US Senator Marco Rubio sparked anger after calling a proposal to expand pandemic child tax credits “socialism” while pocketing five times the median US salary.
The Florida Republican on Wednesday tweeted an attack announcement targeting Val Demings, his Democratic opponent in the 2022 US Senate election, calling it “too radical for the moderates.”
“The government that pays $ 300 per child every month not to work is socialism, and the radical left is only a comrade in the Senate to make it law,” Rubio said.
The post immediately drew derision for its apparent suggestion that children should work for their wages, with one reviewer asking, “What is your favorite work for children?” “
Others have focused on Mr Rubio’s salary of $ 174,000 (Â£ 126,000) per year, compared to a median salary of $ 34,248, and his history of irregular attendance at his job.
The 50-year-old Cuban-American has consistently been among the bottom 25 out of 100 senators for the percentage of missed votes, according to GovTrack, and in 2015 was most absent of all with 35 percent as he unsuccessfully fought Donald Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Democrats are seeking to make permanent an expanded child tax credit launched as part of President Biden’s “US bailout” in March, which offered up to $ 3,600 per child under 6.
Mr Rubio supports larger credit, but wants it to be limited to working parents. He signed a law in 2017 that increased the maximum credit from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 per child, although his full benefits were not available to poorer families.
However, Mr Rubio himself proposed a $ 208 per month jobless child tax credit in 2015, which was more generous for high-income families than the Democrats’ version, while still being difficult to claim for. the poorest.
Mr. Rubio’s proposal phased out the tax credit available for couples earning between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000 a year together, and for people earning between $ 150,000 and $ 200,000.
In contrast, current emergency benefits are gradually declining to $ 150,000 for married couples and $ 75,000 for individuals. Mr Rubio’s salary in the Senate would put him above the two thresholds.
The United States is a distinct outlier compared to European countries including the United Kingdom which tend to offer at least some family allowance to low and middle income families.