Ted Cruz on Welfare & Poverty

Republican Texas Senator


Regulations like ObamaCare lead to layoffs of the poorest

Q: How you have been in your campaign a warrior for the poor?

CRUZ: The people who have been hurt the most in the Obama economy have been the most vulnerable. Big government, massive regulation, don't work. Small businesses are the heart of the economy. My dad fled Cuba in 1957. He was 18. He washed dishes making 50 cents an hour. Today, my dad is a pastor. If we had ObamaCare in place then, the odds are high my father would have been laid off. We need to lift the burdens on small businesses.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

FactCheck: Yes, 3.7M women became impoverished since 2008

Attacking Pres. Obama's economic record, Cruz cited statistics showing conditions worsening for women under Obama's tenure: "Under Barack Obama, 3.7 million women have entered poverty. Under Barack Obama and the big government economy, the median wage for women has dropped $733," Cruz said.

A review of Census data indicates that Cruz is utilizing figures from 2011 & 2012. Cruz is right that between 2008 & 2012, 3.7 million women fell below the poverty line. He's also correct that in 2011, the median income for women is $732 less than it was in 2008. Even using updated figures, Cruz's assertion that women's income has fallen holds up. The median income for women in 2014 was still lower than it was in 2008.

Underlying Cruz's claim is that Obama's economic policies led to the drop in incomes, an assertion that's difficult to back up given the financial crisis predated Obama's inauguration. But he's accurate that based on the numbers, women's median incomes are worse off than they were in 2008.

Source: CBS4indy.com FactCheck on GOP 2015 CNBC debate , Oct 28, 2015

If you really want to help needy, use private charities

Volunteers in the private sector who depend on donations to keep their efforts afloat have a vested interest in helping people down on their luck get back on their feet, so that the charity can then help other people in need. The best cure for poverty is not temporary food and shelter (although those are certainly needed), but a job and the ability to provide for your family.

And private charities are far more likely to work not only to feed and clothe those in need, but also to help train them and get them interviews for jobs. Moreover, through the church, they can also help with their spiritual needs, which can be transformational in their lives.

Under government assistance, by contrast, there is far less of an incentive to help people become independent. Government programs don't tend to run out of money, regardless of whether they help people or not. In fact, the larger the homeless problem, the more money government programs receive.

Source: A Time for Truth, by Ted Cruz, p. 63-4 , Jun 30, 2015

Government checks create dependency

Government is not the answer. You are not doing anyone a favor by creating dependency, destroying individual responsibility. 55 years ago, when my dad was a penniless teenage immigrant, thank God some well-meaning bureaucrat didn't put his arm around him and say let me take care of you. Let me give you a government check and make you dependent on government. And by the way, don't bother learning English. That would have been the most destructive thing anyone could have done.

Instead, my parents worked together to start a small business, to provide for their family and to chart their own future. That's the American dream.

To restore America, to get Americans back to work, we must rein in the leviathan. We must stop spending money we don't have and turn around our crushing debt. Each of you comprises the fabric of our nation. Together, we must revive our many-century love story with liberty and restore that shining City on a Hill that is America.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 28, 2012

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Page last updated: Jun 02, 2019