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Rubio's Focus on 4% Growth

Article by Matthew Denhart February 14, 2013 //   4 minute read

Here at the Bush Institute and The 4% Growth Project we have identified 4% annual growth as the primary economic goal for our country. We believe that stronger growth is the single best solution to the many challenges facing our country today. Our message is really starting to resonate. The latest evidence comes from Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

In his nationally-televised response to Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, Rubio highlighted some of the specific benefits that sustained 4% growth would deliver to our country:

"…if we can get the economy to grow at just 4% a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade."

Rubio then outlined several policy areas that promise faster growth. Many of the topics he highlighted are ones we too have identified as promising for growth. For instance, Rubio talked at some length about the need for tax reform, which was the topic of two major conferences the Bush Institute convened in 2012. In 2013 the Bush Institute will host a conference on energy, regulation, and growth. This was another main theme for Rubio:

"One of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry… let’s reform our energy regulations so that they’re reasonable and based on common sense."

Rubio’s discussion of 4% growth represents the second time in the past month that a major policy leader has referenced the work of the Bush Institute. Texas Senator Ted Cruz also shared several of our “growth facts” (developed by Project fellow Ike Brannon) in a speech on January 26 at the National Review Institute Summit. In that speech, which was broadcast nationally by C-SPAN, Cruz said that “growth” is one of the two most important words this year for Americans. The other important word, according to Cruz, is “opportunity.” These concepts are inextricably linked because strong growth will unleash unprecedented opportunity for our country.

James K. Glassman — founding executive director of the Bush Institute — has stressed that every issue that comes in front of policymakers must be considered with a primary focus on how the policy will affect economic growth. Writing for Forbes.com, Glassman argues:

"…growth must be the focus of all economic policy. Growth lowers unemployment, lowers deficits and debt, raises opportunity. Every policy change should be judged by the question, “Does it increase growth?” If not, forget it."

The recent speeches by Rubio and Cruz suggest that our country’s leaders have embraced 4% growth as the solution to our country’s troubles. It is this kind of laser-like focus on economic growth that our country needs today.

This post was written by Matthew Denhart, research assistant to the 4% Growth Project at the George W. Bush Institute. Previously he served as administrative director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

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