Was Ted Cruz right to claim inequality worsened under Obama?

It turns out that Ted Cruz was wrong when he said financial inequality has gotten worse in the U.S. under President Obama.  Yes, the very rich are doing well now that Obama turned the economy around from the disaster that befell us at the end of the last Bush Administration, but the bottom 90% are even better off than they were.

Click here to read this Washington Post story of February 17, 2014 and see those pesky facts Cruz overlooked when he attached President Obama on ABC News last Sunday.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are talking about how to ensure that everyone, not just the wealthy, benefits from economic growth, with conservatives accusing the Obama administration of protecting banks and corporations at the expense of the middle class. “I chuckle every time I hear Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton talk about income inequality, because it’s increased dramatically under their policies,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said last month.

That’s not true, though. As David Leonhardt writes in The New York Times, federal policy effectively blunted the pain of the financial crisis for most American families, according to data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. When incomes decline, people pay less in taxes. When people lose their jobs, they qualify for benefits like unemployment insurance and food stamps. The fiscal stimulus expanded many of those programs. As a result, writes Leonhardt, while disposable incomes for the richest percentile declined 27 percent between 2007 and 2011, they remained constant for the nine-tenths of the country that isn’t very rich.

Income inequality is still at its highest level in decades, but it’s declined slightly since 2007, Leonhardt writes.

Ted Cruz says 92 million Americans aren’t working

Cruz gets another “Mostly False” assessment from Politifact for criticizing President Obama because 92 million American are not working when Cruz is counting the young and elderly, housewives and students.

Click here to read this February 10, 2014 article from the website Cruz detests the most: Politifact.com.

The federal government may have announced a good jobs report just days earlier, but Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wasn’t impressed with the state of the American labor market.

On the Feb. 8, 2015, edition of CNN’s State of the Union, host Dana Bash asked Cruz whether he would run for president. He responded:

“I think we’re facing enormous challenges in this country. The Obama economy has led to the lowest labor force participation since 1978. Ninety-two million Americans aren’t working. Obamacare is a train wreck. We’re seeing our constitutional rights under assault. And abroad the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. Leading from behind doesn’t work.

…..

Still, we don’t see much justification for Cruz counting high-school-age kids (roughly 10 million) and Americans 75 and up (17.6 million). Even this far more restrictive definition leaves almost one-third of Cruz’s number questionable.

Another point worth noting: Just because someone in the prime working-age range (25 to 64) isn’t working doesn’t mean that they are unemployed. They may be disabled, taking care of children full-time or have gone back to school. The actual number of officially unemployed Americans in January was a little under 9 million — just one-tenth of the figure Cruz cited as “not working.”

Our ruling

Cruz said that “92 million Americans aren’t working.” Once you strip out senior citizens and school-age Americans, the number is less than half that. The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.

UPDATED, Feb. 11, 2015: After this fact-check was published, Cruz’s office got back to PolitiFact with sourcing for the statistic. The statistic, they said, came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — Table A-1, for the total civilian, non-institutionalized population not in labor force, seasonally adjusted, for January 2015. The total for that month was 92.5 million. Spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said that Cruz was “relying on objective federal labor statistics” in making his statement. However, our fact-check didn’t question the veracity of the BLS statistics – only their relevance to Cruz’s point. We continue to believe the statistic includes Americans too young and too old to be expected to work, and we stand by our rating of Mostly False.

Ted Cruz: Confused About Cicero

A professor of classics suggests that Senator Cruz should not have quoted the ancient Roman Senator Cicero as he did.

Click this link to learn about Cruz, Cicero and Cataline in this Nov. 21, 2014 article in Atlantic.

For better than two millennia, politicians have invoked classical Greek and Roman literature to construct, defend, and challenge ideologies of power. On Thursday, November 20, Senator Ted Cruz channeled his inner Cicero and delivered his own rendition of “In Catilinam (Against Catiline)” to denounce President Obama’s planned executive actions on immigration reform. “The words of Cicero—powerfully relevant 2,077 years later,” said Cruz, who adapted Cicero’s text to fit his 21st-century American context. In quoting Cicero, Cruz reached back to Harry Truman and Thomas Jefferson, who also were avid readers of the Roman philosopher, statesman, and orator.

cicero and cruz

As a classics professor, I am on one level pleased to see the legacy of Greco-Roman antiquity alive and well, informing debate around our most pressing issues. The problem is that Cruz dangerously misused Cicero. A deeper look at the speech Cruz adapted shows that the senator not only accused the president of overstepping the constitutional bounds of his authority (a legally dubious claim), but also challenges the legitimacy of the Obama presidency, accuses the president of treason, and perhaps even advocates for his violent punishment. And in speaking from the position of Cicero, Cruz presents himself as a decidedly undemocratic oligarch. (Cruz’s speech can be read in its entirety, alongside an English translation of the Ciceronian original, here.)

Ted Cruz smoked pot as a teen

The full story from The Hill dated February 3, 2015 is just a click away.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) smoked pot when he was a teenager, Cruz’s campaign has confirmed with The Hill.

….

“Teenagers are often known for their lack of judgment, and Sen. Cruz was no exception,” a Cruz spokesman told the British paper. “When he was a teenager, he foolishly experimented with marijuana. It was a mistake, and he’s never tried it since.”

The admission makes Cruz the latest presidential candidate to own up to trying the drug. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) recently copped to smoking pot while in high school as well.

Ted Cruz flubs, deletes Youtube response to Obama

Click here to read this story on Politico.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) learned the hard way on Tuesday why his fellow Republicans decided to pre-record their State of the Union responses.

In a video posted to YouTube shortly after President Barack Obama wrapped up his State of the Union address, Cruz offered his rebuttal, saying that it is “time to move on beyond” the president. But before he could move on, Cruz needed to start over.

Just shy of one minute into the video, Cruz is seen saying, “Let me start over.” The video then cuts to Cruz redelivering his response criticizing Obama’s claims of an American economy on the mend.

Here is the video: Cruz flubs State of the Union response

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/ted-cruz-response-youtube-state-union-114434.html#ixzz3Ph79wGiY