Ted Cruz’s Platform


Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz, more than any other candidate, really seems intent on reducing the size of government in Washington  and the scope of its power in our lives. Ted is a deeply religious man, and normally I’m uncomfortable with candidates who wear their religious beliefs on their chest. However, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and that’s a very tiny flaw to overlook.

Most impressive to me is his Five for Freedom plan. This from the first section:

Abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A Cruz Administration will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose sole charge will be to wind them down and determine whether any programs need to be preserved.

  1. Internal Revenue Services – end the political targeting, simplify the tax code, and abolish the IRS as we know it.
  2. Department of Education – return education to those who know our students best: parents, teachers, local communities, and states. And block-grant education funding to the states.
  3. Department of Energy – cut off the Washington Cartel, stop picking winners and losers, and unleash the energy renaissance.
  4. Department of Commerce – close the “congressional cookie jar” and promote free-enterprise and free trade for every business.
  5. Department of Housing and Urban Development – offer real solutions to lift people out of hardship, rather than trapping families in a cycle of poverty, and empower Americans by promoting the dignity of work and reforming programs such as Section 8 housing.

He also wants to eliminate ‘special interest’ agencies and lists 25 just to start, including the UN IPCC, the CPB, and sugar subsidies. On immigration he has a harder line than Trump:


We need a President who will follow the law, hold those who break it accountable, and take seriously the duty to protect Americans. To restore the Rule of Law, a Cruz Administration will:

  • End President Obama’s illegal amnesty. President Obama has issued over 20 illegal executive memoranda rewarding illegality. I will rescind each and every one on my first day in office.
  • Increase deportations and end catch-and-release. Our laws are not being enforced. I will restore our commitment to enforcement, public safety, and the Rule of Law by rededicating DHS to fully enforcing the law, including through deportations and returns.
  • End sanctuary policies, sign Kate’s Law, and deport criminal immigrants. There are about 340 sanctuary jurisdictions in the United States. They make a mockery of our laws and endanger our citizens. I will end support for these jurisdictions.
  • Prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving financial benefits and strengthen E-Verify. American taxpayers should not be funding benefits for those who are here illegally, and American jobs should not go to those who are here illegally. I will protect Americans’ well being by stopping the flow of taxpayer dollars and instituting a strong e-verify system.


In order to strengthen our immigration system, protect national security, and better serve American workers, we must:

  • Suspend the issuance of all H-1B visas for 180 days to complete a comprehensive investigation and audit of pervasive allegations of abuse of the program. New allegations detail appalling abuses of the H-1B visa program – a program meant to create American jobs and spur economic growth. I will suspend the program for 180 days to investigate abuses.
  • Halt any increases in legal immigration so long as American unemployment remains unacceptably high. The purpose of legal immigration should be to grow the economy, not to displace American workers. Under no circumstances should legal immigration levels be adjusted upwards so long as work-force participation rates remain below historical averages.
  • Enforce the public-charge doctrine. Current law requires legal immigrants to certify that they will be economically self-sufficient. A Cruz Administration will ensure they do not receive government assistance, which defies the law and harms American taxpayers.
  • End birthright citizenship. Birthright citizenship was not intended to legalize the children of people who are breaking the law by entering and staying in the country illegally. I will take steps to pass legislation or a constitutional amendment to end it.

Cruz wants a return to lawful, constitutional government. As an attorney, he has argued and won cases in district courts and the Supreme Court defending Americans against the Left’s assault on the Bill of Rights. He’s also been highly critical of Obama’s disregard for Article I of the Constitution and has written about it repeatedly. Here’s a snippet from The Imperial Obama Presidency:

President Obama frequently claims power to act when Congress will not, as though his powers are somehow enlarged the moment Congress refuses to address his priorities.   “I take executive action,” said the President, “only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing.”[3]  He repeatedly threatens that “if Congress won’t act, I will.”[4]  Frustrated by Congress’s refusal to enact his agenda or by laws that he simply finds to be inconvenient, President Obama has too often resorted to unilateral executive action to override acts of Congress or to implement policies that he was unable to enact through the proper constitutional process.  Many examples are documented in a series of reports I authored last Congress[5] and in a recent law review article titled “The Obama Administration’s Unprecedented Lawlessness” in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.[6]

At any other time in our history, it would have gone without saying that this is not how our system of government works.  Article I of the Constitution vests Congress, not the President, with the sole power to legislate.  Article II, by contrast, charges the President with the responsibility to “take Care” that the laws enacted by Congress be “faithfully executed.”  Given this division of power, the President cannot act until Congress does.  But President Obama sees congressional inaction, not as a limitation on his power to act, but as a license to act.  This is the logic of Caesar, not the logic of a president in a constitutional republic.

On foreign affairs, two items on his list struck me as eminently sane:

  • ISIS seeks to destroy our very way of life. We must defeat them. That starts by calling the enemy by its name – radical Islamic terrorism – and securing the border. Border security is national security.
  • On day one, a President Cruz will immediately repeal every word of President Obama’s dangerous Iran deal and will prioritize American national security interests in every instance.

On the domestic front, he’s equally ambitious:

Cruz Simple Flat Tax

  • Under the Cruz Simple Flat Tax, all income groups will see a double-digit increase in after-tax income. The current seven rates of personal income tax will collapse into a single low rate of 10 percent. For a family of four, the first $36,000 will be tax-free. The IRS will cease to exist as we know it, there will be zero targeting of individuals based on their faith or political beliefs, and there will be no way for thousands of agents to manipulate the system.

Regulatory Reform

  • Too many small businesses are being crushed by encroaching regulations. We need to get the government out of the way so the people can do what they do best — innovate, expand, and create new jobs.
  • A President Cruz will pass the REINS Act, holding Congress accountable to vote on any major cost-inducing regulation.
  • There’s no greater regulatory reform than repealing every word of Obamacare. We need to enact reforms that make health care personal, portable, and affordable. Specifically, we need open insurance markets across state lines, expand Health Savings Accounts, and delink health insurance from employment.
  • A Cruz administration will end the EPA regulations like the Waters of the U.S. rule and the Clean Power Plan that burden small businesses and farmers

Perhaps most importantly, Cruz has been consistent in holding these principles throughout his career. These aren’t election year talking points designed to pander to the base. There’s lots more detail at his website and I encourage you to read through. The more I see of Cruz, the better I like him


25 thoughts on “Ted Cruz’s Platform”

  1. He’s always been a favorite of mine. I’d go with Trump if he could form an overwhelming coalition to change the ways of the federal government.

    Cruz will have a harder time. He’s not the showman that Trump is but is far more substantial a thinker. We can guess which one is “more electable” and will capture the attention of LIVs. Trump is working hard to build a new coalition across Red/Blue. Cruz will have to expand the Blue into independent territory but things are so bad that he might be able to do it.

    I’ll have to weight Cruz as a doer versus Trump as a thinker. Mu Florida absentee ballot is on the way to me so I’ll have to decide shortly.

  2. The Iran point worries me. The trouble with the Iran deal, is that it is basically an upfront payment for promises of future good behavior. Having already unfrozen those assests and allowed the sanctions to lapse, there is almost no point in revoking the deal. It won’t get the money back, and it won’t get the sanctions re-instated. It just gives Iran an excuse to walk away from all of their commitments under the agreement.

    This is a big part of why the whole thing is such a bad deal of course. But that was an arguement for stopping is last year. There is little point to trying to close the barn door now that the horse has bolted.

  3. That is a good point. Trump made a similar error by stating that on taking office he would demand return of all US hostages held by Iran. It is not a good idea to limit your or the other side’s options by making such statements. A candidate with good foreign-policy advisors should know better.

  4. More than anything else, this platform is a good indicator of how Cruz thinks and how he intends to govern. In that sense it is instructive.

  5. Here’s something funny: Google searches spiked for Rubio during the debate after he made his comment about he’d rather be right about abortion than win the election. All the negative press coverage about his robotic responses, and they barely moved the needle. The media was completely wrong. It turns out the ‘Marcobot’ repetition tactic works in that it sets people up to really respond when he finally tosses a zinger.

  6. Those of you in favor of “abolishing” those 5 departments realize it’s utterly impossible, right? So the question is, what degree of diminishment of the power of those 5 departments will suffice, in lieu of the impossible goal being set, for you to declare that Pres. Cruz has achieved success?

  7. I dunno. I’m pleased he revoked his Canadian citizenship, very pleased.

    As to the changes, 1 and 2 are perhaps possible, 3 and 4 will get him killed, and 5 is just incomprehensible, although it does appear to be English.

  8. There is no point in not revoking the “agreement” with Iran since they have no intention of abiding by it ever. Iran is the quintessential apocalypse dancer and should not be considered a rational actor in anything they do. Remember, their idea is, to cause the Mahdi to show up, they have to create big change in the middle east so they are all in favor of chaos and destruction. They are not rational actors and anyone who bases policy on the notion that they are is a fool.

  9. Gene – Governments can go through reshuffles. That’s not impossible. If the President changes his Cabinet and reduces the number of people at the table with some functions no longer being done and others being absorbed into other departments, what, exactly is impossible about it? Are there enough votes to impeach a President Cruz if he refuses to staff the Import-Export bank and instructs it to give no loans? I really don’t think so. The Congress has no alternative but impeachment if the President appoints no staff and spends no money.

  10. TMLutas,

    The hard part will be stopping the transfer payments from the Federal government to the states for education, etc. The states love the money since they do not have to directly tax their own citizens to get it – it all comes from that Big Money Pot in the Sky – Washington.

    In rational governance, the states or local governments would tax their own citizens for services that the citizen receive. That would keep control and accountability on a more actionable level for the citizen.

    Of course, most of the moneys so transferred are wasted but just wait for the screams of those whose rice bowl is being broken.

  11. Whitehall – I think that the platform explicitly calls for block granting aid so that particular problem wouldn’t surface. I don’t think that you can do a big bang on education and fix everything. But I do think it is worth going as big as is practical (and more than most would dare). Cruz is exploring the outer limits of what is possible. Hopefully we’re ready to actually do that as real policy because that’s what’s going to be necessary to maximize harm reduction from our upcoming hard landing.

  12. TMLutas: The 5 agencies mentioned in the platform employ about 125,000 people combined. Those agencies also have huge responsibilities and their activities are embedded in countless areas of American life (including American business). If you could abolish even one of them (which I don’t consider possible short of apocalyptic events) you are talking about a task that would likely require many years and cause disruptions neither of us can possibly predict. You can’t see that those agencies (and their allies within government and without, who are legion) would be able, via many means, to disrupt and delay their dissolution long enough to outlast any reform-minded Repub. president? Also, can’t you see how such efforts would become such grim, all-encompassing battles that they would suck all the oxygen out of countless other more achievable activities of the administration? I understand the value of hyperbole in rhetoric, but I don’t get why Cruz is talking about moving the freakin’ Rocky Mountains as a campaign promise.

    Hence my question: Given the overwhelming unlikelihood that even one, much less five, of those major government agencies could in fact be eliminated, what degree of diminishment would be satisfactory?

    And I’m confused by the end of your comment. You state that you don’t think there are enough votes to impeach Pres. Cruz, and then follow by stating that Congress would have “no alternative” but to do so. It’s contradictory.

  13. Gene, Reagan fires 11,000 striking air traffic controllers Aug. 5, 1981.

    To the chagrin of the strikers, the FAA’s contingency plans worked. Some 3,000 supervisors joined 2,000 nonstriking controllers and 900 military controllers in manning airport towers. Before long, about 80 percent of flights were operating normally. Air freight remained virtually unaffected.

    In carrying out his threat, Reagan also imposed a lifetime ban on rehiring the strikers. In October 1981, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified PATCO.

  14. BTW, I remember reading that incident impressed the Russians that Reagan meant what he said. It totally changed their opinion of him. Well, that and taking away the Soviet Ambassador’s VIP parking spots.

  15. I am ambivalent on Cruz. Heck I am ambivalent on most of the candidates. All of them.

    He doesn’t seem to have one friend in the Senate. And that’s on the Republican side. They can’t be all “establishment politicians”. A number of them are frustrated people brought in by the tea party. You alienate Congress and how are you going to have an agenda that works?

    I am put off by his wearing his religion on his sleeve. Reminds me of the famous saying by Samuel Johnson, that is “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.

    Remember he has to appeal to the broad electorate.

    I have never seen such a wide choice of candidates and being so ambivalent about all of them.

  16. CapitalistRoader, that’s not an answer to my question, nor is that example anything like literally closing down major U.S. Government agencies.

    And … those were just people being fired; the jobs were not destroyed.

    Again, if we elect Cruz and he actually attempts to eliminate those agencies he will fail no matter how hard he works at it and how pure his intentions are. So the question remains, why are people latching onto those promises as if they’re achievable, and what actions short of complete destruction of those agencies will be considered good enough?

  17. why are people latching onto those promises as if they’re achievable

    A lot of people are latching onto Trump’s and Sanders’s promises too. Those are no more believable/achievable than what Cruz is saying, maybe less.

    People want to have hope about something; it’s human nature.

    At least in Cruz’s case the hope is for an outcome that would benefit the country overall. And who’s to say it’s not doable if there’s a strong enough consensus.

  18. why are people latching onto those promises as if they’re achievable, and what actions short of complete destruction of those agencies will be considered good enough?

    People are latching on because it is the direction they want to head in. Politics is ultimately the art of the possible. How far you get in achieving your goals is limited by the facts on the ground. Nonetheless, it is good to have high goals to inspire and strive for. Saying you want to reduce the size of the government and providing specific examples makes Cruz stand out in this field of otherwise blind men.

  19. Gene, the Dept. of Education has ~5000 employees. It would be easy to eliminate it over a few month’s time, moving its functions back to the states, if they even want them. Education is the perfect example of policy that should be made and enforced at the local level.

    Start small, celebrate the success, and go on to the next agency: Energy. Break it up, keeping the Office for Nuclear Security with the Feds and dumping the rest. Allow states to manage the transition. That could be done in a year.

    So now we’re into the middle of the first Cruz administration. Next agency: HUD.

  20. Shell is in the process of laying off 10,000 employees. If Cruz were to close the Dept of Ed and lay off 5,000 employees the wailing from the left will be heard on Neptune. There will probably be large and even violent protests. A Cruz presidency will be turbulent, but that’s the nature of restructuring a large bureaucracy. It has to be done. This is one of the reasons I supported Fiorina, she sees and understands the problems and is willing to do what needs to be done.

  21. Start small, celebrate the success, and go on to the next agency

    Alternately, cut as many agencies at the same time as is administratively and politically possible. Otherwise the Left will rally everyone else to the cause of the next incremental cut and the process will stall. Something like the Base Closing Commission ought to the model for how to do this, except that you need less consensus for cutting administrative agencies. If a president can really make across-the-board reductions with the stroke of a pen he should do it.

    Hit them hard enough to destabilize them. Keep going, as fast as possible. Don’t give them a chance to regroup.

  22. My point with the Shell example is that government leftists believe themselves immune (or above) the restructuring (and even accountability) that is normal and routine in the real world. That should not be the case.

  23. One point of information in all this. The GOPe in New Hampshire did not know anyone who supported Trump before the primary.

    During that state GOP meeting a couple of weeks ago, I asked former Gov. John Sununu, a man with a lifetime of knowledge about New Hampshire politics, if he knew any Trump supporters. Sununu pondered the question for a minute and said he thought a man who lived down the street from him might be for Trump.

    Immediately after the story was published, I got an email from a real estate executive and former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives named Lou Gargiulo, who happens to live down the street from Sununu. “I’m the guy!” Gargiulo told me. “Not only do I support Mr. Trump, I am the Rockingham County chairman of his campaign. The governor would be shocked to know that many of his other neighbors are Trump supporters as well.”

    I think, barring some unforeseen collapse by Trump, the election is over. I know it is very early but the ground swell is huge and growing.

    A lot of Trump voters are Democrats and all those who say he is not conservative are probably right but it is past the point where that matters. We may be seeing a ground swell too big to measure. I think, for the first time, in decades if not centuries, we are seeing a nonpartisan election. What it means is not yet clear but this is what mass movements look like. If I was Reince Priebus, I would start looking for ways to join the bandwagon. Helping Trump find some solid advisors would be a start.

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