Former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, now a candidate for U.S. Senate, pins the country’s budget problems on Republicans in Congress losing their way and playing into the wasteful habits of Democrats during the last six years.
The hope, he said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, is for a second wave of new Republican leaders to be elected to Washington, where they will get to work making the hard choices of how to fix the fiscal fiasco threatening the future of the country.
In 2006 and 2008, Cruz said that Republicans stopped acting conservatively and happily grew government while raising taxes and the national debt, laying the blame squarely at those currently serving in the U.S. Capitol.
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“We’ve had far too few leaders in the U.S. Senate willing to tackle the serious economic and fiscal problems we have in this country,” Cruz said. “Harry Reid is majority leader, and the Senate has been AWOL. They haven’t even produced a budget in more than three years. They’re simply not serious about fixing these problems. I think the American people are fed up with it and looking for leaders willing not to give speeches - it’s not about speeches - it’s about rolling up your sleeves and fixing the problem. And that’s exactly what I hope and intend to do in Washington.”
He called the 2012 election, up and down the ticket, atypical, because of the fiscal cliff, but more specifically the overall budget and tax situation, that hasn’t been caused simply by legislation meant to cut spending - which is where the fiscal cliff comes from.
“The real divide hasn’t been between liberals and conservatives in Washington,” Cruz said. “The real divide has been between the career politicians of both parties, who have worked arm-in-arm growing government, growing spending, and growing the debt, and the American people whose future is being bankrupted. What we’re seeing is a new generation of leaders who are ready to roll up their sleeves and fix the problem.”
Among those new leaders, Cruz pointed to Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin as ideal examples of this new leadership he hopes will drive budget and tax reform. This new leadership, he said, will help avoid the pitfalls of previous bargains that mixed spending cuts and tax increases.
Another grand bargain is not what the country needs, he said, because “what tends to happen is the tax increases happen and the spending cuts never materialize.”
Cruz said the election of Barack Obama in 2008 was a kick in the teeth for conservatives, and that their worst fears -- 23 million people looking for a job, GDP growth of barely 1.4% per year -- came true.
“The biggest reason I don’t think we should raise taxes is our economy is struggling, we just came out of a recession, and we’re at the verge, potentially, of another one,” Cruz said. “The worst thing you can do when the economy is struggling is jack up taxes on small businesses and job creators. We’ve got to get our economy going and the way to do that is through tax reform to remove the barriers that the Obama administration has placed in the way of small businesses, and allow small businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish. That’s what will create jobs. Because two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses, and this administration is making it incredibly difficult to survive, much less prosper.”
If elected to the Senate, Cruz said he’d work seriously with anybody willing to reduce the size of government and move toward a low, simple tax rate. Part of this, he said, would include putting every tax break, aside from the home mortgage deduction and breaks for charitable giving, on the table.
“My view on tax reform is that the tax code is far too complicated, far too byzantine,” Cruz said. “There actually are more words in the IRS code than there are in the bible, and not one of them is good... By simplifying the tax code, what that enables and produces is economic growth. We saw that powerfully under President Reagan when he championed tax reform, and we can do the same again and get the same economic result.”
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