Cruz continues net neutrality, ObamaCare analogy

Cruz continues net neutrality, ObamaCare analogy
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report Support for Abbott plunging in Texas: poll White House debates vaccines for air travel MORE (R-Texas) on Thursday repeated his comparison of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality proposal and ObamaCare. 

During a Washington speech, Cruz said the belief that the FCC will resist the urge to over-regulate the Internet after it approves new rules ignores every other instance of government regulation in other industries.  

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"I promise you it is the nature of government regulators that if they have power, they will use it. One hundred percent of the time it will grow, the taxes will come," Cruz said at the "Reboot Congress" technology conference put on by the conservative Lincoln Labs. 

"Do not accept the promise of Washington politicians who are telling all of us ‘if you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet,’ " he added, echoing a common refrain of the healthcare law. "That promise cannot be trusted." 

Cruz said he was surprised many advocates took issue with his assertions last year that the new rules would be like "ObamaCare for the Internet." He asked if they thought that was a bad thing. 

The FCC's proposal would reclassify broadband Internet similar to traditional telephones to ban certain practices by Internet service providers. But Cruz said the concern is overstated that providers are blocking or slowing Internet traffic, or prioritizing certain traffic for companies willing to pay.  

"The threat that's been sold that big brother companies would suddenly start picking winners and losers — we haven't seen it manifest," Cruz said. 

During the speech, he touched on a number of technology topics that he has hit before

He touted his support for a bill last Congress that would end the government's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records. 

He also blasted a proposal that would allow states to collect sales taxes on online purchases made from retailers located anywhere in the country. Currently, a state can only collect those taxes from online companies that have a physical location in that state. 

He described the sales tax bill as an "unholy alliance" between bric- and-mortar retailers and large online retailers like Amazon, which already have physical locations in a number of states.