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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, 2011 / 17 Kislev, 5772

Obama has figured out how to clobbers job growth at both ends

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A rapidly rising national debt that already exceeds 100 percent of the gross domestic product and a near Depression-level unemployment rate are our most serious economic problems.

So President Barack Obama has called for more spending and tax hikes. His reasons for doing so perhaps can better be explained by a psychiatrist than by an economist or a political scientist.

From the standpoint of economics, history teaches that raising taxes when the economy is as weak as ours is now is a very bad idea.

It isn't so hot from the standpoint of politics, either. The last presidential candidate to declare he wanted to raise taxes was former Vice President Walter Mondale in 1984. He lost 49 states.

Taxes shouldn't be raised because our debt problem is caused by too much spending, Republicans say.

They're right. Even with the recession, revenues are 29 percent higher than they were in FY 2001, when we had a surplus. We have a huge deficit because spending more than doubled in the last ten years.

But spending can't be cut a lot without a great deal of pain. So additional revenues are highly desirable. But Democrats look for them in all the wrong places.

Tax revenues this year match the all time high set in FY 2007. They'd be much higher still if the unemployment rate were what it was before the recession (6.1 percent), or when Mr. Obama assumed office (7.6 percent).

People who work pay taxes. People who don't mostly don't. The jobless consume tax revenues for unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc, so reducing unemployment cuts the deficit at both ends.

President Obama has said unemployment insurance "creates jobs," a statement of such breathtaking stupidity that one wonders how anyone over the age of 12 could utter it. Unemployment insurance is needed to help people who've lost their jobs through hard times. But by providing some people with an excuse not to accept jobs they consider beneath them, and by increasing costs to employers, unemployment insurance clobbers job growth at both ends.

Raising tax rates clobbers job growth even more. Data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis indicate that whenever taxes have been raised, job creation has dropped.

But the harm tax hikes do depends a lot on which taxes are raised, and by how much.

Personal income tax rates are low compared to what they've been most of the last 50 years. But our corporate income tax -- which has a more direct bearing on employment -- is the highest in the world.

The costs and uncertainty imposed upon them by the Obama administration's regulatory binge is chief reason they're not hiring, business leaders say. Slashing the regulatory burden would boost job creation -- and thus tax revenues -- more than anything else the government could do. But a deal between Democrats and Republicans which trades a small rise in personal income tax rates for a big cut in the corporate tax also would reduce unemployment.

Even if many of us had to pay a little more, we'd be net gainers too if we moved toward a (nearly) flat tax with few exemptions, deductions or credits. Clarity, simplicity, and stability in the tax code usually matter more than a few dollars here or there.

There's another argument for a modest rise in the income tax. But it isn't one Democrats want to hear.

Income taxes should be raised so "the rich" will pay their "fair share," Democrats say.

The top 5 percent of federal income taxpayers (those with adjusted gross incomes of $159,619 or higher) paid 35 percent of all income taxes in 2010; the top 10 percent (AGI of $113,799) paid 46 percent, the Treasury department said.

The top 10 percent paid nearly four times as much as the bottom 50 percent. And, according to the Tax Policy Center, 45 percent of American households paid no income tax at all. So it isn't "the rich" (and since when has someone earning $113,799 been considered rich?) who aren't paying their fair share.

"I do not think a republic can survive when those who pay little or no tax determine the size of government and the entitlements to the citizens," said science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle.

A lot of low and middle income Americans agree with him. "The poor like taxing the rich less than you would think," noted the Economist.

Americans have little appetite for class warfare because "the middle class gets almost all of its income via employment," said software entrepeneur Louis Woodhill. Most realize that what hurts their employers hurts them, too.

"Right now, the middle class needs more jobs and higher wages much more than it needs lower taxes," Mr. Woodhill said. This is why class warfare is likely an electoral as well as an economic loser.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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