In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 30, 2010 / 16 Iyar, 5770

Another Bubble Inflating?

By Mona Charen

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Democrats' narrative about the financial crisis of 2008 (and the justification for financial reform) goes like this: Investment bankers, typified by Goldman Sachs, manipulated markets, bamboozled investors, and in their greed, managed to bring the entire economy to its knees. The solution is more strenuous government regulation. Republicans, who are beholden to Wall Street, are blocking reform.

The Democrats excel at presenting legislative tableaux with predigested morals: Stern Democratic lawmaker grills slippery Wall Street executive. Democrats for the people; Republicans for the fat cats.

Do people really buy this anymore? Everyone I know who works on Wall Street is a Democrat. Anecdotes are not evidence, but consider this: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Democrats received $11.3 million in contributions from hedge funds in 2008. Republicans got $5.9 million. Some critics of the Dodd bill note that it would give broad discretion to the FDIC and a new regulator to decide which firms would be bailed out and which would not. That isn't so much preventing another crisis as institutionalizing "too big to fail." The moral hazard problem — i.e., encouraging risky practices with the implicit or explicit promise of a bailout — remains.

Further, the Dodd bill — and the Democrats' narrative — completely omits the role of government in the financial debacle. Neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac is mentioned in the legislation. But the incentives created by government, specifically the sustained push through law and regulation to provide mortgages to more and more uncreditworthy borrowers, created the conditions for the housing bubble and for its eventual crash. The wizards of Wall Street may have concocted exotic ways to make money by betting on the fortunes of the real estate market, but it was the politicians who first destabilized that market.

Letter from JWR publisher

Let's stipulate that the masters of the universe on Wall Street may deserve flaying, and sensible reform requiring more transparency and limiting leverage is well and good. But when the federal budget deficit stands at $1.5 trillion, the spectacle of congressmen and senators waxing indignant about the irresponsibility of others is a bit much.

Leaders have a responsibility to be prudent with the taxpayers' money. At least Wall Street trades are between consenting parties. But when politicians gamble with taxpayer money, it's different. We don't willingly sign on to these bets. Yet by their profligacy, elected officials are placing our financial futures at severe risk.

Nicole Gelinas, writing in City Journal, sketches what may be the next crash to rock our world. It's another investment, like housing, that people assume cannot fail — municipal bonds. They are risk free, investors have long been assured, because the cities and states that issue them would do anything to avoid default. Besides, "they … have a captive source of endless funds … State and local governments … can always tax their residents and businesses to pay the bills."

Between 2000 and 2008, states were rolling in cash, pulling in tax revenues that outpaced inflation by 15 percent. But instead of using this windfall to reduce their debts, states continued to spend freely, particularly on expensive union contracts, education, and Medicaid. When the recession began, Gelinas notes, "state and local officials should have realized that hard fiscal times were coming and begun cutting back … Instead they kept on spending, and borrowed to do it." States are now deeply in debt. The most extreme cases — California, New York, and New Jersey — are well known. But the average state now owes 2.1 percent of its residents' annual income.

The 2009 stimulus bill only exacerbated the problem by pumping $200 billion in "reality-distorting funds" into state and municipal coffers, delaying the reckoning and permitting states to continue their reckless spending.

What will happen when states can no longer sustain the public employee pensions and health benefits, the Medicaid payments, and the education spending? Gelinas offers a glimpse of a possible future in the case of Vallejo, California. The city declared bankruptcy in 2008 to escape from crippling union contracts. Vallejo was successful, but in the process, it delayed payments on its bonds for three years. Other bondholders might not be so lucky. It's not hard, Gelinas writes "to imagine some future mayor convincing a bankruptcy judge that it's only fair for bondholders, along with union members, to take big cuts in a restructuring."

When Democrats preen that they are fighting for the average guy, ask this: When they vastly overspend, what happens to the ordinary person who dutifully pays his taxes and prudently invests in "safe" municipal bonds?

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