That is why we must ensure that our foreign assistance programs are effective and transparent, with meaningful monitoring and evaluation to ensure that taxpayers' money is being put to good use, and that poverty and lack of opportunity do not create new breeding grounds for terror and hatred.
The president's policies have often, in effect, been to just ignore many of these problems. He seems to believe that if left untouched, they will either go away or be solved by others, without consequences for the American people. Unfortunately, this misguided view is also shared by some in my own party.
Our prosperity depends upon the liberal international order that America has supported since the end of World War II. In addition to such economic and security implications, indifference or inaction undermines America's standing in the world and weakens the moral underpinnings of our republic. This nation and its timeless ideals have for centuries been a beacon of hope for those seeking to transform their own societies or who have sought better lives and greater opportunity for their children by fleeing to our shores.
As modern day activists struggle for their fundamental human rights, it is our duty to speak out on their behalf and, where possible, provide assistance. That is why when we fail to adequately assist the embryonic Libyan government in confronting instability in that country, ignore the plight of persecuted minorities in Egypt and elsewhere, or neglect to stand up to tyrants like Vladimir Putin in Russia, we are in danger of losing part of ourselves.
Of course, the United States can't be involved in every conflict or solve every problem. But our failure to address our fiscal problems at home has unfortunately given our allies -- whether longstanding ones like Israel, or potential future partners in the Middle East and Asia -- cause to question our staying power and commitment to their security and our shared ideals.
There is no question we need to get our fiscal house in order. But we cannot do so by sacrificing our national security and by forcing our men and women in uniform to bear the brunt of paying to fix a debt problem they did not cause. Congressional Republicans have proposed ways to offset the sequester, automatic budget cuts set to go into effect next month. It's time for the president to propose a way forward other than just raising taxes.
Fulfilling the promise of America will only be possible if we embrace, not continue to run away from, the essential role that our country has played in contributing to global stability. This is a role that has aided our own prosperity and an important part of what makes our country exceptional.
That will require assertive leadership both home and abroad. It's time to take up the challenge.