an unanticipated consequence of
Jack M. Balkin
Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman marty.lederman at comcast.net
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
My solution to the Iraq War-- partial privatization of national security!
Frankly, I'm tired of debates about whether the Democrats should pass statutes bringing the troops home, limiting redeployments, or placing conditions in future appropriations bills.
I think the best solution to the Iraq war is to take a page from the signature domestic policy initiative of President Bush's second term.
I propose that each President be given a personal National Security Investment Savings Account modeled on the proposed Social Security Investment Savings Accounts. Under this partial privatization of National Security, each Commander-in-Chief would be given a specific amount of money taken from the national budget that he could invest in stocks, bonds, or other financial investments. He can then use the proceeds to fund any military actions or preemptive strikes he likes.
After all, it's his money.
Like most Americans, Commanders-in-Chief should be encouraged to save responsibly for their future military invasions and preemptive attacks. This will end the culture of dependency created by the failed liberal policies of the past, where Commanders-in-Chief failed to save money for military aggression in their golden years, knowing that an indulgent Congress would bail them out.
Under the new partial privatization of National Security plan, Commanders-in-Chief will be told in no uncertain terms: "Here's your money: now don't spend it all on one war." And if the Commander-in-Chief blows his personal military savings account on an unwise purchase of military aggression, he will just have to live with the consequences like everyone else.
It's time to end the infantilization of Presidents caused by our military Nanny State. Our country was made great by building character through personal responsibility. In the long run, Commanders-in-Chief will feel empowered by the knowledge that if they can earn more money through wise investment decisions than through Congressional handouts, they can have the kind of wars they really want and attack all of the countries they've always dreamed of overthrowing. And at the end of the day, isn't that what the ownership society is really all about?
Good idea. For special circumstances where military action actually is required, Congress can return to the quaint Constitutional tradition of declaring war. If Republicans find non-binding resolutions suspect, I wonder how they've managed to stand not having a war declared since WWII.
Once elected to the presidency the first thoughts of the President seem to focus upon his/her legacy, place in history, rather than focusing upon doing a good job, what is right and just. The new President can look back to Washington, Lincoln, Wilson, FDR to see what they may have brought to the table of history. One thing they brought to the table was war, a major war (except that Washington's war preceded his presidency), where they exercised the role of commander-in-chief; but they did not seek these wars.
Getting involved in a major war can be a problem, unless it is clearly someone else's fault and there seems to be no answer other than war. Pearl Harbor is the classic example, as the US and its public were not prepared to do battle against the then Axis without such a major incident.
Other Presidents may yearn for the C-I-C role but lack the "perfect" opportunity. But it feels necessary to "make one's bones" as C-I-C. So get into a little war, finding some excuse to do so. Without the C-I-C role, history may overlook a President. So the US has engaged in little wars with a degree of frequency; but sometimes little wars get out of hand, sometimes due to incompetency. But "making one's bones" is important to show the nation and world the enormous power at the hands of the President.
So let's "make no bones" about it, we have had Presidents anxious to be on Mount Rushmore (or its equivalent) and ready to do what it takes. All this despite the cautions from the farewell addresses of Washington and Eisenhower about the military-industrial-politic complex that seems ready to accommodate a President wishing to "make his bones" as C-I-C.
While personal accountability is a great idea, from the perspective of controlling and idiotic policy that needlessly wasting lives and/or tax dollars, though the idea of expanding executive power to such an extreme degree is scary.
According to congressman-democrat Henry Waxman investigating charges in Iraq, for 13 months of work in Bagdad the new government Washington has forwarded to Iraq of 360 tons of cash. As eyewitnesses confirm, in some cases of money were stored without any protection in bags in the Iraq ministries. WHY?