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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 December 6, 2012/ 22 Kislev, 5773

The Kingdom of Fairness

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We are still borrowing more than $1 trillion a year. Barack Obama has added more than $5 trillion to the national debt in just his first term alone. Such massive borrowing is unsustainable. Someone somehow at some time has to pay it back.

Obama would agree. He once alleged that George W. Bush's much smaller deficits were "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic." Obama himself vowed to cut the budget deficit in half by the end his first term. Instead, Obama's annual deficits have never gone below $1 trillion.

Three ways to establish a long-term trajectory toward a balanced budget were under discussion. One was to adopt the proposals of the nonpartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission appointed by Obama. The commission offered a balanced mix of tax reform and greater revenues, along with cuts in federal spending. But the president was not interested. The commission's findings now seem stale just two years after they were issued.

Another way would have been to adopt the Bill Clinton-Newt Gingrich compromise formula of the 1990s that balanced the budget through a series of across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts. But while the administration talked grandly of a return to higher "Clinton-era tax rates," it never mentioned the necessary second half of the old equation -- "Clinton-era spending cuts." That balanced solution is dead, too.

Finally, we might have just enacted the income-tax rates of the Clinton era now and work on the spending cuts later. But the administration did not wish to take that third approach either. Instead, it prefers returning to Clinton-era rates only for those who make more than $250,000 a year, while leaving the lower Bush-era income-tax rates -- once soundly ridiculed -- on all other Americans.

The problem is that such a soak-the-rich move would only give the treasury about $80 billion a year in new revenue -- about 7 percent to 8 percent of the money needed to make up for the massive annual borrowing. Even with proposed accompanying tax hikes on capital gains and larger estates, we still would fall hundreds of billions of dollars short. There simply are not enough affluent sheep who make more than $250,000 to shear.

Spending is the real problem but goes largely unaddressed. Obama's first-term borrowing of $5 trillion was, in part, designed to stimulate the dormant economy while expanding entitlements to those suffering from the recession. But despite the addition of millions of Americans to those who already were receiving unemployment insurance, disability insurance or food stamps, and despite massive loans to green industries, the unemployment rate and GDP growth are about where they were four years and $5 trillion ago.

Now the president wants another $50 billion in new borrowing. But why would borrowing another $50 billion jump-start the sluggish economy when 100 times that figure in deficit spending so far has not?

"Pay your fair share" was a winning Obama campaign theme -- given that nearly half of all Americans do not pay any federal income tax and receive some sort of federal or state entitlement. Yet if the targeted 5 percent of American taxpayers already pays almost 60 percent of all federal income tax revenues, what would the president consider their proper "fair share" -- 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent or 100 percent?

We are now entering a rare, revolutionary period in American history. The present administration is not just re-examining the traditional physics of taxing and spending, but the very basis by which Americans are compensated in the workplace.

For Obama, it is inherently unfair that a few -- a surgeon, a small-business woman, an investor or a lotto winner -- should make so much. Thus it is the government's obligation, along with state and local governments, to take much of it away from the suspect few and redistribute it to far more deserving others.

All the old criteria that decide in a free-market economy how much we are able to make -- education levels, hard work, personal responsibility, particular tastes and values, skill sets, self-discipline, or even sheer luck, accidents, relative health or inheritance -- now matter far less.

Instead, Obama's all-knowing, all-powerful federal government, through higher taxes, more spending and greater deficits, will set right what the unfair marketplace has so skewed. At last, we learn what Obama really meant when, in unguarded moments, he sermonized about "redistributive change," the need to "spread the wealth," knowing the proper time not to profit, and at some point making too much money.

Do we need any longer to heed the ancient advice -- scrimp to leave something behind for your kids; try to get a promotion; make sure your savings account is larger than what you owe -- if some inequality results?

There is now only one commandment in the new Kingdom of Fairness: Make less than $250,000, and the government will ensure that you, the deserving, get your fair share. Make more than that, and the government will demand that you, the undeserving, will pay your fair share.

That is all ye need to know.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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