What Are Our Priorities?
What do National Defense cuts, Crab, Shrimp, Treadmills, Quail, Feces and Magic have in common? Usually they have nothing in common, but in the world of federal budget cuts and federal spending they are related. Let’s take a look.
National Defense is a cornerstone for our economic recovery, strength and security. However Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Panetta, on behalf of President Obama, is slashing the DoD’s budget. What are the possible consequences of such an action? Less safety? More economic instability globally? Increased threats and actions from terrorists and rogue nations?
Budget cuts across the federal government are needed to live within our means. But, if we cut defense spending why can’t we also make big cuts in other areas that don’t affect our safety and security? Are there examples of cuts in outrageous spending that will not harm our country?
We Spend On What We Value…Or Do We?
Here are some interesting examples of outrageous Washington-led spending from the office of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). He released the 2011 edition of his office’s annual “Wastebook”:
* $350,000 for an international art exhibit in Venice, Italy (State Department).
* An additional $175,587 to the University of Kentucky to study how cocaine enhances the sex drive of Japanese quail (National Institutes of Health).
* $592,527 for a study on why chimpanzees throw feces (National Institutes of Health).
* $150,000 for the American Museum of Magic in Michigan (Institute of Museum & Library Services).
My personal “favorite” is the treadmill for crab and shrimp. The National Science Foundation has granted $682,570 to this project’s researchers. From this study, researchers hope to measure the crustacean’s vital signs to measure their fitness levels after exposure to stressful conditions that mimic the ‘dead zones’ found in the world’s oceans. Although this type of basic scientific research can yield interesting and important results, with our nation on the brink of financial crisis is this really the best use of our federal dollars?
In the Reagan years, military strength brought down the Soviet Union because of bold initiatives and overt investments made in national defense. The Strategic Defense Initiative, referred to as “Star Wars,” was Reagan’s plan to defend America from ballistic missile attacks. These initiatives and investments made in national defense reduced the risk of danger for America and the world.
Today the battle has changed. It is more insidious than ever since 9/11. This is now a war against terrorists and unknown allies of terrorists who will use fear, intimidation and weapons of conventional and non-conventional means to terrorize and defeat freedom. Today this war is also brewing in Mexico and Latin America, and threatens America’s national defense on our southern boarder.
The President is not defending our boarders from these threats; Arizona is a good example of that. Instead the President is proposing to cut funding for defense while investing in shrimp treadmills. What are our priorities?
Policy for Terrorists – Weakness and Appeasement
The Obama administration told our enemies there is a timetable for withdrawal in Afghanistan. The result is that the Taliban and terrorist groups know our intentions and can plan for a defeat of the Afghan government. Our eventual withdrawal means that the American-trained Afghan army will lead security actions in the country. It also means the Afghan leaders will direct American and NATO advisors left in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.
This timetable has lead to confusion with our NATO allies. It seems the confusion is coming from the Secretary of Defense, according to this story:
Mr. Panetta offered a general explanation of what putting the Afghans in a lead combat role would mean for American troops on the ground. Afghan security forces, he said, would “decide, obviously, patrols, tactics, enemy targets.” He added that “we’ll be there for support, we’ll be there for guidance, but they’re the ones who will be in the lead and conduct the operations.”
A chaotic and unstable Afghanistan will be the safe harbor for terrorists. This could reinforce our enemy’s view of America’s weakness and lack of resolve on national security.
On the other hand, there is no confusion in the message to our global enemies. The President has no clear policy on North Korea, no policy for Syria or other Arab Spring uprising countries, and seemingly no “line in the sand” for rogue nations like Iran. Even worse, the President is also giving command of American troops over to Afghanistan at the same time our troops are being murdered by Afghan troops.
Solution and Action
Our economy is near collapse and spending on shrimp treadmills, cocaine for Quail and a magic museum is continuing. This must change now!
America must be the voice of security and freedom to our people and to the world. The next President must be clear about the security of being a friend of America, and the consequences of being an enemy. The next President should never apologize for our values or the military strength that protects our economic freedom and true capitalism.
Security in America and around the world is one of our highest national priorities. The President, his cronies in Congress, and bureaucrats who waste our money cannot ignore this priority. Share this story with others and contribute to American Citizens for Economic Freedom as we spread this message of truth about our national defense. Tell everyone to take action now to bring people into office who will not sacrifice your security and who will protect our country.