Marco Rubio has been busy lately.
Just days after his speech at CPAC, the Senator from Florida – who’s also a perennial Tea Party favorite – appeared at the Washington, D.C. offices of Google (GOOG) to present his wide-ranging reform agenda.
If his agenda passes, Rubio sees a bright future. He believes, “In order to harness the promise of a new era and build another American Century, we will need millions of new middle- and higher-wage jobs. We will face unprecedented global competition for these jobs. It is a competition we can win, but not unless we reform our current polices in Washington.”
Rubio talked about everything from tax reform to wireless spectrum increases, but his most interesting points had to do with the internet. He said he’s afraid that the Obama administration is going to give the internet away to the United Nations (or another international governing body).
Yes, you heard that correctly.
According to Rubio, “Internet freedom is under assault. There are currently 42 nations known to restrict or censor their people’s online access. Many of these nations now wish to take this further by exerting control over the way the internet is governed and regulated internationally.”
Needless to say, international regulation would present a host of problems, the biggest of which is that regulation would strip the medium of free expression. And, as Rubio noted on Monday, “Much of our groundbreaking innovation will take place in the vast, still unexplored realm of digital media, particularly with devices and services related to the internet.”
In short, now is hardly the time to submit the internet to stifling regulation. Plus, as any fan of Al Gore is quick to point out, the internet was invented by America! We can dispute its future, but the past is clear: We developed and birthed this innovation engine.
Unfortunately, Obama seems uninterested in protecting this heritage. So Marco Rubio plans to introduce legislation to keep the governance of the internet out of UN hands.
He said, “Many governments are lobbying for regulatory control by the United Nations or a governmental regime, but opposing this takeover and preserving internet freedom must be a top national priority.”
One Man, Many Ideas
Rubio also plans to introduce a series of bills he believes will reignite economic growth, citing a fundamental need for change in direction.
As he explained: “Our current recovery stands at 54 months and counting, and our feeble annual growth rates of 2% or 3% don’t offer much hope that it will end soon. In fact, the economy was projected to have grown by 3.2% in the last quarter of 2013. But even that paltry number turned out to be wishful thinking, as it was recently revised down to 2.4%.”
To fix it, we need to release the free market from overregulation and high taxes.
Rubio summarized his feelings this way: “There’s no better economic model for equality of opportunity than the American free enterprise system. More government is often presented as the best way to help those trying to get ahead in life. But in fact, the bigger the government, the more your ability to influence that government determines your chances of success. Only a free enterprise system that rewards merit and work can promote the upward mobility we seek.”
Rubio pushed other proposals on his trip to Google, as well – including a revised tax code that would allow American firms that make profits abroad to bring them home without facing a gigantic tax bill.
Currently, many America-based multinational companies have been stashing cash abroad to keep it out of Uncle Sam’s hands. Tax distortion has become such a big issue, in fact, that some firms have to borrow money in the United States to fund shareholder returns while they park hoards of cash overseas.
Rubio also wants to increase the level of radio spectrum available to wireless companies. Mobile firms are struggling to satisfy the demand for more content, and valuable spectrum is being kept under lock and key by outdated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. To get the spectrum released, Rubio believes we need reform.
In fact, reform is the keystone of Rubio’s entire message. If he’s lucky, it will strike a spark with voters who are also tired of the status quo in D.C.
This commentary originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.