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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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, 2011 / 12 Adar I, 5771

Deficits are draconian, cuts are not

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After the riots in Athens, the Greek authorities decided to enact laws to deal with their obvious prob- lems. The laws, which treat rich and poor alike for the first time, have been seen as harsh. The name of the legislator who wrote the laws is a man called Draco. And more than 2,600 years later, the adjectival form of his name - draconian - is still tossed around here in Washington anytime someone proposes real budget cuts.

Of course, most of the Washington hands who hurl around the "draconian" charge probably do not know that Draco's laws were considered "just" according to Aristotle. For the first time in Athenian law, the codes were written down so that even poor people could know what was legal and what was illegal - thus they could avoid inadvertently breaking the law. Also, for the first time, the government took responsibility for enforcing punishment for crimes - thus ending the need for vendettas.

The only "draconian" part of Draco's laws was the punishment for their violation: death for all violations, whether petty theft or murder. The reason for the "harsh" punishment, Plutarch explained in his "Life of Solon":

"It is said that Draco himself, when asked why he had fixed the punishment of death for most offenses, answered that he considered these lesser crimes to deserve it, and he had no greater punishment for more important ones." As William Shakespeare wrote in "Julius Caesar," "This was a man!"

As we enter budget season in Washington this week, unless the Republican proposals include a death sentence for their violations, no one should get away with hurling the charge of "draconian cuts." The charge is prefabricated and historically illiterate.

Actually, considering the unconscionable level of deficit-passing recidivism practiced in Washington for decades now, the "draconian" punishment has a certain appeal - at least for those of us of the old school.

The Scots also have a fine tradition of firm enforcement of the law. According to a Scottish proverb that would seem to have been inspired by the draconian spirit: "Hang a thief when he's young, and he'll not steal when he's old."

One certainly cannot argue with the logic of the proverb - although given the level of theft at the time, so many hangings may have adversely affected population growth.

Lamentably, capital punishment is not on the table for discussion in our Capitol - only the technically noncriminal matters of spending less of the people's money and borrowing less of China's money. The only genuinely "draconian" policy in Washington is running up the multitrillion-dollar annual defi-cits that constitute a death sentence on our children's and grandchildren's prosperity and liberty.

The thing to be condemned should be draconian deficits, not draconian deficit cuts.

From the early reports of the White House's proposed 2012 budget, they will be more subject to the former than the latter charge.

According to The Washington Post, quoting the administration (don't take my word for it): "The White House proposal, outlined Friday by a senior administration official, would barely put a dent in deficits that congressional budget analysts say could approach $12 trillion through 2021. But the policies would stabilize borrowing, the administration official said, while reversing the trend of ramping up spending."

When a ship is sinking, one might consider actually pumping out more water than is rushing in. But the White House is content to "stabilize" these draconian deficits it contributed to during the past two years. How nice the alliterative phrase "draconian deficits" sounds.

Even worse, the administration's budget proposal - which also includes tax increases and defense cuts - justifies even more spending - what it mislabels "investing" - with the benign-sounding promotion, "It cuts what we can't afford, to pay for what we cannot do without."

Huh? It doesn't "cut what we can't afford," because the administration-proposed budget still spends more than $1 trillion beyond what we take in.

So to actually "cut what we can't afford," the White House would have to deliver a balanced budget, or at least a deficit of less than 3 percent of gross domestic product, neither of which it does.

Conversely, the new spending is not for things "we cannot do without." In fact, we have done without these spending programs for the entire 235 years of our existence as a country.

Perhaps because of my attention to correct word usage, I can be accused of verbal prissiness. But if we can't gain sufficient precision in our words, we are unlikely to gain sufficient precision in our deficit reductions. And that is the alleged object of both branches of our government this season.

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.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2011, Creators Syndicate

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