Ted Cruz proposes eliminating Energy, HUD, Commerce, Education, IRS

It's sad watching most Republican candidates promise to make cuts in federal spending without ever actually telling us where the cuts would occur.  They mention some big number and then promise us that over eight or ten years it would be cut.  But their claims have about as much credibility as Carly Fiorina's vague tax plan, which is mysteriously floating somewhere on YouTube.

All that changed last night, however, when Ted Cruz called for the elimination of the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Commerce, and Education, as well as the IRS.  The liberal media will be focusing on the fact that he mentioned eliminating Commerce twice.  I prefer to focus on the merits of what he has announced.

The Department of Energy.  We have a Department of Energy that generates no energy.  Instead, the DOE distributes nearly $30 billion (as of 2012) to research "clean" energy.  In other words, it's a slush fund for Democratic cronies like Solyndra who want taxpayer funding for windmills and solar panel technology that is hopelessly uneconomical.  Here's an idea: let the private sector research energy alternatives.  They did a fine job of it long before the DOE came along.  Cruz is right to call for its elimination.

The IRS.  The IRS has been hopelessly politicized, going after conservative groups and now given additional authority under Obamacare.  With Cruz's 10% flat tax proposal that will eliminate loopholes, the need for tax compliance will be radically reduced. Realistically, the IRS could not be wholly eliminated (someone has to process the checks), but it could be radically reduced in numbers and size.

Housing and Urban Development.  The mission of the federal government is not to provide housing.  That is a function of the private sector or, at most, local government.  The collection of slums and housing projects built with federal money is a pride to no one.  This is not a function for the federal government, and Cruz is right to call for its elimination.

Department of Education.  We have a department of education that does not educate a single student.  Instead, it subsidizes college loans, which allows private schools to charge sky-high tuitions.  If it were left to the private loan marketplace, there would be some check on the ability of private colleges to charge enormous tuitions.  The Department of Education also has no business being involved in Common Core.  Cruz is right to call for its elimination.  We should not be subsidizing a bureaucracy that forces girls to take off their clothes in front of disguised boys.

Department of Commerce.  The Department of Commerce's main function seems to be subsidizing big businesses.  The idea of a Department of Commerce is a parody of the idea of a free market.  Commerce is something best left to the private sector, not the government.  The government should not be in charge of picking winners and losers, as in the case of the Import/Export Bank.  Cruz is right to call for its elimination.

As of this writing, Cruz is the only candidate to name specific departments and agencies he would cut, so in my book, he's the only one serious about cutting government spending.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

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