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Public Statements

Rubio: Obamacare's taxes punish individuals, small businesses

Op-Ed

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By Senator Marco Rubio

Since the Obamacare debate began in 2009, I have met thousands of real people impacted by this policy. One in particular has always stood out to me: restaurant owner Ben Pumo from Land O' Lakes.

When Mitt Romney visited Florida on my behalf in the fall of 2010, we stood in Pumo's kitchen at Benedetto's Ristorante Italiano and listened to him explain how policies like Obamacare would impact his business and employees he had come to see as family.

Gov. Romney and I heard a widely held concern around the country: Obamacare would impose new costs on his business, it would be a blow to his freedom to hire workers as he pleased without triggering new taxes, and he feared the worst was yet to come as Obamacare had empowered Washington bureaucrats to write new and unpredictable regulations.

With the recent decision on Obamacare, we were reminded of why this news matters far beyond the Supreme Court's steps. It matters in kitchens like the one in Ben Pumo's restaurant and for individuals and business owners across the country.

Obamacare is not the president's signature achievement. It's the signature example of the leadership failures and broken promises that have defined Obama's presidency.

When the president assumed office, he faced the worst economy in generations. After throwing an $800 billion stimulus at the problem, he proposed a health-care overhaul with a mandate to force people to buy health insurance. Or else.

He assured the American people that the individual mandate wasn't a tax. But when Obamacare was challenged in court for violating the Constitution, he changed his tune, arguing that it was permissible under Congress' taxing power. The court agreed and upheld Obamacare.

The bait and switch proved to be a brilliant legal strategy, but a disastrous economic policy. For millions of Americans, including job creators, Obama's political win is now an IRS problem for them in the real world.

Obamacare is bad policy that adds around $800 billion of taxes on the American people. It does not discriminate between rich and poor. It hurts everyone.


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