On Wednesday afternoon, while speaking on the Senate floor, Tea Party darling and freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared that he does not trust the Republican leadership to properly handle budget negotiations on the next Congressional showdown regarding the budget ceiling, nor does he trust the Democrats. The contentious arch-conservative senator seemed to go out of his way in his remarks Wednesday to question the judgment of senior Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
“Madame President,” Cruz said to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who was presiding over the Senate session, “the senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans. Let me be clear, I don’t trust the Republicans.”
“And I don’t trust the Democrats,” he continued after a beat. “And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us into this mess.”
Cruz went on to invoke his wife and two daughters at home in Texas, saying that in his 5-year-old daughter’s life, the deficit has swelled from $10 trillion to $17 trillion.
“Madame President, what we are doing to our kids and grandkids, I think, is immoral,” said Cruz.
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office announced that under President Barack Obama, the national debt is shrinking at a surprisingly rapid rate.
“That’s right,” wrote Time magazine’s Christopher Matthews last Wednesday, “the federal budget deficit, which topped $1.4 trillion in 2009, or 10.1 percent of GDP, and dominated the political discourse over the past several years, is shrinking rapidly. The CBO is now saying that the deficit will be less than half that amount in 2013: $642 billion, or 4 percent of GDP. That’s $200 billion less than the CBO predicted just a few months ago.”
GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product, which is the total value of all goods and services produced by the U.S. economy in one year. The change comes as housing prices begin to rebound and the economy begins to recover more quickly. Increased revenues mean increased taxes, which will shrink the Treasury’s shortfalls.
Cruz has raised hackles on both sides of the aisle with his grandstanding, long-winded rhetorical style and habit of challenging the Republican leadership. McCain has called Cruz a “wacko-bird” and Cruz has taken a vocal stand against a Senate Immigration Reform package championed by another rising Republican star, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast May 22, 2013.