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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 7, 2009 / 11 Teves 5769

Madoff is a piker

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Bernard Madoff, who stands accused of bilking sophisticated investors out of $50 billion, is reported to have told two of his executives that his business was "a giant Ponzi scheme."


Perpetrators of Ponzi schemes lead clients to believe their money is invested and that their profits are the fruits of the money manager's savvy. But in fact, the "profits" are merely revenue provided by the next group of dupes. Eventually, when no more new dupes can be found, the scheme crashes.


Political leaders say Madoff's alleged crimes show what's wrong with the country. President-elect Obama said the "massive fraud that was made possible in part because the regulators who were assigned to oversee Wall Street dropped the ball". Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid added, "[R]egulators have been asleep at the wheel".


Politicians go on and on about Wall Street "greed" and "irresponsibility."


But Madoff's scam was small compared to Ponzi schemes the government itself runs: Social Security and Medicare.


By now we all know the government does not invest our payroll taxes and pay our benefits with the profits our money earns. In the beginning, writes economic historian Charlotte Twight in "Dependent on D.C.", Americans were told Social Security was an insurance program. But the government was unable to sustain that bald lie.


In reality, our money, rather than being invested and kept in an actual "trust fund," is immediately given to current retirees in Social Security benefits or to their healthcare providers in Medicare benefits. The government's promise to pay for your retirement pension and medical care is just a promise. And a lie.


In theory, the promise could be kept by raising taxes on future workers, but there won't be enough of them. Changing demographics are destroying the programs. A large working class can support a relatively small retired class, especially when life expectancy is 61 years and benefits don't begin until 65. That's how things were in the early years of Social Security. But when life expectancy grows to 80 and a large generational group — the baby boomers — retires expecting to be supported by a far smaller working class, that's trouble.


Ten years after Social Security passed in 1935, there were almost 42 workers for each retiree. Five years later, the ratio slipped to about 17 to 1. Now it's about 3.4 to 1. Thirty years from now, the ratio is projected to be 2 to 1.


Think of the burden on those two to three workers who'll have to support one retiree for 15 to 20 years.


The money just won't be there. In the next 75 years Social Security and Medicare have a combined unfunded liability of $40.3 trillion. Social Security's problems get most of the attention, but Medicare will be the killer. At present it accounts for all but $4.3 trillion of the unfunded liability, and as we aging boomers keep demanding new, improved and more expensive medical care, the deficit will only get worse


Soon government will have to say what Madoff said: Sorry! The money's gone.


The government has no legal obligation to make good on its promises. Twice the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans have no contractual rights regarding Social Security benefits. In 1960 (Flemming v. Nestor), the court said, "To engraft upon the Social Security system a concept of accrued property rights would deprive it of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever changing conditions which it demands".


Get that? You have no "accrued property rights" under Social Security. It's a welfare program that exists at the politicians' pleasure.


The government will either stiff us outright or, more likely, cowardly politicians will pretend to honor their promises by printing so much extra money to write the checks that the dollar will be worth pennies.


If Bernie Madoff tried to foist Social Security and Medicare on us, he'd be arrested, prosecuted and thrown in the hoosegow.


There's one thing I can say on behalf of Madoff: He never forced anyone to participate in his scheme. That's more than I can say for the government. Through taxation and inflation, it forces us to pay for all its schemes. Archives

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JUST OUT FROM STOSSEL
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel --- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong  

Stossel mines his 20/20 segments for often engaging challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposes of government waste and regulatory fiascoes. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


© 2009, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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