In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare…
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Quote of the Day: WSJ on H.R. 3, Biden & Pelosi's Dangerous Healthcare Bill

In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare and drug price control bill that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to rush through Congress.  The Wall Street Journal helpfully offers further insight this morning on how H.R. 3 would threaten lifesaving U.S. pharmaceutical innovation and leadership, including on things like the Covid vaccines:

 

Companies that refuse the government’s price must pay a 95% excise tax on all revenue they generate from that drug in the U.S.  They’d also have to offer the government price to private insurers.  There’s no “negotiation” when a gun is pointed at your head.  A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that drug spending in the U.S…[more]

September 17, 2021 • 12:55 PM

Liberty Update

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Biden Can’t Spin Afghanistan Debacle to Claim Glory Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 09 2021
[A]s Biden insists that we follow his lead in addressing these accumulating problems, we must recognize that throughout his fifty-year political career, his suggested 'solutions' only seem to exacerbate matters.

Joe Biden’s catastrophic mismanagement in Afghanistan shouldn’t surprise anyone.  It merely extends his five decades of uninterrupted stubborn, curiously arrogant incompetence.  

Consider the assessment of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, which by now has become familiar to many Americans, but which nevertheless bears reemphasis in taking measure of Biden’s competence and what it portends going forward.  

Gates, among the most seasoned and sober observers in recent decades, noted in 2014 that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades” since he entered politics.  He simply never gets anything right:  

The Vice President, when he was a Senator, a very new Senator, voted against the aid package for South Vietnam, and that was part of the deal when we pulled out of South Vietnam to try and help them survive.  He said that when the Shah fell in Iran in 1979 that that was a step forward for progress toward human rights in Iran.  He opposed virtually every element of President Reagan’s defense buildup.  He voted against the B-1, the B-2, the MX and so on.  He voted against the First Gulf War.  So, on a number of these major issues, I just frankly over a long period of time felt that he had been wrong.  

Perhaps Gates is simply too kind, but he could’ve added for good measure how Biden opposed the 2011 mission to kill Osama bin Laden, which Biden now claims was the sole reason to be in Afghanistan at all.  

In any event, as Biden’s slow-motion Afghanistan debacle continues, his cumulative approval rating plummets toward irreversibly negative territory.  So how do he and his administration respond?  By attempting to recharacterize Afghanistan as a success, of course, and even comparing it to Harry Truman’s 1948 Berlin Airlift.  

They mustn’t be allowed to get away with that.  

To be clear, the hasty evacuation under extreme duress was indeed a masterful display of logistical performance by the military and other on-the-ground operators who accomplished the task.  They deserve our gratitude and immense respect.  

Joe Biden, however, did not create the U.S. military or perfect its performance just seven months into his presidency.  It preexisted his arrival, and Biden’s proposed budget actually reduces defense spending in real terms.  American airlift capacity exceeds any other nation on Earth, but that’s not Joe Biden’s doing.  

Moreover, there’s simply no rational equivalence between Biden’s Afghanistan retreat and the Berlin Airlift.  In Berlin, an overwhelming Soviet military force sealed West Berlin off from land access in an attempt to drive Allied forces out.  Instead of retreating, however, President Truman stood firm and ordered the airlift that broke Soviet will after several months of persistence, which few thought possible.  In contrast, Biden needlessly retreated before a far inferior Taliban force, practically begging them not to hurt us.  Berlin stood for Truman’s fortitude, Kabul stands for Biden’s incompetence and weakness.  

It must also be noted that Biden hasn’t even made good on his promise to evacuate every American.  Untold hundreds remain stranded in Afghanistan, despite Biden’s pledge that, “if there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out.”  Tens of thousands of our Afghan allies also remain trapped, and subject to vicious retribution by the Taliban in the days, weeks, months and years to come.  

Meanwhile, the regime in next-door Iran now refuses to allow international inspectors to its nuclear sites while expanding nuclear activities.  Clearly, Iran has responded in good faith to Biden’s attempts to cajole it.  

And here at home, our economy is slowing, job growth continues to severely disappoint, chaos reigns across our southern border, inflation remains unexpectedly high, violent crime continues to rise at a record pace and Biden’s supposed Covid competence has been exposed as fraudulent.  

All of this does not serve to gratuitously pile on Joe Biden.  It is rather to sound the alarm to what awaits.  

As conditions spiral out of control both domestically and abroad just seven months into Biden’s presidency, public confidence in his administration is evaporating.  That will in turn drive him to double down on placating his party’s left wing rather than suffer the fate of Jimmy Carter, whose own party fractured and abandoned him as illustrated by Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential candidacy.  

Accordingly, as Biden insists that we follow his lead in addressing these accumulating problems, we must recognize that throughout his fifty-year political career, his suggested “solutions” only seem to exacerbate matters.  

Biden’s Afghanistan debacle, like the rest of his performance record, provides a lesson for anyone tempted in the remaining three years by his soothing “trust me” assurances.  

Quiz Question   
What is the single deadliest disease epidemic to the U.S. population in history?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"President Biden's sweeping domestic agenda is floundering as Democrats struggle to hold competing factions of their party together. House Republicans should not come to the rescue.Democrats are in a bind because they have grand ambitions of transforming the United States by dramatically expanding the social safety net, but the American people only gave them slim majorities. They are attempting to…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, National Review
— The Editors, National Review
 
Liberty Poll   

Of the presidents who have presided over the Afghanistan war, which one deserves the worst grade as the U.S. observes the 20th anniversary of 9-11?