Despite the fact that Iowa has been notoriously bad at predicting the Republican nominee for President in recent years, there are a number of people thinking that Ted Cruz could buck that trend. Considering his plans for the country and his recent statements, I don’t think he’ll get much momentum past Iowa. Iowa is a great place, and the people are nice, but they tend to be very Evangelical, and vote very conservatively. Ted Cruz’s firebrand mentality and craziness should backfire when he reaches more moderate audiences even though this seems like a year where the establishment candidates are in for a beating.
However, I have been known to be wrong before. I hope I am not this time, though. A Ted Cruz presidency would be a terrible thing for this country. Like a true extremist, he has plans to dismantle much of the workings of government. One only has to visit portions of his website where he openly proclaims what parts of government he wants to abolish. He calls it his “five for freedom” page.
On this page, he mentions five government departments and then 25 programs, agencies, bureaus, and commissions he thinks need to be removed from existence. A quick glance, especially at the 25, certainly makes it seem like the items targeted are aimed directly at liberal things. Most Republicans wouldn’t cry for the loss of the National Endowment of the Arts or Humanities or even for Corporation for Public Broadcasting despite their positive effects on society. I would suggest they do take a much closer look at the departments Mr. Cruz has slated for abolishment.
Everyone’s favorite target is up first, the IRS. Despite the fact that the country needs taxes to survive and the IRS is actually very well run, everyone hates it. Of course we do. No one wants to fork over their money to a nameless entity who they feel is just muscling in on them. We know in the back of our mind it isn’t like that, but it feels that way every week when we look at the amount of money we aren’t getting from our paycheck.
Ted Cruz says he wants to fix this by imposing a simple 10% flat tax on everyone, except families making less than $36,000. Not counting the billions of dollars in revenue lost by removing the graduated tax rate, I am guessing that we are now going to hire a private firm with a million dollar CEO at its head to take the place of the now abolished IRS to collect the taxes? How much more are we going to be paying the people at this company and the many numerous other private companies that will take the place of the services we are about to confer to them from government employees we are laying off? By the way, can we trust these private companies to be as ethical in their standards as we have made the federal government over the years?
Probably not when you consider other reforms he has in mind. I am going to skip down the list a bit and go to the Department of Commerce. Sometimes I think Republicans just spout things off without really knowing anything about the departments they wish to axe. I know they want to get rid of this department because they are supposed to control some of the regulations on business, so they want that ended. This means that there will be a freeing of business regulations. Get ready for Flint-like situations all across the country, and situations where you won’t be able to sue a corporation for restitution if they’ve done anything wrong either.
However, the Commerce Department does more than this. It has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which cover the nation’s weather and much more. This department also contains the Patent Office, which is integral to new business ideas. Finally, the Commerce Department is home to the Census Bureau, which is mandated under the Constitution every ten years to do the census and is needed for the drawing of congressional districts.
I am sure these things will also all be privatized as well, but should we really do that? Can we afford to pay for it after we cut our revenue? Do we trust a private company with all the new patent information or people’s private info? Or will we be creating a new department to house these offices, and basically just be moving them around instead of just abolishing them?
Next let’s move to the Department of Education. I know a lot of Evangelicals and staunch Republicans want to get rid of any attempt to educate children in the liberal sense of the word. They seem to want to indoctrinate them in fundamentalist Christianity and wrap them in their American Fascism. By abolishing any federal oversight and sending unrestricted block grants to states Ted believes and hopes that can finally be achieved because local control will be achieved. Crazies like him will force their will on others or drive sensible people out of their neighborhoods.
Next in line for the headsman’s block is the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I think he may have chosen this one because it had the word urban in the title, and it was intended to help people. Of course, they are only going to eliminate half of this department and privatize the other half. They will eliminate all the voucher programs that the government gives to those in need, including homeless veterans, while passing off the loan program to the banks. After all, the government won’t be able to pay for these handouts after they have reduced their tax income and increased their expenditures by paying for all the new private contractors.
I saved the Department of Energy for last because Ted Cruz, like every other disillusioned radical on the right, seems not to understand what that department does. They all seem to think they handle the natural resources of the country like oil and natural gas, but that is not what they do. They are thinking of the Department of the Interior. The Department of Energy is focused on science, technology, nuclear material and storage (including that used in our nuclear defense), and renewable energy sources and development. The Department of Energy does some regulation, but they would also need to remove large portions of the Department of the Interior to fulfill their dreams of non-regulated oil and gas that is free to frack anywhere and be free to poison the water without repercussions.
I know so many conservatives out there think that if you lower taxes the loss in revenue will pay for itself with job growth. You would think after so many years of hearing this lie that people would finally wise up after they realize that their paychecks are still barely getting them by while the rich are just getting richer. There may be more jobs out there after these tax cuts, but the deficits will be enormous and the low paying jobs created will not offset the loss of revenue. Remember, Ted is of the ilk who think the minimum wage kills jobs and want to help dismantle all government regulations on business.
One of those regulations going out the window would most likely be the minimum wage law. Even if there were a lot of jobs created by his moves, how many of them would pay less than $36,000? I am guessing a lot of them. Why pay people a decent wage when you don’t have to? All of these people would fall below Cruz’s threshold until he needs that tax money. Then tax reform would be immediately on the agenda and those who are “skating by” would be next on the block.