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I'm -- Mack brown and this is the last ten minutes of death country and we have one of our great American authors and a book called the frugal superpower and it's a really -- box so that it's very easy to read you can read a couple of hours.
But you will never be the same after you do.
-- their professor Michael Mandelbaum.
Johns Hopkins school of advanced international studies and full disclosure former professor of my lifetime ago when I was a -- student at MIT.
And professor -- abandon you pretty a pretty controversy -- -- saying.
-- Saying that our fiscal situation is so.
-- and so perilous that ultimately we're gonna have to get around to being serious about it that will mean.
Cutting entitlements reducing social security and Medicare benefits and it will also mean raising taxes.
And when that happens.
American politics will change.
People who will then be getting less from the government and paying more to the government will be less generous.
About supporting foreign policy than they have been for the last seven decades and that means.
And this is the thesis of the frugal superpower.
American foreign policy will contract we will do less abroad than we are doing now.
Okay say here's candidate is not even going to be -- a choice it's not a it's not as if we can -- isn't favored -- against a sense to be forced upon us.
-- I believe that fiscal retrenchment will be forced upon us what will be forced upon us is.
Reducing the deficit that requires serious cuts in entitlement and tax reduction.
Cutting back on foreign policy is not by itself.
Going to solve our fiscal problems are biggest expense is not the defense budget it's entitlements and but.
In the political climate I believe that will be created.
By cutting back on entitlements and raising taxes.
Foreign policy will be you might say a victim of collateral damage people are simply not going to support.
The kind of far flung foreign policy that we have pursued and in my view -- been right to pursue.
Not because we literally can't afford it but because.
They would rather spend the money at home then abroad.
Right and if you saw the hearings yesterday where -- -- And Alan Simpson were speaking before congress -- may have the report with some pretty draconian measures.
Social Security cuts.
Medicare Medicaid cuts and then tax increases you know thereabouts ponders a skunk at a picnic yesterday I mean everybody was running away from now -- So what you're talking about is there's probably quite logical.
Well -- alas it is logical and unfortunately.
The reluctance well it's more than reluctance it's unwilling the unwillingness of the congress.
To make the kinds of changes that we need only postpones the problem and increases the pain when we have to -- I think -- nobody in the country gets the act together congress doesn't after actor White House doesn't we just -- merrily along with a little -- here America.
And don't really sound economic problems -- fourth of it's forced upon us.
I don't know exactly -- with -- probably the most likely way is a dollar crisis we have to borrow money.
240 cents of every down to finance our deficit and we depend upon the rest of the world China but other countries as well.
To lend that money to us what if they stop lending what if they say we're not gonna land at these interest rates.
You're gonna have to what you're gonna have to give us a much higher premiums and interest rates go sky high.
-- the economy goes into the tank we have another recession just as bad or maybe even worse than the one between 2007 and 2009.
And it becomes clear.
Unlike the recession of 20072009.
That other people other countries will not lend us any money unless we get our act together so we scramble to do we have to make draconian cuts.
In a in a matter of days or weeks the congress is thrown into a Tizzy.
We can't do it in this seriously injured when everybody 10% off at exactly and that's not the way to do it we want to make smarter cuts but you can't be Smart unless you have some time to consider what you're going to do.
And if we wait till the crisis is upon us we won't have that time I can't -- you talked about his priorities to getting the priorities right -- America for the superpower going into this new era.
What should our priorities -- well I believe that we should stick Wii is the policies that we inherited from the Cold War.
In particular I think it's important to maintain some kind of American military presence in East Asia in Europe and in the Middle East.
East Asia and Europe because those are the most important parts of the world and things go wrong.
Then we'll be badly affected as will the world so what's your partner that is -- enable presence in me and naval air presence namely that in the western Pacific and at least a token.
Military presence on the ground in Europe keep NATO forces there in some strength and devote.
Naval and air forces to Europe if they turn out to and we didn't mention man was the fifth -- in Cochrane.
Central command and Cotter.
You didn't mention any of those things that we counter sector rare for a profit and -- I know I would I I think we're gonna have to keep those because of the third region Middle East and because of its oil.
But I do have two suggestions one is.
That we reduce our addiction to oil and therefore the importance of oil by having a European style gasoline tax which would move actually I had never popular as a skunk at a picnic well as gasoline and gasoline tax I say in the frugal superpower -- the most constructive policy public policy measure in the United States could conceivably take.
It would be due more to defend our interest in the world and anything else and I explain why in the last chapter of the frugal superpower.
It's true as far as I know no elected official in the United States supports this all -- I believe there's some chance we will getting gasoline tax.
And a broader energy tax by the back door.
Wind we -- faced with the necessity of raising taxes if you ask Americans should we raise taxes the answer is obviously no.
If you say we have to raise taxes which taxes should we raise.
An energy tax looks maybe not better but less bad -- raising the income tax -- the payroll tax.
So in the next decade I think there's a serious chance that necessity.
Will push us reluctantly and unwillingly.
To -- gasoline tax but there's one other recommendation.
In the frugal superpower and that is the end of the kind of post Cold War interventions.
That we have undertaken for humanitarian reasons.
Bosnia Somalia Haiti Kosovo.
Afghanistan and Iraq I think that's coming to an end because I think the public won't pay for it and -- -- not successful and because they all -- -- in nation building and we're not very good at that and we're not good at a 'cause intrinsically -- -- and I must say that as a member of the Reagan administration where we avoided a lot of you know any military engagement or any administration had was short -- victorious.
And avoid a lot of the traps whether it was in the Middle East and love and honor.
For other -- -- the world it's it's just seems that for the last twenty years that has been our war of choice we -- for redesigning the entire defense budget to be.
You know no longer be -- wars but small wars of intervention and what you're saying is that.
No way we can't afford I don't.
I think it's a mistake to reconfigure.
The Defense Department and the State Department.
For nation building there's a lot of talk in Washington that that's what should be done the Marines should now.
Focus on picking up the garbage in -- and minivan area and that maybe as a global force for yeah I well I didn't -- is a global force for good but I personally like big ticket items like carrier battle groups and I like high performance.
Aircraft because I think.
That helps us preserve stability where it really matters in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
I am not in favor of boots on the ground in.
Out of the way places even if these places harbor terrorists I think it terrorism is going to be a threat it's gonna continue to be a threat.
I think we deal with it by working with -- local governments when we can.
By coordinated police work and intelligent cooperation and with cruise missiles.
Democratic rapid round Afghanistan what do we -- get out.
Get out right now well I get out.
Afghanistan is not important what happens in Afghanistan stays in Afghanistan and there are very few al-Qaeda terrorists.
They're all in Pakistan on being in Afghanistan doesn't -- was with Pakistan we don't know what to do about -- thanks to Pakistan.
I don't know what to do about Pakistan let's I I will say this.
It is a problem for everybody but it's more -- -- for anybody else a problem for India.
I would I would wind down in Iraq.
We can hope that these huge investment we've made there will pay off if Iraq turns into a stable.
Pro western relatively democratic.
It could have powerful and positive -- effects on the Middle East.
We don't know that we just can't afford to invest there and -- and I discovered a sweep out of Libya and our Africa.
Libya I wouldn't intervene in any way in -- three conditions we now -- finds that well now under three conditions under which I'd be willing to consider first multinational cover.
Second no boots on the ground so we don't take ownership and three I want to know something about.
Who were replacing Qaddafi -- like to know something about the opposition okay Israel.
Israel is our one reliable ally in the Middle East they don't ask us to fight on their behalf.
We should continue to help them defend themselves and we should understand.
That the Arab Israeli conflict is not the core of our problems in the Middle East and we're -- -- anyway OK Bob Graham the entire gulf region.
Bob Crane is a serious problem you have a majority Shiite population restive.
We did a Sunni monarchy but it's dangerous because it could spread to Saudi Arabia where the oil is located in the Shia dominated eastern presence.
And if Saudi Arabia gets into trouble if there is turmoil if we can't get Saudi Arabian oil.
Then the price of oil on the world market goes through the roof and that serious.
A serious problem for takeovers.
I -- and -- a prominent Saudi Arabia -- prices go through the roof there for gasoline.
Prices go through a group that endangers the US economy at the same time the world says I'm not buying your -- that that.
That combination would be disastrous and the best thing we we can do two things now he gets serious about death reduction and we can get serious about getting off -- -- -- gasoline -- -- well okay through a superpower short sleep book.
I'm sure it's a good price I didn't get on Amazon.com -- just about any bookstore professor Michael -- -- thank you so much for joining my pleasure.
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