Last night, while Leandra English was applying bandages to her ample derriere from the mauling she took in Judge Tim Kelly’s courtroom and Matt Lauer was contemplating a future with a lot more time on his hands, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott squared off in a CNN-hosted townhall debate with Bernie Sanders and Washington Senator Maria Cantwell.
“Democrats have one talking point on taxes: It’s a tax cut for the rich,” Cruz began. “And they say it over and over and over again in response to everything. The most important thing for you to know when you’re at home is when they say rich, they mean taxpayer. Every time they say ‘rich’ they mean taxpayers.”
“Why is it? Because the very rich — there aren’t enough of them,” Cruz continued. “Bernie ran for president, he rolled out a tax plan. His tax plan was a massive tax increase. If you took every single person in America making over a million dollars, and you taxed them 100 percent of their income, you took every penny they earned — you came in in jackboots and confiscate it — it would pay 8 percent of the cost of Bernie’s tax plan. You know where they get their money? They get it from you, they get it from the the middle class.”
Cruz went on to cite a quote from his and Bernie’s prior CNN debate in which Sanders, while describing his preferred tax plan, said “everybody will pay some more.”
“You’re a single mom, you’re working, he says you’re going to pay some more,”‘ Cruz said afterwards. “You’re a small business owner, he says you’re going to pay some more. And the reason is, there aren’t not enough millionaires and billionaires to pay for all the socialism that Bernie and the Democrats want to give away.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 29, 2017
The funniest part, in my opinion, came when he confronted Sanders about how Democrats and Socialists differed:
Cruz also asked Cantwell about the Democrat party’s long-term marriage to socialists, like Bernie Sanders, who would like to destroy the economic system that has created more wealth for more people than any other.
TED CRUZ: Now, Bernie and I have done three of these debates. I like debating Bernie because he’s honest, he’s candid. He is a socialist. He admits he’s a socialist. He wants to raise everyone’s taxes. And so, Maria, I’d like to actually ask you a question that I asked Bernie last time, which is — since this is a tax debate, what is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist on taxes?
CANTWELL: Well, you know, Ted, I really thought about this issue of you trying to divide the Democrats. But, you know, we’re a big-tent party. And there’s room for Bernie and there’s room for me.
The difference is you guys keep trying to isolate your party. It used to be there was everywhere from Susan Collins to Jeff Sessions. But instead, you guys took on people like Dick Lugar. And guess what? We got Joe Donnelly. And then you put somebody out there in Missouri, and we got Claire McCaskill. So you keep narrowing your tent, and I’m fine with our big tent.
And so the issue here — and I have two small-business people here from Seattle, a millennial, Michael, who’s asked me what are we doing about the housing crisis, am I ever going to get out of my parents’ basement and own my own home? And he’s working hard in a sector that this bill is making harder for him to make his company competitive.
And another businessman, Joe, who says what are you doing to our economy if you’re giving the big corporations a huge tax break and you’re only giving us a smaller tax break? He’s the job creator. He created jobs in the downturn of our economy and did so successfully. I want to make sure they are getting a fair deal.
This is a pretty startling admission: that there really isn’t any difference between the two.
(Cantwell is correct, though, on what the GOP is doing. For decades we looked at the Democrats as being the party of rigorous tests of ideology. While the Democrats were purifying themselves, the GOP took over a majority of state houses and state legislatures. Now it seems as though every other week some people come up with a new thing you can’t believe, or worse yet, a new thing you must care about if you are going to remain a part of the GOP.)
It was a great performance by Cruz and Scott and I hope we see them do more tag-team stuff in the future, though not against the mentally lame.