by Harrison H. Schmitt
Budget and National Debt
If not now, when? If not the House, who? These two questions lie at the core of the budget challenge faced by conservatives in Congress. The liberal/moderate spending agenda in healthcare, bailouts, unemployment, and so-called “stimuli” is unsustainable as well as largely unconstitutional.
Our children’s future and our national security are at stake. Except for national defense, public safety, administration of Social Security payments, and tax collection, SHUT THE GOVERNMENT DOWN! Start it up again only in return for total de-funding of Obamacare and no less than 100 billion in real discretionary and entitlement cuts for 2011. In addition, conservatives must draw the line in the concrete for the 2012 and subsequent budgets.
Begin the gradual reduction in entitlement funding, overall, and use the 2013 budget to begin to lower current federal tax rates, reduce the size and reach of government, and stimulate private sector job creation and tax revenues. [See essays No. 6 and No. 42]
Libya and the Middle East
Since 1776, our national interest often has been in assisting revolutions against totalitarian governments and in helping democracies take root. Today those same revolutionary instincts, properly focused as the Constitution intends, help keep terrorism and other forms of aggression away from our shores. Our national interest also lies in assuring that strategic energy and mineral supplies continue to flow to America and other freedom-based nations. Our national interest does not lie in allowing totalitarian nations, through the United Nations, to approve or not approve our military actions. Nor does our national interest lie in allowing others to lead confused and self-interested military operations that expose American service men and women to unnecessary sacrifice.
When America’s interests are at stake, America should lead. For the United States in the Middle East, our national interests involving Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel have far more serious implications than Libya. Had the President acted in a timely fashion four weeks ago, Gaddafi would be only a bad memory, we would have been done with the military job, and our potential influence on Libya’s future would be vastly greater than now. [See essays No. 4, No. 5, and No. 23]
Cap and Tax and the EPA
Conservatives in the House and Senate must force the issue of repealing the EPA’s and the President’s unconstitutional grab for power in the regulation of carbon dioxide and other emissions. Not only will the EPA’s actions to implement Cap and Tax of carbon dioxide by fiat continue its damaging crusade against the American private economy and consumer, these actions will undermine our national security. Forcing the issue now, as unlikely as it may be that the President would sign a bill, clearly focuses the attention of the electorate and the Court on the economic and constitutional impact of this power grab. As in the case of the budget, preparation for the 2012 election cycle can begin none too soon. [See essays No. 10 and No. 43]
The Obama Administration clearly has revealed its bald-face determination to stop new domestic energy production and to force higher gasoline and other energy prices. The list of anti-American actions is long. To name only a few, we have moratorium on off-shore drilling, no exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, no new refineries, threats to stop shale gas production, no development of nuclear waste storage or reprocessing, no relief in coal or nuclear power plant licensing regulations, and restrictions on energy exploration under public lands.
What does this bunch have against America?
In the process of undermining national security by stopping and reversing energy development, the Administration has used taxpayer funds and national debt increases to subsidize uneconomic energy technologies that now are raising the consumer’s cost of electricity. As if things could not get worse, the President insults Americans further by his promise to help Brazil develop its offshore petroleum resources! [See essay No. 44]
Harrison H. Schmitt is a former United States Senator from New Mexico as well as a geologist and Apollo Astronaut. He currently is an aerospace and private enterprise consultant and a member of the new Committee of Correspondence.