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 Feb. 16, 2009 / 22 Shevat 5769

Paddling backward on a sea of pork

By Jack Kelly

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was an awkward moment for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-sort of-PA) Tuesday when Megyn Kelly of Fox News asked him about a provision in the stimulus package he'd just voted for of which he evidently was unaware. The provision creates a National Coordinator for Health Information Technology who will monitor treatments to make sure what your doctor is doing is what the federal government deems cost effective. It's modeled on the practice in Britain where elderly patients are denied expensive treatments because they are likely to die soon anyway.

If the provision had been law, Sen. Specter, 79, might have been denied the cancer treatments that have kept him alive.

Stuff like this is why there should have been hearings on the stimulus package, Sen. Specter told Ms. Kelly. But it was his vote, and those of Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, "moderate" Republicans from Maine, which rushed the bill through without hearings. Congress will fix the "kill Granny" provision, Sen. Specter assured Ms. Kelly. But it's a lot harder to remove a bad idea once it's become law than to keep it from being enacted in the first place.

Whatever you think of the merits of the "kill Granny" provision, what's it doing in an economic stimulus bill?

The greatest achievement of Bill Clinton's presidency, many think, was welfare reform. Both the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill restore the funding system of the old Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) that President Clinton reformed.

"The new welfare system created by the stimulus bills is actually worse than the old AFDC program because it rewards the states more heavily to increase their caseloads," said Heritage Foundation analysts Robert Rector and Katherine Bradley.

What is a provision encouraging people to quit work and go on welfare doing in an economic stimulus bill? And, as with the "kill Granny" provision, shouldn't such a major policy change be subject to debate before it is enacted into law?

President Obama said it would be a "catastrophe" if the stimulus bill wasn't passed as is, on his timetable. That view wasn't shared by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which said the economy should start to recover by the end of the year even without a stimulus bill of any kind, and said the bill the president wants would do nothing to help the economy this year, and though it would help somewhat next year, would hurt economic growth in the years after 2010.

The president has been disingenuous in describing the bill, and its critics.

"What it does not contain is not a single pet project, not a single earmark," Mr. Obama said in his news conference Monday. But how would you describe the $30 million in the bill to protect, among other things, the habitat of the salt marsh harvest mouse in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district? Or the $2.25 billion for national parks sought by Craig Obey, chief lobbyist for the National Parks Conservation Association, and the son of Rep. David Obey (D-Wis), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee? Or the $8 billion for a light rail line between Los Angeles and Los Vegas, sought by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev)? Or the $300 million for, among other things, electric golf carts which would be built in North Dakota, home of Sen. Byron Dorgan, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee? Or...the list is legion.

"Some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork -- tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects," said the Associated Press.

Critics of the porkalooza want to do nothing, President Obama said at a rally in Fort Myers, Fla, Tuesday.

"In truth, few of those involved in the stimulus debate are suggesting that the government should not take action to aid the economy," noted the Washington Post.

Mr. Obama is still in campaign mode, because he is very good at it, and it is easier than governing. But at some point, people care more about performance than about the promises you make. That point may be closer than Mr. Obama realizes.

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.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

Jack Kelly Archives

© 2008, Jack Kelly