According to Glenn Beck, Senator Ted Cruz would do the following five things if elected to the office of President of the United States. Beck claims that President Cruz would establish more freedom by activating his “Five for Freedom” plan. This is the plan: (1) Abolish the IRS, (2) Abolish the Department of Education, (3) Abolish the Department of Energy, (4) Abolish the Department of Commerce, and (5) Abolish the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
I went to the Ted Cruz site to get more information and found this quote: “We should shrink the size and power of the federal government by every and any means possible. What does that mean? That means eliminating unnecessary or unconstitutional agencies.” (Ted Cruz)
The first thing I learned is that “Five for Freedom” is only one five reforms to “break apart the federal leviathan that has ruled Washington and crept into our lives. Once we dramatically reduce the size of government – paired with fundamental tax reform and regulatory reform – we will reignite the promise that has made this the freest and most prosperous nation in the world.
“To start the process of reducing the scope and cost of government, I will institute the following five reforms, which are estimated to save more than $500 billion over 10 years: (1) Five for Freedom – abolish 4 unnecessary cabinet agencies and the IRS. (2) 25 Federal “ABCs” – eliminate 25 Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and other programs. (3) Grace Commission 2.0 – reinstitute President Reagan’s Panel on Cost Control (“The Grace Commission”) to identify waste and inefficiency. (4) Congressional accountability – amend the Constitution to require Congress and the President to balance the budget, and enact the REINS act. (5) Federal hiring freeze and reform – institute a freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees across the executive branch and reform automatic worker raises. [This would account for an] Estimated Savings of Over $500,000,000,000 in 10 years.”
To reach his goal, make the five reforms, and save the estimated $500,000,000,000, President Cruz would take the following actions:
1. “Five for Freedom: During my first year, I will fight to abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To do that, I will press Congress relentlessly. And I will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose central charge will be to lead the effort to wind them down and determine whether any programs need to be preserved elsewhere because they fall within the proper purview of the federal government. I do not anticipate lists to be long.”
Senator Cruz then goes step by step through the five agencies, explaining why they need to be abolished and how much money they waste.
2. “Twenty-five federal `ABCs’: The rate at which we are spending is unsustainable. And federal programs often fail to support their purported beneficiaries while instead propping up special interests. There are far too many members of Congress who willingly hand out special favors to select industries and friends.
“Let’s break the Washington Cartel and restore power to the people. Let’s stop handing over billions to federal favorites. We will sharply reduce the alphabet soup of government entities, beginning with the `ABC’s that should not exist in the first place: The Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and other programs that are constitutionally illegitimate and harmful to American households and businesses. The following 25 ABCs are emblematic of the types of government functions I will examine, downsize, and reform to limit federal overreach. But these are just a start.”
3. “Grace Commission 2.0: In 1982 President Reagan brought together a group of business leaders, led by J. Peter Grace, to assess federal spending levels and evaluate areas of waste and fraud. The members of the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, commonly referred to as the Grace Commission, worked like `bloodhounds,’ as President Reagan described, to improve government efficiency. The business leaders’ report recommended 2,478 `cost-cutting, revenue-enhancing’ suggestions, without raising taxes, weakening defense, or harming social welfare. As Chairman Grace recognized then, `every dollar we can stop spending is a dollar that the government does not need to borrow.’ Never has that been more needed than today. Grace Commission 2.0 will apply business principles to government spending, and ensure civil servants are actually doing what the title suggests.”
4. “Congressional Accountability”
a. “Balanced Budget Amendment: A strong balanced budget amendment is necessary to get back to fiscal responsibility, stop bankrupting our kids and grandkids, and keep Congress accountable to the American people….”
b. “REINS Act: In 1996, Congress attempted to gain control over federal regulations through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Since then, agencies have added 60,000 federal regulations, and only one has been undone through the CRA. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that Americans paid a total of $1.86 trillion in federal compliance cost in 2013, which averages to $15,000 of hidden regulatory cost per household each year. President Obama’s regulations alone cost an additional $80 billion annually.
“The REINS Act will stop giving Congress a backdoor to expanding federal expenses without as much as a yea or nay. The REINS Act requires Congress to approve of any regulation or major rule that will have economic impact of $100 million or more and ensure that Congress does not unlawfully delegate its authority to unelected bureaucrats. As President, I will press Congress to pass the REINS Act, and will sign it into law.”
5. “Federal Hiring Freeze and Reform: A Cruz Administration will institute a freeze on the hiring of new federal civilian employees across the executive branch; no vacant positions at this point may be automatically back-filled; no new positions may be created; and no circumvention will be allowed through the hiring of contractors.
“For those agencies in which it is determined that a vacant position needs to be filled, I will authorize the hiring of a maximum ratio of one person for every three who leave.
“I will also reduce the annual across-the-board adjustment for federal civilian pay so that rather than receiving automatic yearly raises, federal workers would have more opportunities for merit-based pay increases.
“The federal civilian workforce exceeds 2 million workers and costs the taxpayers more than $260 billion each year in wages and benefits. Since the 1990s, compensation of federal workers has outpaced that of private-sector workers; on average, federal workers make 78 percent more than private-sector employees.
“Through natural attrition, and spending restraint, we can meaningfully downsize the federal government over time so that we are no longer bankrupting our children and grandchildren. With a commitment to the common-sense prudence that any responsible family or small business must demonstrate – and a willingness to take on the cronyism of the Washington Cartel – we can reverse the disastrous spending and debt in Washington. And a Cruz Administration will do exactly that.”