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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 Aug 23, 2012 / 5 Elul, 5772

Stark's 'Second Litter' Subsidy

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Rep. Pete Stark, 80, has seven children; three are minors, the product of his third marriage. He once told the Los Angeles Times that he calls the three youngest his "second litter." Lucky Stark. Thanks to a dated Social Security system, he enjoys a "second-litter" subsidy.

As Carolyn Lochhead wrote in The Chronicle, Stark has reported a net worth as high as $27 million, and he earns $174,000 as a member of Congress. Nonetheless, Stark's three minor children are collecting benefits from Social Security.

The Social Security Administration estimates that 4.4.million kids, mostly children of deceased or disabled parents, receive $2.5 billion each month; 609,000 minors receive an average monthly benefit of $605 because their parents are retired.

Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow David John told me that Washington created the children's benefit in 1939, when "most families were one-earner families. When a father retired, there was no more money coming in." The children's benefit, John said, "was really meant as a protection for someone who has essentially little income."

America's demographics have changed a lot since 1939, but the children's benefit has not adapted. A program designed to keep poor families afloat after the retirement of a breadwinner has morphed into a "second-litter" subsidy for older men who start second families.

Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell, a Democrat, is challenging Stark in November. Swalwell has no problem with Stark cashing his Social Security check. "He receives his own benefit check, which he's entitled to receive," Swalwell said. (The government makes retirees accept benefits when they turn 70.)

But when it comes to the children's benefit, which was designed to provide the necessities of life so children could complete high school, Swalwell accused Stark of "gaming the system." The program, Swalwell added, wasn't meant "for the children of millionaires."

Swalwell proposes an earnings cap for children's benefits, similar to the income cap for retirees who sign up for Social Security before they reach full retirement age (66 now).

Stark campaign manager Sharon Cornu sent me a statement that accused Swalwell of joining "the Ryan-Romney plan to undermine Social Security as we know it." She has accused Swalwell of pushing "means-testing" for Social Security.

That would be fine by me. Not Swalwell -- he counters that he wants an earnings threshold only for the children's benefit. "To me, that was not meant for somebody who was drawing a $174,000 salary."

More from Cornu: "Stark has spent a lifetime protecting the rights of seniors and fighting to make Social Security stronger so it is able to deliver on its promise to all Americans."

Wrong. If Stark wanted to protect Social Security, his family wouldn't cash in on a benefit designed to protect income-starved nuclear families that, thanks to Washington's lethargy, turned into a financial bonus for old guys with new families.

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© 2012, Creators Syndicate

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