Entitlements & Scams: There are two very good articles below that discuss the challenges of the unfunded mandate the government has currently pledged to seniors and another discussing various scams that hits seniors daily. I would encourage you to read them.
The Swamp: More and more Americans are growing distrustful of our government institutions as Democrats politicize the DOJ, FBI, and IRS. This is bad for the country and bad for society as a whole.
We need to reform the system, truly drain the swamp, and bring accountability back. Those who abuse the system should be held accountable. The double standard when it comes to crime and justice is the root of many of the problems.
A system that allows rioting in the streets, defunds the police, creates open borders and prosecutors who allow criminals back on the streets the same day are the root cause.
I hope folks vote as if their lives depended on it…because in many cases it does!
Putin’s Russia: They are terrorists engaged in genocide in Ukraine. This is no war, its an invasion designed to wipe out a culture and its people.
Russia should be condemned and lose their seat on the U.N. Security Council. It’s now little more than a terrorist state.
Biden-Manchin Inflation Reduction Act: Joe Biden just signed a bill that will raise taxes on middle-class families, hire 87,000 new IRS agents, crush U.S. manufacturing, shrink the economy, and worsen inflation.
Abbott & Costello Trying to Figure out Biden’s “numbers”?!?: And so it starts…
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 3.6%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.
COSTELLO: You just said 3.6%.
ABBOTT: 3.6% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 3.6% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 23% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 3.6%.
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 3.6% or 23%?
ABBOTT: 3.6% are unemployed. 23% are out of work.
COSTELLO: If you are out of work, you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, Biden said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!
ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how it gets to 3.6%. Otherwise, it would be 23%.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
COSTELLO: So, there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Democrat.
COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Biden.
Read more below and follow me on Twitter – @sanuzis
60 Plus Weekly Video Rewind
Grover Norquist reveals the real targets of the new IRS agents, a new program for Senior Citizens is launching in Illinois, and high energy price will mean high food prices!
Links to the articles discussed in the video:
Soaring inflation driving retired employees back to the workforce
Inflation rose 8.5% in July, remains near its highest level in 4 decades.
Retirement, even without growing concerns over a potential recession, has provoked feelings of stress and anxiety within people who have spent decades building up a career or running a business, according to an industry expert.
“Any type of change that you make can be perceived as a loss because you’re giving up something to go to something else,” Michael Liersch, the head of wealth and investment management advice and planning at Wells Fargo, told FOX Business.
Retirement isn’t sitting on Adirondack chairs and gazing at the sun, Liersch said. Instead, it’s a drastic shift from a familiar lifestyle that gives you a lot of social and cognitive benefits in terms of the challenges that you confront, he added.
You also have to adjust to a life where you no longer rely on employer benefits.
That alone can make people question whether they have made the right decision.
“Combine that with things like inflation being at multi-year highs and then markets being challenged. It can really cause people to start questioning whether they made the right choice to exit the workplace,” Liersch said.
Americans saw some relief last month after a year of relentless price increases that have strained household finances. Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier and down from a 9.1% annual increase in June, and they are still running close to their highest level in decades.
Reagan’s Lessons in Economic Leadership
I saw him put the country’s interests ahead of his own more than once. We could use a leader like that now.
President Biden’s signing of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act brings back four-decade-old memories of better economic leadership. On Aug. 13, 1981, President Reagan signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act into law. It unleashed a quarter-century of American prosperity, which made it possible to restore price stability and win the Cold War.
In this time of harsh rhetoric and political zealotry, it is comforting to remember Reagan not only for what he did for the country but for the kind of man he was. Let me share two previously untold examples of his extraordinary leadership and humanity that I witnessed during the making of the Reagan Revolution.
In 1980 I was a freshman Democratic congressman from Texas. Rep. David Stockman (R., Mich.) and I offered a substitute for President Carter’s final budget. Reagan appointed Mr. Stockman director of the Office of Management and Budget, and our bipartisan proposal became the foundation of the Reagan budget. Rep. Delbert Latta of Ohio, ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, and I jointly authored the Reagan budget in the House. The word is overused, but I feel confident in calling the Gramm-Latta budget transformative.
While the budget was a dramatic change in public policy, the initial vote set only broad parameters, cut no programs, and was easily passed. The reconciliation bill implementing it was the most difficult vote of the Reagan era. It contained the largest postwar cuts in domestic spending and eliminated three Social Security benefits to address the impending bankruptcy of the system. While there were strong arguments for ending each of these add-on benefits, a vote to eliminate them meant touching the third rail and endangering a lawmaker’s career.
Biden’s Afghanistan debacle began with the fall of Kabul a year ago and Americans deserve answers
House Republicans vow to get answers on Biden’s Afghanistan failure
The Biden administration spent the past 12 months misleading the American people to avoid accountability for its failed withdrawal in Afghanistan. The administration has stonewalled congressional requests for information and continues to deny the American public, and especially Afghanistan war veterans, much-needed answers on how the withdrawal unraveled into unmitigated chaos, and ultimately caused a reemergence of al-Qaeda in the heart of Afghanistan. This is a failure of leadership and an abdication of the responsibilities of the commander-in-chief.
During those chaotic weeks last August, the world witnessed horrific images coming out of Kabul. Hundreds of American citizens were abandoned by their own country behind enemy lines, relying on personal contacts to help get them out. Billions of dollars’ worth of U.S.-supplied military equipment and weapons, given to the Afghan government, is now unaccounted for and in the possession of the Taliban and other bad actors. The Taliban brutally beat and murdered innocent civilians. Desperate Afghans clung to departing C-17s only to fall to their deaths. The confusion and chaos caused by the Biden administration led to the tragic murder of 13 American service members – the single deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan since 2011.
Attempting to justify his tumultuous exit, President Joe Biden claimed last year that al-Qaeda was ‘gone’ from Afghanistan. Yet less than one year later, the United States rightfully killed al-Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, during a counterterrorism operation in Kabul. However, this not only underscores the extent of the Biden administration’s failures in Afghanistan, but is evidence that Afghanistan is once again becoming a haven for terrorists.
Biden’s U.S. economy was the worst performing of G-7 countries in the second quarter as U.K. also reports downturn
The U.S. was the worst-performing of the major Group of Seven economies in the second quarter, the latest data show.
The U.K. Office of National Statistics on Friday released the G-7 comparison alongside reporting the British economy shrank by a 0.1% rate in the April-to-June period.
On the quarterly basis that most countries outside the U.S. employ, the American economy fell by 0.2% in the second quarter. Canada had the strongest showing, with its economy accelerating by 1.1%, and the Italian and French economies also grew while Germany’s stagnated.
The chart was compiled before Japan on Monday reported a 2.2% annualized, or 0.5% quarterly, growth rate for the second quarter.
The U.K. numbers don’t necessarily show an economy heading to recession. The Platinum Jubilee celebration weighed on output in June, when GDP contracted by 0.6%.
Analysts also noted the unusual drag from COVID-19, as the winddown of vaccination and testing programs reduced activity in health and social work.
AG Merrick Garland’s raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is a farce of law
Reserved, studious and precise, Merrick Garland appears to be an attorney general selected by central casting. Unfortunately, the part he is playing belongs to another era, one where the government was widely trusted.
After orchestrating one of the biggest events in the history of the Department of Justice, Garland proved himself too small for the moment. Whether he volunteered or was pushed into authorizing the unprecedented FBI raid on the home of former President Donald Trump, he was woefully unprepared for the entirely predictable fallout.
It should not have been a surprise to him that about half the country believes the raid was motivated by politics. Or that Trump’s support, which had been slipping, instantly started rising among Republicans and some independents.
Even if Garland hadn’t considered politics, he might have thought of the declining credibility of his organization, especially after its shameful spying on Trump in the 2016 election.
Democrats Say ‘No One Is Above The Law,’ But This List Of Their Corrupt Allies Proves Otherwise
Here the full list of deep-state and Democrat allies that prove the ‘no one is above the law’ schtick is all a lie.
When the FBI executed a raid on the home of former President Donald Trump, who happens to be the most popular political leader in America, the “get Trump” crowd was overjoyed.
Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Miles Taylor (the “anonymous” author who pretended to be a senior Trump aide), Clinton-era Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, even Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, and many others all gave the same justification for the FBI’s actions that they gave for Trump’s first and second impeachments: “No one is above the law, not even a president of the United States.”
Yet, a majority of Americans know that’s categorically untrue. That’s why so many of them rejected Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s scolding of anyone who dared question their credibility following the raid.
But while the FBI and DOJ have busied themselves with targeting Trump and his aides, colluding with the National School Boards Association to silence concerned parents, concocting entrapment schemes masquerading as plots to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and chasing down election integrity supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, plenty of real criminals and security threats have gotten away scot-free. That’s no accident.
Here is everyone who Democrats and their bureaucrat buddies have deemed “above the law” and unworthy of proper investigation and prosecution.
Think The FBI Deserves The Benefit Of The Doubt? This Laundry List Of Corruption Should Make You Think Again
A look at the FBI’s last six years shows a pattern of irredeemable corruption.
an the FBI be trusted? A Federalist analysis of agency lies over the last decade is an unequivocal no.
In the summer of 2016, FBI bureaucrats launched a deep-state operation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, to thwart then-candidate Trump’s presidential ambitions. It began by targeting Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and quickly branched out as bureaucrats expanded their surveillance. The spy agency used the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as a legal pretext to investigate and spy on Papadopoulos, in addition to former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and former Trump adviser Carter Page. Several were interviewed by undercover FBI informant Stefan Halper, whose own investigation would prove a bust.
According to a declassified transcript between Papadopoulos and a Crossfire Hurricane confidential human source (CHS), Papadopoulos repeatedly denied the Trump campaign was working with Russian-backed entities to capture the 2016 election. The FBI, however, wrote off Papadopoulos’s recorded answers as rehearsed and omitted his denials of campaign collusion with overseas actors in FISA court warrant applications and renewals. These were two of the 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” identified in the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general’s blockbuster report on the investigation in December 2019.
Papadopoulos, who pled guilty to making a false statement to the FBI in a perjury trap, was far from the only individual to face political persecution from the federal government’s dystopian investigation.
Not one of the four FISA warrants obtained by the FBI was legally justified, according to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report. In fact, at least two of the warrant applications to spy on Page were declared illegal by a federal judge. Following Horowitz’s blistering report outlining FBI misconduct throughout the entire operation, another federal judge declared that agency malfeasance “calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”
Subsequent reporting revealed gross abuses of power within the FBI to prosecute political opponents. According to Horowitz, the FBI’s FISA warrants “relied entirely” on DNC-funded opposition research compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele known as the “Steele dossier.” The dossier, which outlined supposed Trump-Russia collusion and has since been thoroughly debunked, included salacious allegations such as supposed “pee tapes” featuring Trump engaging in golden showers with Russian prostitutes at a Moscow hotel.
The FBI knew the dossier lacked credibility as early as January 2017 and knew Steele’s material itself contained Russian disinformation. Desperate to continue their deep-state operation, however, officials lied to the FISA court about Steele’s credibility and hid incriminating info related to the former British intelligence official who was later fired over leaks to the press. An 18th omission, overlooked by the inspector general’s report but documented by Federalist Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland, was that Steele’s sources did not include the ones he developed as a British official.
Even after Steele’s termination as a reliable source, DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr continued to feed information from Steele to the FBI over the course of its investigation. Steele met with Ohr 12 times after the former’s tenure ended as a confidential human source for the bureau, according to the inspector general. Ohr also promoted his wife’s opposition research to FBI investigators and did not disclose she was paid by Fusion GPS, the DNC-contracted firm that commissioned the Steele dossier.
The FBI never told the FISA court that the Trump dossier written by a source who was fired for lying, did not undergo independent verification, and was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
Despite the overt abuse of the nation’s surveillance apparatus to spy on political opponents, only one FBI official has faced criminal conviction for his role in the probe. In January last year, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to just 12 months probation after pleading guilty to fabricating evidence to obtain a FISA warrant. By December, Clinesmith was re-admitted to the D.C. Bar Association in good standing.
The Incompetence Of The Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal Is On Display In Every Area Of Biden’s Presidency
The incompetence that plagued the Afghanistan withdrawal shows up in practically every hire, decision, and policy in Biden’s administration.
Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul, and even the media machine can’t deny that the Biden administration’s execution of the necessary U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was disastrous. What they fail to acknowledge, though, is that the rank incompetence that plagued that withdrawal has shown up in practically every hire, decision, and policy position in the Biden administration.
Biden slammed his predecessor for his inability to stop an endemic airborne virus and promised to “get [Covid] under control” and “beat this virus.” Of course, even for a capable administration, that was an impossible task — and under Biden, the Covid toll only grew while freedoms shrunk. Even though the Biden administration oversaw more people receiving (or being forced to receive) shots that had been manufactured under the Trump administration, Biden still presided over more Covid deaths in his first year in office than Trump did in 2020. And as my colleague Eddie Scarry noted, by last September, a majority of U.S. adults reported “little to no trust in Biden to relay accurate information related to COVID-19.”
Covid hysteria has died down as Americans have grown tired of politicians’ lockdowns and media fearmongering — and as the media have found other crises to fan. But it hasn’t been a result of any competent effort by the Biden administration, which spent more than a year getting people fired with heavy-handed mandates and nuking dissent from cyberspace.
Deadly Border Crisis
After the Biden administration signaled a change from the Trump administration’s hardline stance on border security, the human trafficking industry run by cartels at the U.S.-Mexico border has surged. We’ve seen record after record number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border — a metric that doesn’t even account for those who get through undetected. Horrific footage in September 2021 showing roughly 12,000 migrants in a crowded encampment under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, reflected how out-of-control the continuing crisis at the border is. As my colleague Jordan Boyd reported in April, “In 2021, at least 650 migrants died during their attempts to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border,” many due to drowning, heat, or cartel violence.
A pastor who runs shelters in Matamoros, Mexico, told The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson and Emily Jashinsky that the cartel “controls everything here now.” The Biden administration has continually shown itself either unwilling, unable, or both, to put an end to the lawless smuggling and the deaths and violence it causes.
Painful Gas Prices
The average gas price in the U.S. hit a new record, north of $5.00 per gallon, in June under Biden’s watch. While the unpopular administration has managed to inch that price down artificially by depleting our strategic oil reserve to dangerously low levels — an “accomplishment” they’re all too willing to brag about — gas prices remain close to $4.00 per gallon, far higher than the roughly $2.39 voters were paying on the day Biden took office. The administration tried its best to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the spike in fuel costs, but even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a gallon of gas cost more than $3.50 on average around the country.
IRS becomes GOP boogeyman ahead of midterms
As Republicans rail against the FBI in the wake of last week’s search at Mar-a-Lago, they are also hyping the danger to voters from another three-letter federal agency: the IRS.
The GOP is warning that the $80 billion funding boost to the IRS included in Democrats’ tax, climate and health care package, which President Biden signed into law on Tuesday, will target middle-class Americans with an “army” of new enforcement agents.
The calls have become a key part of Republicans’ messaging ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) released a video earlier this week that slams Democrats for expanding the IRS, arguing that it will harm everyday Americans despite Democrats’ insistence that the extra funding is intended to make sure wealthy taxpayers and corporations don’t stiff the government.
“Biden and Democrats are out-of-touch and do not care about the pain and suffering they are causing Americans. Democrats celebrate raising taxes on families during a recession they created and weaponizing the IRS to target small businesses and hardworking Americans,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
Democrats, the Biden administration and various fact-checkers have pushed back on the claims. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig that audit rates should not “rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000 annually” and that new resources should not be directed to audits of families or businesses that fall below those levels. Yellen wrote that “enforcement resources will focus on high-end noncompliance.”
But Republicans counter that there is nothing in the law to prevent an increase to audits of middle-class Americans and note that Democrats voted against a GOP amendment to prevent the new funds from being used to go after lower earners.
Ahead of Midterms, 14 States Improve Election Integrity Laws
With primaries underway and with midterms and other fall ballot contests looming, multiple states are demonstrating a commitment to ensuring that their elections remain worthy of public confidence.
Since 2021, The Heritage Foundation has been tracking the content of every state’s laws (plus the District of Columbia since it casts three electoral college votes for president) governing the conduct of elections—local, state, and federal—and ranking them in its Election Integrity Scorecard. It does this by comparing them to a set of best practices criteria developed by Heritage. Now more than halfway through 2022, it’s time to take stock of the relevant laws enacted this year, and the resulting changes, both positive and negative, in election integrity.
Through July 2022, state legislatures enacted roughly 190 new bills pertaining to elections. And the flurry of legislative activity has generally improved election security. In all, fourteen states have bettered their scores from 2021 while only two states reduced them.
Facing Reality on Entitlements
A Congressional Budget Office report leaves no doubt about the cause of the nation’s crushing debt burden.
Anew Congressional Budget Office report confirms that Washington’s financial prospects are dire. Even while making generous assumptions about inflation and interest rates, these government economists and statisticians anticipate that federal spending will continue to outpace revenues well into the twenty-first century, creating historically large annual deficits and adding to the nation’s accumulation of public debt. By 2032, they forecast, outstanding government debt will stand at 110 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), and by 2052, that figure will reach 185 percent—an astronomical share that exceeds that accumulated during World War II.
Past decisions have made this forecast all but inevitable. More than anything, the growth of entitlements—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—has caused spending to exceed revenues, creating outsize deficits and a mounting debt burden. Though CBO forecasters did their best to work moderation into this inexorable trend, they could not erase the effect on their projections. Their numbers make clear that Washington won’t get a handle on its deteriorating finances until it gains some control over entitlement spending and financing.
Assuming that tax law remains largely unchanged, these economists project that federal revenues from all sources will grow roughly in tandem with the economy, with the government taking in an average of about 18 percent of GDP annually. The bulk of the projected deficit emerges on the spending side. The CBO projects that federal outlays will expand from 23.8 percent of the economy this year to 25.8 percent by the mid-2030s, and then climb to 28.9 percent by mid-century.
Entitlement spending is to blame for most of this increase. Social Security, health care, and other transfers from Washington swell in these projections from 10.8 percent of GDP this year to 13.7 percent in the mid-2030s and to 14.9 percent by 2052, amounting to more than four-fifths the relative boost in all spending. The rest comes from the need for Washington to pay interest on an enlarged debt load, itself the result of past increases in entitlement spending.
Beware the Caller From “The Government”: It’s a Scam
Scammers’ persistence is matched only by their insolence: They even try to impersonate the very agencies trying to stop their grift.
The calls come from people saying they’re with the FBI or the IRS or Social Security or any number of government agencies; They’re all thieves.
If you get an unsolicited call from a government agency, hang up. Social Security, Medicare, the IRS, the FBI and others do not make cold calls and demand payment or personal information.
Scammers have more ways to con you out of your money than there are government agencies — and there are a lot of government agencies.
This particular tactic has grown so popular that those agencies are regularly issuing warnings to alert people that scammers are impersonating them. Even the Federal Trade Commission, which is itself charged with tracking scams, has issued an alert warning people that scammers are posing as FTC commissioners trying to trick people out of their money by, for example, telling victims they won a federally supervised lottery or sweepstakes, but they have to pay taxes or a fee to get the money.
In one international conspiracy alone, federal authorities said, scammers placed tens of millions of calls to U.S. consumers looking for victims. While the vast majority of the targets may have just hung up or not taken the calls, thousands of people do get victimized every year.
Social Security’s 2023 Raise Could Have a Massive Downside for Some Seniors
This little-known Social Security rule could take a bite out of some seniors’ benefits.
Social Security checks are expected to get a massive boost in 2023, thanks to an above-average cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This is supposed to help recipients’ checks keep up with sky-high inflation, but it could carry a hidden cost for some seniors. Here’s what you need to know if you want to avoid an unpleasant shock.
You might not get to keep all your Social Security benefits
The official 2023 Social Security COLA will be announced in October 2022. It’s based on third-quarter inflation data. Since we’re only about halfway through the third quarter right now, all we can do is speculate.
Some estimates put the increase as high as 10.8%. That would add an extra $175 per month to the average Social Security check, or about $2,100 per year. But this money may not all be yours to keep.
The federal government taxes the Social Security benefits of certain recipients, and it’s possible that some seniors could find themselves owing these taxes for the first time next year. It all depends on your provisional, or combined, income. This is your adjusted gross income (AGI) plus any nontaxable interest — which you might have if you own municipal bonds — and half of your annual Social Security benefit.
The following table shows how much tax you could owe based on your provisional income and tax-filing status:
Smart, savvy, articulate & seasoned…
Mike Rogers may make presidential run
The Iowa State Fair draws presidential wannabes like cows draw flies.
Anyone who sees the White House in their dreams is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Des Moines to yak up farmers, gnaw on corn cobs and woo the precinct delegates who will vote in Iowa’s critical first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.
So why is former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers strolling the Iowa fairgrounds this week with a corn dog in his hand?
The Republican’s schedule offers a clue. This is his third trip to Iowa this summer. From here he’ll make a second visit to South Carolina, another early voting state. And in October he’s scheduled to be in New Hampshire, which holds the first true primary. Together, those states make up the presidential sweepstakes trifecta.
So it sure looks as if Rogers is dipping his toe into the 2024 presidential waters.
US must arm Ukraine now, before it’s too late
Nearly 20 of our fellow experts and national security professionals — whose digital signatures appear at the end of this op-ed — agree: The war in Ukraine has reached a decisive moment and that vital U.S. interests are at stake.
Long before the Kremlin first invaded Ukraine in 2014, we have — from senior positions in the U.S. government and military — followed Moscow’s foreign policy and the grave dangers it presents to the United States and our allies. We have carefully watched Moscow’s major offensive since February and the response of the Biden administration and its allies and partners. We have maintained close touch with Ukrainian, U.S. and European officials. Two of us just returned from meetings with Ukraine’s defense and military leaders.
Although the Biden administration has successfully rallied U.S. allies and provided substantial military assistance, including this month, to Ukraine’s valiant armed forces, it has failed to produce a satisfactory strategic narrative which enables governments to maintain public support for the NATO engagement over the long term.
By providing aid sufficient to produce a stalemate, but not enough to roll back Russian territorial gains, the Biden administration may be unintentionally seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. Out of an over-abundance of caution about provoking Russian escalation (conventional as well as nuclear), we are in effect ceding the initiative to Russian President Vladimir Putin and reducing the pressure on Moscow to halt its aggression and get serious about negotiations.
Moscow’s imperialist war against the people of Ukraine is not just a moral outrage — a campaign of genocide aimed at erasing the Ukrainian nation from the map — but a clear danger to U.S. security and prosperity.