e-News June 12, 20096/12/09
1. The Week Just Past
2. Another Delay for Bill Supporting the Troops
3. Bad idea of the Week: Miranda Rights for Terrorists
The Week Just Past
In the wake of news of another rise in unemployment, President Obama this week spoke passionately about the dangers of massive government spending, budget deficits and unsustainable debt. Unfortunately, the President’s actions speak louder than his stirring words. Over the past five months, this Administration has racked up the highest spending in history, run up a deficit four times greater than last year’s all time high, and put the U.S. on course to double the national debt in ten years. These facts are not in dispute.
“Stimulus”: Promising to save 3.5 million jobs, Speaker Pelosi and the President forced an unpaid-for $787 billion “stimulus” bill through Congress in February. The bill also added an extra $350 billion in interest on new debt. The Administration claimed unemployment would peak below eight percent if Congress passed the President’s “stimulus” bill. Since the “stimulus” was passed, America has lost 1.6 million private sector jobs and unemployment is at a 26-year-high of 9.4 percent. Frankly, a great deal of this money has been spent meeting the President’s goal of hiring 600,000 new public employees!
Deficits: The President will rack up a deficit of $1.84 trillion this year—four times higher than the all-time-record deficit of $458 billion last year. In May alone the deficit was $190 billion, a record-high for a month. The President claims that by 2013 he will cut the deficit to $512 billion, which would still be higher than last year’s record. The President’s deficit then shoots back up to $800 billion by 2019, digging deeper into the same hole as before. It is interesting to note that the United Kingdom and other nations may lose their “Triple A” rating due to their financial situation. And, little wonder other countries, particularly China, are worried about our credit-worthiness.
Debt: The President’s “stimulus” spending spree, combined with the largest budget in history, will increase the public debt from $8.5 trillion in 2009 to $16 trillion in 2019. In January, CBO estimated the debt would rise to $9.3 trillion in 2019. In five short months President Obama has put us on a path to increase the public debt by $7 trillion over CBO’s estimate, and borrow as much public debt in ten years as our entire nation borrowed in 233 years. These facts are mind-boggling and should frighten every American!
Health Spending: President Obama’s budget includes nearly $1 trillion in new entitlement health spending—a $634 billion reserve fund as a “down payment” for government controlled coverage, and $330 billion in spending for increases to physician reimbursements. Apparently, the President plans to “save” money on health care by spending $1 trillion.
Budget: The President’s budget has increased total spending to $4 trillion in 2009—or 28 percent of Gross Domestic Product—the highest Federal spending as a percentage of GDP since World War II. Even after ten years of the President’s budget, the White House predicts a budget of $5.2 trillion, or approximately 25 percent of GDP according to CBO.
Savings?: This week, the President strongly endorsed the budget concept of ‘Pay-as-You-Go’ or ‘PAYGO.’ He said, “Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere.” The President has tried to show his dedication to budget savings by asking federal agencies to reduce their budgets by about $100 million or roughly .002 percent of the total budget for 2009—a mere drop in an ocean of spending.
Another Delay for Bill Supporting the Troops
With the prospect of the Army running short of money, Congress this week once again delayed enactment of a Supplemental Appropriation bill that will provide funding for our troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since the House passed a “clean” bill back on May 14, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid have larded up the bill with provisions completely unrelated to military operations overseas, including:
Funds for the International Monetary Fund: Speaker Pelosi has stated that $108 billion in funds for the IMF would be added to the War Supplemental. With the addition of these funds, the Speaker is endorsing borrowing and spending more money on a bail-out for foreign countries like Iran and Venezuela, than on our own troops.
Detainee Photos: The Senate included a bipartisan amendment to prevent the release of photographs of detainees held at American military facilities. It now appears that this important prohibition will be dropped, contrary to the advice of America’s military and intelligence leaders. By stripping this provision, the final bill will put our troops in greater danger.
GuantanamoBay Detainees: The Senate’s version of the War Supplemental prohibited GITMO detainees from being transferred to the U.S. However, reports now indicate that the final version will contain watered-down language, allowing GITMO prisoners to be brought into the U.S. for trial within 45 days of the Obama Administration submitting certain certifications to Congress.
Bad Idea of the Week: Miranda Rights for Terrorists
News reports this week indicate that one of Rep. Frelinghuysen’s colleagues, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has learned that the Obama administration is quietly ordering the FBI to start reading Miranda rights to suspected terrorists at U.S. military detention facilities in Afghanistan!
The move is reportedly creating chaos in the field among the CIA, FBI and military personnel, according to Rep. Mike Rogers, a former FBI special agent. He says the soldiers, especially, are frustrated that giving high value detainees Miranda rights -- the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney -- is impeding their ability to pursue intelligence on the battlefield.
“Any effort to ‘Mirandize’ detainees captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan represents a ‘pre-9-11’ mentality,” said Rep. Frelinghuysen. “We are at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan. These are violent, highly skilled extremist combatants and they should be treated as such and not run-of-the-mill common criminals.”
In the meantime, the President is, in effect, thumbing his nose at the American people and their representatives by proceeding to empty the Guantanamo Bay detention facility without sharing his plans. It is bad enough that the Courts have “legitimized” the status of these “alien enemy combatants” by allowing them the same “due process” rights as American citizens.
The Administration has provided no information on how it is proceeding. For example, the White House has not disclosed what financial arrangements Bermuda and Palau and other nations may be demanding from U.S. taxpayers in return for accepting detainees.