it… national defense. Rubio contends that if you take away the subsidies, the Florida sugar industry would collapse and open up the doors for foreign sugar to come in. He says that he’s willing to end sugar subsidies if all other countries do. That’s like saying that he’ll end his support of sugar subsidies when the Chicago Bears win the World Series. It’s never going to happen.
The real reasoning behind him doing this is twofold but connected. Long-time campaign contributor Florida Crystals has helped him since his time in the Florida state congress. They have been one of the biggest reasons for his rapid rise in the state and they continue to “buy him off” in a clear cut case of the cronyism that pervades Washington DC. The other aspect of his reasoning is much more honorable – he’s protecting his constituents. Many of his voters work on these farms that he claims will collapse and if he truly believes that will happen then he’s doing what his voters want. It makes for great state-level politics, but sacrificing more than the country gains from an action is not the right trait for a US Senator, let alone a President.
The Wall Street Journal pointed to the problems that Rubio’s support creates for the country:
The Coalition for Sugar Reform, which includes businesses that use sugar, says that for every U.S. sugar-growing job saved from high U.S. sugar prices, about three American manufacturing jobs are lost. The U.S. candy industry has been hollowed out as companies have fled to places like Guatemala and Thailand where they can remain competitive by buying sugar at world-market prices.
This form of government subsidy is damaging to the country and points to a bigger problem with Rubio.
When one thinks of the phrase “political expediency,” we often look at Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid as the champions of their own causes. They do whatever they think will work best to benefit their own political ambitions even if it goes against their core principles. They’ll sacrifice the country to do two things: win elections and advance their political careers.
Between Gang of Eight and Big Sugar, Marco Rubio is starting to establish a trend of bowing down to political expediency. He’s eventually going to change his tune on Big Sugar if mainstream media allows it by reporting on this big problem. If they don’t, he’ll continue sweep it under the rug despite it being a core principle of liberalism and a clear example of cronyism.
He’ll go where he thinks he’ll be best positioned to win the election regardless of the cost. This should terrify Republican voters because it means that he won’t do what’s best for the country or the party. He’ll do what’s best for Marco Rubio.
“It’s hard to credibly criticize the welfare state without trying to take down the corporate welfare state first,” American Enterprise Institute’s Tim Carney told the Washington Post. “The argument for free enterprise doesn’t have a foundation if you also tolerate corporate welfare.”
Another example of this comes in the form of his recent shift towards the middle. He was brought into power largely through the support of the Tea Party and his voting record resonates conservative. However, he’s been getting more and more liberal of late because he sees an easier path to the Presidency by beating down Jeb Bush and John Kasich in the moderate lane rather than taking on Cruz and Ben Carson in the conservative lane.
Which is it, Marco? Are you a conservative or are you willing to let go of the values that brought you to where you are if it makes it easier for you to achieve personal glory?
The Wall Street Journal continues to say:
Mr. Rubio has many talents, but one trait the presidential campaign has exposed is a tendency to hedge on his principles when he thinks it’s politically beneficial. He’s walking away from his immigration reform record, and he’s pandered to social conservatives with his $ 2,500 tax credit per child. His sugar high is another low.
The under-reported cause of Big Sugar that Rubio supports isn’t just a liberal perspective. It represents a willingness to do what campaign contributors want instead of what the country actual needs.