SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) relentlessly nattered his way into the history books in 2013 after a 21-hour talkathon that has been labeled a “fauxibuster” because it did not serve to stop a vote over the Affordable Care Act, as a filibuster is intended to do. Inconsequential as his rant may have seemed, the Tea Party darling managed to portray himself as a conservative folk hero for the far-right fringes of the Republican faction. Then, this month, he did something even more bizarre: he enrolled in Obamacare. The newly announced White House contender explained his decision as a sacrifice to illustrate the dangers of socialized medicine to the American people, even though it involves putting his own family at risk. As conservative political experts understand, providing a nation’s people with affordable and universal health coverage inevitably leads to the extermination of millions within an arbitrarily chosen ethnic or religious group. But Cruz wants his constituents to know that he is not all talk. He opposes government handouts. So on Tuesday, he boldly renounced all of the Hitler-esque, taxpayer funded benefits he receives as a member of the U.S. Congress.
During the bizarre monologue two years ago, Cruz regaled the Senate with a recitation of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” dramatically altering the moral of the story, discussed his fondness for White Castle burgers, contemplated the “Star Wars” franchise and confidently invoked Godwin's Law to caution voters against the perils of Nazism, which he believes will present themselves as the New World Order in the United States under Obamacare.
Cruz now wants to demonstrate that he is, as his Republican counterparts boast, “a Mexi-CAN, not a Mexi-CAN’T.” In a prepared statement to the press, Cruz’s office announced that the senator would be forsaking all the taxpayer subsidized benefits and perks he receives as an elected official.
Each of the average 529 Congress members earns at least $174,000 per year thanks to the American taxpayer, whose median household income is only about $51,000. Cruz finds that offensive.
“There’s no reason I should be receiving such an absurdly high salary as a civil servant,” he said. “My job is to help people, and I’m not helping if I’m making them pay me three times as much as they make.”
Cruz said he will accept no salary beyond $51,000 per year during the remainder of his terms.
Senators also receive a discretionary allowance of $4.2 million to cover whatever incidental needs or wants they may have: staff salaries, office furniture, exotic travel and even free mail, something known as “franking,” a term for the mass constituent mail sent out by members of Congress. The tab is also settled courtesy of the taxpayer.
Cruz said he’ll let taxpayers determine how that $4.2 million should be spent. As for franking, Cruz laughed derisively and told his constituents, “Hell, I can buy my own stamps. What I want to stop are stamps handed out by the government, especially if they’re for food.”
The Congressional 2013 calendar has only 132 working days scheduled. That’s an average workweek of about 2.5 days. Cruz vowed to put in the same 40-hour week as the folks he represents, or he will limit his state’s work week to 2.5 days in the spirit of fair play. As a Hispanic, Cruz extolled the work ethic of his culture: “My people are admired for their productivity, dedication, willingness to get their hands dirty and their ridiculously competitive rates. The majority of domestic help and manual labor in Texas comes courtesy of Hispanics who want to toil 80 hours a week for pennies on the dollar. If I’m forced to limit the white collar work week to 2.5 days, I don’t see it affecting my state at all.”
Cruz also pledged to get rid of his free Congressional gym privileges, free parking at airports, private elevators and subways, his $3,000 per diem and his automatic $3,000 tax deduction for living expenses.
A real American born in Canada, Cruz admitted to having endured the “tortures of the damned” under universal health care. To show his disdain for this kind of detrimental socialism, he revealed that he had signed up for Obamacare and opted out of taxpayer funded medical benefits -- including free medical services at the Office of the Attending Physician and outpatient care at nearby Bethesda Naval Hospital -- along with generous pension plans, the likes of which are no longer available to most working adults in the private sector.
Finally, Cruz called on his supporters to petition Congress to outlaw provisions that legally allow senators and representatives to vote for their own pay increases. In 2013, for instance, they gave themselves a $4,700 per year pay hike.
“There’s a lot more good working Americans can do with $4,700 than Congress can,” he said.
“It’s evident in the senator’s recent speeches that he might be suffering the onset of dementia, or possibly even Alzheimer’s,: one of Cruz’s former colleagues from the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights told reporters. “But instead of seeking top-notch medical treatment for free, Senator Cruz is showing his disapproval of socialized medical programs, such as those enjoyed by Congress, by forgoing these world-class services.”
No other senators or representatives have made the same overtures, but the Texas congressman’s bold principles have put all of his peers in the awkward position of having to make deep sacrifices or face angry voters.
2015. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.