A case for Ted Cruz
Point/Counter-Point: To see the other side of this argument, read “Why I hate Rafael Edward Cruz”, here.
Ted Cruz gets no slack. Our sports editor actually called him “evil.” His looks have been compared to the Zodiac Killer and Joseph McCarthy. The Onion called his face “f***ing infuriating.”
From where I’m standing in the world, it seems impossible that he would have any supporters, much less 100,000. But it’s not like half of the country is just nuts. There has to be a reason that people like Ted Cruz.
What I found is, not only does it make sense that people support him, I’m surprised that more people don’t.
Here’s the deal. In Los Angeles, we are surrounded by huge multinational companies. Fox, Buzzfeed, Disney, and Twitter are all located here. In the midst of the glory and success of these big companies, we often forget that most businesses, small businesses in particular, are actually owned by people who live in houses similar to those on Santa Monica's 20th street and employ similar kinds of folks.
Small businesses are not given the credit they should, especially when you consider the portion of the economy they occupy. 99.7% of companies (roughly 28 million) in America are considered small businesses. These businesses employ around 120 million people, more than half of the working population. To top it off, they're responsible for 65% of new jobs created since 1995. They're essentially the backbone of our economy. When they do well, we all do well.
Although it doesn't attract as much attention from the media, voters consistently say the economy and jobs are the most important issues this election. When you consider this, it becomes clear why Cruz is surging in popularity and may possibly beat Donald Trump in the Republican nomination. Small businesses, which amount to most businesses, are Ted Cruz's thing.
The Americans owning these 99.7 percent of businesses have identified taxes, government regulations and low sales as major issues that keep them from success. Cruz's objective is to prevent the government from limiting the potential of the Americans behind these businesses, even if it means denying the romantic notion of increasing minimum wage and the implementation of Obamacare.
Raising the minimum wage is a nice idea. Theoretically, it would make the lowest wage a “living wage.” However, that would prove to be a huge expense for small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat under the pressure of current taxes, regulations and lack of business. Higher wages would only discourage employers from hiring more people. If they can’t afford more employees, they’re either not going to hire them, or worse, they’ll go out of business, putting everyone out of work.
Obamacare is flawed in the same regard. It’s a huge expense for small businesses. So much so that in order to actually afford a workforce, business owners have to take shortcuts like hiring people for less hours to avoid having full-time employees or replacing the full-time employees with part-time workers all together. The extra cost of providing healthcare for employees disrupts the natural flow of labor that would normally keep people employed in steady jobs.
Problems for small businesses mean problems for half of the workforce. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that American workers would rather be working full-time without benefits than part-time without benefits. A low wage is no doubt better than no wage.
Rather than trying to raise wages artificially and offering benefits we can’t necessarily afford, stifling small businesses and our economy, we should increase wages and stabilize employment by lowering taxes on businesses and individuals.
This is basically Cruz's plan. He has said repeatedly that he wants to shrink tax forms to the size of a postcard, essentially reducing them to a pleasant note from the citizen to the government saying, “Here’s where I am. Here’s my 10 percent. Good luck doing whatever you do in Washington.” It’s a simple, flat tax of 10 percent, except for families of four making $36,000 or less who would not be taxed at all. The reduction in taxes would naturally increase income for workers without putting in artificial standards like a minimum wage. Rather than forcing employers to pay more for employees, workers can keep more of the money they earn. More money in people’s pockets means more people are spending, which is good for businesses and the 120 million working for them.
However, taxes on businesses still remain a problem. The current tax codes are complex and changing, a huge problem for people trying to run businesses. Small businesses don’t normally have adequate resources (i.e. lawyers and accountants) to keep up, which is ludicrous. Tax codes shouldn't be holding people back from running their businesses. Cruz wants to simplify them and remove the major burden of navigating these codes.
He also is rallying for the reduction of the taxes themselves to a flat 16 percent income tax, holding bigger companies accountable and placing less burden on smaller ones. Business owners can use this money for expansion or raises, both of which help the modern day worker.
None of his ideas reach quite the level of provocativeness as his earnest call to abolish the IRS, which he claims is a “political weapon” used to intimidate citizens. The IRS is a hugely notorious institution — it’s hard to imagine America without it. However, if we simplified our tax plan, the need for such an institution would cease to exist.
A tax plan beneficial to businesses seems like one minor stance compared to more pathos driven issues, like racial equality or women's rights, but the fact is this plan would affect a huge number of Americans in a positive way. We are a capitalist nation that values a steady, growing livelihood driven by innovation and hard work. Lowering taxes and increasing income, allowing businesses to thrive and grow can change lives just as much, if not more, than being granted the right to marry or being protected from discrimination.
Regardless of whether we like Ted Cruz’s face or not, it’s a solid plan and something we need to consider. While you would never call Cruz an advocate for minorities, he absolutely watches out for the greater majority of American people.