Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sarah Palin: Out-of-control spending is weakening our nation

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In a new op-ed published on her Facebook Notes page, Sarah Palin warns that out-of-control spending is threatening America's freedom and security:
Freedom, Influence, Security Shrink as Budget Balloons

The White House recently announced its pricey Childhood Obesity Initiative to tell us what we should feed our kids. Helpful I’m sure – but most Americans would rather see government focus on other important areas right now. We know what our kids should eat: more healthy food, less junk food. There – we just saved Washington a ton of money by announcing that finding on personal responsibility.

What does demand our full attention is the newly released $3,800,000,000,000 federal budget. The president and Congress have a huge job tackling the problem staring right at us as we look at a budget we obviously can’t afford. America’s freedom and security are endangered as we become beholden to other nations, thanks to ballooning deficits and debt. One congressman just warned that our nation may become insolvent if we don’t make better decisions starting now. As noted in a New York Times article today, unless “miraculous growth” or miraculous unforeseen change is on the horizon, America’s freedom, influence, and security will continue to erode. (Personally, at this point I believe it wouldn’t hurt to ramp up our nation’s humble request for the divine miraculous change and wisdom we’ll need to see us through.)

Getting our arms around this will take all of us working together, making sacrifices, taking more personal responsibility, and sending elected leaders to Washington that we can trust. That’s why some of us may come across as strident in our efforts to call out the White House and Congress. We want to trust you, Washington; we want to work with you, but we cannot stomach some of the things being rammed down our throats. Your actions to pile on more debt make no sense, so we must question your motives and intentions. For instance, there’s just no room for expensive, dangerous, and unsustainable new initiatives like Obamacare, Cap and Tax, and a dramatically expanded federal payroll. These government-growing proposals will obviously cause more problems than they’ll solve. They are just further steps towards insolvency.

Steps towards insolvency are steps away from freedom. They’re steps towards destruction. It’s the reason we ask why we should swallow what's coming out of Washington.

The Wall Street Journal has a brilliant column by Gerald Seib today. It reads in part:
The U.S. government this year will borrow one of every three dollars it spends, with many of those funds coming from foreign countries. That weakens America’s standing and its freedom to act; strengthens China and other world powers including cash-rich oil producers; puts long-term defense spending at risk; undermines the power of the American system as a model for developing countries; and reduces the aura of power that has been a great intangible asset for presidents for more than a century.

“We’ve reached a point now where there’s an intimate link between our solvency and our national security,” says Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior national-security adviser in both the first and second Bush presidencies. “What’s so discouraging is that our domestic politics don’t seem to be up to the challenge. And the whole world is watching.”

In the 21st-century world order, the classic, narrow definition of national-security threats already has expanded in ways that make traditional foreign-policy thinking antiquated. The list of American security concerns now includes dependence on foreign oil and global warming, for example.

Consider just four of the ways that budget deficits also threaten American’s national security:

• They make America vulnerable to foreign pressures.

The U.S. has about $7.5 trillion in accumulated debt held by the public, about half of that in the hands of investors abroad.

Aside from the fact that each American next year will chip in more than $800 just to pay interest on this debt, that situation means America’s government is dependent on the largesse of foreign creditors and subject to the whims of international financial markets. A foreign government, through the actions of its central bank, could put pressure on the U.S. in a way its military never could. Even under a more benign scenario, a debt-ridden U.S. is vulnerable to a run on the American dollar that begins abroad.

Either way, Mr. Haass says, “it reduces our independence.”

• Chinese power is growing as a result.

A lot of the deficit is being financed by China, which is selling the U.S. many billions of dollars of manufactured goods, then lending the accumulated dollars back to the U.S. The IOUs are stacking up in Beijing.

So far this has been a mutually beneficial arrangement, but it is slowly increasing Chinese leverage over American consumers and the American government. At some point, the U.S. may have to bend its policies before either an implicit or explicit Chinese threat to stop the merry-go-round.

Just this weekend, for example, the U.S. angered China by agreeing to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion in arms. At some point, will the U.S. face economic servitude to China that would make such a policy decision impossible?
Please read the rest of Seib’s column here. Our out-of-control spending is weakening our country. We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road to the next generation. We need to have a serious discussion about our spending priorities before it's too late. Commonsense conservatives have a sincere desire to work with the White House on these challenges, and we’re thankful for those in Congress making the offer to help.

- Sarah Palin

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