Egypt: Relations With United States in ‘Turmoil’
NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) — The debt ceiling in the United States stands at $16.7 trillion and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has told the world that the government will run out money to pay its bills on Oct. 17. This debt ceiling fiasco began during World War I when Congress decided to put a limit on expenses in 1917. This concern was unfounded and since 1960 Congress raised this limit 78 times without a single default on U.S. debt and without missing a Social Security payment or suspending Medicare. In my opinion this makes the debt ceiling a formality, one that should be abolished. As the U.S. economy and population grows so does our national debt. As long as U.S. debt is considered a risk-free investment around the world there should not be a limit to its size, it just keeps growing. Supply and demand will determine our debts’ value. If debt is growing too fast investors will slow purchases and the interest rates paid on this debt will rise. When Congress sees the cost of our debt rising it’s time to cut government spending to reduce the growth of the debt. That’s economics 101. When you consider that the United States guarantees the $6 trillion in debt and mortgages of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during conservatorship, the U.S.
The suspension, announced last week, came in response to the unrest in the wake of the July 3 military coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, and that led to the deaths of hundreds in police crackdowns. In an interview with state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that there is “unrest in relations” between the two countries, warning that the strain could affect the whole Middle East region. The interview was published Wednesday. However, Fahmy said he was “not worried about this turmoil in relations,” because it’s also a chance for the two to “better evaluate their relationship in the future.” The Obama administration’s decision to cut off military aid was meant as a warning that it no longer can be “business as usual” with Cairo, as President Barack Obama put it last week. In announcing the decision, the State Department did not say how much of the $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt was affected. It held up the delivery of Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams tank kits, which are put together in Egyptian factories, and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. But the U.S. decision is more of a symbolic slap than a punishing wound to Egypt’s new military-backed government for its slog toward a return to democratic rule. The military-backed government enjoys the support of wealthy Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These oil-rich states have poured billions of dollars into Egypt’s anemic coffers and to continue the common fight against Islamists. The U.S. also is withholding $260 million in cash assistance to the government in Cairo until “credible progress” is made toward an inclusive government set up through free and fair elections. The U.S. said it will keep providing support for health and education and counterterrorism, spare military parts, military training and border security and security assistance in the volatile Sinai Peninsula. Near-daily attacks against Egyptian security forces and soldiers in Sinai have increasingly resembled a full-fledged insurgency.
United States is militarizing American policing, say experts in new report (Video)
A few sheriff departments ordered tanks,” the report states . Last year’s authorization act all but erases decades of U.S. government compliance with the letter and the spirit of the Posse Comitatus Act 1878 , a law that prohibits the use of the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions within the United States, according to an Examiner news story that quotes police officials and others opposed to the militarizing of American law enforcement. Provisions in last year’s authorization act allow military reservists — Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines — to be called to duty and deployed in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency within the homeland, as well as mobilization of reserve units to support counterterrorism and security missions overseas, according to the American Forces Press Service’s Donna Miles . “Except for a crisis involving a weapon of mass destruction, the reserves historically have been prohibited from providing a homeland disaster response,” Army Lt. General Jack C. Stultz , the Army Reserve chief, told reporters. Originally, such deployments were the duty of National Guard , which are under the control of state governors who would call in guardsman as needed to support civil police forces, fire departments and other emergency personnel. However, when Hurricane Katrina fiercely struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, especially the city of New Orleans, active-duty service members became ” the federal default force ,” according to Miles. But the reason for that deployment was the inability of Louisiana’s governor and New Orleans’ mayor to command and control the police and emergency responders.