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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 22, 2011 / 16 Adar II, 5771

The national debt is just the tip of the iceberg

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Soldiers know it is dangerous to attack a prepared position without reconnoitering it first, or softening it up with artillery.

And soldiers know it is folly to abandon a flanking attack which is working for a banzai charge.

These are bad things to do in politics, too.

We face a fiscal emergency which is difficult to overstate. Our national debt is nearing $14.2 trillion, equivalent to the value of all the goods and services produced in the United States last year. And we're adding to that debt at the rate of $7.9 billion a day.

The national debt is just the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. has $88.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities, according to the Government Accountability Office. Before the economic collapse in 2008, the gross domestic product of every country on earth, added together, was just $61.4 trillion.

The unfunded liabilities chiefly are for entitlement programs. The largest of these is Social Security. Last year, more was paid out in benefits than was paid in in payroll taxes. The $41 billion deficit will get much worse fast as more baby boomers retire and unemployment remains high. Medicare and Medicaid are in even worse fiscal shape.

One political party is unconcerned about the fiscal crisis. Some conservatives think the other isn't concerned enough.

The Senate rejected March 10 competing plans to fund the federal government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends Sep. 30. House Republicans wanted to trim spending by $61 billion. Senate Democrats said that was "draconian." They would accept no more than $10 billion in cuts.

So House Republicans passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through April 8, while trimming another $6 billion. Senate Democrats accepted it.

"House Republicans have been winning the dollar debate," said Major Garrett of the National Journal. "Senate Democrats have been retreating in billion dollar increments."

Democrats are sharply divided on how much to cut spending. The White House is providing no leadership. Public opinion supports GOP efforts to cut spending without shutting down the government, noted Keith Hennessey, an economic adviser to President Bush. This is pretty much the ideal environment to incrementally cut spending, he said.

"For decades those who favor bigger government have succeeded incrementally, by patiently layering one new program on top of another, and by pocketing incremental spending increases that build up over time," Mr. Hennessey said. "Over the next six months spending cutters are now perfectly positioned to do this in reverse."

Democrats are frustrated because they have no strategy to counter the GOP, the Politico reported last week.

"The sum and substance of our strategy can't be waiting for the other side to (mess) up," said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY.

Democrats need wait no longer. Conservatives dissatisfied with piecemeal victories, and unhappy programs such as Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio haven't been defunded yet have torpedoed what was working for the GOP. Fifty four House Republicans voted against the CR, guaranteeing this will be the last temporary funding bill.

This sets up a showdown April 8 that probably will result in a government shutdown. Which is exactly what Democrats want. When in 1995 there was one, Democrats won the public relations battle.

A showdown is inevitable, because spending cuts of much more than $2 billion a week are required to avert fiscal catastrophe. But the place to have it, House Republican leaders think, is on the budget for the next fiscal year, after Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis, the House Budget Committee chairman, has had a chance to prepare the battlefield by offering his budget and the rationale for it.

And it matters very much who the public holds responsible for a government shutdown, because a CNN poll published last week indicates Americans oppose one, 59 percent to 36 percent.

If the GOP had stuck to the strategy laid out by its leaders, it would have been Democrats -- tired of losing ground in one short term CR after another -- who triggered a shutdown. But thanks to the kamikaze conservatives, it'll be Republicans (again) who get the blame.

In that CNN poll, respondents preferred the Republican approach to the budget over President Obama's, 47 percent to 43 percent. A government shutdown will turn that around. The kamikaze conservatives are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Which is what usually happens in banzai charges.

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

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