U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., told the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches today that by driving up the federal debt and stifling the ability of businesses to grow, the United States is heading for “fiscal Armageddon.”
West stressed the importance of reducing the “burdensome taxation and regulatory means” placed upon the nation’s job creators. West said this should include reforming the tax code and cutting the corporate business tax rate “in half,” so that government can set the conditions for economic and job growth.
West spoke about the spike in oil and gas prices, saying that energy independence for the U.S. means developing “the full spectrum of energy resources from oil to natural gas to coal.”
In light of the Japanese nuclear crisis that followed last week’s massive earthquake, West said that we must “find out what happened in Japan,” and “make sure we’re going through the fail-safe systems of our nuclear energy programs here.”
The Japanese tragedy “does not mean that we shut down what we have here, which is 20 percent of our energy generation,” West said.
West mentioned the effects of energy dependence on national defense, citing Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia and the inept reactions of European nations due to their dependence on Russian energy resources.
The U.S. must “understand how your enemies and adversaries such as OPEC — which is nothing but a collection of despots, dictators, autocrats, and theocrats — can take something . . . such as energy and they can leverage [it] against you,” West said. He added that countries such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are employing this strategy against the U.S., and that China may do the same.
Regarding the war on terrorism, West said that the U.S. today has “a recalcitrance, or maybe even a reticence, in defining clearly who [the terrorists] are.” West spoke of his own difficulties in receiving clear answers as to what constitutes an enemy combatant, leaving the U.S. with “gaps by which we are being exploited.”
On Afghanistan, West believes the U.S. must “move away from [the] occupation, nation-building style of warfare,” as it’s leaving our resources drained and turning our soldiers into targets.
West mentioned that he had received three “fallen warrior” alerts in the six hours before his speech, indicating that two soldiers and a marine lost their lives in Afghanistan. West says this is due to the U.S. “affording the enemy the initiative.”
When asked what he thought of President Obama’s inaction on closing Guantanamo as well as extending the Patriot Act, West said that “when our . . . national security strategy talks more about global warming than it does about radical Islamism, jihadism, or Islamic extremism, we have a serious situation. Political correctness cannot be part of our national security strategy.”
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