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December 2, 2014

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 March 19, 2012/ 25 Adar, 5772

Public pensions will get us if we don't watch out

By Jay Ambrose




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | City and state officials have been as accomplished as Washington squanderers in lavishing money they don't have and never considering that the days of sunshine and plentiful revenues might end. They thus set us up for a mighty fall. My prime example for this thesis is highly publicized Stockton, Calif., which is getting ready to treat us to what could be one of the nation's most memorable bankruptcies.

There was once nary a cloud in the Stockton sky. Press reports tell us how the housing market was booming, property taxes were zooming and the City Council was building a minor-league baseball stadium over here, a convention center over there and an entertainment complex on its waterfront. It was also doling out unbelievable retirement benefits for city employees, not the least of the generosity being free health care.

Excuse me bondholders, excuse me city retirees, excuse me citizens without necessary services, but housing prices collapsed, meaning taxes produced pennies in a 300.000-population city with extravagant commitments. It is already so bad that officials are firing unaffordable cops as murders tragically go up.

Stockton is not alone in its misery. Most of the states and hundreds of cities have put themselves in similar trouble, and we know a primary source of their excessive obligations. It is government of, by and for politicians and public employees working in mutually advantageous collusion. The unions provide votes and campaign contributions and the politicians provide good pay, pensions to die for and health and other benefits that let employees live like kings.

The pension liberality has been the real killer. It might have done political damage to the office holders if they had then taxed enough to pay for what would be due, but many cheated through surreptitious underfunding. It did not help that the stock market took a dive in 2008, rendering many invested pension funds even more hopelessly incapable of fulfilling the promises made. The national gap, according to students of the subject, is a whopping $3 trillion.

A consequence could be a generation of hurt and an America unlike the one we have known, and here are some proposed answers that won't work.

Experts I trust have looked and said an improved stock market will not solve the problem. And if the federal government coughed up the money, you could well get a credit ratings drop and less eagerness by foreign countries to lend us money except at rates that would be ruinous.

Reform is the answer, and there are glimmers of hope, as found in a Heritage Foundation piece noting that some 41 states have restructured pension plans to make them more workable. In some cases, union members have shown themselves ready to contribute more to their benefits.

But some of the most valiant fighters for the most meaningful change have faced hooligan opposition. Wisconsin unions threatened a boycott of any business failing to support them in their fight against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to save the state and, of course, are trying to remove him from office.

My guess is that it is going to take the Stockton bankruptcy and still many other drastic occurrences for the public to see the truth and politicians to forge a real rescue. It would help if some in the news business would understand that collective bargaining with a sovereign government is not a "right," and it would be nice if Obamacare were rescinded to save states from crushing Medicaid costs it would impose on them.

It won't happen over night, but if our leaders take nothing but half measures, fearful of union retaliation, even the union members will be worse off, and the rest of us will be telling tales of what a great place America used to be before some of them helped ruin it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.


Previously:


03/14/12: Politics needs reporting, not speculation
03/12/12: Home of the free, the brave, the endangered
03/07/12: Obama used Limbaugh as scapegoat
03/05/12: Campaign substance lost in media melodrama
03/01/12: When Big Brother drowns
02/24/12: Obama goes gaseous on gas
02/22/12: Political tears for trust in personal empowerment --- except in the bedroom
02/17/12: Of cut-off ears and silenced mouths
02/15/12: Obama is a joke whose antics aren't funny
02/10/12: An energy boom looms, despite Obama
02/08/12: Obama's assault on faith
02/03/12: Can Romney get serious?
01/27/12: Obama is like an Italian ship captain
01/25/12: Newt Gingrich's first 100 days
01/20/12: Obama's Keystone pipeline lies
01/18/12: Critics worse than urinating Marines
01/13/12: Ron Paul is a cartoonish character
01/11/12: Newt Gingrich upset by Mitt Romney's brilliance
01/09/12: How about regulating presidents, too?
01/04/12: How America smothers itself
12/30/11: A tax break that helps break the nation
12/28/11: Watch out for the banana peel, Newt
12/21/11: A tale of two men
12/16/11: Strange happenings in Russia
12/14/11: Tim Tebow is a man of character
12/09/11: A populist, envy-mongering fraud divisively exacerbating resentment among different groups of Americans
12/07/11: Tax games threaten nation
12/05/11: Why Wal-Mart serves us better than Barney Frank
11/30/11: Not writing off Newt
11/28/11: Answers to the Iranian threat
11/23/11: Failure of the incumbency investment
11/18/11: Occupiers: Chop off their heads!
11/16/11: Obama asks jobless to sacrifice
11/09/11: Michael Moore's insufferable occupation
11/04/11: Political tipping point is coming
11/02/11: Idealogues versus 7 billion
10/28/11: Obama games on student loans
10/26/11: Wit and quick moves v. humanity and thoroughgoing honesty? It's no contest —- or at least shouldn't be
10/07/11: Baptists, bootleggers and Wall Street protesters
10/05/11: Federal law will get you even if you watch out
09/28/11: Leftist bugbears on the march
09/23/11: Still hope for coal to help us
09/21/11: Obama's Madoff ploy
09/19/11: U.S. can't afford to wait until it happens
09/14/11: Defending -- and strengthening -- gung ho collectivism
09/12/11: A pipeline to better times
09/08/11: Obama just keeps destroying jobs
09/06/11: Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
08/31/11: Corporations are people? Yes, Count the ways
08/26/11: What an earthquake tells us about debt
08/25/11: The tyranny of scientific consensus
08/23/11: Fracking hardly a public health threat
08/17/11: Why Obamacare won't control births
08/15/11: Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea
08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech
08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers
08/03/11: The people who may save America
07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ
07/27/11: The threat behind the debt
07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing
07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse
07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling
07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly
07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?
07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery



© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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