[StBernard] MyHeritage.org: How government spending hurts national security

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sat Oct 31 00:02:43 EDT 2009

October 30, 2009 | By Amanda Reinecker

How government spending hurts national security

America is one of the strongest, wealthiest and freest nations on earth; she
is largely in control of her own fate. Therefore, any real threat against
America will likely come from within. Today, one of the main internal
threats is crushing government debt.

"Few things can march a great power down the road of decline faster than
irresponsible economic policies," Heritage Foundation Vice President Kim
Holmes writes in the Washington Times.
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=OP4P2NJRfAe5ircjwkHahg..> Current
estimates of our national debt exceed $7 trillion -- $22,000 per person -- a
figure likely to increase by $9 trillion over the next decade.

Unlike in times past when the nation was saddled with exorbitant deficits,
today's imbalance is long-term and will heavily burden future generations.
And this financial shortfall will wreak havoc on our national security.
That's because the more money we commit to ever-expanding big-government
programs, the less we have for defense.

Holmes outlines the dangers we face if the nation continues down this track
of runaway spending:

The U.S. military might be unable to protect a sea lane vital to trade and
military supply lines. We might be unable to suppress an enemy regime that
launches a terrorist attack against us. And absent the great American
economic engine, we might lack the resources to stay on the cutting edge of
technology, leaving our soldiers vulnerable to being matched or even trumped
on the battlefield by better-equipped foes.

Maintaining our superpower status requires reining in our out-of-control
spending on entitlement programs, the main driver of our long-term debts. As
Heritage experts have long argued, this entitlement spending is among the
greatest domestic policy challenge our nation faces. That's why we have
included reforming programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as
key goals of our 10-year Leadership for America Campaign.

> Learn more about Heritage's efforts to control the government's long-term

spending. <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=XVTqsSQ8fAUdjihJzzMQ5Q..>

America currently faces many external threats. But unless we address these
serious spending problems from within, we will not be adequately prepared to
face those from without.

Health care update

* The House health care "reform" bill introduced this week by Speaker
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sets a new all-time record: 1,990 pages. Just in time
for Halloween, the House's latest version of the bill paints a scary picture
for our economy and our nation's fiscal future. Heritage's Conn Carroll
reports <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=HFuU-d73CUf92b4GNZpJKg..>
that "the bill purports to cost only $1.05 trillion over the first ten years
and is paid for by over $700 billion in tax increases and cuts to Medicare
Advantage and Medicare prescription drug payments." So more taxes and more
spending -- and that just lays the groundwork for a complete government
takeover of the health care industry.

* The Senate Finance Committee plans to saddle middle- and low-income
taxpayers with roughly a quarter of the costs of its $829 billion health
care "reform" proposal. These cost will be imposed on them through a
"misguided excise tax on insurance plans" that will cost upwards of $200
billion over ten years, Heritage tax policy analyst Curtis Dubay reports.
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=k8H8h8QS1llA55aTuSUO8Q..> This tax
is in effect no different than an increase in income taxes -- so if it
becomes law it would break the President's promise to not raise taxes on
anyone making under $250,000.

A better idea would be to cap the amount of a health plan that's tax free --
and return the difference in lower income taxes. This reform, Dubay writes,
would realign incentives and "ultimately reduce heath care costs without
growing government further." Visit FixHealthCarePolicy.com
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=dWqKgWnnYy7zc-g6mmLwMg..> to learn
more about Heritage's health care reform alternatives.

The Left attacks school choice

The Left is working hard to block parental choice in education. For example,
the effective D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which has enabled
thousands of parents to send their children to safer schools where they can
receive a better education, is under attack in Congress.

Even Attorney General Eric Holder is on the offensive against this school
choice program. Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=pSevDS7vbBzyu4_wRgDoOw..> reports
that earlier this week, Holder asked a former Washington, D.C. lawmaker to
stop running a television advertisement supporting the program and
criticizing the Department of Education's decision to rescind scholarships
for 216 young District residents.

Americans deserve to know about the success of such programs and the need to
protect them from the political forces that endanger them. That's why
Heritage has produced a new documentary, Let Me Rise
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=Lj2LKMzuEomx865u0F4Pgg..> . We're
taking the message of the students and families that benefit from this
successful program and bringing it directly to those who have the power to
preserve it.

> Watch a short version of this important film.


"Let Me Rise challenges not only people in the District, but across the
nation, to better understand the critical need to improve urban education in
America," Heritage's Lindsey Burke writes
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=hHzTnOQ2ceJZlyDAsNdenQ..> .

The documentary premiered at The Heritage Foundation last week. Attending
the premiere were Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Darrell Issa
(R-CA), Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), former D.C. Councilmember Kevin
Chavous, activist Virginia Walden-Ford and columnist Juan Williams.

The film is part of Heritage's comprehensive effort under our 10-year
Leadership for America
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=_zdef5knGwTFVf9qFfEpgw..> campaign
to strengthen American education by empowering parents to choose a safe and
effective school for their children. Every child in America -- not just
those who earn the goodwill of Congress or Washington bureaucrats --
deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education.

> Other Heritage work of note

* Even before the recent negotiations between the U.S. and Iran were
complete, the media was heralding the Obama administration's "soft power"
approach as a success. But Heritage national security expert Jim Carafano
argues <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=lo6smFtqrVtSUsP2za5CAw..>
that the praise may be premature. The negotiations made no real progress in
deterring Iran's nuclear program. "It was a performance that earned a 'D'
for 'determined to be dumb' in negotiating with a government that has little
interest in serious negotiations."

* The economy grew at a 3.5 percent rate in the last quarter, the
first substantial expansion in more than two years. But is it all good news?
"Don't pop those champagne corks just yet," writes Heritage economic policy
analyst J.D. Foster
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=yfPMN2V_-6YXhIGgMV6U5Q..> . This
figure is temporarily inflated by unsustainable deficit spending programs
such as the "stimulus." This sort of government-engineered boost, Foster
explains, "only adds to the economy by borrowing and thereby taking out of
the economy." The underlying, uninflated growth is more likely just over one
percent -- which is undeniably an improvement, and reflects the economy's

> In other news

* "Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he'd back a GOP
filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's health care reform bill,"
Politico reports
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=8wc_lBKZP4eJj7xHYt2I2Q..> . Senate
rules require 60 supporters before a final vote can be taken. Lieberman
objects to a government-run "public option" insurance plan.

* Honduran President Manuel Zalaya
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=ADbrQBHiVT7IeA6-3NjOuA..> , who was
ousted earlier this year for violating his country's constitution, is set to
return to power. The United States drove an agreement between the current de
facto government and the leftist Zelaya, who is allied with Venezuela's Hugo

* The number of jobs
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=xs7WMk-1JfzqepNdzrDM6A..> the
so-called "stimulus" package "saved or created" is likely much smaller than
liberals have claimed.

* Newsweek reports that leftist financier George Soros plans to spend
$50 million to remove free-market ideas
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=HaTBhE_-o88HwBsLY2OnEQ..> from
economic debates. But as National Review Online columniss Veronique de Rugy
writes <http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=my7i1Uppq7AHJXQlNNMIqg..> ,
"I think Soros's fortune would be better used trying to get the government
out of the market."

> Coming up at Heritage

* On Wednesday, November 4 at noon
<http://members.myheritage.org/site/R?i=HNTHuETeOHMuojQUPqthmg..> , the
Honorable Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will deliver remarks on Preserving Freedom and
Federalism: What's at Stake for Americans in the Health Care Debate.

Amanda Reinecker is a writer for MyHeritage.org-a website for members and
supporters of The Heritage Foundation. Nathaniel Ward, the Editor of
MyHeritage.org, contributed to this report.

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