The Buzz

TheChat: Here comes Ted Cruz


One more time...

▪ “I want to ask each of you to imagine...millions of courageous conservatives across America rising up together to say in unison, `We demand our liberty.’” — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz who announced his candidacy Monday for the White House.

Cruz is convinced that at least half of born-again Christians don’t vote. The conservative is trying to pull an “Obama.” That is, he wants to jump from the Senate to the White House after only a couple of years of federal legislative service. He remains a long shot.

▪ “This practice is not only deceiving, but it discourages tourism in America.” — Missouri Congressman Sam Graves of northwest Missouri on taxes that local governments levy on rental cars.

The Republican called the practice discriminatory and said that daily rental rates can rise as much as 60 percent after taxes are added. That, he said, can cause sticker shock for many consumers. He’s seeking to ban the practice. Oh, his proposal would not affect taxes already in place, such as Kansas City’s tax on rental cars that’s a main funding source for the Sprint Center.

▪ “It’s gonna pull together. You’re at the tough time of session where people got to figure out how you’re going to make ends meet.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Monday expressing optimism that he and lawmakers will craft a budget that not only balances, but contains a healthy ending balance.

Brownback, a Republican, was upbeat about the budget even though lawmakers have expressed little interest in this proposal to raise cigarette and liquor taxes. Critics still wonder what the budget will look like and predict steep cuts in key programs.

▪ “Well, the candles have been blown out and the smoke has cleared on the fifth anniversary of Obamacare.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican.

Roberts and other Republicans used the anniversary as another opportunity to blast the health-care law. Roberts charged that the law has not been affordable “and Americans have been left with broken promises.”