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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 July 12, 2011 / 10 Tammuz, 5771

The President's Excess Income, and Ours

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is becoming a verbal tic — the tendency on the part of the president to tell wealthy Americans ("people like me" he's always careful to add) that they have made more than enough money and will have to cough up more of it for the government. Speaking for himself on July 11, the president offered that he had "hundreds of thousands of dollars that I don't need."

The president is of course welcome to donate as much of his extra money as he likes to the federal treasury. He knows Timothy Geithner personally and can probably get a guarantee that his check will be cashed without delay. And since the president is so ready to impute unpleasant motives (like greed) to those who oppose tax increases, perhaps we should impute some sort of moral failing to him for not having thus far contributed his spare change to the government.

I can think of many excellent reasons to oppose higher taxes that have nothing to do with greed.

The government is a spigot. Just when you think that spending has passed some sort of gasp-inducing peak, it blows right past it. Some of us thought the half-trillion-dollar deficit at the end of the Bush administration was vertigo-inducing. In just the past two years, President Obama and the Democrats have tripled the deficit and added $3 trillion to the national debt. This added spending, 40 percent of which was borrowed, was advertised as required to create thousands of jobs, kick start an economic recovery, promote "green" energy, "save" thousands of jobs that would otherwise have disappeared and provide long-term unemployment insurance for those out of work.

The stimulus bill succeeded only in the last goal. (Slogan suggestion to the Republican 2012 presidential candidate: "If you want an unemployment check, vote for Obama. If you want a job, vote for ___.")

Arguably, raising taxes to cover this incredibly brainless and wasteful splurge encourages irresponsibility on the part of decision makers. A refusal to raise taxes will force office holders to prioritize spending.

The president may be perfectly confident that the best use of his excess cash is to pay more taxes. Those who live in the real world may consider the government hopelessly wasteful and inefficient. If the president really wants to get the most bang for his charity buck, he'd be far better advised to donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America or the Wounded Warriors Fund than to the IRS.

Even the spending Democrats consider their greatest achievement, Medicare, is grossly wasted. Writing in the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Anderson recently summarized his Pacific Research Institute study on the costs of Medicare and Medicaid. It's a familiar Democratic refrain that government spending keeps increasing because it is attempting to keep pace with rising health care costs. But that may be backward. As Anderson shows, the costs of these two flagship federal health programs have grown much faster than other health care costs in America.

Since 1970, "health costs apart from Medicare and Medicaid have grown 41 percent per patient in relation to GDP, while Medicare's and Medicaid's costs have grown 89 percent and 91 percent — nearly doubling — as a share of GDP." Anderson mentions one reason for the disparity: "In Medicare, if providers get it right the first time, they get paid once. If it takes them four or five times — at seniors' inconvenience and sometimes at their peril — they get paid four or five times as much."

Further, as Merrill Matthews and Mark Litow argue in The Wall Street Journal, Medicare encourages wasteful behavior. Among similarly situated patients, Medicare utilization is 50 percent higher than private insurance coverage. "When people are insulated from the cost of a desirable product ... they use more." And then there is fraud, which according to GAO estimates, cost taxpayers more than $70 billion in 2010 alone.

Every time the president demands higher taxes, he is resisting reform that could transform our government, our economy and our fiscal predicament. Even the faculty club set from whom he takes advice must realize by now that without substantial new growth, the United States is in real trouble. The president himself agreed in 2009 that "you don't raise taxes in a recession."

We are not technically in a recession. But we are in the kind of sluggish economy that the heavy boot of government creates. Resistance to tax hikes is shorthand for "no to all that."

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