Monday, April 19, 2010

New Commentaries: A Tax Day Tea Party And Obama's Foreign Policy

Research Fellow Emily Schaeffer: Tax Day Tea Party
"Recent events and the words of our politicians have popularized the idea that while markets can be important to economic growth and prosperity, they can also undermine it. It is fashionable to give a nod to the forces of entrepreneurship but in the same breath assert that the power of markets must be tamed by regulation. It is complacently accepted that somehow, these regulators – the men and women in Washington — know what’s best for American consumers. . . . Politicians tend to be most responsive to the loudest interest groups and are therefore inclined to view free trade unfavorably. But we as Americans must be clear – capitalism is not evil. It has done more good for more people than any acts of state, any stimulus spending, any health program or welfare initiative. Americans can no longer afford to fear freedom."

Senior Fellow Robert Higgs: Defense Spending Is Much Greater than You Think
"When President Obama presented his budget recently for fiscal year 2011, he proposed that the Pentagon’s outlays be increased by about 4.5 percent beyond its estimated outlays in fiscal 2010, to a total of almost $719 billion. Although many Americans regard this enormous sum as excessive, few appreciate that the total amount of all defense-related spending greatly exceeds the amount budgeted for the Department of Defense. . . . the government is currently spending at a rate well in excess of $1 trillion per year for all defense-related purposes. Owing to the financial debacle and the ongoing recession, millions are out of work, millions are losing their homes, and private earnings remain well below their previous peak, but in the military-industrial complex, the gravy train speeds along the track faster and faster." 

Senior Fellow Ivan Eland: Obama's Nuclear Achievements Are Less Than Meets the Eye
"Despite all the hoopla about President Barack Obama’s summit on nuclear security and a new arms control deal, the eventual results of his laudable efforts will probably be modest and will likely be dwarfed by the damage to nuclear security done by George W. Bush’s prior administration. . . . but at least Obama has refocused world attention on what is still the only existential threat in U.S. history—nuclear war—and the improbable, but potentially disastrous, threat of nuclear terrorism. In its pursuit of nation-building and military social work in overseas quagmires, the Bush administration had neglected both."