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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 21, 2010 / 7 Iyar 5770

A ray of hope for a fatalistic conservative

By Robert Robb


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I confess to being a fatalistic conservative.


Ever since I read Bill Buckley's The Jeweler's Eye at the age of 16 and was convinced, my sense has been that the long-term trend of American politics was in the wrong direction. Political fortunes ebb and flow, but over time liberalism inevitably gained ground.


Liberal gains were permanent; conservative gains ephemeral. The central domestic policy success of the Reagan presidency was the reduction in the top individual income tax rate to 28 percent. In less than a decade, it was back up to nearly 40 percent under Bill Clinton. Under George W. Bush, it was reduced to 35 percent, amidst accusations that he was giving away the store to the rich. After Barack Obama allows the Bush cuts at the top to expire at the end of this year, it will back over 40 percent.


At the state level, the record is slightly more encouraging. Under Gov. Fife Symington there was a very creative and constructive burst of conservative governance. Those reforms - school choice, welfare reform, truth-in-sentencing, individual income tax rate reductions - have endured.


In general, however, conservatives seem better at dissent than at governance. George W. Bush's experiment in big-government conservatism was a colossal failure.Arizona has probably the most conservative governor and Legislature in its history. Yet the biggest idea they are pushing is the liberal industrial policy fallacy -- that general economic growth can be stimulated through subsidies to politically favored industries.


Watching Gov. Jan Brewer fete, at her State of the State address, a solar equipment manufacturer for bringing around 200 jobs to a state with 2.8 million workers was both amusing and disheartening. The biggest source of my pessimism, however, has been voter sentiment. Conservatives like to reassure themselves that the American electorate is, at root, center right. With respect to social issues, that's certainly the case. With respect to economic issues, American voters are center right compared to electorates in Western Europe.

Letter from JWR publisher

But on the fundamental dividing line between liberals and conservatives - should government be bigger or smaller - the American electorate is more accurately described as center left. Voters occasionally want the increase in government to be slowed down. But they haven't yet shown any support for actually reducing it. Even Reagan couldn't get that done.


The question is whether voter attitudes are changing, making true conservative reforms that actually reduce the size of government feasible. A recent extensive survey by the PewResearchCenter indicates that it's possible.


The headlines from the Pew report have been about distrust in the federal government reaching an all-time high. That, however, is an emotional sentiment that can come and go.


On the fundamental question of whether the federal government should be bigger with more services or smaller with fewer services, there has been a dramatic shift since just 2008, when voter sentiment was evenly divided. Today, it's in favor of smaller government by a 50 percent to 39 percent margin.


Just a year ago, voters thought more government control over the economy was a good idea by a 54 percent to 37 percent margin. Today, voters think it's a bad idea, 51 percent to 40 percent.


I think voters got sticker shock from the bailouts, stimulus packages, the Fed printing press and a trillion dollar health care entitlement. There's broad recognition that the country can't afford the government it has, much less a bigger one.


This has lead to a voter backlash against Obama and the Democrats, who are perceived as pushing for even bigger government, that positions Republicans well for the next election.


But do voters want Republicans just to slow Democrats down, or to right-size government into something affordable? And will Republican candidates actually have the moxie to run on proposals to do that?


There's not yet enough to give a fatalistic conservative actual optimism. But there's enough to melt his cynicism at least a bit.

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.

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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