Some members of Congress really need to get on the ball! On CNN last night House Democrat Katie Porter said that cutting expenses in the Social Security program will not reduce the National Debt by even one penny and she referenced that this program is not funded out of the General Fund, it is funded by payroll taxes, and it is running a $2.9 trillion dollar surplus. Being a member of Congress and therefore a co-steward of America's finances Katie should know that the Federal government took and spent that $2.9 trillion dollar surplus of the Social Security program and gave the program IOU's. So to pay those Social Security IOU's the Federal Government has to sell Treasury bonds to raise the revenue to pay this IOU debt and these treasury bonds add to the national debt. So if Congress and the President cut the expenses of the Social Security program or raised the income threshold for which the Social Security tax applies they would put off the payment obligation of the Federal government for these IOU's thus lessening the number of Treasury bonds the Treasury Department must sell thus reducing the growth of the national debt. Don't get me wrong I don't think there should be any strings tied to raising the nation's debt ceiling, it is insane to play around with this issue these holdouts against raising if it goes on long enough will collapse the Treasury bond market and then the equity and bond markets and then the whole economy! I am over sixty years old and the urgency to raise the debt ceiling has never been more urgent. Our current Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has acted like an incredibly reckless smart aleck all prior Treasury Secretary before they reached the debt ceiling limit went into emergency money management mode and gave Congress the date when the debt ceiling would be reached and everyone considered that date the drop dead date. Flippant Yellin let the nation hit the debt ceiling limit and then went into the emergency money management mode and gave a date around six months out when the incoming money won't be enough to pay all the nation's debts that cannot be put off. Currently with the Yellin shenanigans America is presently in a red alert state the nation has no credit line any major shock to the economy could readily bring a default; a significant recession, a long government shut down starting October 1, Putin using a tactical nuclear weapon against Odessa, etc.. Good members of Congress should refuse to vote on any legislation until the debt ceiling is raised the issue deserves this radical response! I am not opposed to reducing the budget deficit and government spending I actually think it would be very prudent to do so but Congress linking this to raising the debt ceiling is as bad a move as one could comprehend! Also on CNN last night they reported that many people believe Putin is planning a big offensive this Spring where Ukraine will be in danger of losing a significant amount of their territory! I think that report is spot on! Putin appointed a new General in charge of the Ukrainian war, General Valery Gerasimov, this guy is really an aggressive General he is a real General Patton type casualty rates aren't that much of a big deal; over the past six months there was a big struggle going on in the top Russian military command echelon whether to be optimally aggressive on the battlefield or whether to be a typical military command fairly measured and the "be very aggressive side" won the dispute. Plus Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian Oligarch that runs the Russian mercenary organization The Wagner Group which is fighting for Russia has staked his reputation that the Russian military heretofore has been deficient and not aggressive enough and so in order for Prigozhin to save face he is going to need to rack up successes on the battlefield in Ukraine and an Oligarch like Prigozhin is not used to losing so he is going to be driving his forces hard against the Ukrainians. In recent months Putin has really been on the backs of the leaders of his military industrial complex he doesn't want their weapons to look good to show off in a May parade he wants them for the battlefields of Ukraine so he can redeem his reputation as a strong leader. All these factors and others point to a big offensive by Putin in Ukraine this spring. The bottom line the Ukraine military cannot go toe to toe with Putin's forces and not continually lose Ukrainian territory to Russian forces. Look at the battle of Soledar that Ukraine lost in the last month, the Russian playbook was just throw fighters and artillery at the Ukrainian front lines and just overwhelm those lines; and it works. If Ukraine is to avoid losing battle after battle this spring in eastern Ukraine they are going to need artillery especially these tanks that the Free World just weeks ago promised Ukraine in order to cut the Russian supply lines feeding their front line offensive. Admiral Kirby who handles communications for the Ukraine War for the White House recently said that the Ukraine military will receive the Leopard 2 tanks from Europe by this spring but that the promised thirty-one M1 tanks from America won't arrive for at least a few more months. Admiral Kirby was living in a dream world with that short date for delivery of the America's M1s. This is the deal the United States largely has three versions of the M1 tank the original M1 and the second generation the M1A1 and the third generation the M1A2. The White House wants to give the Ukrainians the latest version the M1A2 because it has a very sophisticated control system the tank commander can readily keep track of multiple tanks on the battlefield and fire at multiple enemy targets in rapid succession. This is the rub all the M1A2 tanks that the U.S. military has in service have specialized armor it is described as depleted uranium armor where this material is markedly stronger against enemy munitions than prior armor. The specific hangup is that by law the U.S. government is not permitted to give tanks with this DU armor to foreign countries, the U.S. military is so protective of this weapon shielding that if a tank is disabled in battle the respective tank crew must stay with the tank until the tank is destroyed generally by a U.S. air strike so this technology does not fall into America's enemy's hands. In order to retrofit these tanks for foreign exportation the turret armor and the tank body armor has to be replaced a major undertaking to say the least. A further glitch is that only one U.S. manufactures makes the M1 Tank and they make like around two dozen M1 tanks a year and they already are trying to fill an order for Taiwan and another order for Poland it could take years for this supplier to get tanks to Ukraine. The U.S. army does use the M1A1 tank but all M1A1's in active service have been retrofitted with the DU armor so they are ineligible to ship to Ukraine. This is a possible option to help the Ukrainians; the U.S. military has three thousand five hundred (3500) M1 and M1A1 tanks in storage and in warehouses, the M1A1's were not originally manufactured with depleted uranium armor so they would be eligible to be given to Ukraine now the M1A1 doesn't have the advanced control system of the M1A2 tank but the M1A1 has a very valuable control system the M1A1 tanks were used in the first Gulf war the war that drove the Saddam Hussein army out of Kuwait and the M1A1 tanks performed very well they can accurately target and hit enemy tanks while on the move and they can identify, target and hit enemy tanks at night. I don't know the condition of these M1A1 tanks in storage but if they are or can be put into good condition readily that would be a good option for supplying M1 tanks to Ukraine. I think the American people would like members of Congress to figure out how to get Ukraine tanks quickly they will think the U.S. Congress dropped the ball if it is summer time and Ukraine hasn't gotten tanks from America and Putin's forces are on the verge of completely conquering the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk the provinces the Russian government has annexed which is without a doubt stole from the Ukrainian people and Vladimir Putin is now in a position to adopt a good guy mantle by proclaiming I am now ready to negotiate stopping the war and Ukraine is in a state where its sovereignty has suffered a severe amputation!