Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) isn’t too fond of President Barack Obama’s proposed “promise zones,” the latest gimmick from the White House in its latest push to focus on economic inequality. In fact, the Texas senator says that the economic policies pushed by the administration have led to inequality.
“It’s altogether fitting that President Obama is today talking about income inequality because income inequality has increased dramatically as a direct result of his economic policies,” said Cruz yesterday in a statement. “Out-of-control government spending, debt, taxes, and regulations have killed millions of jobs. Unfortunately, rather than stop Washington’s job-killing policies, President Obama proposes yet more government spending and debt.”
The so-called “promise zones” purport to “create jobs, increase economic security, expand access to educational opportunities and quality, affordable housing and improve public safety.” The cost of the proposal hasn’t been released, but The Detroit News points to an administration memo from last month which stated that designated areas “will not receive direct funding, but will benefit from technical assistance, federal staff support, and more extensive preference points and access to other federal grant programs.”
Five areas were designated as “promise zones” by President Obama, including San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. The White House plans to designate 20 areas around the country through its latest initiative.
Many of the goals listed for these areas are similar to or derive from policies already pushed by the White House. For example, the focus Southeastern Kentucky, another “promise zone,” will focus on “diversifying” the area’s economy. It just so happens that this area of the Bluegrass State is dependent on the coal industry, to which the administration has been hostile.
There will also be a heavy focus on job training programs in these areas. While that may be an attractive feature of this plan, these federal programs are ineffective and wasteful.
Cruz contends that President Obama should deal with the economy by focusing reducing regulation and other destructive policies.
“People need jobs,” he said. “All of America needs to be a real ‘Promise Zone’—with reduced barriers to small businesses creating private-sector jobs—and we should start by repealing every word of Obamacare, building the Keystone pipeline, abolishing the IRS, and rolling back abusive regulations.”
Businesses face $1.8 trillion regulatory compliance burden each year, the costs of which are passed on to American consumers. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obamacare would reduce employment by some 800,000 workers.