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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 Sept. 13, 2011 / 14 Elul, 5771

Perry walks the third rail

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Rick Perry was cruising in the Wednesday GOP presidential debate. He had weathered a sharp exchange with Mitt Romney over job creation and made the point well that his record as governor was better than Mitt's. Romney's counter — that his experience as a businessman makes him better able to create jobs than Perry's life in politics — may eventually nullify Perry's edge, but its got a way to go.

Then Rick stepped on the third rail — he called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme", a "failed program", and said it was a "monstrous lie" that young people would collect retirement benefits from the system. He might as well have come out against motherhood and apple pie. Whether you agree with Perry or not, who wants to spend the entire fall season of 2012 defending his Social Security comments. Obama and the Democrats are famous for creating issues that don't exist. Look at how all Democratic candidates in 2010 campaigned against Congressman Paul Ryan's roadmap proposals to cut Medicare when they were not yet in play in Congress.

Polling shows that Republican primary voters this year are very sophisticated and are much more interested in finding a candidate who can beat Obama than in finding one that suits every bit of their ideological convictions. Hence, Romney's dalliance with an individual mandate for buying health insurance in Massachusetts does not make him radioactive in the GOP primary. As long as he can win.

Perry could have easily sidestepped the question and distanced himself from his remarks in his book on the subject. He could have said that perhaps he was overly heated in his rhetoric in using the terms "Ponzi scheme" and underscored his support for George W. Bush-style reforms in the system. But, no way. He surged right ahead and embraced his former words. Now he owns them for all time.

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme? It was sold politically as a form of social insurance where the "premiums" paid each year of a working person's life were saved up and entitled him to retirement benefits. To underscore this point, FDR started collecting Social Security taxes in 1937 but did not distribute benefits until 1941.

But, under the weight of the automatic cost of living adjustments started under Nixon, the benefits have long outstripped the amounts that have been paid in by each retiree. Social Security functions like any other cash transfer program, taking from younger generations and paying the money to the older ones. The collected payroll tax deductions of the average retiree account for only a small part of his total pension. In that sense it is a Ponzi scheme — it sells itself as a savings and investment plan but it uses each new generations' revenues to fund the older one's benefits.

But it's a Ponzi scheme with the power to tax. If Bernie Madoff had that capability, he wouldn't be in jail today. A Ponzi scheme is only bad when the new money dries up. With the power to tax, it need never do so.

Is Social Security a failure? Hell no! It is the most successful anti-poverty program of all time. From FDR's second inaugural where he said that one-third of the nation was "ill clothed, ill housed, and ill fed" until the early 60s when Michael Harrington alerted the nation to its high poverty level, the elderly constituted about half of America's poor. Now there is no such thing as an impoverished senior citizen and our poverty rate has dropped from one-third to one-eighth, largely due to Social Security (and partly due to welfare reform).

Now Perry is flying in the face of the deeply held opinions of the entire American electorate. Rasmussen Reports shows that only 17% of Americans agree that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Rick Perry would do well to side with the 83%, not the 17% if he wants to get elected.

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