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Principled Ideas from the Centennial Institute Volume 9, Number 11 • December 2013
Publisher, William L. Armstrong Editor, John Andrews
LET’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, GROWTH, AND OPPORTUNITY
By Ted Cruz We need to champion growth and opportunity. Growth is foundational to every other challenge we’ve got—whether it’s turning around unemployment, reining in our national debt, or maintaining the strongest military in the world to protect our national security. Without growth, we can’t accomplish any of that. But with growth, each of those will be accomplished. Three priorities are critical to restoring growth.
TELL THEM WHAT WE VALUE AND START WINNING AGAIN
By Mike Huckabee What an honor to be at this gathering of leaders. I love this country because it has afforded people like me the opportunity to live way beyond the dreams I had as a kid. There are not many places on this earth where you can even dream it, much less do it. In America you can. That’s why I’m passionate about getting our government back in the control of people, so we can revive that American dream—and not let it become the American nightmare of an all-powerful government.
Number one, reining in the out-of-control spending and unsustainable debt in Washington. My little daughter Ballpark Vendors as Stars? Caroline is five; in her short life our national While in Boston for a recent speaking debt has grown over 60%. As Americans, engagement, I caught a ballgame at Fenway What we are doing right now is fundamentally Park with the Red Sox. I took some pictures, immoral. Our parents didn’t do that to us; we can dream but it wasn’t of the players. It was of the their parents didn’t do that to them. it and do it. vendors who were hauling hot dogs and peanuts up and down those stairs. Why not Abolish the IRS? We are giving our kids and grandkids a debt burden for which they will have to work their entire life, not to meet the challenges of the future, but simply to pay off the debt that their parents and grandparents incurred because we were too irresponsible to live within our means. That’s just wrong. The second critical element for restoring growth is fundamental tax reform. Every year we spend roughly $500 billion on tax compliance; all of that is dead-weight Continued on Page 2
Ted Cruz was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Texas in 2012. Mike Huckabee was the Republican governor of Arkansas, 1996-2007. These essays are abridged from their remarks at the Western Conservative Summit on July 27, 2013, in Denver. Centennial Institute sponsors research, events, and publications to enhance public understanding of the most important issues facing our state and nation. By proclaiming Truth, we aim to foster faith, family, and freedom, teach citizenship, and renew the spirit of 1776.
Why? Because here they were, carrying these heavy loads on a hot day, making a little money, hoping that some day instead of running conceessions, they’ll be the ones in the seats.
That’s America. It’s about understanding that where we start isn’t where we have to stop. But unless this country gets back on track, all those opportunities are going to be crushed. People say that Republicans lost in 2012 because America rejected our message. That’s wrong. We lost because America didn’t know what our message was. We did not translate it down to the average person, like those vendors in Boston, so people could understand what we were going to do differently than this current administration. As conservatives, we need to communicate that we value the work Americans do, rather than just talking about our tax policy. If the government takes a bigger and bigger Continued on Page 3
CRUZ: FIGHT FOR FREEDOM Continued
losses. We need to dramatically simplify the tax code. For the best solution, though, we need to abolish the IRS. But that’s not going to be easy, because in Washington there’s an army of lobbyists on K Street who make their living getting exemptions from the IRS tax code.
“One riot, one Ranger.” Ted Cruz rides to the rescue of constitutional government in a Summit caricature by our illustrator, Ben Hummel.
administration’s plan is very simple. Get everyone addicted to the sugar so that Obamacare remains a permanent feature of our society. Hold onto that Legacy Growth matters because it is foundational to opportunity. We should focus on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder, on how the Obama economy impacts the least well-off among us. They’re young people; they’re Hispanics; they’re African Americans; they’re single moms. We need to champion the people climbing the economic ladder because the greatest engine for prosperity and opportunity the world has ever seen is the free-market system in the United States of America. We need to build a conservative army all across this country that will stand up and fight to bring us back to our free-market principles and our constitutional liberties.
The only way we will succeed in abolishing the IRS is if Americans come together in overwhelming numbers and demand of our elected officials, “Enough already! Stop listening to the established powers in both parties; start listening to the American people.” Obamacare: Addictive Dependency
In my life, freedom is not some abstract academic concept. My dad was born in Cuba. He was imprisoned and tortured as a kid, beaten almost to death. He fled Cuba This is in 1957 and came to Texas.
freedom’s He was 18, couldn’t speak a word of English. The third critical step to restoring economic went on to start a small business to work growth is fundamental regulatory reform. In last outpost. He towards the American dream. Today he’s a the last five years, regulators from Washington pastor in Dallas. have descended on small business and entrepreneurs like When I was a kid my dad used to say to me, “When we locusts. faced oppression in Cuba I had a place to flee to. If we lose There is no regulatory reform that is more important than our freedom here, where do we go?” for us to repeal every single word of Obamacare. The lead That’s why each of you are here. You’re fighting to hold author of Obamacare, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, on to that incredible legacy, and I am honored to stand has described it as a “huge train wreck.” shoulder to shoulder with you. n Teamsters Union president James Hoffa has said Obamacare is destroying the 40-hour work week that is the foundation of the American middle class. President Obama himself, in delaying the employer mandate for big companies until after the next election, made two important concessions.
First, if Obamacare were working, if the wheels weren’t coming off, wouldn’t he want it to kick in before the next election? Second, why isn’t the President willing to give the same exemption for hard-working American families? Consider that very soon the exchanges will kick in, and the subsidies will kick in. Once those kick in it’s going to prove almost impossible to undo Obamacare. The
After his speech, which moved delegates to rate him tops in the 2016 straw poll, Sen. Cruz accepts the Hummel caricature from Summit chairman John Andrews. Cruz, Huckabee, and 14 other WCS13 speakers are featured on our new “Cool Kids” poster. Order at www.ccu.edu/centennial/store.
CENTENNIAL REVIEW is published monthly by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. The authors’ views are not necessarily those of CCU. Designer, Bethany Applegate. Illustrator, Benjamin Hummel. Subscriptions free upon request. Write to: Centennial Institute, 8787 W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood, CO 80226. Call 800.44.FAITH. Or visit us online at www.CentennialCCU.org. Please join the Centennial Institute today. As a Centennial donor, you can help us restore America’s moral core and prepare tomorrow’s leaders. Your gift is tax-deductible. Please use the envelope provided. Thank you for your support. - John Andrews, Director
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HUCKABEE: WHAT WE VALUE Continued
We Value Health Another part of our message to Americans is we value their health. I’m not talking in a paternalistic Obamacare kind of way, because that is exactly the opposite. We value people’s choice to make the decisions that they believe are best for them. Not to have some bureaucratic panel from 3,000 miles away “Want to win? Here’s how.” Mike Huckabee conducts a clinic determine whether they’re on political messaging in his Ben going to get surgery, whether Hummel portrait for WCS13. they’re going to see a doctor, and what doctor it’s going to be. We value that Americans ought to pick their own doctor. If they believe there’s a certain type of coverage they want, they should be able to buy that. We Value Life We should let Americans know we value your family. Some say conservatives are in trouble because we have unwaveringly stood for the sanctity of life for every human being from the moment of conception. That’s nonsense. How dare they say that what a single mother values—more than being able to feed her kids, to give them the hope of a good education and a good job some day —is being able to access a governmentpaid abortion and free birth control? How demeaning.
piece of what you earn, that means it values what it does above what you do. Yet very few Americans believe the government’s going to spend their money better than they could. When someone comes home bone-tired, carrying a lunch box that once had a bologna sandwich in it, so dirty from the job that they have to take a bath before they can even get to the dinner table, and politicians tell that person your work is not that important because the government wants a bigger chunk of your paycheck—what an insult. That’s the message of lower taxes. Your work has value! We Value Educational Freedom We need to tell the families of America that we value your freedom to send your children to whatever school you believe will undergird rather than undermine your basic moral values. So that not just the wealthiest people, but also the single mom who is struggling economically, will have the opportunity to send her kids to a school that succeeds, not a school that keeps failing every year. Why shouldn’t that be an opportunity for every family in this country, whether they choose to home school, send their kids to a Christian school, or if they want to put them in a public school—let them have the choice. As conservatives, we value the wisdom of a mother and father to make a better decision about their children’s education than some bureaucrat in government could ever make. We Value Self-Defense
Don’t make GOP a low-cal version of Democrats.
And there’s more. We want to tell American families that we value your dignity and your privacy. Nobody has a right to snoop into your personal affairs, whether it’s your tax records, or your phone calls, or to put a hand on you just so you can board an airplane, even though you’ve never committed a crime. It’s true we live in a dangerous world, and we have to be safe. But why should it be that every time I get on a plane, I have to first get in the surrender position, as if I’m guilty until I can prove that I’m innocent? Let’s also tell every American that we value your security, and you have the right to defend yourself. People should be able to have an expectation that the neighborhoods where we live and the parks where our children play are going to be safe from predators. But if they’re not, and if a person wishes to protect themselves as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, then that is a fundamental American right that should not be infringed.
I don’t agree Republicans need to become a low-calorie version of Democrats and be afraid to take a stand for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for every person. We value every life. There is no such thing as a person who is disposable and expendable. In our worldview, every person has value, every child. We Value America’s Allies We need to make it clear that we value America’s allies. I worry very much about our place in the world. The few friends we have left we act like we don’t really want much to do with them. What we have done with the one friend and the one stable government in all of the Middle East, Israel, is deplorable. We have put more pressure on Israel to stop building bedrooms for their families in the land that God gave them thousands of years ago than the pressure that we put on Iran to stop building nuclear devices.
Centennial Review, December 2013 ▪ 3
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Fireworks from Western Conservative Summit 2013
Sen. Ted Cruz gave delegates a ﬁghting agenda. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee spelled out what conservatives value. Their call to action has only gained relevance as we approach 2014.
After the Arab Spring, our government looked the other way and thought it was going to be just fine and dandy that the Muslim Brotherhood would take power in Egypt. Finally after two years of their brutal rule in which that regime murdered Christians, burned churches, and systematically sought to destroy everybody that didn’t want to follow a radical form of Islam, Egyptians by the millions turned out in the streets and overthrew the dictatorial rule of Mohammad Morsi. But when he’s ousted, did we show the same respect and admiration for the new government? No, we did not. What’s wrong with this White House?
This president also wants to cut the pay of our military while increasing their health care costs. Are you kidding? Instead, why don’t we cut the cost of the president flying around on Air Force One, cut the salaries of members of Congress? Can the Right Find its Message? As for our veterans, they deserve everything that was promised to them. If there is anyone in this country for whom we should demand the firstfruits of our government, it is those who have worn the uniform.
So these, my friends, are some of the things that you and I need to tell America we value. It’s not We Value Peace with Strength true that conservatives have been losing Apologize for of their message. Rather I submit Let’s remind America that Republicans Judeo-Christian because it’s because we haven’t yet really found our understand it’s better to make peace with message. When we do, and when we start strength in the alliances we have, with concepts? No. communicating exactly what we’re for, we people who mirror our understanding can win some big victories in 2014 and 2016. of democracy and freedom and free speech, than it is to assume that radical terrorist jihadist groups like the Muslim Not for any partisan motive, but so that we can once again Brotherhood can ever be trusted with power. make America a place where your sons and daughters, Let’s also tell America another thing: Republicans value our military. Today we’re seeing military members punished for putting a Bible on their desk or expressing their faith openly. We see Christian chaplains being told not to pray in Jesus’ name. What name are they supposed to pray in?
your grandsons and granddaughters, can not only survive but thrive. That’s the goal, and it deserves the very best from each of us as conservatives. n
What is wrong with an administration and an ideology that does not value the basic Judeo-Christian concepts upon which this nation was founded, and instead all but apologizes for them? Now they want to create something that is absolutely oxymoronic, something called “atheist chaplains.” What on earth is that? Turning our military into a social experiment and ordering that the chaplains will have to perform same-sex marriages, even if it is against their conscience, violates the very purpose the military was created for. It is not there to be a social experiment. It is there to keep the peace and secure our freedom.
Centennial Review, December 2013 ▪ 4
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