Beyond Camp, other lawmakers scheduled to attend the rally include GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) along with Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio).
Sen. Ted Cruz’s abolish the IRS PR stunt has gone horribly wrong, and actually calls on Republicans to increase their own taxes.
Here is the video of Sen. Cruz urging people to sign his petition a.k.a. collect names and email addresses of people that Senate Republicans can hit up for money:
Cruz explained his plan to abolish the IRS to Fox News, “I think we ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax where the average American can fill out taxes on postcard. Put down how much you earn, put down a deduction for charitable contributions, home mortgage and how much you owe. It ought to be a simple one page postcard, and take the agents, the bureaucracy out of Washington and limit the power of government.”
If there are no IRS agents, who is going to know if you are telling the truth about your income? By using the phrase moving the bureaucracy out of Washington, Sen. Cruz is suggesting that the power to collect taxes will be moved to the states. (Cruz is trying to dupe conservatives into thinking that they are getting rid of the tax man, when it reality, he is just moving the tax bureaucracy out of DC.)
As Ezra Klein pointed out, Cruz’s plan actually makes the case for why we need a federal tax collection agency. We all know how much red states hate government. What if a red state governor doesn’t staff the tax collecting agency? Who will collect the taxes? Who will make sure that people are paying their taxes? Who will enforce the law? How will Sen. Cruz explain to soldiers that they won’t be getting paid, because red states didn’t pay their taxes this year?
The truth is that Republicans have no interest in ever passing a flat tax, because the flat tax doesn’t work. Sen. Cruz tried to spice up the plan with a few snazzy deductions, but it is still the same bad theory that doesn’t work. The big secret behind the flat tax is that it raises taxes on the poor and middle class, while lowering them for the wealthy. The flat tax is only fair if you are rich. Flat taxes massively shift the tax burden downwards, so that those who have less pay more.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) feuded this week. Then they feuded some more. It wasn’t the first time tensions between the longtime senator and the freshman tea party favorite flared up. And it’s a pretty safe bet that it won’t be the last.
The dispute between McCain and his allies and Cruz and his cohort lays bare a new fault line in the Senate GOP Conference — one that threatens to further stall movement in a legislative chamber already seized by partisan gridlock.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), pictured in center. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
At issue this week: the budget. The setting: the Senate floor. Cruz, along with Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Mike Lee of Utah have called for Senate Republicans to block efforts to move the budget debate to a conference committee (both the House and Senate have separately passed budgets) without a guarantee Democrats won’t surreptitiously try to insert an automatic increase to the nation’s debt limit through a procedural tactic.
“The senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans. Let me be clear, I don’t trust the Republicans,” Cruz said. “
Cruz is at the FreedomWorks Texas Summit, and the news here is that he calls most of his colleagues “squishes” and gives a (quite self-aggrandizing) account of off-the-record Senate Republican caucus luncheons, which apparently involved a lot of people yelling at Cruz and Rand Paul and the other guy who also promised to filibuster the entire gun deal from start to finish. In this version of events, the three filibustering amigos were responsible for the failure of the entire proposal. As Dave Weigel points out, that’s not really how it happened. The bill failed — and was probably doomed to begin with — because a lot more than three senators opposed it, and the Cruz/Paul filibuster threat was worse politics for the party than allowing debate to proceed and then watching red-state Democrats cave. Which is what actually happened.
This unbecoming display of narcissism and lack of team spirit led Washington Post blogger and former uncompensated Mitt Romney flack Jennifer Rubin to call Cruz a jerk. Which he undoubtedly is!
For starters, it’s just not smart to annoy colleagues whose cooperation and support you’ll need in the future. Second, as a conservative he should understand humility and grace are not incompatible with “standing on principle” the absence of these qualities doesn’t make him more principled or more effective. Third, for a guy who lacks manners (see his condescending questioning of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) he comes across as whiny. They yelled at me! Boo hoo, senator.
Basically all of this analysis is dead wrong. At least it’s wrong in the specific case of Ted Cruz, who will not need anyone’s “support in the future” because he doesn’t care about legislating.
A bit of lunacy from the leader of the RS Asylum:
Ted Cruz managed to get 45 Republicans in the Senate to unite to defund Obamacare. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin refused to go to the Senate floor to even take a position, only to show up a couple hours laters to vote on the procedural vote. It is a strong signal that the Democrats in states who both Barack Obama and John Kerry lost could be in a very tough position on this fight.
We have the votes, but not the will, to fight this fight, filibuster the continuing resolution, and shut down the government unless the Democrats, at the least, delay implementation of Obamacare. If it gets back to the House, House conservatives must unite to kill the rule with it.
When Teddy “Mr. One-Term” Cruz is your great hope, you’re in trouble. Of course, said great hope is also making the rounds ranting about how we either kill the ACA or he’ll try and force a Government Shutdown on Monday. And Tuesday. And as long as saying so gets him 5 more minutes of airtime, I guess?
I swear, it’s like watching a bunch of 8 year olds play pretend Senator out on the playground.
Starting with the zombie-eyed granny killer’s budget yesterday, the GOP is charging ahead on its plan to give the country back to the rightful owners, the corporations and the top 1% of income collectors. To the workhouse for everyone else.
Sen. Ted Cruz says that he is expecting a vote Wednesday on his amendment to defund Obamacare until economic growth is restored, adding that he is willing to risk a government shutdown if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Barack Obama stand in the way.
In a joint press conference Wednesday morning with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rand Paul (R-Texas), Cruz urged members of Congress to include his Restore Growth First amendment in the continuing resolution to fund the government, telling his Republican colleagues in both chambers to join him in an “important stand for principle.” Cruz then challenged Democrats to support the measure in order to avert a possible government shutdown.
“I think it’s the right position for Republicans to be taking,” Cruz said. “And I think it would be exactly the right decision to then send it back to Harry Reid and President Obama and ask if Harry Reid and President Obama are willing to try to shut the government down in order to insist that Obamacare be fully funded now even though it could well push us into a recession.”
Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s prosecutorial style of questioning Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, came so close to innuendo that it raised eyebrows in Congress, even among his Republican colleagues. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, called Cruz’s inquiry into Hagel’s past associations “out of bounds, quite frankly.” The Times reported that Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, rebuked Cruz for insinuating, without evidence, that Hagel may have collected speaking fees from North Korea. Some Democrats went so far as to liken Cruz, who is a newcomer to the Senate, to a darkly divisive predecessor, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusades devolved into infamous witch hunts. Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, stopped short of invoking McCarthy’s name, but there was no mistaking her allusion when she talked about being reminded of “a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such-and-such a date,’ and of course there was nothing in the pocket.”
Boxer’s analogy may have been more apt than she realized. Two and a half years ago, Cruz gave a stem-winder of a speech at a Fourth of July weekend political rally in Austin, Texas, in which he accused the Harvard Law School of harboring a dozen Communists on its faculty when he studied there. Cruz attended Harvard Law School from 1992 until 1995. His spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request to discuss the speech.
Cruz made the accusation while speaking to a rapt ballroom audience during a luncheon at a conference called “Defending the American Dream,” sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit political organization founded and funded in part by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. Cruz greeted the audience jovially, but soon launched an impassioned attack on President Obama, whom he described as “the most radical” President “ever to occupy the Oval Office.” (I was covering the conference and kept the notes.)
Here’s what Chuck Hagel should do, and I am not kidding about this. He should get up from his seat in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, open his shirt, tear out the shrapnel he’s still carrying around from Vietnam, and throw the bloody fragments in the faces of both Jim Inhofe and Ted Cruz. This is your new “rebranded” Republican party, Senator Cruz, who makes the heart of Chris Cillizza go pitty-pat?
“We do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups. In my view, given the two letters he received, it is a fair inference to assume that he and those handling his nomination assembled that information, assembled his compensation, and the only reasonable inference, I think, is when they assembled it, there was something in there that they did not want to make public. It may be that he spoke at radical or extreme groups or anti-israel groups and accepted financial compensation. We don’t know.”
I have in my hand a list…
Later, after Bill Nelson of Florida called out Cruz for resurrecting Tailgunnner Joe, Inhofe chimed in and (as usual) you could hear the stupid echoing over Chesapeake Bay.
“I want to make one observation,” Inhofe interjected. “I think I wrote down the words Senator [Bill] Nelson was criticizing our senator there for implying that Chuck Hagel was cozy with terrorist type countries referring to Iran. I’d say he’s endorsed by them. You can’t get any cozier than that.”
I give up. I can’t imagine why the president hasn’t “reached across the aisle” more.
Could the GOP Lose Texas? as Immigration Turns Red States Blue, the Republicans Will Have to Transform Their Platform
When historians look back on Mitt Romney’s bid for the Presidency, one trend will be clear: no Republican candidate ever ran a similar campaign again. For four decades, from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan through the two Bush Presidencies, the Republican Party won the White House by amassing large margins among white voters. Nixon summoned the silent majority. Reagan cemented this bloc of voters, many of whom were former Democrats. Both Bushes won the Presidency by relying on broad support from Reagan Democrats. In that time, Republicans transformed the South from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican, and they held the White House for twenty-eight out of forty years. Last Tuesday, Romney won three-fifths of the white vote, matching or exceeding what several winning Presidential candidates, including Reagan in 1980 and Bush in 1988, achieved, but it wasn’t enough. The white share of the electorate, which was eighty-seven per cent in 1992, has steadily declined by about three points in every Presidential election since then. At the present rate, by 2016, whites will make up less than seventy per cent of voters. Romney’s loss to Barack Obama brought an end not just to his eight-year quest for the Presidency but to the Republican Party’s assumptions about the American electorate.
Some interpretations of the election results by conservatives were particularly dark. Mary Matalin, the Republican commentator, wrote that Obama was a “political narcissistic sociopath” who “leveraged fear and ignorance” to win. On Tuesday evening, before the race was called, Bill O’Reilly, after acknowledging that “the demographics are changing,” offered the following explanation for an Obama victory: “It’s not a traditional America anymore. And there are fifty per cent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it and he ran on it. Whereby twenty years ago President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney. The white establishment is now the minority.” He added, “You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama.”
But far from Fox News Channel’s newsroom in Manhattan and the insular world of the Beltway’s conservative commentariat, one significant element of the Republican Party has for the past two years been grappling with and adapting to the demographic future that was so starkly revealed by last Tuesday’s outcome. On Halloween, less than a week before Election Day, I rode with Ted Cruz, now the senator-elect from Texas, who was folded into the back seat of a Toyota Corolla as an aide drove him from San Antonio to Austin. Cruz, who has a thick head of pomaded, neatly combed hair, is a former college debate champion and Supreme Court litigator, and is a commanding public speaker. That morning, he had addressed a small crowd of employees eating Kit Kats and candy corn at Valero, a major oil refiner whose headquarters are in San Antonio. As he told the story of his father’s journey from Cuba to Texas, the room fell silent. Cruz, who is forty-one, eschews teleprompters, instead roaming across the stage and speaking slowly and dramatically, with well-rehearsed sweeps of his hands. He is one of several political newcomers who offer hope to Republicans after a disappointing election.