Congressman Thompson on National Security

According to Congressman Glenn Thompson, a Republican from Howard, PA (about 15 miles from State College), the estate tax (aka death tax) is a threat to national security. This was merely one quixotic proclamation by the congressional representative last evening at a talk on national security post-9/11. According to Congressman Thompson, the nation faces five significant threats to security, including lax borders, continuing operations in the Middle East, food security, debt, and energy dependence.

One of his five pillars of national security was food safety, bemoaning, “Americans are too many generations removed from farms.” In case you were wondering, the death tax inhibits inheritance of family farms, as starting in the New Year, a tax will be reemployed on estates over $3.5 million.

This will lead to breakups of the nostalgic family farm, and presumptively decrease agricultural output, making America more reliant on foreign imports of food. This is despite the fact that USDA figures show farm output has increased at an average rate of 1.58 % per year since 1948, with an impressive rate of 5.89% in 2008. Perhaps American farmers should try to produce more coffee, wine, and  beer (malt beverages), as these are the top three imported agricultural commodities. Can Americans grow coffee? Does not having a morning Starbucks threaten national security?

Thompson said that he supports policies that Lou Barletta, current mayor of Hazleton, PA, imposed to combat undocumented aliens, saying that he “did what he needed for the safety of Hazelton.” The policy included a $1,000 per day fine for any landlord who rented to an undocumented alien, revoking the business operating license of a company hiring one, and prohibiting translating official documents without authorization. The law was found to violate the constitutional rights of employers and residents and was stricken down by a federal judge.

Sam Settle, the Chairperson of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) on campus, and the prime sponsor for the event, which was co-sponsored with the Centre County 9-12 group, may be somewhere between naïvely misinformed and intentionally inflammatory. Asked before the event about his thoughts on the wars in the Middle East, he declared that Islam is “absolutely and emphatically” not a peaceful religion, asking rhetorically, “What other religion is conducting a terror campaign on the scale of Islam?” He went on to say that polls show that a plurality of Muslims support suicide bombings to defend Islam and that he does not hear from Muslims who do not support terrorism.

Did you see Congressman Thompson last night? What did you think?

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