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Posts Tagged ‘national defense’
April 17th, 2012 at 12:22 pm
Needed: An Expulsion from the House of Lords
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Under current British law, only a few factors can keep a member of the House of Lords from office: bankruptcy, conviction on charges of treason, and holding judicial office amongst them. Apart from that short list, removing a peer requires an act of Parliament, something that last happened nearly a century ago, when two members were removed for supporting the U.K.’s enemies during World War I. With that precedent in mind, Parliament should act to remove Lord Nazir Ahmed, who provides a similar set of circumstances. From the Daily Caller:

British Lord Nazir Ahmed put a £10 million ($16 million) bounty on both President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush Friday, according to The Express Tribune, an English language Pakistani newspaper.

Nazir, who is of Pakistani heritage and a member of the British House of Lords, reportedly made the comments while at a reception in Haripur, a Pakistani city 40 miles north of Islamabad. Nazir told the audience that he was putting the bounty out for the capture of the American leaders in response to the bounty placed on Hafiz Muhammad Saeed by the United States.

Saeed, by the way, is the terrorist thought responsible for the gruesome 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, which killed over 160 people. By his words and his actions (he claims that he would sell his home to pay the bounties for Bush and Obama), Lord Ahmed has shown himself an enemy to Britain, the United States, and the forces of civilization throughout the world. He ought not be allowed in the front door of the House of Lords, let alone in a seat there.

November 16th, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Supercommittee One Week Away From Implosion
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Begin the countdown. November 23 — one week from today — is the deadline for the bipartisan, bicameral congressional “supercommittee” to deliver its plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit. Only problem? No one expects it to happen. From today’s Washington Post:

White House officials are quietly bracing for “supercommittee” failure, with advisers privately saying they are pessimistic that the 12-member Congressional panel will find a way to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit as required…

Obama has stopped short of issuing a blanket veto threat if the committee tries to undo the severe cuts that would take effect in 2013 if an agreement is not reached. Obama has simply said that Congress “must not shirk its responsibilities” and, in a news conference from Hawaii, said he would not comment on the potential for a veto.

Oh, so now it’s Congress that’s shirking its responsibilities? Where was President Obama’s veto pen when more than $4.2 trillion was being added to the federal debt under his watch (more than the total federal debt from George Washington to George H.W. Bush)? And if the role of Congress is so important, why leave the task of debt reduction to a dozen congressmen out of a body of 535? And why keep members from being able to so much as amend the proposal, making the compromise that will be necessary for such a grand bargain that much harder to ascertain?

The answer, of course, is that this process has been intended all along to grease the skids for tax increases. And by threatening the welfare of the men and women of the U.S. military (failing to pass a plan would result in automatic cuts to the Pentagon’s budget that could add up to over $1 trillion), liberals are hoping they can force conservatives’ hand.

The supecommittee process deserves to end in failure. The automatic spending cuts deserve to be overridden by Congress, as does any veto that President Obama may subsequently issue. And every member of the legislative branch who helped midwife the president’s record-breaking debt deserves a one-way ticket home.

April 22nd, 2011 at 1:44 pm
Growth in Entitlements Kills Defense Capabilities

Byron York continues sounding a lone alarm over the connection between ballooning welfare spending and shrinking defense budgets.  With the United States largely abstaining from the lethal aspects of NATO’s Libyan adventure, entitlement-heavy countries like Britain and France are running out of missiles.

The reason?  Decades of budget decisions that favored butter over guns.

On a trip to Libya, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reopens the straight talk express:

“…it’s a sobering fact that many NATO countries, even some of the big ones, are simply weak. They’ve been cutting their defense budgets for years as their welfare state commitments grew bigger and bigger. Now, they can’t mount much of a fight, even by the small-scale standards of the Libyan action. “No one will admit it, but both the British and the French are running out of precision-guided weapons,” says McCain. “They simply do not have the assets.”

Not that this evidence is convincing to modern liberals.  York also points out that members of Congress’ Progressive Caucus recently proposed a “People’s Budget” that raises taxes to expand entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid while “reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces, procurement, and research & development programs.”

We’ve seen the future, and it’s the near military impotence of Britain and France.  The United States can and must do better.

December 4th, 2009 at 12:57 pm
When Butter > Guns, a Nation = Toast

The Wall Street Journal offers some penetrating analysis on the inevitably inverse relationship between government financing of “guns” and “butter.”  When tax receipts dwindle, appropriators often choose between funding social welfare programs (butter) and national defense (guns).  Unsurprisingly, the European welfare state provides a cautionary example.

The overlooked culprit here is the rise of the modern welfare state. Since World War II and especially from the 1960s, Europe has built elaborate domestic income-maintenance programs, with government-run health care, pensions and jobless benefits. These are hugely expensive, requiring high taxes and government spending that is a huge proportion of GDP.

The Europeans’ obsession with income stabilization through higher taxes means there is less economic growth and less money to spend.  These continental priorities mirror the massive increases in social spending enacted or proposed under President Obama – economic stimulus, health care “reform,” cap-and-trade and job creation. 

As the U.S. federal deficit balloons, politicians and bureaucrats will look for ways to balance the books.  And given the current Administration’s and Congress’  love affair with “butter,” unfortunately, they’ll likely look to slash spending on national defense while our nation is at war.