The case for Cruz

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Is all that is needed to correct the excesses and bad decision-making of the last eight years a newly elected president who will make small adjustments and corrections? Someone who can make minor changes to the expansion of big government that President Barack Obama has implemented?

If that is all that is needed, then Republican voters might well flip a coin to decide for whom to cast ballots in the presidential primaries coming to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New England. Any of the GOP candidates would be an improvement over President Obama. Any of the Republicans who have already dropped out of the race would be preferable. In fact, any Republican would “better manage” the status quo.

Still, the fundamental question facing voters is far more serious.

The litany of critical problems facing America hardly needs repeating: Declining respect for America throughout the world, increasing government deficits, spending hikes, bloated bureaucracies, befuddling and intrusive regulations, increasingly centralized and downgraded education standards, slackening enforcement of uncontrolled borders, meddling tax codes, a declining middle class, minimal job creation, slumping economic indicators.

Better management of a flailing government is not enough to revive our economy, to control our borders, to protect the homeland, to restore our liberties, to limit spending, to cut taxes, and to respect our Constitution. The next president must do more than just temporarily stop the bleeding. He must do more than apply a bandage to a gaping wound. He must heal the festering, underlying problems.

Recognizing this reality, many New Englanders are supporting the one Republican candidate who will heal our nation: Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz has consistently demonstrated the courage to advocate limited government, simplified and reduced taxes, strong national security, and a free enterprise system that gives small family-owned businesses a fair shake.

A powerful spokesman for our constitutional rights, Ted Cruz is the one Republican candidate who has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court. More recently, Cruz has time-and-again fought in Congress to protect citizens from heavy-handed government intrusion.

As Cruz fought Obamacare every step of the way, some other Republican presidential hopefuls backtracked and agreed to implement parts of Obamacare in their home states. Contrast that equivocal response with Ted Cruz’s determined leadership on the Senate floor during the fight against funding Obamacare.

Cruz understands that Obamacare poses an excessively bureaucratic intrusion into the health and welfare of American citizens. Significantly limiting our choices, Obamacare leaves us to the politicized decision-making of the federal bureaucracy. For the first time in history, we Americans have been assessed a burdensome tax — not on our earnings, not on our wealth, not on our activity — but simply for existing, for the proud claim of being citizens of the United States. This so-called “individual mandate” is inimical to the idea of personal liberty. This sweeping and restrictive mandate, along with the entire Obamacare edifice, must be dismantled. As our President, Ted Cruz will do just that.

Cruz also understands the fundamental problems at the heart of our tax code.  Cruz will not settle for making the IRS more efficient; he doesn’t accept the notion that the goal of any Administration should be to increase collection rates and impose draconian fines on American taxpayers.  Cruz believes that citizens should never fear any government agency. That’s why he will put an end the Obama Administration’s use of the tax code to harass political enemies and to hound charitable religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor. Under a Cruz presidency, Americans will no longer face intimidation from their own government. More than that, he will eliminate the IRS, as we know it.

Cruz will cut taxes, simplify the maze-like IRS tax policies, and free American taxpayers from confusion about filing tax forms that almost no one understands.  That may not please those who want to raise tax levies upon the middle class. But it will finally “drive a stake” through the heartless, upside-down, complicated tax code designed to open loopholes for the politically connected, while punishing average Americans.

Obamacare and the tax code are simply two examples of the pressing need for fundamental reform.  There are plenty of others.

We must repeal the federally imposed Common Core educational standards, and return authority to states and local communities to improve the education of our children.

We must secure our borders and re-attach the word “legal” to immigration.

We must emphasize security for the homeland and earn renewed respect around the globe.

We must balance the budget and put a stop to uncontrolled deficit spending.  Only through these and other vital reforms will we rebuild our economy, bring good jobs back to our nation, and reinvigorate the resilient American spirit.

Unfortunately, even some establishment Republicans in Congress accept this state of affairs. Together with establishment Democrats,  they blandly indulge all of the excesses of the Obama welfare state. They deficit spend on Obamacare and the politicized IRS. Then surrendering their constitutional budget authority, they shrug: “Don’t look at us.  There’s nothing we can do.”

Ted Cruz tends to rub Washington insiders and power-brokers the wrong way. Those status quo politicians and bureaucrats have come to act as though the United States Constitution begins with the officious phrase “We the government,” rather than the sacred words “We The People.” They sit comfortably as the Obama Administration routinely issues red tape-bound Executive Orders, vetted neither by the people, nor by the courts, nor by representatives in Congress. On his first day in office, Ted Cruz will shred those Executive Orders.

If you are a Republican or Independent who is content with the status quo, then there are plenty of candidates to choose among. Any Republican will improve things. Slightly. Not so Ted Cruz. For Ted Cruz, slightly or a tiny bit isn’t good enough for the American people. He intends to reestablish a government that stands with the hard-working, taxpaying, American middle class citizenry. Ted Cruz wants nothing less than to work with us to revive, in the ringing words of Abraham Lincoln, “government of the people, for the people, by the people.”

If you agree with this worthy goal, then please consider joining me in voting for Ted Cruz for President.

On the other hand, should you feel pleased with the status quo, just don’t forget to bring a coin to flip when you enter the voting booth.

Jim Lyons (R-Andover) represents the 18th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Read his past columns here.