Home
In this issue
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 22, 2011 / 16 Adar II, 5771

'And Deeper in Debt

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If there is one number from the vast jumble the Obama administration calls a federal budget, it's this one: The American economy is projected to grow at the rate of 5 percent a year.

That's the figure at the basis of the president's assurances that the country can dig its way out of debt and still afford a full panoply of social entitlements and more to come.

If there were any question that (a) the country is deep in debt, and (b) its chief executive is even deeper in denial, then that fanciful number should remove all doubt. Talk about unrealistic: The only period in recent history when the country's economy grew at 5 percent a year was half a century ago.

The country's rate of economic growth has been hovering below 4 percent a year for decades, and took a sharp drop when the Panic of '08-'09 hit. But our president tells us the economy will now grow 5 percent a year. Maybe his Nobel Prize should have been for a work of fiction.

Despite all glib assurances to the contrary, the laws of classical economics have not been repealed. Higher taxes and more government borrowing do still act as a brake on private investment, costing the economy growth and all that goes with it, like jobs. And tax revenue for government itself.

One of the consequences of living in a free country is that people can still make their own economic decisions, and they may not be inclined to spend and invest when hard-pressed. Adam Smith remains a better guide to the economy than the glib assurances of an Alan Greenspan in a past decade or Ben Bernanke today. Or the pie-in-the-sky projections you'll find in the federal budget as President Obama drives ever deeper into denial.

Who in this administration, do you think, came up with that 5-percent-a-year growth rate -- the well-known Washington statistician, Rosy Scenario? Or has David Stockman, the erratic budget director at the beginning of the Reagan Years, come back and started writing under the name of The Hon. Timothy Geithner, secretary of the treasury?

According to the administration's own projections, the federal deficit at the end of this fiscal year will be $1.6 trillion, will drop below a trillion in 2013, but will never get below $600 billion a year between now and 2020. Which means cumulative national deficits for the years 2012 to 2015 should total some $3.7 trillion.

Add that amount to the current national debt of $14 trillion, and the total national debt soars to more than $18 trillion by the end of fiscal 2015. And to more than $25 trillion by the end of 2020.

And these are the optimistic projections out of this administration. Wildly optimistic.

For most of us, astronomical numbers like these might as well be in light years as in U.S. dollars. They're hard to grasp. But it's clear enough they mean nothing good.

All of us -- maybe even the federal government's own economists, the ones who have to rationalize the president's funny figures -- must know that a day of reckoning must come, the piper must be paid, or whatever phrase you prefer. Every culture has such a proverb as surely as it has profligates.

Payment for our excesses can be deferred only so long, Even if the payment is made in devalued dollars, the price for our free-spending ways will be high, the consequences painful, and the pretense that this administration knows what it's doing harder and harder to maintain.

The administration's current budget, from which all these figures were mined, is a recipe for crippling stagflation, the kind that seized the country during the Carter years, or even worse. Like a full-scale recession slipping into a decade-long depression like Japan's, aka the Lost Decade.

The time to avoid such a result is now -- by recognizing the danger and acting to remove it. Instead of pretending everything's going to be just hunky-dory if we'll leave all these matters to our community organizer in the White House.

Any resemblance between the course of the American economy in recent years and a diver going off a steep cliff is not coincidental. There's a clear reason for the whale of a bellyflop these figures portend for the national economy. That reason is our out-of-control spending -- and leaders who act as if the day of reckoning can be put off indefinitely.

The downturn of the last few years now known as the Great Recession could prove only a foretaste of the pain that lies ahead if Congress and the president don't get the country's fiscal house in order, which won't be easy.

However abstract a row of figures in a budget table may seem, these numbers translate into ever higher interest rates, growing unemployment, and an economic model that's unsustainable even in the short run. Somebody needs to turn this ship around. It's headed for the falls.

Not all this president's funny figures can disguise what lies ahead if we don't change course. The funniest of them may be that projected 5-percent-a-year growth rate. Or maybe that's the saddest part of the president's assurances. For it indicates just how out-of-touch he is with the economic realities. Or pretends to be in order to make his budget seem realistic.

It's hard to believe that someone as intelligent as the current president of the United States can't read these figures and understand their import: He's diving into the Grand Canyon of budget shortfalls. And taking the country with him.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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 Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles