Rubio Unveils Proposal To Reform Retirement Policy
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[May 14, 2014]
By Gabriel Debenedetti
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Marco
Rubio, a likely Republican candidate for the White House, on Tuesday
unveiled plans to give more Americans a way to save for retirement while
raising the retirement age for younger workers.
The first-term Florida senator's announcement at the National
Press Club in Washington is part of a broader set of proposals that
are helping Rubio shore up his policy credentials with the
Republican Party's conservative wing.
"I believe the American dream my parents lived is still possible,"
Rubio said. "But among too many of our people, there is now a
nagging sense that achieving it has become more difficult than ever.
Financial security has faded for millions Americans, and with it the
hope of a stable and secure retirement."
Rubio proposed opening up to more Americans the federal Thrift
Savings Plan currently offered to federal employees and members of
Congress. It allows workers to make tax-free contributions, similar
to a 401(k) plan.
Rubio's plan would also give seniors a fixed amount of money for
buying health care plans, from either a private company or from
Medicare. Rubio said the government would contribute to the cost of
the insurance, pegging the amount to the cheapest option available.
The former Tea Party hero is gradually mending his relationships
with leaders in his party's right wing after he helped lead a failed
effort to reform the U.S. immigration system in 2013, in what some
conservatives saw as an attempt to grant amnesty to illegal
"All of the reforms I've proposed so far this year aim to create
dynamic economic growth," he said of his suite of ideas.
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Rubio's proposal would see Social Security payroll taxes suspended
for workers who keep working past age 65.
Democrats rallied against Rubio's plan.
"This afternoon Senator Rubio renewed the GOP's commitment to ending
Medicare as we know it, forcing future seniors to spend more out of
pocket on medical care when they need it most," said Democratic
National Committee spokesman Michael Czin.
Rubio says he will not make a decision on a presidential run until
after November's midterm elections and strategists believe his
decision could depend on other possible contenders. If former
Florida Governor Jeb Bush pursues the presidency, for example, he
could attract much of Rubio's home-state money and support.
(Editing by Alistair Bell and Lisa Shumaker)
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