As the U.S. economy shows sudden weakness, American consumers understandably express increasing anxiety…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Elizabeth Warren Prepares to Punish the U.S. Economy and Investors with Her Misnamed "Stop Wall Street Looting Act"

As the U.S. economy shows sudden weakness, American consumers understandably express increasing anxiety.  A troubling new Gallup survey reports that economic confidence has now declined to lows unsurpassed since the early days of the Covid pandemic in 2020.

Undeterred by that accumulating weakness and alarm, however, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D - Massachusetts) appears restless to strike yet another dangerous hammer blow by re-introducing her misnamed "Stop Wall Street Looting Act."

She may think that title can conceal the bill's danger, but Americans and elected officials mustn't be fooled or invite the potentially catastrophic economic peril.

Senator Warren’s bill includes significant tax increases, as well as new legal liabilities and bureaucratic regulations on U.S. investment…[more]

October 18, 2021 • 01:48 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Goodbye to 'Peace Through Strength'? Print
By Byron York
Wednesday, December 02 2020
A strong military deters challenges to U.S. authority and to order in the world.

President-elect Joe Biden named his national security team last week. Antony Blinken will be nominated for secretary of state; Jake Sullivan for national security adviser; Avril Haines for director of national intelligence; and Alejandro Mayorkas for secretary of homeland security. All but Sullivan will require Senate confirmation. How that goes depends on how the two runoffs in Georgia go; if Republicans, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, win control of the Senate, all of Biden's nominees will face more scrutiny than they would from a Democratic Senate headed by Sen. Charles Schumer.

But there was something missing from Biden's big national security rollout: a nominee for secretary of defense. That's a pretty important job on the national security team, isn't it? There was talk that Biden wasn't completely sold on the person thought to be his leading candidate, former Obama defense official Michele Flournoy.

The delay is more than just a personnel issue. Biden is reportedly re-thinking the role of the military in the way the U.S. deals with the world. The president-elect wants to "de-emphasize the military as an instrument of national power," Axios reported recently. But being an instrument of national power is what the military does. It is why the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine  and the new Space Force  exist.

Beyond Flournoy, Biden is reportedly considering Lloyd Austin, a retired Army four-star general who was commander of U.S. Central Command from 2013 to 2016. Austin now serves on several corporate boards, among them the defense contractor Raytheon.

It is unclear whether Austin, who served 41 years in the Army, will be more amenable to Biden's plans than Flournoy or other candidates. But a "source close to Biden" told Axios that leaving the defense secretary out of the national security team announcement was intended to send a specific message. 

"So having DOD rollout front-and-center sends one message," Axios quoted the source saying. "Not doing so sends another message. There has always been the intent to signal from Day One that this is not an administration that is going to put the Pentagon at the center of things."

But the fact is, a strong military is an instrument of national power. Along with economic strength, it is what puts the United States in a powerful position in diplomacy. When the United States manages to shape diplomatic affairs, it is not because the rest of the world thinks we're so nice. It is because the United States is a military and economic superpower. 

A strong military deters challenges to U.S. authority and to order in the world. The idea of peace through strength has been an important concept in U.S. foreign relations since the country's founding. Its most famous recent adherent was President Ronald Reagan. Today, President Trump has built his approach to diplomacy on the idea, with impressive results most recently in the Middle East. "America is fulfilling our destiny as a peacemaker, but it is peace through strength," Trump told the United Nations in September.

Biden has other ideas, although what they are is not yet clear. Yes, he has other considerations, like race and diversity, in choosing a secretary of Defense. Axios reported that Biden's top advisers "feel pressure to announce an African American to a prominent Cabinet role." Gen. Austin is black, while Flournoy is white. But there is something much more fundamental going on in Biden's search for a defense chief. The president-elect wants to downplay the greatest instrument of U.S. power in the world. When people say elections have consequences, this is what they mean.


Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.
COPYRIGHT 2020 BYRON YORK

Quiz Question   
In which century were the first mandatory vaccination laws enacted in the United States?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"At the end of last week, there were 584 container ships idling off the world's ports, waiting to be loaded or unloaded. Disruptions in the bulk cargo sector look to be even worse.Experts suggest the problems are temporary. For instance, Bloomberg columnist Brooke Sutherland maintains that three weeks of declines in ocean freight rates tells us 'the worst may be over for the supply-chain snarls that…[more]
 
 
—Gordon G. Chang, Author of "The Coming Collapse of China"
— Gordon G. Chang, Author of "The Coming Collapse of China"
 
Liberty Poll   

Which is the current greatest day-to-day concern to your family?