In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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WARNING: Defense Cuts May Be Hazardous to Our Health Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Tuesday, February 15 2011
To be sure, we at CFIF do not deny that inefficiencies and waste exist within the defense budget... While dollars within the defense budget could be allocated more effectively, however, that does not justify risking national security in favor of hiring more IRS enforcers, 'green' energy money pits or other pet recipients of Obama’s largesse.

In February 2009, Barack Obama unequivocally pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term: 

“As our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes and our children and our grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they’re saddled with our debts.  That’s why today, I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.” 

For good measure, here was Obama employing that same trademark arrogance one month later on March 24, 2009: 

“Both under our estimates and under the CBO estimates, both the most conservative estimates out there, we drive down the deficit over the first five years of our budget.  The deficit is cut in half.  And folks aren’t disputing that.” 

Two years later, we’ve learned many things about Obama.  One is that the surest sign he’s saying something preposterous is that he’s claiming nobody disagrees with him. 

This week, Obama acknowledged a record $1.65 trillion deficit for 2011 as he unveiled his proposed budget.  That follows deficits of $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009 and $1.3 trillion in fiscal 2010.  For purposes of comparison, the 2008 deficit was $455 billion. 

Perhaps raising the deficit to record highs is all part of Obama’s curious master plan to cut it in half.  After all, he still has two years to miraculously make good on his pledge.  Keep in mind, however, that when he made that promise he projected that the deficit would be down to $912 billion by now and $581 billion next year. 

The festering problem is reckless spending.  Since entering the White House, the Obama Administration has increased domestic discretionary spending by 84% when one includes the failed “stimulus.”  In his latest budget proposal, Obama even seeks a 9.4% increase for the Internal Revenue Service and 5,100 new agents. 

When it comes to national defense, however, Obama suddenly discovers what he labels “unnecessary costs”: 

“At the Department of Defense, for instance, we are reducing its funding by $78 billion over the next five years on a course for zero real growth in funding.  To do this, Secretary [Robert] Gates is pursuing a package of terminations, consolidations and efficiencies that include, for example, the elimination of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle; the consolidation of four Air Force air operations centers into two; and reducing the number of Generals and Admirals by more than 100.” 

Accordingly, Obama’s budget cuts national defense for the first time since 9/11.  Troublingly, Secretary Gates warned that the budget reductions are “becoming increasingly distant from strategic and operational reality – distant, in other words, from the real world.” 

Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reported last week that China has increased its defense budget 358% since the previous decade: 

“The world’s military balance appears to be shifting in tandem with its economic balance.  China is beginning to create a military to match its powerful economy.  This is happening as the U.S. and its staunchest allies, including Britain, are looking at flat or falling military spending – and as Russia is struggling to revive its armed forces in the post-Soviet era.” 

China unveiled a copycat stealth fighter this year, is preparing to deploy its first aircraft carrier and now can threaten security throughout the critical western Pacific, according to a report from Australia’s Kokoda Foundation: 

“This is potentially the most demanding security situation faced since the Second World War.  This is not Mickey Mouse.  This is dead serious stuff.” 

To be sure, we at CFIF do not deny that inefficiencies and waste exist within the defense budget.  In fact, we actively oppose the duplicative alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, a classic example of critical defense dollars wasted on earmarks.  While dollars within the defense budget could be allocated more effectively, however, that does not justify risking national security in favor of hiring more IRS enforcers, “green” energy money pits or other pet recipients of Obama’s largesse. 

National defense is the federal government’s foremost obligation, and history repeatedly demonstrates that we sacrifice it at our peril. 

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
 
"The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name 'Hillary Clinton' in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as 'She who must not be named' in scandals…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
— Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?