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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 March 10, 2011 4 Adar II, 5771

The Put-Off, Postpone and Procrastinate Generation

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Obama administration figures that it has read the national mood well. This therapeutic generation of Americans loves to talk and worry about problems and then assumes that either someone else will solve them or they will go away on their own. And why not, since we have had periodic "energy crises" since 1974, have run budget deficits in most years since World War II, and have been warned about a looming Social Security meltdown for the last decade -- and yet remain wealthy and affluent.

But now gasoline costs more than $4 a gallon in many places in California, and averages more than $3.50 nationwide. In response, the Obama administration is reportedly considering tapping into the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase supplies and drive down high prices brought on by a recovering world economy and unrest in the oil-rich Middle East.

Yet the reserve depot was not designed to alleviate periodic gas-price spikes, but to ensure our very survival during a global catastrophe that might result in a cutoff of most petroleum imports from overseas. There are now more than 700 million barrels of stored oil in the reserve. In times of near-Armageddon, even that huge supply would provide for all of the nation's oil needs for only a single month. It would make up for all imported oil cutoffs for only two months.

So how is it wise to tap this critical but finite reserve -- especially when the current administration had prohibited new oil and gas production in large parts of the Gulf of Mexico and the western United States? The administration certainly will not reconsider new drilling in oil-rich areas in Alaska or elsewhere off the American coasts. The message to Americans seems to be that it is OK to consume old oil stockpiled by previous generations (the reserve was begun in 1975), but quite wrong to drill for new oil to be used by the present generation.

This same self-centered approach characterizes the federal budget. The Obama administration appointed a national debt commission -- only to ignore so far its recommendations because they're seen as too painful. But note that the commission did not call for a balanced budget for years to come. It suggested that only after 26 more years of massive federal borrowing would we be able to ensure at last Social Security's long-term financial health.

The president often expresses concern over the escalating debt, but then he increased annual borrowing this year, leading to a record $1.6 trillion annual deficit. He senses that Americans can neither sustain the present borrowing nor endure the necessary cuts in federal spending, so in response, the mere promise of future frugality seems to excuse even greater present profligacy.

There are two constant refrains about the Social Security crisis. One, we are lectured that payouts have already exceeded revenue. Two, we are promised that only future generations, currently far from retirement age, will have to work longer and get less to ensure that the system is solvent.

But if all that math is true, why wait to act? If Americans assume that our children and grandchildren may well have it worse than the baby boomers, then why not rework existing retirement plans right now, either by freezing cost-of-living raises or increasing the retirement age? Otherwise, we send the message that a more affluent generation can demand that a less affluent generation should make all the sacrifices.

It might seem ecologically noble to divert federal irrigation water from hundreds of thousands of acres of California agricultural land to ensure year-round flowing rivers and the health of small fish species. And if we do not wish to drill for more petroleum, then subsidizing the diversion of Midwestern silage land to ethanol production would likewise seem to make sense.

But at some point, someone is going to have to tell the people that the less land you produce food on, the less food you have, and the more you pay for what is available. In a time of spiraling food prices, that honest message has rarely been delivered.

The United States needs some Harry Truman-like plain speaking, instead of each administration putting off a national reckoning onto the next. Don't drill for oil and grow food -- and the price for both goes up. Spend what you don't have, and later you will have to pay even more back. The generation that ran up the debt and was largely responsible for the Social Security crisis has a responsibility to make things right on its watch.

Such blunt talk is considered political suicide for candidates; in fact, anything less for the rest of us is national suicide.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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