Build Anti-Missile Defenses
The U.S. Navy gave Ronald Reagan a dramatic 25th anniversary gift on February 21. A Navy missile raced into outer space and destroyed an orbiting satellite, thereby providing new proof of the vision President Reagan proclaimed in his then-sensational televised address on March 23, 1983.
While the Navy SM-3 missile didn’t knock down an incoming nuclear missile, the direct hit on a satellite proved again that our anti-missile technology is mature and reliable, and that an effective anti-missile system is within our grasp. Traveling at 6,000 miles per hour after being launched from a cruiser in the Pacific, the SM-3 missile was even more accurate than anyone had predicted because it struck precisely at the satellite’s dangerous fuel tank.
The successful kill of the satellite also confirmed the ability of the SM-3 to intercept at a higher elevation than had ever been tested before. It revalidated the Bush Administration’s expenditure of $10 billion a year on anti-missile defenses. This direct hit comes on the heels of a particularly impressive track record of successful anti-missile tests in 2007. Since 2005, the Missile Defense Agency has scored 21 successful space interceptions in 22 tests.
The so-called world community, egged on by U.S. pacifists and disarmament professionals, grumbled and sputtered because the United States dared to knock out a satellite. Actually, there was a very persuasive reason for our government to take immediate action against this particular satellite. It had failed in its mission and was edging closer to Earth carrying a large tank of toxic fuel that would be harmful to many people if it crashed into a populated area. Our government acted properly to protect the world against such an unnecessary disaster.
This demonstration of U.S. anti-satellite capability also had a useful side effect. It signaled Communist China that we have anti-satellite technology and power. China shocked the world on January 11, 2007 by conducting the first successful test of an anti-satellite weapon. In its usual disregard for the health of humankind, China’s test left 2,500 pieces of debris in space spread out in a way that poses a danger to manned and unmanned spacecraft.
U.S. officials recognized China’s action as a new strategic threat. Killing a communications satellite could knock out U.S. military and civilian communications systems.
In his 1983 address, Reagan announced that he was “launching an effort which holds the promise of changing the course of human history.” Indeed, it did. His speech extricated America from the defeatist McNamara-Kissinger-Nixon-Ford-Carter strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction, known descriptively by its acronym MAD.
The MAD strategy postulated that our only hope of avoiding nuclear war was by threatening massive retaliation and killing as many enemy people as we could. “Morning-in-America” Reagan offered the contrary vision of hope.
“Wouldn’t it be better to save lives than to avenge them?” he said. “What if we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?”
Reagan thus added the necessary fourth leg to his strategy of Peace Through Strength. It encompassed not only diplomacy, deterrence and offensive weapons, but also defensive weapons. This made eminently good sense to the American people, who fully understand that battle requires both a sword and a shield. Conservatives had been pleading for an anti-missile defense system for more than 20 years.
The whole disarmament/pacifist crowd attacked Reagan unmercifully for his determination to defend America with defensive as well as offensive weapons. Ted Kennedy led the pack by ridiculing Reagan’s plan as Star Wars.
Reagan’s opponents criticized him on every front, claiming an anti-missile system can’t work because it requires hitting a bullet with a bullet. This new test should finally put to rest the false claims that it won’t work.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we know that it was Reagan’s determination to push forward with what became known as his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) that won the Cold War. SDI was the centerpiece of his strategy.
At the Geneva and Reykjavik Summits, Mikhail Gorbachev offered every carrot and stick in his arsenal to persuade or intimidate Reagan into abandoning SDI. When Reagan refused, Gorbachev realized the jig was up for the Soviet empire and its delusions of world conquest because the Soviets could not compete with the U.S. military-economic powerhouse.
Reagan’s SDI, so courageously proposed in 1983, ultimately enabled him to defeat the Evil Empire without firing a shot. We know the system works, and it’s just as necessary in the post-9/11 world as in the days of the Soviet threat.
Manufacture Our Own Weaponry
The indignation of Americans is growing rapidly about the U.S. Air Force granting a French company a $35 billion tanker-aircraft contract that could eventually grow to $100 billion and is estimated to create 100,000 jobs in Europe. French government subsidies are one of the factors that enabled the lucky company (known as EADS) to underbid Boeing.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA), the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, is leading the battle in Congress to overturn this decision. He thinks it is outrageous that U.S. taxpayers should be paying to create jobs in foreign countries.
It is bad enough that the United States has been hemorrhaging millions of manufacturing jobs that are critical to sustaining our middle class. It’s even worse that government policies are deliberately outsourcing jobs that are critical to our national security.
All during the Clinton and Bush Administrations, U.S. negotiators signed trade agreements that allow foreign competitors to create and maintain unfair border-tax schemes that massively discriminate against U.S. manufacturers and service providers, and give foreign competitors a dramatic advantage in the U.S. market. The principal border-tax scheme used against us is the Value Added Tax (VAT).
When foreign manufacturers export their products to the United States, the Value Added Taxes they paid are generously rebated by their governments. Isn’t that cool! General Motors, Chrysler and Ford would surely be in better shape if the U.S. government rebated the heavy U.S. taxes they have paid.
But that’s only half the story. When U.S. manufacturers try to sell their products in foreign countries, they are required to pay border taxes not only on the value of the product itself, but also on the value of all transportation, insurance and other costs.
The bottom line is that these border-tax schemes heavily subsidize the products other countries sell to us, while erecting a high tax barrier against our goods when we try to sell overseas. The combination of foreign governments’ export subsidies and import taxes amounted to a $428 billion disadvantage to U.S. manufacturers and service providers in 2006.
My late good friend, the well-known Senator Everett Dirksen, used to quip about government policies by saying, “A billion here, a billion there, and soon we’ll be talking about real money.”
The border-tax problem does, indeed, involve real money. In 2006, it was four times as costly as the Iraq war (VAT: $428 billion; Iraq war: $101 billion, according to Congressional Research Service figures), and two times greater than the U.S.-China trade deficit ($232 billion).
The United States has no mechanism to stop or offset this foreign border-tax racket, which creates a severely unlevel playing field. Our complaints and petitions to the World Trade Organization have fallen on deaf ears. How could we expect any better treatment? We are only one vote out of 152, and most of the other countries don’t like us anyway.
This border-tax subsidy started shortly after World War II. U.S. officials, steeped in a Marshall Plan foreign-handout mentality, agreed to allow France to protect its domestic market, going and coming, by border-tax subsidies and taxes.
What followed was monkey-see-monkey-do. Other countries found they could play the same anti-American game. Today, 149 countries use the border-subsidy-and-tax scheme to discriminate against U.S. products. In addition, the foreign border-tax rates have grown and grown. France’s border tax rate of 2 percent in the late 1940s has risen to 19.6 percent today, and the average for all 149 countries is 15.5 percent.
These figures show that the push for the United States to lower or eliminate our tariffs is one of the costliest con jobs ever perpetrated on Americans. We cut our tariffs in the name of “free trade,” but 149 foreign countries simply replaced their tariffs with approximately equivalent border taxes benignly called “Value Added,” and then doubled the indignity by handing out subsidies to make their products more saleable in U.S. markets.
America’s industrial base is a vital part of our national security. We can’t afford to put it under the control of foreign governments. The French tanker-aircraft deal should be a Red Alert about the unfair treatment of Americans by various trade agreements and contracts. Then, perhaps we can build momentum to protect what’s left of our manufacturing base and middle-class jobs by establishing a level playing field for foreign trade.
Don’t Let Judges Run the Military
Two separate federal courts, one in San Francisco and the other in Los Angeles, just ordered the United States Navy to limit its use of sonar, the underwater radar essential for tracking enemy submarines and detecting the ocean floor. These rulings tie the hands of our Navy and are the latest outrage committed by judicial supremacists.
The lawsuits were brought by environmental groups on behalf of whales and other sea creatures, using the claim that their ears and brains might be damaged by the sonar. The court rulings allow environmentalism to trump what the Navy needs to do to protect our national interest.
The Navy says it already minimizes risks to marine life and has used sonar for decades without seeing any injuries to whales. The Navy has even said it will shut off the sonar when whales are spotted, but the judge said that’s not good enough because visual monitoring might miss some dolphins and other small animals.
So, chalk up another victory for enemies of our armed forces, internal and external. It seems that the anti-military leftists have picked up judicial activists as their allies. Why should our Navy have to grovel to federal judges for permission to defend U.S. national security? Most of our Navy’s activities are not even in the United States, and judges should not have the power to interfere with the Navy’s protection of our national interests.
Lawsuits are a poor way to debate and decide which military strategies work best for our nation. We do not want our enemies to have access to our military strategies and technology in open court, and the adversarial process of litigation is not appropriate to deciding what is best for our soldiers and sailors and the country they protect.
Judges in black robes should not be telling our generals and admirals what they cannot do, and federal courts should not be interfering with the Navy’s duty to patrol the oceans. The Constitution did not make the federal judiciary our Commander in Chief. It’s time for Congress to assume responsibility to protect our national security by stripping the federal courts from jurisdiction over the U.S. Navy.
Control Our Borders; Enforce the Law
For years, courts and lawyers have intimidated towns from protecting themselves against the invasion of illegal aliens. Last summer, a federal court slapped down an attempt by Hazleton, Pennsylvania to penalize employers and landlords who hire and lease to illegal aliens. Hazleton had been hit by an influx of illegal aliens and victimized by some of their shocking crimes.
But the Hazleton voters stuck with their mayor, Lou Barletta, who vigorously supported his city’s ordinance cracking down on illegal aliens. Despite being vilified by liberal Pennsylvania newspapers, he won nearly 95% of the vote in his Republican primary for reelection last year. That wasn’t all! In the same election, he also won the Democratic nomination on a write-in vote, defeating the leading candidate in the Democratic primary by a stunning 2-to-1 margin.
The American people’s outrage at law violations by illegal aliens was heard loud and clear by the Senate when it defeated the amnesty bill last year. Now, even judges may be getting the message.
In December 2007, a federal judge in Oklahoma upheld an Oklahoma law requiring state contractors to determine and verify the immigration status of new hires. Judge James H. Payne threw out a legal challenge to the law.
In January 2008, federal Judge E. Richard Webber emphatically ruled against illegal aliens who had sued to overturn a similar ordinance enacted by Valley Park, Missouri, a town near St. Louis. The court upheld the ordinance, which was directed at employers who were hiring illegal aliens.
The third strike against illegal aliens came in February when federal Judge Neil V. Wake rejected each and every argument challenging a new Arizona law that imposes penalties on businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens. He dismissed the claim that federal law somehow ties the hands of state and local governments seeking to protect their own citizens. The court noted the research of Harvard economist George Borjas, who concluded that hiring illegal aliens depresses wages for legal workers because the illegals accept lower pay without benefits. Those hardest hit are uneducated legal workers, who lost $1.4 billion in 2006 in the form of lower wages in Arizona alone.
These three decisions in three different parts of the country included both Republican and Democratic-appointed judges. Law Professor Kris Kobach says these decisions give “a green light to other communities” seeking to pass similar ordinances.
It is long overdue for our public officials to rid the U.S. of imported crimes and to stand up for our legal workers, especially the poorly educated ones who need an entry-level job to start building their lives. Now that we have a green light even from the courts, states and cities should proceed full steam ahead to protect us from illegal aliens.
But don’t get the idea that all judges have seen the light and respect the other branches of government. A federal judge in San Francisco, who happens to be the brother of liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, recently issued an injunction to stop Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff from sending out “no-match” letters.
Chertoff had announced that he intended to implement the law banning businesses from knowingly employing illegal aliens by sending warning letters to 140,000 employers who have at least 10 workers whose Social Security number on their tax forms does not match the government’s Social Security database. He would then give the employer 90 days to resolve the discrepancy and let the employee submit a new number. After that, the employer would have to fire the worker or be subject to fines or prosecution.
That’s a splendid idea. You and I must provide our Social Security number when we take a job so that our Social Security taxes can be deposited in the correct account and build up our benefits, so I don’t see anything the matter with the government requiring that the number provided be an honest number and not a phony or stolen number.
But the ACLU filed suit in California, and Judge Breyer barred the law from enforcement. Secretary Chertoff has revised his regulation and resubmitted it, but meanwhile illegal aliens continue to work for employers who close their eyes to the law and allow false Social Security numbers to be used by workers who are in the United States illegally. This is another outrageous example of a supremacist judge overriding the will of the American people and two other branches of government, both legislative and executive.
Reject All Plans for UN Taxes
Why are Republicans in Congress trying to help Barack Obama (D-IL)? Republicans allowed a bill that carries his name to pass the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by voice vote (without any hearings), which means there was no roll-call vote so we can hold any Member accountable. It passed the House by voice vote last year.
Obama’s costly, dangerous and altogether bad bill, which could come up in the Senate any day, is called the Global Poverty Act (S. 2433). It would commit U.S. taxpayers to spend 0.7% of our Gross Domestic Product on foreign handouts, which is at least $30 billion over and above the exorbitant and wasted sums we already give away overseas.
Obama’s bill would require the President “to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.”
The scariest phrase in Obama’s bill is Millennium Development Goal. That refers to the Declaration adopted by the United Nations Millennium Assembly and Summit in 2000 (blessed by President Bill Clinton) which called for the “eradication of poverty” by “redistribution [of] wealth and land,” cancellation of “the debts of developing countries,” and “a fair distribution of the earth’s resources” (from the United States to the rest of the world, of course).
The Millennium project is monitored by Jeffrey D. Sachs, a Columbia University economist. In 2005 he presented then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with a 3,000-page report based on the research of 265 so-called poverty specialists. Sachs’ document criticized the United States for giving only $16.3 billion a year in global anti-poverty aid. He argued that we should spend an additional $30 billion a year in order to reach the 0.7% target that the UN set for us in 2000.
Sachs says that the only way to force the United States to commit that much money is by a global tax, such as a tax on fossil fuels. Empowering the United Nations to impose a direct international tax on Americans has been a UN goal ever since the 1995 Copenhagen Summit.
By adopting the Millennium Goals in 2000, the UN escalated its demands for the UN to impose international taxes. Specifically, the Millennium called for a “currency transfer tax,” a “tax on the rental value of land and natural resources,” a “royalty on worldwide fossil energy projection — oil, natural gas, coal,” “fees for the commercial use of the oceans, fees for airplane use of the skies, fees for use of the electromagnetic spectrum, fees on foreign exchange transactions, and a tax on the carbon content of fuels.”
Most of our foreign handouts go into the hands of corrupt dictators who hate us and vote against us in the UN, and only 30% of our foreign-aid money ever reaches the poor. UN bureaucrats accuse the United States of being “stingy” in our handouts to underdeveloped countries.
There is much more to the Millennium Goals than merely extorting more money from U.S. taxpayers. The Goals set forth a plan to put the United States under UN global governance. These Goals include a “standing Peace Force” (i.e., a UN standing army), a “UN Arms register” of all small arms and light weapons, “peace education” covering “all levels from pre-school through university,” and “political control of the global economy.” The Goals call for implementing all the UN treaties that the United States has never ratified, all of which set up UN monitoring committees to invade our sovereignty.
To achieve this level of control over U.S. domestic law, the plan calls for “strengthening the United Nations for the 21st Century” by “eliminating” the veto and permanent membership in the Security Council. The goal is to reduce U.S. influence to 1 out of 192 nations, so we would have merely the same vote as Cuba.
Obama’s Global Poverty Act would be a giant step toward the Millennium Goals of global governance and international taxes on Americans. Tell your Senators to kill this un-American UN bill.