Ted Cruz's 10 priorities for Republicans: not straight with voters

Republicans aren’t going to get rid of the IRS or pass term limits, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a lifetime ban on lobbying for members of Congress or much else on the Ted Cruz Top 10. That's not being straight with voters. 

Mark Sterkel/Odessa American/AP
Sen. Ted Cruz (l.) talks with Jacky Brown of Midland, Texas, with Alliance Energy during a tour of the Permian Basin International Oil Show on Oct. 23, 2014, at the Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, Texas.

It started out strong and then got progressively weaker.

I am talking about Ted Cruz’s op-ed in USA Today.

He decided to tell Republicans what their priorities should be for next year.

Cruz is still in his first term as a senator, but because he is such a rock-star with the base (Sen. Pat Roberts called him in to gin-up the Tea Party in Kansas, for example), he believes that he can take on the role of Republican leader.

He started by talking about a pro-growth agenda, which I think is vitally important, and should include things like corporate tax reform and regulatory reform. But in the Cruz world, economic growth only happens if we focus on energy production. I am all for Keystone, fracking, and exporting liquefied natural gas. But to be honest, we are already poised to become the world’s leader in energy production. And this is under an administration that is hostile to the whole idea. I suppose we could do more, but I think there are several other priorities that are far more important to prod economic growth, none of which Cruz mentions.

His second priority was repealing Obamacare. He wants Republicans to pursue every option to force the president to repeal his signature legislative accomplishment, which I am sure includes attaching it to a government spending bill and shutting down the government. Haven’t we already been down that road?

I am for the idea of passing fixes to Obamacare (which Cruz seemingly supports) and then passing free-market ideas, like allowing the purchase of health-care insurance across state lines. But I hope Cruz doesn’t want to cause another government shutdown. That would be disastrous.

His third priority is to stop illegal amnesty. I don’t even know what that means. If Congress passes a law giving amnesty, it wouldn’t be illegal. But Congress isn’t going to do an amnesty bill anyway. They should pass legislation to fix our broken immigration system.

His fourth priority is to rein in activist judges. By that, does he mean the Supreme Court? He might want to continue to fight against gay marriage. I suppose for a conservative like Cruz, that’s a very good fight to pick. Instead, Cruz seems to be picking a fight with John Roberts, which I don’t think is a good use of time. And on the long list of priority items, this is No. 4?  Really?

Fifth, he wants to fight the culture of corruption. He wants to impose a lifetime ban on members of Congress from becoming lobbyists. That’s fine with me, but I assume that’s not fine with 534 congressmen and senators who want to keep their employment options open. He also makes the specious claim that the Export-Import Bank is a thoroughly corrupt organization because it helps American companies like Boeing sell more products overseas.  He also claims that retailers who want Internet companies to pay the same sales taxes that they have to pay are equally corrupt. Finally, he wants to pass a constitutional amendment to impose term limits, despite the facts that most members of the House have been in Congress for less than six years. We have term limits. They are called elections. And they come every two years in the House.

Sixth, he wants to abolish the IRS. Yep, that’s pretty realistic.

Seventh, he wants politicians to have more control over the Federal Reserve. I understand why conservatives hate the Fed, but the dollar has never been stronger vis a vis the Euro, so I am not sure what all the complaining is about.

Eighth, he wants to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, probably not understanding that by enacting such an amendment, we would have to either get rid of Medicare entirely or increase taxes by the biggest amount in the history of mankind.

Ninth, he says we should repeal Common Core. But Common Core is not a federal program. We could, through the appropriations process, make it impossible for the Department of Education to use resources to fund the president’s Race to the Top program. That program gives incentives to states to improve their schools and make them more accountable. But Common Core is a state initiative, not a federal program.

Finally, he says that Republicans should deal with the twin threats of ISIL and a nuclear Iran. I agree that we should work with White House to come up with a plan on Islamic terrorism, but I doubt seriously if most voters want us to go to war with Iran.

Ted Cruz says Republicans should be bold, should be fully transparent, shouldn’t play any games, and should pass a serious agenda that resonates with the American people.

I am all for that. But the agenda he lays out is not serious, not transparent, won’t necessarily resonate with the everyday concerns of voters, and on many levels, is completely disingenuous.

Republicans aren’t going to get rid of the IRS. They aren’t going to pass term limits. They aren’t going to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. They aren’t going (nor should they) pass a life-time ban on lobbying for members of Congress. They aren’t going to repeal Common Core.  They aren’t going to mess with the judicial branch. There’s no such thing as illegal amnesty. They aren’t going to prod the president into declaring war on Iran. They aren’t going to get rid of Export-Import Bank.

Republicans should be bold. They should be transparent. Most importantly, they should be straight with the voters. Cruz is not being straight with the voters. And it’s not right.

John Feehery publishes his Feehery Theory blog at http://www.thefeeherytheory.com/.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Ted Cruz's 10 priorities for Republicans: not straight with voters
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today