American Elephants


Why is Obama Wooing China? And Why the Grand Tour? by The Elephant's Child

The lack of concern for existing law by the Obama Administration is beyond puzzling.  Is this something they teach at Harvard Law? Or do the current occupants of the White House simply assume that they know better?  Investor Business Daily, in an editorial today, notes that :

In violation of U.S. law, the administration plans to give China’s top military leaders a tour of our most sensitive military installations and projects.  The knowledge gained will aid their military buildup.

Who needs spy satellites when the Obama administration is willing to give guided tours of our military secrets to a China that is involved in a military buildup beyond its legitimate defense needs and is neither a friend nor ally?

General Chen Bingde, China’s military chief of staff, has arrived in Washington on Monday for a high level military exchange, the first since China cut off military ties early last year to protest U.S. arms sales to a genuine ally, Taiwan.

A little history.  In a similar visit in the late 1990s, a visiting Chinese official learned of a key vulnerability of U.S. aircraft carriers, which led them to purchase carrier-killing guided torpedoes from Russia.  This was based on intelligence learned on the trip. That mistake led to the passage of restrictions in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2000, which banned “inappropriate exposure” for military visitors from China in a dozen key areas, which included force projection, nuclear operations, advance joint warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance and military space operations. Hello?

Where is the Obama administration taking General Chen Bingde and his entourage and staff? Why it’s one to fulfill any spy’s dreams. On Thursday the visitors will tour our naval base at Norfolk, Virginia and board a Navy destroyer and see a Navy air wing before continuing with a visit to Fort Stewart, Georgia to see the activities of the Army’s Third Infantry Division.

On Friday the Chinese delegation will visit Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert to see our latest aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. Nellis, of course, is our center for space defense activities, cyberwarfare training and the place where we conduct combat exercises against potential cyberwarfare.

The Chinese have announced their military budget will rise 12.7% in 2011, resuming a long series of double-digit increases. The Chinese, on the other hand are quite protective of their military secrets, harassing our surveillance aircraft or ships in international waters. I wonder if they asked the Chinese what they would like to see on their visit?

China is testing advanced anti-satellite weapons, deploying land-based carrier-killing ballistic missiles, building a blue-water navy to project power, and conducting test flights of a stealth fighter that some experts will rival our F-22 Raptor,  but Obama has shut down the production of that.  If we keep helping them, will they love and appreciate us? I wonder whose carriers China plans to kill with their missiles?

We understand that Obama is amazingly naive about national security and international relations. Remember when he claimed to be our most experienced candidate in foreign relations because he had grown up for five or six years in Indonesia, and visited Africa and Pakistan? Uh huh.  That didn’t work out too well. When his naivety leads him to ignore the law, that’s cause for more worry.



Government Elites Picking Winners and Losers? Bad Idea! by The Elephant's Child

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out his “Path to Prosperity” 2012 budget plan on Monday in a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago. He also discussed how the U.S. government reached this big-spending tipping point.

“By the end of the decade, we will be spending 20 percent of our tax revenue simply paying interest on the debt — and that’s according to optimistic projections.  If ratings agencies such as S&P move from downgrading our outlook to downgrading our credit, then interest rates will rise even higher, and debt service will cost trillions more.

This course is not sustainable.  That isn’t an opinion; it’s a mathematical certainty.  If we continue down our current path, we are walking right into the most preventable crisis in our nation’s history.”

A video of his speech is available here. Paul Ryan is terrific. He is clear, concise, and explains where we are and why we can’t go on kicking the problem down the road in the hopes that something will turn up.

If you don’t watch the speech — and it is long but worth your time, for this is the most important issue of our time — this is what you should remember:

The President’s plan begins with trillions of dollars in higher taxes, and it relies on a plan to control costs in Medicare that would give a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to deeply ration care. This would disrupt the lives of those currently in retirement and lead to waiting lists for today’s seniors. The disagreement isn’t really about the problem. It’s about the solution to controlling costs in Medicare.

And if I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers. Their plan is to give government the power to deny care to seniors.

… That’s the real class warfare that threatens us — a class of governing elites picking winners and losers, and determining our destinies for us.   (emphasis added)

The Medicare actuary, Richard Foster, says that the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is scheduled to be depleted in 2024, five years earlier than projected in last year’s report. Medicare prices would be considerably below the current level of Medicaid prices — which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid b private health insurance. Congress wold have in intervene to prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market, and severe problems with access to care.

His projections do not represent, he says, a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in the short run or the long run. The double-counting Democrats put in to make the law look good, and the unrealistic cuts will mean that the federal government will go even deeper into debt, making a way out even harder to find.

In other words, it’s not going to work. We need to repeal ObamaCare. The problems we can see now are only a beginning.




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