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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 June 7, 2013/ 29 Sivan, 5773

OPM Is the Problem, Not the IRS

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Suddenly, Democrats are in a tizzy about wasteful government spending. At hearings this week into the IRS's misuse of taxpayer dollars to fund staff junkets, Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, bemoaned, "The money that was spent on that — that's my money! That's the lady who got the early bus this morning. That's her money. The one who makes $35,000. Hers. The gentleman up the street from me who makes 45 (thousand dollars) hauling trash. That's their money! So, it was wasted."

But he shouldn't be surprised. What went on at the IRS is built into the system. It's not an IRS problem. It's a problem whenever individuals are free to spend Other People's Money. The more removed those who spend OPM are from those whose money they're spending the greater the likelihood for corruption.

So far, the IRS inspector general has uncovered about $50 million spent on lavish conferences for IRS officials who attended events in Anaheim, Calif., and elsewhere from 2010-2012. The IRS staff stayed in fancy hotels, ate free meals and then sought reimbursement from the government, produced foolish videos and walked away with trinkets that may not have been worth much individually but added up to $64,000 overall.

The IRS junket scandal may be what's getting attention this week, but it amounts to no more than a few crystals on the iceberg of government waste, fraud and abuse.

Where is the outrage when government waste amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars is built into public policy? Grilling a few arrogant IRS officials makes for good theater, but where are elected officials like Cummings when it comes to the far bigger problem of wasting taxpayers' money on unnecessary federal health care payments, or paying more for federal construction projects than needed in order to appease unions, or encouraging people not to accept jobs by extending unemployment benefits for up to 93 weeks?

To take just one of the more egregious examples, studies show that the federal government wastes about $100 billion a year in Medicare overpayments. That's two thousand times more than the IRS spent on junkets. And despite congressional and executive branch efforts to rein in these Medicare overpayments, it is almost impossible because the source of the problem is not simply greedy providers or actual criminals, but the disconnect between the person who is cutting the checks and the one whose money is being spent in the first place.

When I pay my own bills, I'm careful to make sure the provider is not cheating me. It's my money, after all, not someone else's, and I've worked hard for it. It's probably less likely that the provider of goods or services is going to try to pull something over on me if he knows I'm the one writing the check. After all, he wants me back as a customer — and he may even have to look me in the eye when he hands me the bill.

But that is not the way it works when a third party pays the check. There is simply no accountability. We turn our money over to the government to dispense it as our elected officials decide and then trust that the funds will be wisely spent.

I doubt the offending IRS officials gave a second thought to what they were actually doing when they traveled to Anaheim for a good time. You can't imagine one of them breaking into their neighbor's house to raid the refrigerator for free meals or to help themselves to a few trinkets to take home for their own enjoyment. (And if the neighbor found out, he likely would have called the police.) But because the money belonged to other people — and anonymous people at that — it was a lot easier for those government workers to pretend their profligacy didn't hurt anyone.

The bigger government gets the more it does, and the more of our money it spends the greater the likelihood we'll see these scandals repeated. It's all about spending other people's money.

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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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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