is real. There are also a number of Republicans who believe in
expanding government spending. What’s striking is how many
Republicans advocating for much higher spending are not even from
Blue or Purple States. They’re from bright Red States. They’re people
who campaign as conservatives, and then when the doors are closed
want to engage in a bidding war with the Democrats to see who can
It is frustrating to say, “Let’s vote for what we’ve all voted for in
the past,” and the response is, “Well, we didn’t mean that. We
would vote for that when Obama would veto it. We’re not going to
vote for it when it could actually happen.”
RUSH: Senator, I’ve been doing my program for 30 years. When I
started this program in 1988, and even prior to that growing up, I
remember my father and my grandfather telling me that the
national debt was unsupportable. That at some point down the road
it’s going to be disastrous for the country: “You just can’t carry this
kind of debt.” That thinking sprang from their Depression-Era
All my life I’ve heard that this dragon, this national debt, is going
to subsume us. I’ve been hearing federal spending is out of control
and we can’t keep it up. Yet the federal budget has expanded every
year. The national debt has expanded every year, and there doesn’t
seem to be any real calamity that happens as a result.
Obama spent like crazy. If you listen to the current Administration, they’re not afraid of spending money. It doesn’t seem like
anybody is. You mention Red State senators who seem unconcerned
about federal spending. Could that be because there doesn’t seem to
be any deleterious result from it? There’s no downside to federal
spending, because the American people have come to expect it to
CRUZ: That is certainly possible. I have long thought that the dominant sentiment in Congress is risk-aversion. Far too many members
of Congress, the House and the Senate, are focused more than anything else on being re-elected. They’re afraid of not being re-elected.
RUSH: You’ve told me that many times. That’s exactly right.
CRUZ: It’s one of the reasons I’m such a passionate supporter of
term limits, and have introduced the Constitutional Amendment to
mandate term limits. That overriding desire to get re-elected leads
to massive risk aversion. It leads to members in both Houses saying,
“No, we can’t make any hard choices, because if we make hard
choices we’ll be criticized, and if we’re criticized we might not be
re-elected.” That ends up trapping a whole lot of elected officials.
I think we have a unique moment in time. You referenced this
earlier, Rush. We have a Republican President, Republican leaders
of every federal agency, and Republican majorities in both houses of
Congress. That is very rare in history.
RUSH: It may never happen again in our lifetimes if we blow it this
CRUZ: Yes. So my focus, more than anything else, is to ignore the
circus that is Washington, to ignore all the political noise and
scandal and hyperventilating on cable news, and focus on substance. Let’s deliver on what we promised. Let’s repeal Obamacare.
Let’s get major tax reform, ideally a simple flat tax, and
abolish the IRS. Let’s see major regulatory reform, and let’s
see the economy take off, four or five percent GDP growth,
millions of new jobs, wages going up. If we deliver on substance and results, nothing else matters.
RUSH: Do you believe this Administration can accomplish
those great things? Can we drain “the swamp”? Can we
clear out the deadwood from previous Administrations
throughout the bureaucracy? What is your overall take on
the Administration and how it’s functioning?
CRUZ: I am hopeful we can get it accomplished. I’m not
certain we will, but I’m trying to do everything I can to
encourage the Administration to move in a positive
direction and to discourage the Administration from moving in a negative direction. I’m talking with the President
frequently. My office is talking with the White House on a
regular basis. We’re talking with Cabinet agencies
constantly, trying to encourage positive, free-market,
conservative policies, and I think having some meaningful
successes despite all the media noise. If you look to the
actual substance of what’s been implemented, I think the Administration has done a good job.
RUSH: I do, too. I think they’re head-faking people pretty well, and
have them focused on irrelevancies while things are being done that
CRUZ: The Cabinet appointments are quite strong. This is the most
conservative Cabinet we’ve seen in decades. The regulatory actions
have been quite strong, whether a freeze on federal civilian hiring, a
regulatory moratorium requiring two regulations be repealed for
every new regulation implemented, ending the taxpayer funding of
overseas abortion, or pulling out of the Paris climate deal — which
was a big, big deal. It was something I energetically urged the
President to do, and he did the right thing. He overcame a lot of
opposition within his Administration and from a lot of folks in the
big business community. Then I think Neil Gorsuch was a home
run. So on substance, what the Administration has done has been
quite good. I’m trying to encourage more of that.
RUSH: I’ll tell you what encourages me: that you’re talking to the
President as often as you are. One of my concerns has always been
that Donald Trump is not an ideologue. I don’t think that’s PHO T