Securing A Place For Taiwan At The Table
Jim Inhofe & Robert Menendez
After decades of dynamic economic growth and the emergence of a dynamic democracy, Taiwan ought to stand shoulder to shoulder with its neighbors in the vibrant East Asia region. However, the nation’s unresolved political status is creating an increasingly large gap in many areas of international cooperation. One of those is international air travel to and from Taiwan.
Expanding Covert Warfare Makes Us Less Safe
Earlier this month we learned that the Obama Administration is significantly expanding the number of covert Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) agents overseas. From just a few hundred DIA agents overseas today, the administration intends to eventually deploy some 1,600 covert agents. The nature of their work will also shift, away from intelligence collection and more toward covert actions.
A Balanced Approach to Averting the Fiscal Cliff
Just weeks away looms the ‘fiscal cliff,’ a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that everybody in Washington claims they want to avoid. We have a huge national debt because Washington spends too much, not because it doesn’t tax people enough.
Keeping the Internet Free
Just a few weeks ago, the Syrian government shut down the Internet nationwide during a military push against rebel forces that appear to be making progress. While service is back, it is obvious that Bashar Assad’s government has the power to take it down again. As the Chinese Communist Party transferred power, Google reported a sudden drop in Internet traffic. Gmail was down for most Chinese citizens.
Egypt -- Constitution-Making by "We, the Majority"
Egypt’s constitution-making process has seemingly attained warp speed. Facing the threat of judicial dissolution, members of the Egyptian Constituent Assembly voted last Thursday to accept a draft of a new constitution. President Mohamed Morsi has called for an "almost immediate referendum" in which a majority is likely to approve the document. Is this extralegal process the final vindication of the people’s will?
Minding the Minority
As the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) once noted, James Madison said at the Constitutional Convention that the Founders intended the Senate to be ‘a necessary fence’ that could ‘protect the people against their rulers.’ In contrast to the House of Representatives, which was set up to represent the people’s passions, the Senate was conceived to both represent the states and serve as a chamber of sober reflection.
Headed Toward the 11th Hour Compromise
As the year draws to an end, America faces yet another Congressionally-manufactured crisis which will likely end in yet another 11th hour compromise, resulting in more government growth touted as "saving" the economy. While cutting taxes is always a good idea, setting up a ticking time bomb with a sunset provision, as the Bush tax cuts did, is terrible policy.
Stopping Fraud Before It Happens
How upset would you be if someone stole $350 million from you? Pretty angry, right? What if a whole bunch of people were stealing $60 billion? Waste, fraud and abuse are rife in government health care programs. Annually, Medicare alone loses between $60 billion and $100 billion in "improper payments." This can include simple mistakes such as inadvertently billing a procedure twice,*or it could be criminal schemes.
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