Home
In this issue
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. 4, 2013/ 22 Teves, 5773

Take the hostage

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The budget crisis is over. Long live the budget crisis.

Now that the fiscal cliff has been resolved, we're on to the fight over raising the debt ceiling. President Barack Obama wants no part of it. Huffing and stomping his feet immediately after Congress passed his tax increases to avoid the cliff, he insisted that there is no way he'll negotiate over the debt ceiling. That would be so inappropriate.

Cue the hostage-taking analogies, the talk of extremism, the lamentations over a broken Washington. But why is the president outraged that someone would use the leverage of an impending event that everyone wants to avoid and that would damage the economy to his negotiating advantage? It's precisely how he won on the cliff.

No one called him a hostage taker when he didn't immediately accept the House Republican extension of all the Bush tax cuts, and instead insisted on forcing a choice between higher tax rates on the wealthy or going off the cliff.

He got his way. Not because Republicans wanted to raise taxes. But because taxes would go up for everyone on Jan. 1, and very few people (and no Republicans) wanted that to happen. Obama used every ounce of his leverage to raise taxes on as many people as he could -- and succeeded. Congratulations.

Now that the leverage may work the other way, Obama wants an end to all this crazy talk of negotiating things and compromising. "I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up," the president bristled. He has apparently been an innocent bystander while the national debt increased by 60 percent since he took office. It's just his rotten luck to have to preside over such a profligate country.

We've hit the debt limit of $16.4 trillion, and it will need to be extended in a couple of months. When $16.4 trillion in debt isn't enough, you've clearly got a problem. The president always says that we need a "balanced approach" to address it. In the cliff deal, he got one part of the balance.

He increased income-tax rates on the oft-invoked "millionaires and billionaires," and even all the way down to $400,000-aires. In fact, thanks to the expiration of the payroll tax cut, the deal raised taxes on 77 percent of Americans, according to the Tax Policy Center. Finally, people making $40,000 a year will pay their "fair share"! The Tax Policy Center calculates that about half the additional revenue from the deal over the next year will come from households making less than $200,000.

So the tax increases -- both on the rich and on the middle class -- have been gloriously written into law. What about the spending cuts that the president has said in the past should be a disproportionate share of any budget solution? He's not the least bit interested in those, except as a rhetorical device. Which is why Republicans are always in the position of trying to force him to accept some sort of spending discipline.

In a better, more rational world, the debt limit wouldn't be a tool of budgetary policy. But it is one of the few must-pass pieces of legislation that Republicans can use to force spending cuts, and it obviously relates directly to our budget problem. If the president doesn't want the debate over it to go nerve-wrackingly down to the wire, he can set out a serious offer, now.

Of course, he's doing the opposite. His refusal to negotiate isn't sustainable, but he'll spend precious time trying to sustain it. He'll finally agree to talk, and then get Republicans to back off whatever their maximal position is -- because Republicans will again fear being blamed if there's no agreement. Another Band-Aid will be applied to the debt, until next time. In the Age of Obama, the new budget crisis always follows the last.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Rich Lowry Archives

© 2012 King Features Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles