Dec. 6, 2013
Dec. 2, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Grylak: Attack on Chanukah's scholar-warriors an affront to all people of faith
U.S. boxes in Israel, not Iran: Surrender in Geneva
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Vanessa Bayer & Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy; Adam Levine, nickname "the Bear Jew," is People's Sexiest; Eastwoods Need to Say "Kinehora!"
The Kosher Gourmet by Kim Ode:
Fried and gone to heaven: Dense, fried Slovenian doughnut-like rolls, krofi, on Chanukah is a treat you'll want to eat all year long
: Tracking babies' eyes, scientists find signs of autism in 2-month-olds
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Hunger Games: Jewish Connections; A 'Minyan'of Jewish Celebs Recite the Gettysburg Address On-line; Walter Matthau's Reaction to JFK's Death
Nancy A. Youssef :
Christians too afraid to complain as treatment in new 'democracy' worsens
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Jewish MLB managers; Past and Present; Movie News and Dancing W/the Stars Shocker; Paula Abdul's Israeli bat mitzvah and bio facts rarely reported
Jewish World Review
December 6, 2012/ 21 Kislev 5773
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said in a speech and in a TV interview that Social Security doesn’t increase the debt by even one penny. He is wrong. It adds 2,100 trillion pennies to debt calculated as all future obligations. That’s enough, along with the enormous amounts of money owed to other entitlements, to press down the American future to the point of its being squashed, but never mind. Durbin has politics to tend to.
Those politics start with hiking taxes on annual incomes over $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for couples because income inequality is immoral in his view. He should start sending me checks. I figure he makes more than I do, and I’d applaud that moral gesture a lot more than I favor increasing taxes in his foolish way. It would hinder job creation while raising so little extra revenue as to lessen future deficits something on the order of a smidgen.
Some of us might say the real immorality is to play these ideologically lame games when the country is facing a major debt crisis. It is especially harmful in negotiations on averting the so-called fiscal cliff to back away from significant entitlement cuts. Durbin’s stance is to do nothing now about Social Security, which means failing to take advantage of a time when meaningful compromise seems possible. It thereby imitates past demagoguery that got us in the mess we’re in.
While working in Washington some 17 years ago, I heard the great, brilliant Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y. -- a since-deceased Social Security expert who was also my favorite liberal politician -- talk about the need to act. But every time some bold member of Congress suggested some move in the right direction, some opportunistic self-server would say this was heartless, mean, awful, a way of forcing the elderly poor to eat dog food, or something like that. We are therefore now in a situation in which Social Security is in the red and adding billions to the deficit.
Fact checkers and others tell us Social Security was in the red by $36 billion in 2010 and will have its annual payroll tax shortfalls rise as high as $86 billion by 2015. One commentator -- columnist Robert Samuelson -- observes that the total Social Security budget this year was $762 billion, compared with $651 billion for defense. Over the next 75 years, Social Security’s unfunded liability -- the amount by which obligations to recipients will exceed anticipated revenues -- is estimated by some at $21 trillion, money that would have to come from borrowing or higher taxes. A major reason is the extraordinary increase in the number of people over 65 -- some 30 million more than today’s 40 million in less than another two decades.
My own sense is that President Barack Obama should long ago have embraced the Bowles-Simpson deficit-reducing recommendations made by the leaders of his own debt commission. They have sought both more revenue and serious spending cuts. Their approach to Social Security is nothing terribly hurtful -- steps such as reducing cost growth through a new formula on increases in initial benefits for the best off, increased payroll taxes from the highest earners, redoing the formula for inflation adjustments and higher eligibility ages way down the road.
I also like their tax reform plans. They would lower rates to engender growth at the same time they simplified taxes and increased revenues through elimination of the least excusable deductions.
For all the public squawking back and forth between Republicans and Democrats, there are some reported signals here and there that the two sides may be finding their way to a resolution tackling deficits and avoiding the fiscal cliff. Durbin, who is Senate majority whip and has previously shown an exceptional willingness to compromise on Social Security and other issues, could be a major player in helping to save the nation from disaster. A first step would be to say Social Security does magnify the debt crisis, and by a whole lot more than a penny.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.
11/29/12: Man of the century
11/21/12: A big scandal coming?
11/14/12: U.S. should follow the Swedish path
11/07/12: Hanging from a poll
• 10/31/12: A dream that wouldn't come true
• 10/29/12: When the 'kooks' and 'racists' turn out to be your ideological allies
• 10/24/12: The pettiness refuge
• 10/18/12: An interruption that tells a bigger tale
• 10/17/12: A recovery that wasn't
• 10/12/12: Big Bird squabble points to something real
• 10/11/12: The 'war' you don't hear about --- the one on average Americans
• 08/22/12: Obama leadership: Romney's returns trump road to recovery
• 08/15/12: Saving Medicare the Ryan way
• 08/01/12: Combatting free speech
• 07/25/12: Good and bad reactions to Colorado horror
• 07/18/12: Apology time for Obama
• 07/16/12: Free markets solve climate change threats
• 07/11/12: Humans and particles and those who would order them
• 07/06/12: Why we'll miss Andy Griffith
• 07/05/12: All will feel Affordable Care Act's bite
• 07/02/12: A social solution --- homes with dads
• 06/27/12: Being a 'nation of immigrants' is not an excuse
• 06/20/12: Barack Obama the autocrat
• 06/18/12: Bradbury's lessons for today
• 06/13/12: Should this leaking administration sink?
• 06/11/12: Simpson bashes back on reform
• 06/05/12: Legalize sugary drinks, ban dangerous drugs
• 06/04/12: Keep America from going Greek
• 06/01/12: Don't believe in Obama's fairy tales
• 05/30/12: Writing a book? Beats prison
• 05/23/12: Student loans fail students
• 05/21/12: Europeanizing America into crisis
• 05/16/12: Obama a bully, too
• 05/15/12: Walker recall vote could swing national pension policy
• 05/07/12: Bumbling, fumbling, benighted, old Washington near tipping point where freedom is done for
• 05/02/12: The Communists cannot be happy
• 04/30/12: There's no objective truth, least of all concerning behavior
• 04/25/12: Forgive the extremist?
• 04/23/12: Educational excellence is a game
• 04/18/12: Obama's interventions help a few by the most autocratic, complicated, ineffective means possible, yet hurt many more
• 04/16/12: Overregulation strikes again: The nanny state threatens to turn us into children
• 04/11/12: Obama is not bonkers
• 04/04/12: Will America vote against authoritarianism?
• 04/02/12: 'Tipping point' on federal restraint approaches
• 03/28/12: Obama truth from an open mike
• 03/21/12: The progressive campaign for voter fraud
• 03/19/12: Public pensions will get us if we don't watch out
• 03/14/12: Politics needs reporting, not speculation
• 03/12/12: Home of the free, the brave, the endangered
• 03/07/12: Obama used Limbaugh as scapegoat
• 03/05/12: Campaign substance lost in media melodrama
• 03/01/12: When Big Brother drowns
• 02/24/12: Obama goes gaseous on gas
• 02/22/12: Political tears for trust in personal empowerment --- except in the bedroom
• 02/17/12: Of cut-off ears and silenced mouths
• 02/15/12: Obama is a joke whose antics aren't funny
• 02/10/12: An energy boom looms, despite Obama
• 02/08/12: Obama's assault on faith
• 02/03/12: Can Romney get serious?
• 01/27/12: Obama is like an Italian ship captain
• 01/25/12: Newt Gingrich's first 100 days
• 01/20/12: Obama's Keystone pipeline lies
• 01/18/12: Critics worse than urinating Marines
• 01/13/12: Ron Paul is a cartoonish character
• 01/11/12: Newt Gingrich upset by Mitt Romney's brilliance
• 01/09/12: How about regulating presidents, too?
• 01/04/12: How America smothers itself
• 12/30/11: A tax break that helps break the nation
• 12/28/11: Watch out for the banana peel, Newt
• 12/21/11: A tale of two men
• 12/16/11: Strange happenings in Russia
• 12/14/11: Tim Tebow is a man of character
• 12/09/11: A populist, envy-mongering fraud divisively exacerbating resentment among different groups of Americans
• 12/07/11: Tax games threaten nation
• 12/05/11: Why Wal-Mart serves us better than Barney Frank
• 11/30/11: Not writing off Newt
• 11/28/11: Answers to the Iranian threat
• 11/23/11: Failure of the incumbency investment
• 11/18/11: Occupiers: Chop off their heads!
• 11/16/11: Obama asks jobless to sacrifice
• 11/09/11: Michael Moore's insufferable occupation
• 11/04/11: Political tipping point is coming
• 11/02/11: Idealogues versus 7 billion
• 10/28/11: Obama games on student loans
• 10/26/11: Wit and quick moves v. humanity and thoroughgoing honesty? It's no contest - or at least shouldn't be
• 10/07/11: Baptists, bootleggers and Wall Street protesters
• 10/05/11: Federal law will get you even if you watch out
• 09/28/11: Leftist bugbears on the march
• 09/23/11: Still hope for coal to help us
• 09/21/11: Obama's Madoff ploy
• 09/19/11: U.S. can't afford to wait until it happens
• 09/14/11: Defending -- and strengthening -- gung ho collectivism
• 09/12/11: A pipeline to better times
• 09/08/11: Obama just keeps destroying jobs
• 09/06/11: Ultra-feminists thwarting justice
• 08/31/11: Corporations are people? Yes, Count the ways
• 08/26/11: What an earthquake tells us about debt
• 08/25/11: The tyranny of scientific consensus
• 08/23/11: Fracking hardly a public health threat
• 08/17/11: Why Obamacare won't control births
• 08/15/11: Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea
• 08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech
• 08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers
• 08/03/11: The people who may save America
• 07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ
• 07/27/11: The threat behind the debt
• 07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing
• 07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse
• 07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling
• 07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly
• 07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?
• 07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery
© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
David Ray Skinner
Ask Doctor K