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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 March 2, 2012/ 8 Adar, 5772

Government Assistance Comes With Strings

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When it comes to the Nanny State, count me a critic. But I make a distinction between the government improperly sticking its nose where it doesn't belong and government acting as a good steward of my tax dollars. The difference explains why I support a proposal by a conservative state legislator that lets government tell food stamp recipients what they can and cannot buy with government funds. But there are limits to this intrusion.

In January, Florida state senator Ronda Storms (R) introduced a bill that would limit what items recipients of food stamps could purchase. No longer would they be able to use the program to pay for sodas, chips, candy and other snack food. Liberals screamed discrimination against the poor and some conservatives said Storms was on a slippery slope that would lead to government telling all of us what we can and cannot eat. One Republican colleague dubbed Storms' proposal the "no Twinkie left behind" bill.

It's time for both sides to take a deep breath. The food stamp program — a misnomer at this point since most states use a debit card system to provide benefits — began during the Great Depression. Its purpose was two-fold: to feed the destitute and to provide agricultural subsidies to struggling farmers. As anyone who has ever seen pictures of Dust Bowl refugees from that period can attest, poor people were often emaciated, sometimes starving. Today, the biggest nutritional problem for the poor is that they are overweight, not underweight. The rich are thin and the poor, all too often, obese.

When individuals are spending their own money to inflict health problems on themselves, there isn't much anyone can do. And a look at statistics on weight in the U.S. shows that a lot of Americans are making bad choices. More than half of all American adults are overweight, and 36 percent are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control. But when some of these people are using other people's money to pay for their bad choices, it's more than a private decision.

The whole idea behind the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name of the food stamps program, is to ensure that the nutritional needs of beneficiaries are being met. A six-pack of sodas and a bag of chips not only don't provide nutrition — they inflict actual harm. Instead of providing protein and complex carbohydrates, these snacks contain empty calories filled with too much sugar or chemical substitutes, salt and simple carbs that the body transforms into more sugar. And children are especially at risk.

Storms' bill faces an uphill battle. Republicans are wary of her effort, and Democrats won't do anything to restrict government subsidies to the poor. And even if it were to pass in Florida, it's unclear that a state can impose restrictions on how recipients of a federally funded program spend those benefits. But the principle is important — and one that conservatives should embrace.

One of the reasons conservatives are suspicious of government benefits is that they always come with strings attached. If the government is directly paying for your housing, the food on your table or your medical care, it is reasonable to assume the government has some stake in how those funds are spent. The question is: How much of a stake? And how many restrictions can government impose?

The federal government already restricts many items that can be purchased under the food stamp program: liquor, tobacco, pet food, soap and cleaning products, among them. But the Department of Agriculture has opposed efforts to restrict food stamp purchase of snack and junk foods, claiming that doing so would make the program more cumbersome and wouldn't necessarily encourage most recipients to make better food choices.

On the latter point, the department says: "Food stamp recipients are no more likely than higher-income consumers to choose foods with little nutritional value." Maybe not, but at least non-beneficiaries are spending their own money to pack on the pounds and will likely pay for the health consequences of their choices out of their own pockets. So long as the taxpayers are paying at both ends, reasonable restrictions make sense.

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.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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