President Obama should be commended for opening up diplomatic relations with Cuba. It is clear that the 50 year old policy of embargo and isolation has not worked to end the communist dictatorship. Yes, Raul Castro will try to use this change in U.S. policy to his advantage. If only for practical reasons, the embargo should end and relations should be normalized. As President Obama paraphrased, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We need to do something different.
There are also important philosophical reasons why relations with Cuba should be normalized: people who act honestly and peacefully should not be prevented in their actions by the force of government. Voluntary free trade, including tourism, is the best way to foster good will and build better friendships. Allowing Cubans to interact more and more with U.S. citizens will ultimately change the opinions of the masses of Cubans. Hopefully, it will lead to a peaceful overthrow of the dictatorial regime similar to that of the U.S.S.R. and of East Germany.
Thanks to the Des Moines Register for printing the editorial by Peter Morici on 2/16/2013. (Obama blackmailing taxpayers to stick blame on Republicans – see link below.) President Obama and other politicians and pundits who say the sky will fall if the sequestration cuts are allowed to go into effect are using misleading fear tactics. Politicians at all levels of government who don’t want to see spending cuts always say that the services that will be cut are those that are the most needed and the most visible. Examples include President Obama’s statement in his State Of The Union address: “These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs.” Agriculture Secretary Vilsack has warned us that layoffs of food inspector will result in food shortages. A top general stated that troops in Afghanistan will have their stay extended because there won’t be enough money to train replacement troops. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano said the we should expect increased wait times in airports due to mandatory furloughs of security staff.
As Morici wrote:, “It puzzles me how $85 billion in a $16 trillion economy could make such a difference, especially when tax increases of similar size, implemented on Jan. 1 at the President’s behest, had no such similar effect in his mind.” Why can’t President Obama prioritize the cuts so that less needed services are cut? President Obama got his tax increases on the wealthy as part of the negotiations to extend our borrowing limit. Now is the time for him to take the lead and implement meaningful cuts based on priorities. Everything is not a top priority. Even entitlement changes, such as continuing to raise the normal retirement age for both Social Security and Medicare, should be on the table. The debt that we are piling onto future generations is immoral and unsustainable. It must stop.
Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013302160059
Contrary to the letter by Jack Hatch, the Obama administration and Congress were wrong in the way they handled the auto manufacturer’s bailout. (See The Des Moines Register, 11/3/2012, “Auto bailout saved many Iowa jobs, too”) Romney is correct that we should have followed established bankruptcy laws. The bankruptcy process would have allowed the companies to remain open and the jobs to not be lost. The companies could have reorganized their debt and equity and emerged from bankruptcy stronger. What actually happened was that politically favored creditors, such as unions, were given unfair preferences, and some unfavored creditors were cheated out of their lawful security. It is quite likely that Iowa manufacturers would have continued to supply their parts to the industry even if the law had been properly followed.