New U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) made his first speech on the Senate floor last week since taking office in January, and it was full of cogent points.
“I am outraged by Washington’s dysfunction, its fiscal irresponsibility, its lack of leadership in foreign policy, its intrusiveness and overreach, and its negative impact on hardworking Americans,” he began, and then went on to zero in on three areas: the abuse of executive power by President Obama, the “significant deterioration” of our foreign policy and our out-of-control debt.
“What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country,” said Perdue — who actually was quoting liberal George Washington University constitutional law professor, Dr. Jonathan Turley, who by his own admission voted twice for Obama.
Continued Perdue, in his own words, “Unbridled use of executive orders and regulatory mandates has basically allowed this President to run the country without Congress for the past six years. According to Professor Turley, this sets dangerous precedents for future courts and future presidents.”
Turning to foreign policy, Perdue noted — as have many Obama critics, including fellow U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia — that the current administration has maneuvered us to a point where our longtime allies no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us.
“Leading from behind has failed as a foreign policy,” Perdue said. “A nuclear Iran whose leaders are committed to the death of Israel and America would spark an unprecedented wave of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Under no circumstances, can we allow Iran to become a nuclear weapons state not now, not in 10 years, not ever.”
The Obama administration (with the support of Congress, including some Republicans, we regret to say), has reduced military spending to the point that our Army, Navy and Air forces are on the verge of being at pre-World War II levels.
“This is simply unacceptable,” Perdue declared, correctly. “To address this global security crisis and create a new beginning, we must have a consistent and strong foreign policy. However, to have a strong foreign policy we must have a strong defense. … To have a strong defense, though, we must have a strong economy — as we proved in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Our own fiscal irresponsibility jeopardizes our ability to fund a strong military. Admiral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, once said that the greatest threat to our national security is our own federal debt.”
“This debt crisis threatens our ability to defend our country, stand for freedom, and maintain our very way of life. It is a primary reason why we need to create a new beginning,” Perdue said.
The federal government borrowed $8 trillion of the $21.5 trillion it has spent in the past six year, and the federal debt is now more than $18 trillion, the senator said. In addition, we’re facing more than $100 trillion in future unfunded liabilities to pay for things such as Social Security and Medicare.
“The progressive policies of the past 100 years, and particularly the egregious policies of this current administration, have failed the very people they were intended to help: the working middle class,” Perdue said — again, correctly.
The senator advocates reducing the corporate tax rate, eliminating corporate welfare and making the tax system fairer and simpler. Good ideas, but the devil is always in the details.
The senator concluded with a call for “making hard choices” and “having the courage to solve these problems, independent of how it might affect our re-election chances.”
These problems and their solutions will indeed call for such choices and such courage and such possible consequences. And we, and other Georgians, will be watching to see who is in fact making such choices, displaying such courage and risking such consequences.