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December 2, 2014

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 Sept. 21, 2012/ 6 Tishrei, 5773

Romney's 47 percent blunder

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The best defense of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's instantly notorious "47 percent" remarks at a May fundraiser is that he made a bad point badly.

Romney mixed up three separate groups: the roughly half the country that will inevitably support President Barack Obama, the half that doesn't pay federal income taxes and the half that receives government benefits. Then he declared them all a collective lost cause. He will never win them over, or convince them to take responsibility for their lives. Next question.

In reality, these are distinct categories. Many Obama supporters are rich. We can be certain the attendees at the president's fundraiser with Beyonce and Jay-Z in New York City the other day have hefty tax bills. Meanwhile, many of Romney's supporters -- especially the elderly -- don't pay federal income taxes and receive government benefits.

As a political scientist, Romney is an excellent former governor of Massachusetts.

On taxes, he was repeating a conservative talking point about the perils of 47 percent of people not paying federal income taxes. (To be precise, 46.4 percent of "tax units" don't pay income taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center.) Romney took this line of argument and blundered his way through it, although it's not very convincing in the best rendering.

The contention is that if people aren't paying federal income taxes, they are essentially freeloaders who will vote themselves more government benefits knowing that they don't have to pay for them.

As conservative writer Ramesh Ponnuru has pointed out, there's no evidence for this dynamic. It is true that the number of people without a federal-income-tax liability is up; it was just 28 percent in 1950. It is mainly the poor, seniors and lower-income families with children who don't owe income taxes. The poor lean heavily Democratic, but that's always been so. Seniors, on the other hand, have been swinging Republican, and there's no indication that families with children are becoming more liberal.

Many workers who don't pay federal income tax pay other taxes, including the payroll tax. Just 18 percent of tax filers escape both the income and payroll taxes. People who aren't paying income tax don't think of themselves as freeloading "takers." An April Gallup poll found more discontent with taxes among people making less than $30,000 than any other income group. Fifty percent said they pay too much, though the vast majority has no federal-income-tax liability.

The deeper problem with the "47 percent" argument is that it is right-wing Elizabeth Warrenism. It reflects the belief that federal income taxes are an expression of our togetherness. If you aren't paying them -- or aren't paying enough -- you are a subcitizen.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., says everyone should pay income taxes, even if it's "the price of two Happy Meals a year, $10." Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said it's an "injustice" that more people don't pay. Warren wants to tax rich people as a statement of our patriotic commitment to one another; some conservatives evidently want to tax the poor and seniors for the same reason.

How does this look in the real world? If a couple earning $35,000 with two kids has no income-tax liability thanks to various exemptions, deductions and credits (the child tax credit has been especially important in removing families from the rolls), how much should we tax them to get them to shape up and fly right? How much do they have to pay the Internal Revenue Service to learn a lesson in basic civics?

This tendency represents a backdoor return to Country Club Republicanism, with the approval of part of the Republican base. Fear of the creation of a class of "takers" can slide into disdain for people who are too poor -- or have too many kids or are too old -- to pay their damn taxes. For a whiff of how politically unattractive this point of view can be, just look at the Romney fundraising video.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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