President Trump wants countries to pay up for hosting American troops.
And he’s doubling down his demands.
For years, Trump has criticized countries hosting U.S. troops for not paying their fair share.
Trump is now advocating for a plan to make Germany, Japan, and other countries hosting U.S. troops to pay in full plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them on their soil.
The “Cost Plus 50” formula may even necessitate that countries pay five to six times as much as they do for housing troops.
Trump has been using this to nudge NATO partners to increase their own defense spending, an issue Trump has raised ever since taking office. Trump claims that his pressure has led NATO members to increase their spending, however he believes that the pace of spending increases has been too slow.
In a speech to the Pentagon on January 17, Trump said “Wealthy, wealthy countries that we’re protecting are all under notice.”
“We cannot be the fools for others.”
This move has gotten some natural pushback from the military-industrial complex, who believes that Trump’s emphasis on “Cost Plus 50” would be a “large affront to stalwart U.S. allies in Asia and Europe already questioning the depth of Trump’s commitment to them.”
Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, correctly asserts that Trump’s insistence on countries paying up is all about them having “skin in the game.”
The U.S. is long overdue for a restrained foreign policy that ultimately makes other countries assume their defense responsibilities.
With over 70 bases in 800 countries, the U.S. is simply over-stretched and potentially leaving its own borders vulnerable.
Countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea are already First World nations with plenty of wealth to invest in defense services. The U.S. can no longer afford to be the country that military bails out the rest of the world.
If a country wants to exist as a sovereign nation, it must have “skin in the game” and make necessary sacrifices such as spending for national defense purposes.
America First means defending U.S. borders not other nations’ borders.
“Cost Plus 50” is a good first step in scaling back U.S. presence in foreign countries.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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