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Congressman John Campbell

Lessons Learned from Afghanistan

The world is an unstable place. If this seemed at doubt even a few years ago, it certainly is no longer. Some instability is a result of violence fueled by radical religious views or by aggression born of extremist ideology. Some of it is caused by long-standing ethnic conflicts or, as we are seeing in Ukraine, by the centuries-old desire of some to conquer neighboring countries simply because they are more powerful and want to expand their territorial footprint for any number of reasons.

In Washington, it seems as though there are only two reactions to all of this. One choice is to intervene everywhere. The other is to intervene nowhere. I think both of these strategic frameworks are equally flawed. To intervene everywhere will overwhelm both our military and financial resources, not to mention potentially lead to unrest at home as a result of the inabilty to accomplish our desired goals. To intervene nowhere assumes that the conflict and violence across the globe will never reach a point where it directly threatens us, which the lessons of history belie.

The great question, of course, is when do we intervene and when don’t we? And, how far should we go… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

“Making the Worst of It”

How often in life has something not gone quite the way you hoped and you or someone responded with the common phrase, “We’ll make the best of it”? This is reflective of the natural optimism that is an endemic part of American culture.

The “Sequester” went into effect just over a week ago. It is inartful. No one loves it. But, it is better than not reducing the deficit at all and borrowing another $85 billion per year. Even though it was his idea, we now know that the president hates it. But, rather than take something he isn’t happy with and “make the best of it”, the president has decided to “make the worst of it”. He has affirmatively decided to intentionally and unnecessarily inflict discomfort on as many Americans as possible in a distasteful attempt to justify his excessive rhetoric of the last few weeks.

Amongst the many egregious actions taken is his unilaterally canceling of all White House tours, effective Saturday, under the guise of forced cost reductions because of the Sequester. The problem with that logic is that White House tours don’t cost anything. There are no tour guides except for a few… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Just the Facts, Ma’am: Fiscal Cliff Edition

Just the Facts, Ma’am – Fiscal Cliff Edition: This was the famous, at least to those of us who were alive then, admonition offered by the fictional LA detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, to witnesses who would engage in too much speculation about a crime. Well, I generally give you a lot of my opinion. Every once in a while, though, I give you just the unvarnished facts so that you can draw your own conclusions.

You have probably heard the term “Fiscal Cliff” enough times to make you sick. But, do you really know everything it entails? Below, you will find a comprehensive list of every law that will expire at the end of this year, as well as the result of our returning to whatever the law was before. The accumulation of all of these things has been dubbed collectively by the media as the “Fiscal Cliff”:

• Unemployment compensation will revert from a 73 week maximum to a 26 week maximum. This takes it back to the duration that existed in 2008 and prior. This will reduce spending by approximately $30 billion over 10 years.

• For the past 2 years, there has been a “payroll tax holiday”. For this… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

CAMPBELL: Biggest National Security Threat is Debt

As an addendum to my “Fix It” episodes, I thought I’d share an op-ed I wrote that was published in the Orange County Register last Friday.

The Orange County Register: Opinion CAMPBELL: Biggest National Security Threat is Debt

Conservatives should not oppose attempts to makes cuts to defense, homeland security.

By Congressman John Campbell

As conservatives, we are always trying to reduce federal spending because there is a lot of waste and inefficiency in government, because more government spending often does not result in better outcomes, and because there are many things the federal government simply should leave to “the States respectively or to the people,” as the 10th Amendment instructs.

Clearly, spending for the “common defense,” enumerated in the preamble to the Constitution, is one of the unassailed responsibilities of the federal government. No argument there.

But, why is it conservative orthodoxy to assume that defense spending is immune from waste and inefficiency or that more spending in this area alone is… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Disaster in Washington

Disaster in Washington: Last week was a disastrous one in Washington, DC. No, there was not a tsunami or a hurricane or another earthquake. But, the effects of last week will be felt much farther, longer and wider than would have been the case in any of those natural disasters. Everyone of every political stripe understands that our debt and deficits stand as the largest threat to the prosperity and hegemony of the United States in the years and decades ahead. But, in spite of this acknowledged reality, actions in Washington last week served to make this situation dramatically worse, not better. However, almost disturbing is how this happened. The same political dynamics that led to these deficits in the first place have been left unchanged and are currently causing the deficit to increase rather than shrink. Let me explain what happened, and more importantly, how and why it happened:

President’s Budget: The President’s campaign slogan of late is an “economy built to last”. Well, this is a “budget built to collapse”. It astoundingly increases spending, taxes and the deficit, both in the coming year and… Read More

Congressman Buck McKeon

An American Victory: Learning justice had been done

Sunday night was one marked in history for our country. That night, I received a call from Secretary Gates alerting me that our special operations troops had launched a daring operation deep in Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September Eleventh attacks and numerous other attacks on America. He also told me that DNA-evidence confirmed that bin Laden was dead. This was news that our countrymen had waited to hear for a long time. As Americans picked themselves up after the terrorist attacks of September Eleventh, President Bush told us that we would get Osama bin Laden and President Obama delivered on that promise. The events of 9-11 affected us all – in California, across America, and among our nation’s allies, and the memory of those killed that day are etched in my memory for life. We will never forget. And while it has taken longer than many expected, Osama bin Laden is no longer living, and his death serves as a type of proof to terrorists who wish to harm us, that no matter how long it takes, we will find justice.

Our brave military forces and their civilian counterparts who have beenRead More