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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 Dec. 13, 2010 / 6 Teves, 5771

Our Greedy Government

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Given that man invented money, shouldn't he understand it better?

Instead, how money works remains the biggest mystery this side of cancer or "American Idol" voting. We can't even get a consensus on a stupidly simple question: Should we raise taxes?

The obvious answer should be no. Who wants to raise taxes? Instead, Congress is at an impasse. Everyone is screaming. Half the experts warn if we don't raise taxes, the country will collapse, and the other half warn if we do raise taxes, the country will collapse.

Sorry. But for something that has been going on since the Bible, Mesopotamia, the Roman Empire and the American Revolution, shouldn't we be able to say whether taxes help or hurt? How much more experience do we need?

Taxes stimulate jobs. Taxes kill jobs. Taxes help small business. Taxes ruin small business. Taxes make things fair for the poor. Taxes falsely sustain the poor. Taxes let government function. Taxes let government malfunction.

Heck. We don't even know what to call the suckers. Pundits refer to "the Bush tax cuts." But even Bush's rates are higher than taxes once were, so how could they be "cuts?" And since they have been the norm for at least seven years, why aren't they called the "status quo?"

MONEY JUST DOESN'T GO THAT FAR
Let's be honest. When it comes to taxes, everyone has a theory. So here's mine. If you take 25 percent of a person's worth, you've taken enough. Especially if you're the government. If you can't make things work with that, it's your fault, not the people's.

The current debate suggests a near-40 percent tax rate is fairer for the richest citizens -- and "richest" means households earning more than $250,000 a year. People pushing this argument make two assumptions: 1) that this rate is somehow deserved because it once existed; and 2) that $250,000 makes you Bill Gates.

"Why should we give breaks to Wall Street tycoons who caused this economic crisis in the first place?" you heard people scream last week.

Well, for one thing, paying 35 percent in federal taxes -- the current highest rate -- is not really "a break." And every household earning $250,000 did not rape, pillage and plunder the economy.

Households earning $250,000 easily could be a midlevel business executive, a college professor and some investments. Comfortable? Yes. Oprah? No.

Take such a married couple, both working, with four kids out in a nice suburb. Say two kids are in college. The parents make too much for scholarships, so that could be two times $50,000 right there, or $100,000 in school bills. Mortgage? Let's be conservative: $2,000 a month. Property taxes? Let's say $10,000. Throw in insurances, car payments, food, utilities, gas. You're easily at $150,000 in costs before anyone has bought a movie ticket, let alone a yacht.

Now. At a 40 percent federal tax and a 5 percent state tax, and a 1 percent city tax -- typical to many areas in this country -- you only get to keep 54 percent of all you earn, or in this $250,000 example, just $135,000. Which means this couple is already $15,000 in the red -- while people label them "ultra-rich."

Yes, this is oversimplified. Yes, there are deductions. And yes, you can argue that not everyone has to send their kids to a good college, not everyone needs two cars, not everyone has to have a nice house. But then, what's everyone working for? Isn't that what the American Dream was once about? Should we set the bar at the lowest aspiration? Should we tilt a system to unemployment and benefits payments?

You all have heard how a tiny fraction of Americans pay more than half of all taxes. And how a big chunk of Americans pay no taxes at all. The only thing you honestly can conclude is that the system is broken.

Well, raising taxes (and that's what it is; stop calling it "eliminating cuts") can't be the only solution to a broken system. The focus should be on whoever is breaking it. Here's a hint: It isn't the wage earner.

Let the economists wrangle over models and theories. The finger ultimately points to the party taking the money, not the one giving it, and that means the government. And if the history of taxation proves anything, it's that there comes a point where people say to that government, "You're taking enough." Here's my theory:

We're already there.


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