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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 March 4, 2013/ 22 Adar 5773

We can no longer afford the tax system we have

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The federal tax system should be replaced with a flat tax based on the biblical obligation to tithe, says famed surgeon Benjamin Carson. "You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10, you put in $1."

His speech at the National Prayer Breakfast was a YouTube sensation, but even some conservatives are skeptical.

Dr. Carson's argument for a flat tax was not persuasive, "given the complexities involved," said National Review editor Rich Lowry.

"A flat tax would probably generate too little revenue, making budget deficits worse," said James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute.

Complexities abound in the federal tax code. It uses nearly 3 million words (more than 9 million, if IRS regulations are included) to describe a plethora of taxes with a dizzying array of rates, exemptions, deductions and credits.

There are 774,746 words in the Bible, 7,591 in the U.S. Constitution.

There are so many taxes because politicians think if they take a nickel here, a dime there, we might not notice how many dollars it adds up to.

There are so many deductions, exemptions and credits because politicians use the tax code to buy votes, reward friends and punish enemies. The trouble even with "loopholes" most of us like -- such as the deductions for charitable contributions and home mortgage interest -- is that when politicians manipulate the tax code for purposes other than raising revenue, the end result is the mess we have now.

Americans spend about 6 billion hours each year preparing tax returns, estimates the IRS's Taxpayer Advocate Service. According to one estimate, in 2008 we spent $163 billion to comply with tax laws. That's a lot to waste because politicians want to camouflage the cost of government.

The corporate tax boosts costs, which causes prices to rise; and reduces profits, which lowers dividends and wages. At 39 percent, ours is the highest in the world, which discourages investment here. It is so inefficient it raises little money compared to other taxes. But politicians love the corporate tax, because it hides from those who actually pay it -- consumers, shareholders, employees -- how much it costs them. Labor bears 70 percent of the burden, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in a 2006 paper.

People who earn $113,700 or less pay a higher proportion of their income in payroll taxes than do those who make more. Workers earn less than shareholders, so the corporate tax is regressive too.

Just 10 percent of working Americans pay 70 percent of the income tax. How can that be fair?

"The fairest individual in the universe" said both rich and poor should tithe 10 percent of their income, so "there must be something inherently fair about proportionality," Dr. Carson said.

Mr. Pethokoukis assumes the present structure of the income tax -- in which nearly half pay nothing -- essentially would be retained. That's not what Dr. Carson has in mind. He'd replace most federal taxes, not just the income tax, and get rid of nearly all exemptions.

The simplicity, clarity and fairness of the flat tax can be maintained at a rate higher or lower than 10 percent, if it's applied uniformly. So there's no reason to suppose it would raise less revenue. A flat tax almost certainly would raise more, because it would free so many billions of man-hours for more productive pursuits.

Dr. Carson would replace what is complex and opaque with what is simple and clear, but that doesn't mean what he proposes is simplistic, as Mr. Lowry implies.

A "complexity" about which Mr. Lowry may fret is if we can file our returns on a postcard, lots of decent, hardworking people at H&R Block would lose their jobs. Corporate tax departments would empty out. At least half the people at the IRS would have nothing to do.

We can't afford so sweeping a reform as Dr. Carson proposes, because innocents would suffer if the enormous distortions the tax system makes in the economy were removed, Mr. Lowry seems to say.

I hope I'm reading him wrong, because that's nuts. Politicians created complexity in the tax code to camouflage costs and evade accountability. We shouldn't let them use the magnitude of the mess they've made as an excuse to block, delay, or water down reform.

What we can afford no longer is the tax system we have. It can't be fixed with a nip here and a tuck there. Only radical surgery can heal the economy.

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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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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