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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 August 10, 2011 / 10 Menachem-Av, 5771

From Crisis to Malaise

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The big news last week was what didn't happen. The United States of America didn't default on its national debt.

What did happen was bad enough. The politicians in Washington tied themselves in the usual knot. Out in the country, Americans watched with the usual mixture of boredom and disgust. Some of our politicians drummed up anger, others fear, some both. The usual spectacle played itself out in the Capitol and White House till the knot was untied, and the usual, unsatisfying deal made.

Whereupon U.S. debt was downgraded. The markets opened, then dived off a cliff. The economic news out of Europe was even worse. Investors were told not to panic, which inevitably panics them. Faith was shaken. Perspective was lost.

Imagine the reaction a coupla-three years ago if people had been told, come 2011, Americans would be shaken because the Dow had fallen to "only" 11,000. How soon we forget -- to take the long view.

Last week's crisis was not so much averted as postponed. A super-committee of Congress is to outline still more spending cuts so the government can get its house in order (talk about a millennial vision) and a stalled American economy can start growing again, not just barely recovering.

Behind all the political posturing in Washington lurked the specter of a double-dip recession. As the market veered downward, national confidence followed it.

The president and Congress have proven very good at delegating responsibility to committees of solid citizens (like Bowles-Simpson or the Gang of Six in the Senate) but very bad at following their recommendations.

It's not as if no one knows what to do. Constructive suggestions abound. If you picked a few from Menu A and a few more from Menu B, you'd have the makings of a healthy fiscal diet. All we need do is follow it: Cut and simplify tax rates, especially on capital investment. Eliminate loopholes and sacrifice some sacred cows, not excluding untouchables like the household mortgage deduction. Tax revenue would increase as tax rates decreased, just as it did after the Kennedy-Johnson, Reagan, Clinton and Bush tax cuts.

Then update entitlement programs like Social Security (raise the retirement age, for example) and Medicare (have the wealthiest pay more for their health care while protecting the poorest).

All it would take is a little courage, but of course that's the quality most missing in Washington. So long as it is, this crisis will hang on, going from acute to chronic and back again until that old malaise settles in to stay.

Standard and Poor's took notice of where all this was leading, and downgraded this country's credit rating accordingly. It was only acknowledging what most Americans have been feeling for some time: a lack of confidence, which is what credit, national or personal, really is.

There can be little doubt who had the worst week in Washington: The Hon. Barack Obama. He certainly didn't act the victor. There was no grand signing of the debt-ceiling compromise in the Oval Office with souvenir pens handed out all around. Only the White House photographer was allowed to snap a picture of the president signing the bill like a surrender. The press was kept out. There was no snapshot of a beaming president in the Rose Garden surrounded by proud sponsors of the deal -- maybe because no one was really proud of it.

Far from exulting, the president of the United States sulked. Instead of issuing a victory statement, he tried to shift the blame. "It shouldn't take a risk of default," he complained, "to get folks in this town to do their job." As if he himself wasn't the most prominent resident of This Town, and didn't have a job to do there. And wasn't doing it all too well at the moment.

The president's big gamble during the nigh-eternal negotiations over the debt ceiling was to appeal to the American people in a televised address to the nation. The nation yawned. Does anybody recall that speech a week later?

Remarkable: The president of the United States throws a mighty stone in the water and there's scarcely a ripple.

Adding chutzpah to failure, our current president could think of nothing better to recommend last week than to finally enact those free-trade treaties negotiated by his predecessor. Yes, the same treaties that have been piling up on his desk for years. He's been holding them hostage to the demands of his labor-union backers for still another government subsidy, still more spending.

Once again reality has obliged Barack Obama to adopt the policy of a president he once deigned to despise and now increasingly must imitate -- George W. Bush. Experience is a dear teacher, as old Ben Franklin noticed, but some will learn from no other.

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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