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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 August 2, 2011 / 2 Menachem-Av, 5771

Sales Department --- Barack Obama, Manager

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama put it so persuasively in his address the other night that I had to restrain myself from rushing out to apply for still another credit card. Or just accepting the next one to arrive in the mail, as they do with remarkable frequency. It was one heckuva sales job the president did, and as a political appeal, it wasn't bad, either. At least not for one based on the solid theory, oft attributed to that well-known political scientist P.T. Barnum, that there's one born every minute.

As our president explained in terms any fool can understand, if only fools, this whole tangle in Washington over raising the debt limit hasn't really been about whether to curb the federal government's high-spending ways. Not at all, not at all.

Let me explain. Take it from the old house-to-house encyclopedia salesman I was for a few ill-fated weeks one summer between college terms. Or rather let the president explain: All this foofaraw, brouhaha, capital-C Crisis and general consternation in Washington wasn't really about spending but just paying. The question was simply whether the Treasury would be allowed to pay the bills that the government already had racked up across the board in every department at home and abroad. And so save the country's credit rating. It's not about spending at all, you see, not really.

What responsible citizen wouldn't pay his bills, or be against the government's paying its? That's why the debt limit needs to be raised by the close of business today. No more of this hemming and hawing and partisan bickering. Quick. While there's still time to save our credit and avoid higher interest rates. Have your senators and representatives sign right here on the dotted lie before it's too late -- before they leave the used-car lot, or rather the U.S. Capitol. Time's a-wastin'. Been a-wastin'.

It's really quite simple when you think about it. (And even simpler when you don't.) Let's use the kind of homey, around-the-kitchen table metaphor that this president likes to roll out when he displays his best Fireside Chat manner. Let's talk about it in terms of your family finances:

When your credit card maxes out, why sweat and fret? Just extend your credit limit. Or apply for another card and start all over again. It's the American Way, or at least it's the way we got into this mess in the first place. No fuss, no muss, and it's so much more convenient than having to cut back on expenses, on all those little extras that became necessities a long time ago.

There's no need to change your spending habits, just your credit limit. And … Voila! All your problems disappear. ("I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!" --J. Wellington Wimpy, sage financier and general scam artist of the old Popeye cartoons, whose voice really should have been that of the immortal W.C. Fields cadging another drink.)

OK, so there may be a little drawback here and there to the Obama theory of credit economics. Like having to pay a little more interest. Or finding one of those credit-card companies or payday lenders who'll charge you slightly more, like an arm and a leg, for a loan that's now considered high-risk.

In that case, what about a second or third mortgage on your house? You don't think anybody will ever actually foreclose on it someday, do you? Even if they do, someday is a long way off. In the meantime, why not eat, drink and make merry? Odds are the piper'll never insist on being paid. Not if you promise to pay him even more in the future.

Actually, you're being quite responsible by going deeper into debt. You've already bought all this stuff; now you're just looking for a way to pay for it, see? Who could argue with that?

So sign right here on the dotted line to extend your credit. Easy terms! No waiting! Nothing to pay till 2013, by which time the next presidential election will be safely past. And that was really the president's prime consideration in all this politicking, wasn't it? In the meantime, live a little!

One final thought: If the current president of the United States ever tires of his day job, he'd make a great salesman for a credit card company.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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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.

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