Share This Article with a Friend!

Ted Cruz Dismantles Liberal Plantation Politics At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

Yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz chaired a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts titled “Opportunity Denied: How Overregulation Harms Minorities” that investigated the harmful effects of crony government overregulation on people and businesses who lack the resources and political connections to deal effectively with mountains of red tape. 

Sen. Ted CruzDuring the hearing Senator Cruz seized Jack Kemp’s mantle as the conservative spokesman for constitutional liberty’s power to create equal opportunity in an opening statement that masterfully indicted over regulation and crony government’s debilitating effect on outsider and minority opportunity. 

Said Senator Cruz: 

“In his very first inaugural address, President Thomas Jefferson defined ‘good government’ as one that ‘shall restrain men from injuring one another’ and ‘shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.’ 

“This pro-liberty standard—embraced by our Founding Fathers and the Constitution—has served us well. Today, the United States stands as the most powerful and prosperous nation in history – a beacon of hope to people throughout the world 

“But there is a growing sense among many that our nation is in decline. 

“We have now seen years of sluggish economic growth, stagnant household income – the largest percentage of Americans not working since 1977 -- far too many who’ve simply given up any hope of having a job, of starting a business, of having a future. 

“Entrepreneurship—truly one of America’s defining traits—is hurting, badly. It is a tough time to own a small business in America today. 

“The last several decades have seen a dramatic decline in rate of business formation. Business deaths now outpace business births. That is a deeply troubling trend in our nation – one that stands in direct opposition to the promise of America as the land where anyone can start with nothing and achieve anything. 

“And on top of that, the United States now ranks 46th in the world when it comes to the ease of starting a new business. Forty-sixth – that’s hard to imagine. 

Senator Cruz attributed America’s abysmal ranking in the ease of starting a business to overregulation. 

“There is no greater obstacle to growth, to opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans than an invasive and bloated government. 

“Ronald Reagan understood this: ‘It is no coincidence,’ he said, ‘that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government.’ 

“The federal government—and sadly, many states—no longer adhere to the Jeffersonian standard of leaving the people ‘free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.’ Instead, they now seemingly regulate everything under the sun. 

“Fifty-five years ago, there were 13 regulatory federal government agencies. Today, there are over 70. 

“Fifty-five years ago, the Code of Federal Regulations contained 23,000 pages—a sizeable amount. Today, the Code of Federal Regulations takes up an astounding 175,000 pages and 235 volumes—all in incredibly small print. Somehow the American people are expected to comply with 175,000 pages of regulations that no one person can even begin to understand. 

“This figure dwarfs the number of statutes actually enacted by Congress, the body that the Constitution entrusted with making our laws. Federal statutes take up over 40 volumes and 50,000 pages – about a quarter of the length of the federal regulations. 

“Although an inexact science, estimates of federal regulations are estimated to increase costs up to possibly $2 trillion a year. Is it any wonder we have the economic stagnation, so many millions hurting, when the federal government is putting $2 trillion a year of costs on small businesses, on those trying to create jobs and opportunity? 

Cruz went on to note that, “Truth be told, overregulation harms everyone. But it especially harms those who don’t have the resources or political connections – to get a special exemption, to have a lobbyist, to get a favor from government. And far too often, those are minorities: African-Americans, Hispanics, single moms, people who are struggling but want to start a small business, want to stand on their own feet, want to provide for their family. And the burden of federal regulation makes it harder and harder and harder to do exactly that. 

“Revenues for minority-owned small businesses still unfortunately lag behind revenues for non-minority-owned businesses. And yet minority-owned businesses must absorb regulatory costs of roughly $7,000 - $10,000 per employee—just like any other small business. 

“What this means is that regulatory costs have a more severe impact on the bottom line of minority businesses than other businesses, making it more difficult for minority businesses to grow and hire more employees. 

“The regulation epidemic in this country certainly hasn’t translated into more jobs for minorities. Especially since President Obama has taken office. The median household income for African-Americans and Hispanics, for instance, has remained virtually unchanged since President Obama was elected. Meaning that there has been no recovery since the 2008 crash. And poverty rates for African-Americans has gone up. African-American unemployment remains almost double that of non-minorities, as it has for over 50 years. 

“And there are together roughly a million fewer [prime] working-age African-American and Hispanics employed today than [December 2007 when the recession began]. Let me repeat that statistic: there are together roughly 1 million fewer [prime] working-age African-Americans and Hispanics employed today than [December 2007 when the recession began]. That’s roughly 1 million lives impacted, plus their children, plus their families. People who want to work, want to provide for their families, and yet are being denied that opportunity. 

Senator Cruz closed his opening statement with this observation, “Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Curbing excessive government regulation shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We should be able to find a way to stem the tide of red tape, to loosen the burdens on small businesses that are struggling to create opportunities—without weakening essential protections for our society.” 

And Ted Cruz is right, curbing excessive government regulation shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but it is because the Left – as illustrated by this clip from yesterday’s hearing – just can’t resist the compulsion to bully citizens and exercise the power Big Government arbitrarily bestows upon the political elite. 

And the primary losers in the regulatory battle between the elite Left and the citizenry are exactly the people whom the Left purports to help – minorities, the poor, the disempowered – who lack the resources and political power to navigate the vast regulatory maze Big Government has constructed to limit access to markets and tax economic activity, not profits. 

For more video highlights of Senator Ted Cruz’s hearing “Opportunity Denied: How Overregulation Harms Minorities “ click the links below: 

1-minute on Export-Import Bank from Harry Alford, President and CEO, National Black Chamber of Commerce: 

Sen. Cruz Questions Sierra Club President Aaron Mair on Climate Change: 

Sen. Cruz’s Opening Remarks at Overregulation Hearing:

Share this