Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is time for our first weekly update of the new year. This will undoubtedly be a crucial year for the future of America.
As I reflect upon a year ago, I remember what many termed the “Arab Spring” when referring to the hoped-for birth of democracy across the Islamic world. However, today we now clearly see this as the “Arab Winter,” especially when one considers that in this month the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamists groups shall have a 60-65% control of the Egyptian government.
Radical Islamists are promulgating their anti-Western, anti-America message and goals all over the world, not just in the Middle East and in Southwest Asia. Please read here about the latest terrorist threat on our own soil- this time in Tampa, Florida- mere hours from our Congressional District.
If that isn’t enough to worry about- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be traveling through Latin America this very week strengthening alliances in the region. Does everyone remember the Monroe Doctrine?
We have a 28-year-old “4-Star General” now in charge in North Korea and he will likely want to take some action to prove his “street cred.” As well, China is expanding its strategic military capability by way of its maritime and air forces. Need I remind you all the last time that occurred in an Asian nation?
With all of this as a backdrop, President Obama made an unprecedented trip to the Pentagon to release his “strategic vision” for our military – a vision which is a nightmare. The President fails to realize the “enemy has a vote” and is preparing to set up America up for another Kasserine Pass or Task Force Smith. We cannot have the United States Military as the bill payer for the fiscal irresponsibility of Washington D.C. Currently, our Department of Defense spending is around 19.6% of our total budget. In terms of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) we are only at 4.5% in defense spending, and that includes funding support to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In contrast, our mandatory spending (net interest on the debt, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, and Social Security) makes up 62% of our federal budget. In Fiscal Year 2011 we saw a 6.7% increase in MEDICARE spending, but less than a 2% increase in defense spending.
With President Obama’s vision, we shall see defense spending over the next ten years drop to 2.7% of our GDP, while mandatory spending grows closer to 12% of GDP. One has to ask, what does President Obama believe to be the essential task of the federal government?
My recommendation is simple: develop a National Security Strategy of “Engage, Deter and Strike”, and from there enact a threat assessment across our geographic AORs (Areas of Responsibility) which looks at threats in those regions for the next 15-20 years. Then develop the requirements, capabilities, and capacities necessary to meet that strategy.
Other evaluative criteria for this strategy: eliminate nation-building or occupation style operations; move from a forward deployed to a power projection platform military; eliminate sustained deployments in a combat zone longer than eight months for our troops and allow for a two-and-a-half year “dwell” time back at home. In addition, we should reduce weapon system procurement and acquisition development timelines down to five to seven years and enact a 10-15% cut across higher headquarters staffs.
No President gets to decide where this country will fight, the enemy will make that decision. The Commander-in-Chief needs to be able to protect this nation and our interests abroad.
I am constantly reminded of Alexander the Great’s famous quote, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” America always must be led by a lion with a vision of “peace through strength.”
My other concern coming out of this past week is not just about the “recess appointments” made by President Obama, but rather the accompanying rhetoric. Our Founding Fathers established a Constitutional Republic rooted in the rule of law and a system of checks and balances between coequal branches of our Federal Government. America is not an imperial monarchy and no one gets to bypass Congress to implement his ideological agenda. I hope America is now realizing that elections have consequences.
I am pleased the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5%, but let us not start dancing in the end zone yet. We need to have a consistent drop and never forget that we have millions of Americans who have dropped from the rolls because they are no longer seeking employment, as well as many more who are underemployed. I want to be assured this drop from 9% to 8.6% to 8.5% is not just a “seasonal bump.” Only free market-oriented, private sector, fiscal, monetary, tax, and regulatory policies will create the conditions for sustained economic and job growth. Furthermore, a year from now, Americans must realize that we could see the most massive tax increases in our history.
I want to close with a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” which was written in the mid-1800s: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
In this critical election year, beware the individual who promises more spending to placate the electorate and expands the level of dependency upon the State. That person, truly a Statist, will end the longest running Constitutional Republic the world has ever known, our America.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Highlights of the Week:
– Tuesday, 3 January, addressed the Federated Boca Raton Homeowners Association, visited Randy Lebolo of Lebolo Construction Management Company- Randy came to America years ago from Colombia with just a pair of shoes. Now he is watching his business suffer under insidious anti-business policies emanating from Washington. Visited Anne Chung at her small business, Tropic Pharmacy, to talk about how policies are squeezing out small community pharmacies. Visited the Moran Boys and Girls Club center in Deerfield Beach and served evening meal to kids. Addressed the Coral Springs City Commission on one-year update. Addressed the Boca Raton TEA Party Chapter on challenges for 2012 and the future for the Constitutional Conservative grassroots movement.
– Wednesday, 4 January, Visited Diabetic Care Network in Pompano Beach, a 20-year business that is suffering under the newly-instituted government policy of competitive bidding in MEDICARE. Met with local Pearl Harbor survivor and World War II hero, Abe Stein. Ended the day addressing the Town of Davie Council meeting, providing a one-year report.
– Thursday, 5 January, Visited Double Eagle Distributing in Deerfield Beach to discuss how tax and regulatory policies affect small business growth. Addressed the West Palm Beach Rotary Club providing a Washington update and responding to questions and concerns. Met with the Palm Beach Economic Council about local private sector initiatives and general fiscal and tax policy. Addressed the Northern Palm Beaches GOP Club and installed their newly-elected officers for 2012.
– Friday, 6 January, Met with Dean of College of Business and Heads of the Entrepreneurship program at Florida Atlantic University on expanding a veteran-oriented entrepreneurship program from Syracuse University to FAU. Visited local small business Mobile Help, located in FAU Business Technology Park. Mobile Help provides alert/alarm systems for seniors in case of immediate medical emergency. It is a testimony to American individual industrialism, innovation, and ingenuity. Ended the day with a Shabbos dinner at the home of Dr. Ben and Cara Freedman in Boca Raton.
– Saturday, 7 January, Attended the 2012 Town of Palm Beach Policemen’s Ball—-My wife, Angela and I sat with those one-percenters who were raising funds to provide for a well trained and equipped Police Force, to ensure the strength of their pension plans, and to provide a scholarship foundation for their families. What always astonishes Angela and me is the fact that our parents would not have imagined we would have achieved so much. But thanks to American exceptionalism and the opportunity it provides, Angela holds a PhD and I am the Congressional Representative for Palm Beach and Broward Counties. America is about everyone having the opportunity to achieve, yes, all 100% of us!
– Sunday, 8 January, Attended a reception put together by Agudath Israel of Florida to discuss security issues relating to the State of Israel.
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