Time for an ‘American Reset’

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The very real worry is that America’s great engine of productivity and free enterprise could be nearing a tipping point where so many people depend on government for so many things that the incentive to produce and create and work could rapidly evaporate. Once fully implemented, ObamaCare will accelerate this, which is why it has to be reversed.

Reset the constitutional separation of powers

It’s difficult to keep track of the many times and many ways President Obama has overstepped his constitutional bounds or ignored centuries of precedent and probity. But here are a few of the worst examples.

He assailed a Supreme Court decision during a State of the Union address. He issued veiled threats toward the Court while it deliberated constitutional matters related to the healthcare law, dismissing it as “an unelected group of people” and thus implying its decisions were somehow less legitimate than congressional action or his own fiats. And as the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro observes, the Obama administration has made “increasingly extreme claims on behalf of unlimited federal power”—claims that the Court has repeatedly swatted aside.

In unprecedented fashion, he unilaterally determined that the Senate was not in recess—something only the Senate can do—in order to make illegal appointments to the Executive branch. He packed the Executive branch with dozens of unelected, unaccountable czars, thereby flouting the letter and spirit of Congress’ advise-and-consent role. And he launched a war in Libya without consulting Congress, directing or allowing his staff to describe six months of airstrikes, bombing runs and naval engagements as “a time-limited, scope-limited military action.” Worse, when a Senate committee asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to explain the president’s use of military force, Panetta said the administration’s primary goal before engaging U.S. forces in military operations “would be to seek international permission” and then “we would come to the Congress and inform you.” That is, at best, backwards—and at worst unconstitutional.

This imperious approach to the Congress and the Court must be reset, reversed and rebalanced.

Reset America’s global image

Although the president deserves credit for sustaining the Bush administration’s war against al Qaeda and taking down bin Laden—which is no small matter—the hasty withdrawal from Iraq, haphazard, zigzagging approach to Afghanistan, shoddy treatment of longtime allies in Europe and general retreat from global leadership have not helped America’s image. In fact, the United States has regressed from leading coalitions of the willing under previous administrations to leading from behind (the Obama administration’s shorthand for Libya) to following from behind (see Syria).

To reset America’s image abroad, the next administration needs to revive permanent missile defense sites in Eastern Europe, which were abandoned by President Obama in pursuit of some mirage partnership with Moscow; return the United States to its historical leadership role within NATO by leading from the front; remind Russia that if it wants to return to the bad old days of Cold War animosity, America is prepared to meet Putin and his model of autarky on the field of ideas; revitalize the U.S. space program; revisit agreements with Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure that our friends trust us, our enemies fear us and the world respects us; and reacquaint China with the U.S. military’s deterrent strength by reversing efforts to slash defense spending. That would translate into stopping the slide toward sequestration’s $500-billion guillotine, recapitalizing the Navy, reopening the F-22 production line, speeding up development of the Long Range Strike Bomber, and scrapping plans to cut Army and Marine Corps end-strength.

The Pentagon is not to blame for the debt-and-deficit crisis. It has already cut the fat and is cutting into its muscle and bone. Recall that the $487 billion the president recently slashed from projected DoD spending comes on top of $400 billion in cuts which the president ordered in 2010-11. As then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates cautioned in one of his last addresses, “The defense budget, however large it may be, is not the cause of this country’s fiscal woes.” He noted that in 1961 defense consumed half the federal budget, while it accounted for 9 percent of U.S. GDP. Today, defense spending “represents less than 15 percent of all federal spending and equates to roughly three and a half percent of GDP.”

This American Reset won’t solve everything, but it’s a good start.

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  • PhillipGaley

    Considering the sociology of it all, would our hardcore criminal part of the population, yield to some kind of a 'reset'–or are the nation's problems all bureaucratic, political stuff?

  • Robbins Mitchell

    Hopey changey = horsey crappy

  • Judas

    Great article.

  • joy52

    Good points, though I thought before reading the article you were going to name names–starting with Obama.

  • tagalog

    Yes, an American reset. One major step in resetting would be to repeal the Fourteenth Amendment.

  • rbla

    How about this for a reset. Stop the immigration of hordes of third worlders which by altering the demography guarantees a permanent future hegemony of the Democrat evil party and will prevent any of these other resets from taking place. Or is that beyond the intellectual ability of assorted neocons, libertarians and most members of the Republican stupid party to recognize?

  • aharris

    One way or another, we're headed for it. We can do it the mature, responsible way by tightening our belts, or we can do it the chaotic way by bankrupting our country. I prefer the first because we can then do it with some semblance of stability in society. If we do the second way, what emerges may not resemble the free America we think we cherish. I think there more people than we know who are actively working toward the second way because they envision themselves as people in power in the "new" Amerika.

    • dmw


  • wctaqiyya

    Repeal the 16th amendment.

  • BLJ

    Obama sucks at EVERYTHING.

  • Tatersalad

    Flag Day in America before Barack Obama:

    Flag Day in America with Barack Obama:

    "All this for a F'ing Flag"! (Michelle Obama) – http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=mich

  • Amused

    " We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed the truly wealthy to avoid PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE . In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometyimes made t possible for millionaires to pay NOTHING , while a bus driver was paying 10 % of his salary ,AND THAT'S Crazy . It's time we STOPPED it .

    _President Reagan 1985

  • Amused

    Boy that man must be a commie/marxist /leftist /liberal huh ?

  • WilliamJamesWard

    A Reset to a better time, I think a new generation of poliicians is what is needed, the professonal
    politician aka crook…….needs to be made a thing of the past and as soon as possible. Real people
    with the agenda of what is good for American life and prosperity, economic America loosed from
    insane regulatons that are not for the public good but to stultify progress and betterment in markets
    and insure employment for job seekers. Reset our Nation and quit the nonsense of being the
    upholders of other Nations, ours is our responsibility and our's alone. Let the world emulate us and
    not suck the life blood out of our people.Use American resources, espescially oil and all forms
    of energy. We can do it, our parents did, return to our moral vision and patriotic heart getting rid
    of fad Presidents and anti-American courts along with our disgraceful Congress………We have
    the best Constitution in the World and need to take it seriously and never waiver in upholding
    and revering it………..then eliminate every vestige of the left root and branch………William

  • stevef

    Reinstate Glass-Steagal to keep the banks from using deposts in the financial casino….For other financial/economic rules suggested by the great conservative economist Martin Hutchinson’s ” Alchemists of Loss”. Please remind the GOP, a free market is not a market with no rules or regulations, in spite of the fact that Dodd-Frank needs to be stopped.

  • Beatrix

    From what I read, the majority of Americans blame our economic problems on Bush, not on Obama. Romney needs to compare Obama's policies to Bush to show that our current economic problems belong to Obama, not to Bush.

  • SKIP

    Obama has been the best Guns-N-Ammo salesman in American history.