Here’s a quick quiz. Which of the following is the biggest threat to our national security, according to Admiral Mike Mullin, (former) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?
D. Our national debt
The correct answer is “D.” Admiral Mullin said, “”Our national debt is our biggest national security threat” on June the 24th, 2010 during a speech he made at a “Tribute to the Troops” breakfast. Does that alarm you? Can you ever remember a top military mind saying something like that?
Here’s another quiz. If you were our enemy planning the demise of the U.S., which of the following would be the best strategy:
A. Institute economic policies that may appear to help in the short-term but actually involve tremendous risk of leading to an economic event even worse than the 2008 housing-bubble collapse.
B. Engage in expensive foreign policy strategies that lead to fanning-the-flames of hatred for the U.S., do nothing to actually lead to actual democracy but embolden Islamic extremists to further organize and act-out.
C. Go to war in the Middle East against an enemy that has allies capable of further destabilizing the U.S. economy.
D. Place the final decision-making authority of the above in the hands of one or two men, rather than the Congress, at a time when the Congress is not in session.
E. All of the Above.
The correct answer is “E. All of the Above.”
It is important to search for some answers to these complicated issues. Below are a few of the explanations I have found to be particularly enlightening. Please feel free to add some of your own.
QE3 won’t go to decreasing unemployment. Look just about anywhere on the web, there is a tremendous amount of negative response to the Fed’s decision to move to QE3. For example, Peter Schiff, from the Schiff Report, explains how the Fed’s recent plan to print money, decrease interest rates, and purchase mortgage-backed securities is what got us here in the first place and will be “the final nail in the U.S. dollar” and “a day that will live in infamy.”
Another great explanation is from Reason.com’s Anthony Randazzo. He said, “The fact that QE promotes activities that led to the housing bubble should have stopped its progression as an idea a long time ago, especially since these problems are greater than any gain that would come from this now perpetual pace of money creation.”
The move to Audit the Fed is gaining some steam as more co-sponsors in the Senate are adding their names to Senate Bill 202. As of Sunday evening, there are 32 co-sponsors. If you are interested in joining the cause, you can visit Audit the Fed.
Caroline Glick helps to answer the question posed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the Benghazi attack. Clinton pondered, “Today, many Americans are asking – indeed, I asked myself – how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?” Glick explains how our government, “determined – based on nothing – that the masses of the Muslim world from Gaza to Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond were simply Jeffersonian democrats living under the jackboot. If freed from tyranny, they would become liberal democrats nearly indistinguishable from regular Americans.”
Pat Buchanan provided a cost-benefit analysis of our involvement in the Middle East in his recent article, Is It Time To Come Home? He notes that, “In this brief century alone, we have fought the two longest wars in our history there, put our full moral authority behind an “Arab Spring” that brought down allies in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, and provided the air power that saved Benghazi and brought down Moammar Gadhafi … The cost of our two wars is 6,500 dead, 40,000 wounded and $2 trillion piled onto a national debt that is $16 trillion, larger than the entire U.S. economy. And what in heaven’s name do we have to show for it?”
As Julian Pecquet wrote, Defense Secretary Leon Paneta acknowledged plans to position troops in as many as 18 different locations and expressed concern that extremists would strike, “from positions of weakness,” due to the void left by the fall of dictators in the Middle East. He argued that even with damaging the al-Qaeda leadership, “We always knew that we would have to continue to confront elements of extremism elsewhere as well.” My question is, why, for how long, at what cost, and to what end?
Finally, there is a very well made video explaining the history of making the war decision and how Congress has increasingly bowed-out and left it to the Executive branch. In the intro, Nick Gillespie wrote, “As deadly and violent attacks on American embassies and consulates in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere multiply in the Middle East, it’s vitally important to remember that foreign policy decisions – especially acts of war – are not supposed to be the province of one man.”
As for fighting a war with Iran, the thought of the economic war options China and Russia bring to the table is frightening and should gives us pause and even more reason to demand that our politicians get our country’s debt problem in order and stop allowing the Fed to devalue our own currency.
Image: Mark Antokolski Death of Socrates, 1875; public domain