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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 April 17, 2009 / 23 Nissan 5769

CNN Versus the Tea Parties

By Mona Charen


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When thousands of people in all 50 states assemble to protest government policy, you might suppose that this is news. Not according to the coverage on the front pages of the Washington Post, New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal. The "tea party" rallies went unmentioned. In Washington, D.C., despite temperatures in the 40s and a driving rainstorm, about a thousand demonstrators assembled across from the White House. The front page of the Times found space for a big story with accompanying pictures of competing public demonstrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, but not a word about the American protestors.


Perhaps this snub was intentional. Fox News (becoming a participant itself and not a recorder of events) had been beating the drums for these rallies for days, and some pressies clearly regarded them as therefore necessarily illegitimate. One reporter, Susan Roesgen, who "covered" the Chicago tea party for CNN, was downright confrontational with attendees she interviewed, challenging a protestor who referenced Abraham Lincoln with "What does this have to do with taxes?" The man attempted to explain. But the reporter interrupted him. "Did you know that you are eligible for a $400 rebate? Did you know that your state, the state of Lincoln, gets $50 billion out of the stimulus? That's $50 billion for your state." She then tossed back to the anchor noting that "This is really not family viewing."


What Ms. Roesgen and others like her do not understand is that some people are interested in more than their own narrow self-interest. Perhaps the protestor she interviewed, who was holding his 2-year-old son, is eligible for a tax rebate. And perhaps his state will get a juicy piece of the stimulus money. It is possible, just possible, that such a bribe does not influence him. Perhaps it doesn't buy his support because he is skeptical that his taxes can remain low when the federal government is embarked on a record-shattering spending spree. He may be offended by the bailout culture, and worried that the obligations of taxpayers cannot remain low when it seems that every irresponsible borrower, failed car company, and free spending state is being rescued by the federal government. Additionally, he may be dubious that the government will spend the money wisely. It has been rumored that government spending has produced waste, fraud, inefficiency, and corruption. But he also may simply believe that engorging the government and enfeebling the private sector — no matter who is writing the checks — is not good for the economic or spiritual health of the country.


The tea parties demonstrated that resistance to big government persists in the hearts of many Americans. And yet, Roesgen has a shadow of a point. When the vast majority of Americans are getting benefits from the government but not paying the bill, the constituency for tax reform does shrink. As Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam note in their book "Grand New Party": "Just before the Reagan tax cuts, a median-income four-person family paid about 12 percent of their total income in federal income taxes. Reducing that burden, predictably enough, yielded a political windfall for Republicans … Today the bite the federal income tax takes out of working class and middle-class paychecks stands at roughly half the pre-Reagan level."


A recent Gallup poll found that only 46 percent of Americans say their taxes are "too high." Fifty-two percent of those earning between $30,000 and $75,000 said their taxes were "about right." IRS data show why this should be so. Those earning more than $388,806 in 2006, the top 1 percent of earners, paid about 40 percent of the taxes. The top 5 percent, those earning above $153,542, paid 60 percent of the taxes. And the top 10 percent, those earning more than $108,904, paid more than 70 percent of all taxes. Some, including President Obama, argue that the wealthy were disproportionately benefited by the Bush era tax cuts. But as the American Enterprise Institute's Kevin Hassett has pointed out, the tax share shouldered by the wealthy increased more than the share of income going to that group during the past decade.


Still, the numbers suggest that income tax reductions are not going to be the royal road back to popularity for the Republican Party. The path back to political viability will have to be found elsewhere. More on that in future columns.

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