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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 April 9, 2009 / 14 Nissan 5769

The politics of blame

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It should have been easy for Democrats to connect depleted 401(k) accounts and lost home equity with the buccaneers of Wall Street who supposedly prompted the panic.


The public, after all, has been whipped up in furor at the masters of the universe who bankrupted portfolios as they walked away with multimillion-dollar bonuses. We now hate those on Wall Street as much as we used to like them for bringing spectacular growth to our retirement accounts.


In a recent private meeting with some of the world's largest bankers, President Obama reportedly railed at them: "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks!"


But not so fast, Mr. President.


The Obama administration, remember, signed the Democratic-sponsored bill to authorize new bailouts for Wall Street firms and mega-bonuses for their executives. And during the Clinton administration, Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers — who both later made millions on Wall Street — succeeded in freeing investment banks from federal regulations that eventually led to their reckless gambling with trillions in sub-prime mortgage debt.


The quasi-government-run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage agencies — staffed with ex-Clinton administration cronies — were at Ground Zero of the financial meltdown. Liberals in Congress like Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank were among the largest recipients of Wall Street money. In the 2008 presidential campaign, most of the big investor money went to Democratic candidate Obama.


Billionaire investors like Warren Buffet and George Soros proved to be among Obama's staunchest supporters. Health and Human Services Cabinet-nominee Tom Daschle had to bow out because he skipped paying income taxes on free corporate limousine service. Democrats are clearly no longer the party of dirt farmers in bib overalls and sweaty dockworkers.


Can fiscally conservative Republicans pull off the feat of galvanizing populist backlash against fat-cat Democrats and their supporters on Wall Street? Looking at some of President Obama's initiatives, you'd think conservatives would have plenty of ammunition.


Obama's promises to tax only those families making above $250,000 will probably prove a fantasy, given the proposed $1.7 trillion annual budget deficit and the nearly $10 trillion in additional debt that we are projected to incur over the next decade.


There simply are not enough wealthy to tax to pay back that sum. Instead, most likely our children and grandchildren for generations, through all sorts of higher taxes, will have to service the mountain of debt and interest for the larger entitlements we'll soon receive.


Shouldn't this kind of out-of-control spending and big government be natural wedge issues for conservatives against free-spending liberals?


But, again, not so fast, as conservatives have credibility problems of their own.


The last Bush administration budget racked up a $500 billion annual deficit and added more than $4 trillion to the national debt over eight years of governance. During the first Bush term, when the Republicans controlled Congress, government spending grew on average at an annual rate of over 4 percent — far higher than during the previous Democratic Clinton administration.


Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress may be planning unheard of multitrillion-dollar budgets, but they are in fact only expanding on earlier Republican fiscal recklessness.


You know we live in strange times when it's hard to figure out whether to blame big money or big government.


In the past, Democratic populists could rail against the Wall Street excess that had helped to wreck Americans' retirement portfolios. These populist Democrats, though, are gone, replaced by liberal grandees who are more interested in the money of Wall Street than its ethics.


Today's Democratic-led government, meanwhile, has gone on a spending spree, taking on massive debt for all sorts of new "stimulus" — and Republican conservatives, given their recent profligate past, can hardly serve as credible watchdogs.


So, take your pick whom to blame: not-so liberal Democrats, now trashing the Wall Street that enriched them, or not-so conservative Republicans, suddenly railing against Washington's out-of-control budgets that they themselves had never balanced.


In a democracy that chooses its own leaders, maybe the real problem is ourselves — for wanting big government without big taxes, big stock returns without big risk and easy money without hard work.

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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