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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 August 12, 2009 / 22 Menachem-Av 5769

A president grossly overplaying his hand

By E. Thomas McClanahan


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What we're seeing in Washington these days is beginning to look like Jimmy Carter II.

Carter, like Barack Obama, started out with the idea of stimulating the economy.

His plan was to give every taxpayer $50, then throw in a few billion for tax cuts and public works programs. Simple, right? Wrong: In Washington, this soon became very complicated. Within a month, the package grew from $20 billion to more than $31 billion—a significant amount in the 1970s.

Special-interest groups piled on. Unions, minorities, the sugar lobby, bankers, shoe manufacturers — all clamored for a piece of the pie, all wanted to know: "Where's mine?"

In April of his first year in office, Carter finally threw up his hands and scrapped the whole idea. He had dithered for four months. He had nothing to show for the effort. By then he was fatally diminished, his authority substantially eroded.

With the Obama administration, a similar unraveling is well under way and gathering momentum. Voters are increasingly restive. The country is souring on Obama's gargantuan policy ambitions. The sense is growing that he has grossly overplayed his hand.

Like Carter, Obama looks increasingly like a president out of step with the times. Like Carter, there is a large gap between what voters expected based on the measured and moderate tone of his campaign and what began unfolding after his inauguration. Obama ran as a centrist, but he is governing from the left.

In one recent poll, support for Obama's $787 billion stimulus package had dropped to 34 percent. Seventy-one percent agreed Obama had increased the size of the federal deficit. His overall approval rating in the Quinnipiac poll has fallen to 50 percent from 57 percent in June.

In another Quinnipiac poll, nearly 75 percent of respondents didn't believe Obama's pledge that the federal deficit would fall because of health care reform.

In an NPR poll, a plurality of Americans opposed Obama's health care efforts. In a recent Rasmussen poll, those who strongly disapproved of the president's performance outnumbered those who strongly supported him by 11 percentage points.

The cap-and-trade monster—a ruinous, de facto tax for anyone using energy—won't make it through the Senate in its present form, if at all. The original cash for clunkers program, which was supposed to continue through November, ran out of money in days.

No wonder many voters don't trust the Democratic Congress to remake the health care system. They fear that in a few years, they will be shoved into the sort of inflexible, infuriating, one-size-fits-all sort of arrangement for which the federal government is famous.

As in the Carter years, both political branches — White House and Congress — are now dominated by Democrats from the left wing of the party. As Michael Barone wrote in "Our Country," liberals from this tradition are inclined to seek "economic redistribution by always asking more"—without worrying too much about whether they might be approaching the point at which "the public sector would start to squeeze the life out of the private sector."

More voters are saying, in effect: That point is fast approaching. That, in a nutshell, is what the "national conversation" is currently about. That's what the tea parties are about. That's why angry people are crowding town hall meetings, shouting "read the bill!" at their elected representatives.

Many legitimately fear that if not stopped, Obama and the Democratic Congress will take this country well beyond the point where the public sector starts to "squeeze the life" out of the economy.

It's not too late for Obama to make a major adjustment. Bill Clinton's initial months were equally turbulent. He was savvy enough to make a mid-course correction — but it came only after the election of a Republican Congress. On his present course, Obama is making that eventuality increasingly likely.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

E. Thomas McClanahan is a member of the Kansas City Star editorial board. Comment by clicking here.

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