AUSTIN, Texas — Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined the video social media service Vine on Monday, publishing two short videos that shared his views on issues related to Internet freedom in less than ten seconds. The posts are clips from a speech Cruz delivered on Friday at the Capital Factory offices in downtown Austin where he advocated against imposing a sales tax on Internet transactions or imposing other burdensome regulations, as Breitbart Texas reported.
The first video is a short and simple message, based on the well-known “Don’t Mess With Texas” slogan:
In Cruz’s second video, the Senator holds up an iPhone and compares it to a old-fashioned rotary phone, explaining that the rotary phone is regulated under Title II of the Telecommunications Act:
“We want a whole lot more of this [the iPhone] and a whole lot less of this [the rotary phone],” Cruz says. The Senator’s office also shared longer clip from Cruz’s Capital Factory speech explaining his position on Internet regulation on YouTube:
“Your smartphone, the Internet, the apps — all of this is outside of Title II,” says Cruz. “The innovation is happening without having to go to government regulators and say ‘Mother May I?'” He then shared an analogy, issuing a challenge to the audience, “Contrast taxi commissions in every city to Uber and Lyft…name one tax commission that has introduced any significant consumer improvements in decades.”
“What happens when government starts regulating a service as a public utility? It calcifies everything, it freezes it in place, Cruz continued, adding his frequent comment that the “government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.” When government regulators intrude on an industry, added Cruz, it ends up “favor[ing] the big guys who have armies of lobbyists in there” and increasing the burdens on startups and entrepreneurs “over and over and over again.”
Cruz has focused on opposing burdensome Internet regulation and taxes as one of his main issues since the elections wrapped up earlier this month. In an op-ed published in the Washington Post last week, Cruz described the Internet as a “great equalizer” in providing opportunities for Americans to get ahead, and warned how “threats from Washington to stifle freedom, entrepreneurship and creativity online” could “[benefit] big business at the expense of the mom-and-pop online retailers — many of whom are women, minorities or young people struggling to achieve the American dream.” Cruz’s op-ed also called the proposed “Net Neutrality” regulations “Obamacare for the Internet,” writing that it “would put the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices.”
“We should keep the federal government out of the business of regulating the Internet,” Cruz concluded. “The United States has always been a place where someone with nothing can achieve anything. Freedom allows that social mobility, and the Internet is a haven for that entrepreneurial freedom.
Watch Sen. Cruz’s full speech at Capital Factory here:
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.