There’s no question Ted Cruz has become a major political player in just 10 months in the Senate. He’s also one of the more polarizing politicians.
A recent survey by Public Policy Polling shows Cruz is the top choice for presidential candidate among Texas Republicans. The same poll found half of all Texans say Cruz has been bad for the state’s reputation.
At the Greater Houston Partnership’s “State of the Senate” luncheon, Cruz said he wanted to talk about economic growth and opportunity.
“My top priority every single day is fighting to restore economic growth. That’s the No. 1 priority – frankly, it’s because it’s the No. 1 priority I hear from the men and women in this room, I hear all over the state.”
He says in the last four years, the U.S. economy has grown less than one percent per year. He blames President Barack Obama’s policies for that, comparing the situation to when Ronald Reagan became president after Jimmy Carter in 1981.
“If President Obama coming into office inheriting the same lousy economy Ronald Reagan inherited, had implemented the same economic policies, and if the same economic growth had resulted, by today we would have an additional 7 million new jobs.”
He says “out-of-control” spending needs to be stopped, regulations need to be reined in, and the tax system has to be reformed fundamentally.
“I think we need to follow the same pattern that we followed in the past: dramatically simplify the tax code so that we have a simple flat, fair tax that applies to everybody, so everybody can fill out their taxes just on a postcard.”
He says if it wasn’t for so many government regulations on the energy industry, the U.S. could be energy-independent, which would bring plenty of new jobs.
Cruz says the reason why growth is so important to him is because it brings opportunity.
“Do you know what the biggest losers have been under the Obama economic agenda? They hadn’t been the rich. Hadn’t been the millionaires and billionaires that the president demagogues. Did you know the top one percent right now earn a higher share of our national income than at any time since 1928? Listen, the rich, big business, they do great with big government.”
He says it’s young people, African Americans, Hispanics and single moms who are hurt most by a stagnant economy.
He says he wants America do be more like Houston where anybody who starts with nothing can achieve anything.