By James Silberman We are in a vicious period in the history of American politics. Frustrations have long been building due to a host of issues including a growing national debt, a stagnant economy and a workforce participation rate that is the lowest since the 70s, according to the Bureau of Labor. The past decade has been economically disastrous by just about every measure, and Americans on both ends of the political spectrum have become hostile towards America’s elite, which they have dubbed the “establishment”.
Warring factions are breaking out within the Republican and Democratic parties, and especially between them. The primary races are more hectic and convoluted than any in recent memory. Let me break down who the candidates are, and why voters should support Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president.
If you’re happy with the way things are going now, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ohio Governor John Kasich are your best options. Both are career politicians in their mid-sixties who have not promised to change a lot if elected president. They are the business-as-usual candidates. For this reason, I have crossed both off my list. If you look at America and see a place that is healing and improving and is on the right track, look harder.
If you’re angry, but you don’t really know why you’re angry, oh boy do I have a candidate for you. I am of course referring to Donald Trump. If the people who support this man understood why they were angry, they’d realize that Trump epitomizes everything they claim to despise: cronyism, deception and political pandering.
This leaves two candidates: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Cruz. The quintessential progressive vs. the quintessential conservative.
These two ideologies give vastly different diagnoses of America’s problems. Progressives blame the economically powerful and the free enterprise system, while conservatives blame the politically powerful and the expansion of the federal government beyond its constitutional limits.
In truth, both are correct in their criticisms. Both the financial elite at the Federal Reserve and other economic powerhouses and the political elite in the federal government have far too much central control over the American economy. The amount of power accumulated in those institutions is easily harnessable for those who wish to rig the system in their own favor.
So if both big business and big government are to blame, what then is the solution?
Sanders argues that bigger government will solve the problem. More taxes, more regulations and more power in the hands of politicians to keep businesses in check. Sounds good, right? The vast majority of our generation seems to think so, according to Pew Research.
However, this idea ignores something very important: The bigger the government, the bigger the corruption. That is not political rhetoric, but simply an observable fact of human nature. The bigger the government is, the more incentive there is for people to bribe politicians because of how much power politicians hold in a big-government society. The current application of this is lobbyists and special interest groups, who have an extraordinarily large impact on the running of our federal government today. This is a direct result of increased government power.
Also, the more access politicians have to the flow of money through the economy, the more corruption will inevitably follow. Under Sanders’ tax plan, roughly one-third of America’s GDP will be owned by federal government, according to the Tax Foundation. That’s not even taking into account state governments.
Right now, many of you are saying “But Bernie is all about protecting the little guy! Isn’t it a good thing if the government enforces higher taxes and has more regulatory power so they can take down the big businesses and help small ones?”
Not. In. The. Slightest.
Do you really think Coca-Cola or Nike or Costco are going to be affected by a tax hike or some regulations? No. They have the resources to hire lawyers and lobbyists who find ways to get around these regulations and skimp on taxes. It’s small businesses who get choked out by big government. It’s the local machinery plant, it’s the mom-and-pop bakery, it’s your favorite breakfast joint. The more power is harnessed by central institutions, including the government, the more those who wish to manipulate the system will be able to do so, and the more the economically and politically powerful will have a stranglehold on the American economy.
On the other hand, Ted Cruz has aspirations to shrink government by lowering federal taxes to a flat 10% individual rate with nothing paid on the first $36,000. This means that everyone, but especially low-income earners, get to keep the money they earn and become more economically empowered instead of being forced to send their earnings into the disappearing black hole of big government. It means an even playing field and the elimination of tax lobbyists who help big corporations find loopholes. It means a lower business tax rate that will incent companies to bring their offshore accounts back stateside.
Most importantly, Ted Cruz being elected President would mean no more central control of our economy. Along with shrinking government, Cruz would go after the banking elites at the Federal Reserve. He, along with Senate colleague Rand Paul, wrote the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015, which would have allowed for effective audits of the Fed. However, the bill didn’t pass through the senate, as 44 Democrats voted against it and President Barack Obama threatened to veto it. However, as president, Cruz would have the ability to hold America’s central bank accountable for its actions.
While Sanders wants more central control, Cruz wants to give economic power back to small businesses and individuals. That is what conservatism is all about. Cruz’s running mate, Carly Fiorina said it best: “power concentrated is power abused”.
Cruz is far and away, the most economically and constitutionally sound candidate in the field, and his plans will put an end to the collusion of big business and big government against the American people. For the above reasons, I encourage you to vote for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Washington State primary on May 24, and Ted Cruz/Carly Fiorina in the general election in November.