In this issue

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 July 13, 2012 / 23 Tammuz, 5772

A do-nothing Congress exacts high costs

By Ann McFeatters

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For many, there is little concern about the current do-nothing Congress; they figure at least it's not doing harm. But there is another way to look at the inability of this Congress to do anything of consequence.

By not taking action on issues that bear heavily on Americans' financial problems, Congress is making life much harder on all of us. And it could get worse. Much worse.

Oh, there are votes, but they don't mean anything. For example, the GOP-controlled House has voted 33 times to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law; the Democratic-controlled Senate will not act. The House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over confidential documents on a controversial gun program Republicans said they need. The Senate has made clear it will not act, saying Holder testified nine times and gave Congress 7,600 pages of documents.

Meanwhile, votes on five critical issues have not been scheduled and will not occur until late in the year, if at all in 2012.

By January, extended unemployment benefits will end. That will affect thousands who lost their jobs and still aren't working. It is estimated that will result in $40 billion less consumer spending a year. Democrats want benefits extended; Republicans say the country can't afford it.

To spur the economy, Congress cut Social Security payroll taxes by two points, to 4 percent, in 2011 and 2012. Without action, the payroll tax will rise to 6 percent in 2013. That will result in $125 billion less in disposable income; everyone who pays FICA taxes will be affected.

At the end of the year, the tax cuts President George W. Bush pushed through Congress will expire. If they are not extended and if Congress fails to address the problem of the alternative minimum tax suddenly affecting thousands of middle-income families, household spending is expected to fall by $280 billion in 2013. For the average family, that translates to a tax increase of $1,750 a year.

At the end of 2012, the 2011 Budget Control Act means $110 billion will be cut automatically from federal spending, no matter whose ox is gored. Half will come from the military, a "disaster," according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Programs Americans want, from food safety to national parks, will take huge, automatic cuts.

Automatic cuts were not expected to take effect because a congressional "supercommittee" was supposed to agree on a 10-year, $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction package. But the supercommittee failed to act.

And, of course, there is now the perennial fight over raising the debt ceiling, once automatic and non-controversial but now a blood sport. That vote might happen in early January.

With all that uncertainty and Europe's weak economy, investors are losing heart, further weakening the recovery that seemed promising earlier this year. The biggest impact is that businesses are not creating new jobs.

The Congressional Budget Office says uncertainty caused by Europe's problems and Congress' failure to take action to avoid the "fiscal cliff" at year's end could reduce gross domestic product growth by up to 0.5 percent this year alone.

For the past six months, many investors assumed that Congress would avoid the cliff and compromise. But the vitriol of the presidential campaign and campaigns for the House and Senate (all House seats and one-third of the Senate are at stake) has prevented every attempt at ending the stalemate over how to reduce federal spending without seriously jeopardizing the economy.

Republican leaders don't want to approve anything that might boost Obama's re-election chances. As Mitt Romney continues to out-raise Obama in monthly campaign contributions, Repubicans are more confident Romney could be elected in November. That victory and more Republicans in Congress could get them what they want early next year.

Democrats are adamant that incomes above $250,000 a year must generate more revenue. Republicans oppose all tax hikes. Tea partiers are determined to cut the deficit, no matter who is hurt.

Not a reassuring scenario.

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06/25/12: Take a vacation: It's your duty
06/19/12: Dems: 'Do something'
04/30/12: Will Mitt Romney finally let a hair down?
04/23/12: Warning: Nasty presidential race ahead
04/02/12: We need to talk about aging
03/26/12: A Clinton-Bush matchup in 2016?
03/19/12: Autumn presidential debate topics lining up nicely
03/12/12: Unpacking presidential campaign myths
03/05/12: Time for Romney's vision, not goofiness, gaffes
01/13/12: Romney makes life difficult with many flubs
11/24/11: Obama has most to fear from Huntsman
10/04/11: Romney looks like ‘The One’
09/28/11: At last some good news on energy
09/21/11: Time to make pols squirm
08/29/11: America still shows the power of the individual
08/17/11: Like us, Lady Liberty in disrepair, but still strong