Ted Cruz Blasts Budget Deal, Warns Nation Nearing 'Point of No Return'

Image: Ted Cruz Blasts Budget Deal, Warns Nation Nearing 'Point of No Return'

Friday, 20 Dec 2013 09:29 PM

By David A. Patten

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is blasting the bipartisan budget deal that passed the Senate this week, saying the deal “went backwards” and would only worsen the nation’s spiraling debt.

The budget compromise that had been championed by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan in the House passed the Senate by a 63 to 36 vote.

Speaking in an exclusive Newsmax Magazine interview, Cruz said Friday: “It’s a sad statement that the easiest way to get bipartisan agreement in Washington is to increase spending, debt, and taxes.

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“That’s why the American people are so frustrated with career politicians in Washington in both parties, because they’re not listening to the American people and they’re not working to solve the enormous fiscal and economic challenges that we’re facing,” he added.

The deal on the budget reduces the impact of the automatic sequester cuts by about $63 billion over two years. Its includes a controversial 1 percent cut in cost-of-living pension adjustments to some military retirees that Cruz opposes, and only cuts $23 billion from spending over the next decade.

Critics have pointed out the $23 billion over 10 years is only about 3 percent of the federal government’s $680 billion deficit for 2013 alone.

The U.S. national debt, which was roughly $10 trillion when President Obama took office, now stands at over $17 trillion. And Cruz warned time is running out to fix it.

“We have a brief window of time to turn things around,” he said. “We don’t have a long time.”

He added: “We are nearing the point of no return.”

Cruz described himself as “profoundly optimistic” that the nation will eventually get its balance sheet back in order – but not thanks to Washington.

“The answer’s going to have to come from the American people,” he said. “It’s not going to come from Washington. It’s got to come from millions and millions of Americans across this country standing up, and holding elected officials accountable, telling elected officials of both parties, ‘Stop doing what you’ve been doing over and over again, it’s not working.’”

Increasingly, Cruz is being mentioned among the top potential contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination. Perhaps due to the spotlight shined on him during the shutdown over Obamacare, Cruz’s name recognition has skyrocketed.

The freshman senator from Texas recently was named the third most influential figure in the world in a Rasmussen poll, behind only Pope Francis and President Obama.

The price for his meteoric rise: Cruz is sustaining more frequent political attacks by rivals. New York Republican Rep. Peter King, reportedly flirting with tossing his own hat in the ring for the 2016 nomination, recently described Cruz and fellow movement-conservative Rand Paul as “out of touch with the American people.”

Asked his reaction to that broadside, Cruz replied that King is “certainly entitled to his opinion.”

But he added: “Nobody should be surprised that the Washington establishment doesn’t want to change. No one should be surprised that the Washington establishment fights back.

“You don’t get a $17 trillion national debt without a whole lot of bipartisan cooperation, without a whole lot of Republicans going along to get along with Democrats and exploding the size, power, and spending of the federal government. And that’s why so many people across this country are rightly fed up with Washington.”

But Cruz says the sequester unfairly requires the military to bear a disproportionate burden.

“I think we owe it to the men and women in the military to stand with them, to support them,” he said. “One of the most disturbing aspects of this recent budget deal is that it cuts the retirements of our veterans, retroactively, and it doesn’t do the same thing for civilian employees.”

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