Don’t think Ted Cruz understands government

Senator Cruz has not exactly endeared himself to his fellow Senators in the short time he has been there.  Even those in his own party.  He has been entertaining in a scary kind of way.  It’s hard to believe that he was only elected last year.  I’ve thought for awhile that he didn’t understand governing – and that that is what Senators do after all – and now maybe I understand why:  He doesn’t understand the basics of government.  Here is Ezra Klein.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz knows how to deal with the Internal Revenue Service: Get rid of it!

We ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax, where the average American can fill out our taxes on a postcard. Put down how much you earn. Put down a deduction for charitable contributions and home mortgage. And put down how much you owe.

OK.  But to whom should you mail the card?  And who will check the math?

That does sound simple! But what if some citizen somewhere declines to fill out the postcard? Well, I guess we need some bureaucrat that will send them a follow-up postcard making sure they got the first postcard. If they don’t fill out that postcard, we need someone who will give them a call to make sure they’re getting these postcards.

The bottom line is follow-up and enforcement.  That is one of the things that government agencies do.  Remember your civics, Senator?  The legislature (that’s the House and Senate) passes laws, the President signs them and then someone has to make sure it happens.  This is not a function of a legislative committee.  Their role is to go back and make sure that everything functions as the law intended.  If it doesn’t, you don’t then abolish the agency but you make sure it gets fixed.  But some seem to operated on the principle that is the bath water is dirty, but throw it AND the baby out together.

And Cruz’s flat tax is actually a bit more complicated than most. It includes deductions for mortgages and charitable contributions. What if everyone says they gave a million dollars to charity and own a huge home? Who’s going to check all that out? Well, some well-meaning flat-tax collection agents, I guess.

The people doing all this need to sit somewhere. The place they sit doesn’t need to be called “The Internal Revenue Service.” It can be called “The Agency of Tax Freedom.” But it is, in effect, the Internal Revenue Service.

Ted Cruz

Maybe we have finally found the bottom line for Senator Cruz and his friends.  They want the benefits that can accrue from government, but they don’t actually understand or like it.

His plan?  That a subject to a whole ‘nother post.

Photograph from Salon.com

4 thoughts on “Don’t think Ted Cruz understands government

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