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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 July 16, 2012/ 26 Tammuz, 5772

National spending figures are misleading

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Jonah Goldberg thinks Mitt Romney should "turn the tables" on President Barack Obama by joining him in criticizing George W. Bush as a big spender.

"Focused on fighting a war, Bush -- never a tightwad to begin with -- handed the keys to the Treasury to Tom DeLay and Denny Hastert, and they spent enough money to burn a wet mule," Mr. Goldberg wrote. "On Bush's watch, education spending more than doubled, the government enacted the biggest expansion in entitlements since the Great Society [Medicare Part D], and we created a vast new government agency [the Department of Homeland Security]."

At first glance, Mr. Goldberg's indictment seems all too true. In the eight fiscal years attributed to the Bush presidency, spending rose from $2.471 trillion to $3.518 trillion, an average annual increase of 5.3 percent.

Mr. Bush looks really bad compared to Democrat Bill Clinton. During the eight fiscal years attributed to Mr. Clinton's presidency, spending rose from $2.109 trillion to $2.326 trillion, an average annual increase of 1.29 percent.

But this is misleading. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1 of the year preceding, so for eight of the last 12 months of a president's tenure, his successor is in the White House. Most of the time this doesn't matter much, because in that first fiscal year, the new president usually just tinkers a little with his predecessor's budget.

It mattered a lot in fiscal year 2009, because Mr. Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill and his auto company bailouts are attributed to Mr. Bush. If these are factored out, spending by the Bush administration rose just 4.4 percent a year. But that's still a lot.

The biggest increases were in Mr. Bush's last two years, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. In fiscal years 2008 and 2009, spending rose by an average of 12.1 percent a year. In the first six fiscal years of the Bush presidency, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, spending rose by an average of just 2.75 percent a year.

Still, in the six fiscal years of the Clinton presidency when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress (fiscal year 1996-2001), spending rose by an average of just 1.5 percent a year.

Like Mr. Goldberg, I assumed this was because of Mr. Bush's domestic spending initiatives, and because Republicans in Congress went hog wild on earmarks, which rose from 2,000 in 1994 (the last year of Democrat control) to 14,000 in 2005.

I was wrong. During the Bush years in which Republicans also controlled Congress, $438 billion was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on enhanced security measures pertaining to the war on terror. All other federal spending increased just $126 billion, an average of just 0.9 percent a year.

Wars are expensive, as Mr. Obama is finding out in Afghanistan. He spent $118.6 billion there in the last fiscal year, more than double the $43.5 billion Mr. Bush spent on the Afghan war in fiscal year 2008, the last full year for which he was responsible.

The Congressional Research Service estimates total spending on the war on terror from 9/11 through the end of this fiscal year at $1.415 trillion. That's a lot of money -- but it's just 4.1 percent of the $34.17 trillion the federal government spent during that period.

The drop in spending for Iraq has been greater than the increase in Afghanistan, and defense spending overall is declining. So domestic programs account for all of the gargantuan increase in spending under Mr. Obama.

The federal government is expected to spend $3.796 trillion in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. That's 81.3 percent more than was spent in fiscal year 2008, when spending for the Iraq war was at its height. So when Mr. Obama blames Mr. Bush for the surge in spending, he's lying. And when liberals blame our mammoth deficits on the cost of war, they're lying.

Still, Mr. Bush spent too much. Medicare was going broke, so it was unwise to add $107 billion a year to its cost. The Department of Homeland Security will spend about $56.9 billion this year, mostly to harass air travelers. Test scores still stink, even though federal spending on education has doubled.

So Mr. Goldberg gave Mr. Romney good advice -- just not as good as it seems at first.

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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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