The United States faces a fiscal crisis unlike any we’ve seen before.
As president of the Free Congress Foundation, I believe Greece is showing us a disturbing preview of a national life in overwhelming debt. We owe ourselves every ounce of intellectual and civic energy we can spare to avoid the same outcome.
The fact that Greece, a country with a gross domestic product smaller than the state of Massachusetts, has created such anxiety and affected our own markets so painfully shows how seriously we must view the issue. Events this week show us that credible answers and solutions for America are not yet on the table. We see how little confidence people have that our leaders are seriously facing the looming dangers of increasing taxes, out-of-control spending and ballooning deficits.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other nations are currently dictating to Greece how to govern itself. And Greece is now considering “austerity measures” that have prompted street riots. We are now on course for a destination that Greece has reached.
We can change course, but must do it smartly and quickly.
As it now stands, the imposition of unreasonable federal tax burdens to keep paying huge interest on enormous sums of borrowed money from China threaten our way of life and standard of living. Joe Scarborough, the conservative host of the public affairs show “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, has for days been communicating to Americans that our debt and out-of-control spending are the big emergencies facing our country.
So our nation’s most urgent task is to open an immediate, realistic and positive national conversation to generate practical solutions that most people of many political views can embrace. You can help us promote critically needed first steps in the marketplace of needed ideas by sharing your own thoughts with us.
Americans are smarter than their political leadership sometimes gives them credit for being. Americans are by nature can-do optimists. Like most Americans, I am too. I believe that practical solutions with genuine chances of legislative passage on a bi-partisan basis are identifiable and achievable. We are working night and day at FCF to develop a realistic agenda of positive answers and will soon be advocating a realistic plan.
We want to hear from you because we believe some of America’s best thought leadership resides with its people, as well as its intellectual institutions.
Let’s begin the discussion now. Let’s work together to bring positive, common sense solutions into the political conversation before the November election. Please share your thoughts by writing me or posting them with the Free Congress Foundation on our Facebook.
Let me thank you in advance for participating, and open our dialogue together by sharing three key thoughts: Americans know that genuine liberty is linked to our financial well-being and our ability to have financial independence.
Eliminate the ability to spend and invest in property? You eliminate freedom.
We should work now to get taxing, spending and deficits under firm control.
Thanks for writing. I will be in touch.
The passage of the Health Care Bill continues to dig the American public deeper into a financial hole. No matter how it is characterized, this is a vast new entitlement program, with no limits on the cost to the taxpayers of the future. Today our economic system is breaking under the weight of Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, the entitlement society. The national debt and deficits show that we cannot go on with this welfare state. This new health bill “doubles down” on the financial problems that we must solve to restore the future of our nation.
According to the official budget document of the U.S., the 2010 national debt is 94% of our Gross Domestic Product(GDP), being all the economic activity of the American society combined. By 2020, the debt will be equal to 107% of our GDP. All these estimates were before the passage of the health care bill. The nation of Greece is today in crisis at 113%, and their sovereign debt is in jeopardy. The sovereign debt of the U.S. is headed for similar levels. We simply cannot sustain the level of spending that requires this kind of borrowing to make ends meet. The new health care bill doesn’t help us control spending, instead, it balloons spending beyond the alarming debt levels we already have and see coming in the future.
The Democratic leadership in the U.S. House and Senate make it clear that the passage of the health bill is not the end of their push to nationalize the costs of health care. One Democratic Senator said this is only “the beginning of a process”, whereby future efforts will be made to enact a “public option” later. One supporter of the health care initiative stated on National Public Radio, “I like capitalism, but this is about human needs”. This mirrors an ignorance of the reality that only the free market has any hope of providing quality health care at costs controlled through competition.
Finally, to enact their ideological program, bi-partisanship was thrown overboard. Bi-partisanship was great when the Republicans were expected to support their agenda, but completely abandoned when conservatives had a different approach to health care reform. As President Obama said, “This is what change looks like.” This kind of change takes us backward, away from the fiscal conservatism that will be essential to restoring our financial health in the future.
In his opinion column in Tuesday’s Washington Post, George Will decried the desire of the Democratic Party to create a dependency society. He states that the Democrats believe that all entitlements are forever. Except that they aren’t. We simply won’t be able to finance these levels of government benefits. The only way out for our country is to control spending, and to build up the American economy, to create jobs, and to draw on the national character of the American people to create wealth and to take care of themselves as much as possible. Now is the time to begin a new process, toward the “Independent Society”. In fact, there is no choice. A more “Independent Society” is our only way out of this culture that is bankrupting our country.
James S. Gilmore III, is the President and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation. He is the former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Watch Jim Gilmore on the panel discussion of Security vs Freedom here.
We recently sat down with former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and discussed his role in making Virginia America’s most business-friendly state. He discussed what it’s like to transition from the governor’s mansion and the campaign trail back to private industry, and gave Governor Bob McDonnell some advice on how to maintain Virginia’s pro-business legacy and keep Virginia abreast of new and emerging technologies.
December 28, 2009 | Leave a Comment
The Board of Directors of the Free Congress Foundation recently appointed me to serve as the new President and CEO of the Foundation. This is to inform you now that I plan to keep in touch, and work with you to further conservative problem solving for the United States. This is an important moment for the nation, and the Free Congress Foundation must be a voice in current public policy discussions.
Watch Jim Gilmore’s C-SPAN interview here.
Today is election day in Virginia and . I urge our friends who receive this e-mail to vote today for the Republican tickets in those two states. The Patriots Committee is dedicated to . We are always ready to offer bi-partisan support for candidates who subscribe to those principles, but today the Republican candidates in Virginia and New Jersey are the best choices.
October 30, 2009 | 1 Comment
Click below to hear Governor Gilmore’s remarks on “America’s Financial Crisis: What Needs to be Done.”
by Richard Brownell
The naïveté of the Obama administration was on full display this past week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Russia failed to drum up support for tough sanctions against Iran. Clinton and Obama had hoped that Russia would join the United States in bringing heavy pressure to bear to stop Tehran’s nuclear program. They had been led to believe as much just a few weeks ago by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. But Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Clinton that diplomacy needed to be given a chance to work and that sanctions would be “counterproductive.”
Clinton was clearly disappointed by the about-face, but neither she nor Obama should have been surprised by this development. Russia is interested in reestablishing itself as a global power, and its actions are motivated solely by that goal. If Iran develops nuclear weapons, Russia faces no real threat from it. They do business with Iran. The two countries are strategic partners. Only the U.S., its European allies, and Israel would be at risk. In the unlikely event the U.S. were to go to war with Iran to prevent development of its nuclear program, the price of oil would skyrocket and Russia would be able to cash in on its own huge reserves. They win either way.
Liberal supporters of Obama’s foreign policy agenda, such as it is, maintain this is a simplistic view, but modern Russia is not a complex nation. Their goals are clear, and they are committed to realizing them, U.S. concessions notwithstanding. And by concessions, I am referring to Obama’s September move to scrap the Eastern European missile defense system. Russia had been against the development of a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic since President George W. Bush called for it a few years ago. They believed it a threat to their own nation, though it was explicitly designed to protect Europe from a long-range missile attack from Iran.
Obama said publicly at the time that the system was of no use because Iran was 3-5 years away from developing long-range missiles. We have since learned that the Iranians are much closer to building these missiles than we originally assumed, and we simply have no real idea how long it will be before they are capable of detonating a nuclear device. Recognizing our dangerous lack of knowledge of just what Tehran is up to, wouldn’t it be prudent to proceed with the system anyway?
Obama also stated that the technology just isn’t there yet for effectively deploying the system. This is not accurate, and he was only relying on standard liberal rhetoric that the entire missile defense concept is not technologically feasible. That’s an argument that frankly only a Luddite would embrace. If history proves anything, it is that the human mind is capable of developing whatever gadget is necessary to fill a need. There have been fits and starts along the way to developing a missile defense system, as with any research and development program, but real progress has been made in targeting and deployment in the last decade. For years, liberals have predictably played up the failures and explained away the successes. The failures allow them to argue for reducing funding at precisely the time when more funding is needed to learn from past mistakes and proceed toward a successful system. It’s an interesting little negative feedback loop they have created, and it has slowed the overall progress of the system for decades.
Obama’s public excuses about scrapping the missile defense system and replacing it with some ship-based anti-missile defense in the Mediterranean were only part of the reason behind his actions. He denied this at the time, but it was clear that Obama also hoped to earn points with the Russians by obliquely acceding to their demands to remove the system. His gamble was that by scrapping the system, and irritating our Polish and Czech allies in the process, he would gain Russia’s support in putting the screws to Iran to get that country to give up its nuclear program.
We have now seen that Obama severely miscalculated. Lavrov’s blunt refusal to back Clinton’s call for sanctions against Iran kills the last reason behind Obama’s scrapping the missile shield. Poor strategic thinking and longstanding liberal prejudice against missile defense were also at play here.
Obama’s miscalculation will be an unmistakable blow to American prestige on the world stage. Even if we take him at his word that his decision to cancel the Polish and Czech deployments was not swayed by Russian pressure, the international view that now exists is that America caved to Russia and got nothing in return. And if you need a bigger clue that Obama made the wrong move, consider this: if Dmitri Medvedev, Vladimir Putin, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are pleased with Obama’s call to remove the defense shield and America’s Eastern European allies are upset, then that means that Obama messed up.
October 9, 2009 | Leave a Comment
James S. Gilmore, who served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, will give a talk on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., as the featured speaker in the BB&T Distinguished Lecture Series on Capitalism, hosted by Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.
The talk, “America’s Financial Crisis: What Needs to be Done,” will be held at the Inn at Virginia Tech’s Latham Ballroom. It is free and open to the public, no tickets required. Free parking is available at the Inn at Virginia Tech.
A native of Richmond, Va., Gilmore was an attorney, army intelligence specialist, prosecutor, and state attorney general before becoming governor. As governor, he sought to improve education through new academic standards and testing and to provide tax relief to families. His official bio notes: “Governor Gilmore had a solid record of cutting taxes. In the first two years of his administration, he enacted more than a dozen tax cuts, led by the virtual elimination of Virginia’s personal property tax on cars and trucks — the largest tax cut in the state’s history. He also cut income taxes for military personnel living in Virginia, lowered college tuition by 20 percent, and eliminated Virginia’s tax on prescription drugs.”
As governor, Gilmore signed into law the nation’s first comprehensive state Internet policy. He chaired a Congressional commission to study Internet commerce and guided that group to a recommendation that the Internet remain free of taxation.
Another Congressional commission that he chaired, in 1999-2003, assessed America’s terrorism response capabilities. In 2003, he became chairman of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness, formed in response to that commission’s final report. Gilmore is currently president of USA Secure, a not-for-profit homeland security think tank based in Washington, D.C. He is a former chairman of the board of trustees of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Gilmore is an alumnus of the University of Virginia, receiving an undergraduate degree in foreign affairs in 1971 and a law degree in 1977.