When Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing what he thought was the greatest threat to the national security of the United States, he didn’t say that it was Iran, North Korea or even al Qaeda.
Significant threats to our national security loom on the horizon, including the nuclear menace from North Korea and the threats posed by global terrorism. But one particular threat is of our own making.
On Jan. 1, 2013, small businesses could be staring down a fiscal cliff of about $600 billion of tax increases and spending cuts, harming our already-fragile economy.
Although the effect of production levels on the price of oil can be debated, what cannot be argued is that increased energy production here in the United States will create jobs and boost economic activity. We have endured 38 straight months of higher than 8% unemployment. Over 12% of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are unemployed. We need an energy policy that gets people back to work.
The looming Sequestration is one of the biggest threats facing our nation today. Without swift action a law that was enacted to serve as a threat to the failed “Supercommitte” will become a horrible reality.
Small businesses are the engines driving our economy. Any economic recovery will be made in large part through increased hiring by our nation's small businesses. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, over the last 10 years, small businesses are responsible for creating 60 percent to 80 percent of new jobs annually.
Over the past three years, President Obama has issued several Executive Orders and memos to federal agencies aimed at reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens. Unfortunately, these executive edicts have done little to quell small business concerns about regulatory uncertainty. Nor have they actually addressed the persistent failure of many federal agencies to analyze and reduce the negative impact of regulations on small firms, as required by existing law.
Rare earths - 17 minerals whose production is almost completely dominated by the Chinese and are essential in renewable energy products and advanced weapons systems - may seem like an odd pairing with the fast-paced, pulse-pounding, over-the-top action of a blockbuster video game like “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”
Anyone familiar with the game knows that it models itself more on SEAL Team 6 and less on the Defense Logistics Agency. This year’s offering, however, offers a plot focused on rare earth materials and a “cold war” developing between the United States and China over access to these critical materials. Though the kinetic pace of the action is pure Hollywood, the competition between the countries for these critical materials is anything but fiction.
"If you look at the numbers, Medicare in particular will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up."
—President Barack Obama, July 11, 2011, The Washington Post
As a former small business owner, I know firsthand how important credit availability is to a small business’ ability to grow and to create jobs. After having talked with so many small business owners throughout the district, there is no question that their lack of access to credit has caused many of them to either lay off employees or to close their doors altogether.
Approval ratings for members of Congress are at an all-time low. Only 11 percent of the American public approves of how Congress conducts itself, according to a Gallup poll last month. That is the lowest rating Gallup has ever recorded in over 35 years of polling Americans on the job approval of Congress.
Congress and the Pentagon face the enormous challenge of restructuring our military with a reduced budget. It's the right thing to do at the right time. Today's active duty force, a legacy of the Cold War, is simply too large for the nation's needs, wasting precious dollars.
President Barack Obama outlined substantial cuts in military spending over the next decade when he made a rare appearance to the Pentagon last week. The message: We’re going to use the peace dividend to provide more domestic spending.
Approval ratings for members of Congress at are an all-time low. Only 11 percent of the American public approves of how Congress conducts itself, according to a December Gallup poll. That is the lowest rating Gallup has recorded in more than 35 years of polling Americans on the job approval of Congress.
A year ago this week, just two days before being shot by a deranged assailant in her district, Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona introduced legislation to cut congressional salaries by 5 percent, from $174,000 to $165,300.
Stranded as we are in a listless economy, you’d think both parties unanimously would support a project that could generate jobs and help fuel our nation. But that’s just not so, and efforts are under way in Congress to end the unreasonable opposition to what could be a major benefit to our nation.