Home Money Opinion: Could personal spending prove Marco Rubio’s inability to control the U.S. economy?

Opinion: Could personal spending prove Marco Rubio’s inability to control the U.S. economy?

4 min read

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio earns three times as much as the average U.S. family: $174,000 vs. $53,657. However, according to Business Insider, recent news about his personal finances, including cashing out $68,000 of retirement funds, suggest personal pecuniary struggles that could concern voters about his ability to make the U.S. economy prosper.

Although Rubio claims having four kids and normal household expenses are understandable culprits, the public might be more concerned about his apparent lack of financial prowess. The beginning of the anxieties over Rubio’s personal spending were seen during his 2010 race for the Florida U.S. Senate seat.

Michael Williams, a political reporter and part of the panel at a U.S. Senate debate in 2010, raised the question of Rubio having to “pay back $16,000 in personal expenses run up on a Florida Republican party-issued credit card.” He said that at one point Rubio almost had to foreclose on one of his homes.

Rubio claimed these allegations were not true and stated that he had paid for all his personal expenses. However, recent revelations in The New York Times say Rubio used his state-issued credit card for personal expenses, including travel expenses for his wife, repairs to his minivan and tile fixes that added up to over $22,000 from January 2005 through December 2008.  

Although his campaign claims Rubio repaid any personal spending, the larger issue is the expenditures. The Tampa Bay Times notes that the more his income grew, the more his debt also accumulated. From 2000 to 2005, his annual income rose from $72,000 to $300,000. By 2005, he owned two homes with mortgages totaling over $794,000. Though a public employee himself, he abstained from public school for his children; all four of his children attend expensive private schools. When he left state office in 2008, Rubio had $903,000 in loans and a net worth of only $8,332, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Donald Trump called Rubio’s credit card use a “disaster,” and Jeb Bush accused him of “misuse of state party credit cards.” These fears may be resonating with voters since a traditional Republican goal is to reduce the U.S. debt. Although financial concerns echo with everyday people, can a president who cannot control his household spending limit federal government spending? Voters will ultimately decide if Rubio’s financial inability to keep his minivan running bodes poorly for his ability to keep the U.S.’s $17 billion economy humming on all cylinders.

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