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A Good Thing to Do

The Secretary-General of the United Nations called the United States a "deadbeat" in a recent speech, as reported by USA Today.  In typical mealy-mouth fashion the White House responded that his remarks were an "unfortunate" choice of words.  Here is a selection from the USA Today report:

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made an "unfortunate" word choice when he called the United States a "deadbeat" when it comes to paying its U.N. dues, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at the daily briefing.

"I would note for the Secretary-General that his word choice was unfortunate, given the fact that the American taxpayer is the largest contributor to the United Nations," he said.

Asked if he would like a retraction or withdrawal of the remark, Gibbs said Ban should "acknowledge that role" that the U.S. plays.

Gibbs wasn't the only testy one.

The Associated Press reported that Ban's remark about the U.N.'s biggest contributor - the U.S. pays 22% of the U.N.'s $4.86 billion budget - didn't play well on Capitol Hill either. "I take great umbrage," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., senior Republican on the House Foreign Relations Committee.
Ban told the AP that he wanted to draw attention to the fact that the U.S. is $1 billion behind in its payments, a perennial problem

Rather than taking "umbrage" at the remarks of the Secretary-General, I would call the White House response "unfortunate",  insufficient and wrong-headed.  The United States should shake up the UN by reducing their "contributions".  I think a systematic and reasoned review of the activities and waste at the UN would be encouraged if the United States were to dramatically cut back on its' support of that failed institution.  In these times of so-called economic "crisis" this would be a good thing to do.

Against FDR

I suggest you check out Amity Shlaes' critique of FDR's policies in her Monday contribution to the Corner at NRO.

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