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December 2, 2014

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 Feb. 25, 2010 / 11 Adar 5770

Olbermann's ‘Federal Budget Debt’ Blunder — The Countdown

By Larry Elder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | MSNBC's "Countdown" show host, Keith Olbermann, recently claimed that today's "federal budget debt" is "far less than it was throughout the Reagan administration." He also said it is "about the same as it was in 1970." Is he right? Tonight's countdown:


10) What is a "federal budget debt"? No researcher, intern or night security guard told him that there is no such thing? No one fact checked him before he went on-air? Add this to the ever-growing catalog of Olbermann's greatest hits kept by the indispensable NewsBusters.org.


9) There is a federal (or national) debt . There is an annual federal budget deficit .


8) Let's assume he meant the "federal debt" — the amount of money the government owes. This number can be stated in dollars. It can also be stated as a percentage of gross domestic product (total value of goods and services we produce in a given year).


It makes more sense to talk about these numbers as a percentage of GDP. Consider two scenarios. Suppose you make 10K per year. You also owe 10K on your credit cards. Now suppose you make 100K per year. But, again, you owe 10K. In the second case, your debt is far less of a big deal because — as a percentage of your earnings — your debt went from 100 percent to 10 percent. Our economy usually grows every year, so stating debt as a percentage gives a better idea of its impact.


Either way — as dollars or a percentage of GDP — Olbermann was wrong about the debt.


At the end of 1988, the final full year of the Reagan presidency, the debt stood at $2.6 trillion. As a percentage of GDP, the debt stood at 52 percent.


Now examine President Barack Obama's first year in office. It is part former President George W. Bush's and part President Obama's. (But as senator, Obama voted for the 2009 budget, which included the TARP bank bailout, since expanded.) In 2009, the debt was over $12 trillion. As a percentage of GDP, the debt was over 83 percent.

Letter from JWR publisher


Obama's first-year debt, therefore, is higher than the debt of any Reagan year by far — both in dollars and as a percentage of GDP. And 2010 is projected to continue this upward spiral.


7) Assume Olbermann didn't mean "federal debt," but meant "budget deficit" — the annual gap between what the government takes in and what the government spends.


During the Reagan presidency, the year in which he incurred the largest deficit in dollars was 1986. The deficit was $221 billion. That year, the deficit, as a percentage of GDP, was 5 percent. Reagan's deficit in 1983 was less in dollars — $207 billion — but it was 6 percent of 1983's GDP, the highest percentage under his administration.


The 2009 deficit was $1.4 trillion — 9.9 percent of GDP.


Obama's first-year deficit is higher than the deficit of any Reagan year by far — both in dollars and as a percentage of GDP.


6) Now examine Olbermann's mind-boggling assertion that Obama's "federal budget debt" is "about the same as it was in 1970." In 1970, the deficit was 0.3 percent of GDP, or a total of almost $3 billion. The debt was 37.6 percent of GDP, or $380 billion. Whether compared with today's deficit or debt, the 1970 numbers were microscopic.


5) Olbermann asserts that "federal budget debt" (assuming we understand what he means) is "a good thing." Case closed? If a country runs up bills largely to fight a war to protect national security, one could argue that it is a good thing. If a country spends primarily on domestic programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and/or "stimulus" — one could argue that a "federal budget debt" is a bad thing.


The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Thomas Hoenig, calls the current and projected deficits "stunning." He says they run the risk of igniting inflation. He urges a reduction in spending, along with a call to increase revenue. The slippery slope of the housing bailout, he warns, could lead to demand to bail out other weak sectors of our economy. Where will it end, and at what cost to our standard of living and productivity?


4) Suppose Sarah Palin offered a wildly inaccurate take on the "federal budget debt"?


3) Viewers, at least some of them, now falsely believe Obama's debt and deficit are about the same as Reagan's. Since vile "right-wingers" love Reagan, they are, goes the argument, committing hypocrisy by complaining about today's debt and deficit. Olbermann frequently accuses people of lying, something that requires an intention to mislead. Was he lying? Was he just ignorant? Anyone can have a bad show. It doesn't make him — as he calls others — "the worst person in the world."


2) How will Olbermann handle this blunder? A retraction? A correction? Ignore it and hope nobody notices because almost nobody watches?


1) Jon Stewart, at least, is funny.

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 Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR)

Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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