Rubio Pitches Plan to Halt 'Erosion of American Dream' with 'Modern Conservative Reforms'

Rubio attributed much of the blame for these economic woes to the federal government’s failure to adjust to the realities of a new era.

“Instead of attracting jobs to our shores through simplifying taxes and regulations, it imposes higher taxes and more regulations. Instead of anti-poverty programs that promote work and education so our people can emerge from poverty, we pump more money into programs that have failed us for a half century. Instead of taking steps to make higher education more available and more affordable, we pour resources into a system that is expensive and inaccessible and is graduating too many people with unemployable degrees. And instead of modernizing our retirement programs to make them accessible to everyone, we put more money into unsustainable programs that were designed in the 1930s,” he said.

Rubio said many of these policies have left many feeling “completely alienated from our government and its leaders.”

“They feel as if no one here in Washington understands what they are facing and no one here has answers to their challenges,” he said.

Rubio’s speech comes the same week as President Barack Obama’s summit on working families in which he detailed ways to help working parents balance their family lives with their careers and make ends meet.

While lauding the president for hosting the summit, Rubio criticized his economic policy proposals for not going “far enough.”

“Up to this point, his plan to restore the American dream has been an old and familiar one: raise taxes, create more regulations, pour more money into government programs, and accuse anyone who doesn’t agree with him of not caring,” he said.

Rubio said the ideas the president introduced in the summit are more “symbolic than they are substantive.” He also said Republicans “too often will allow themselves to be a party that is not for growth but for big businesses.”

The young Florida Republican is among a group of GOP candidates believed to be vying for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination. Rubio has stepped up in recent months his efforts to increase his national exposure, including trips abroad to meet with foreign leaders and visits to presidential nominating states.

In a June CNN poll, Rubio pulled 8 percent among GOP presidential candidates, coming in sixth place behind the likes of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).