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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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

Obama's budget torpor

By Robert Robb


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The chief challenge facing the country is that we have a federal government bigger than we can afford.

In his budget, President Barack Obama indicated what he proposes to do about it: Not much.

In fact, the budget reveals that Obama's primary fiscal policy objective to convert the supposedly emergency spending to combat the recession into a new permanent baseline for federal spending in the future.

A little history makes this clear.

During Bill Clinton's administration, increases in federal spending averaged a little more than 3 percent a year. That basically doubled, to over 6 percent a year, during the first seven years of the George W. Bush administration.

Federal spending exploded with the anti-recession efforts of both Bush and Obama, increasing from $2.7 trillion in 2007 to $3.8 trillion this year.

For next year, Obama proposes to ratchet that back only slightly, to $3.7 trillion, then to resume spending increases from that much higher base at a rate of about 5 percent a year.

In the last year of Clinton's presidency, federal spending constituted about 18 percent of GDP. No one thought the federal government particularly emaciated at the time.

Bush pushed that up to 20 percent of GDP before the recession set in. It is now at 25 percent.

Obama proposes that it decline slightly to 24 percent next year and settle in at about 22.5 percent for the remainder of the 10-year budget planning horizon.

If the Clinton era spending restraint had been maintained, federal spending next year would be around $2.6 trillion, or $1.1 trillion less than Obama proposes to spend. The budget would be balanced, since that is what the administration is projecting for federal revenues for next year.

Add $200 billion for additional defense and security spending post 9/11, and there would be a deficit of basically that much. The federal government spends about that much each year on major physical plant and equipment. So there would be borrowing that is arguably fiscally prudent and certainly not a macroeconomic worry.

Instead, Obama proposes a deficit next year of $1.1 trillion. That would make for four years of deficits in excess of a trillion dollars to combat a recession that lasted 18 months.

Under Obama's proposed budget, the deficit would never get below $600 billion over the entire 10-year planning horizon. And even that is based upon some carefree assumptions about revenue increases and spending reductions.

As a result of the Bush-Obama anti-recession spending, accumulated federal debt as a percentage of GDP has ballooned to 75 percent. Since 1960, it had never gotten above 50 percent. Under Obama's proposed budget, federal debt as a percentage of GDP never goes down. In fact, it increases slightly.

Obama likes to play the "Not My Fault" card. In his view, he inherited an economy on the ropes and a federal government already headed toward deep deficits. For purposes of discussion, give him that.

Obama is, however, fully responsible for what he proposes to do from here. And what he proposes is to continue spending at the elevated anti-recession levels and continue to accumulate federal debt interminably.

Congressional Republicans are talking a tougher game. But the area in which they are proposing deeper cuts — so-called discretionary spending — constitutes less than 40 percent of the federal budget. It remains to be seen whether congressional Republicans, or Republican presidential candidates, will propose anything more than marginally more serious than Obama's budget plan.

The federal government will reach the legal limit of its borrowing capacity this spring. I used to think that playing games with increasing the debt limit would be a serious mistake. Now I'm not so sure.

It may be that trouble with the credit markets is the only thing that will shake Washington, and particularly Obama, out of the current torpor.

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 Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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