In this issue

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 Oct. 21, 2009 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Blank-Check Economics

By Paul Greenberg

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | How simple it all was to Gabriel Bordenave, 29, one of the many good citizens who turned out to welcome Barack Obama, kind of, to New Orleans last week.

Mr. Bordenave had a simple solution to all the Crescent City's still formidable problems — and he couldn't understand why the president of the United States couldn't see it.

Here his city was still struggling to recover from Katrina and the country's financial meltdown in general, but Washington just wasn't coming through, at least not to Gabriel Bordenave's satisfaction. As he told the president, "I expected as much from the Bush administration, but why are we still being nickel-and-dimed in our recovery?"

The president could only reply, "We are working as hard as we can as quickly as we can. I wish I could write a blank check."

To which Mr. Bordenave shouted back, "Why not?"

Yes, Mr. President, why not? If the politicians in Washington can double the national debt in only eight years — from $5.7 trillion at the beginning of this decade in 2001 to $11.9 trillion at the end of fiscal 2009 — why can't this president just sign a blank check and fix everything Katrina wiped out?

And if Medicare and Social Security's unfunded liabilities can top $70 trillion (that's the estimate from Richard Fisher, chairman of the Dallas Federal Reserve) why not just write a blank check for New Orleans, too?

Hasn't the Congressional Budget Office just reported that the annual federal deficit has reached a record $1.4 trillion — that's trillion with a T — for fiscal 2009? That's 9.9 percent of the nation's GDP, or almost a tenth of the total value of all the goods and services this country produces a year.

So how come the president can't just sign a blank check and fix everything in post-Katrina, post-Rita, still recession-struck New Orleans? Or as Gabriel Bordenave asked the president, "Why not?"

The president's response, if any, was not reported. If he did want to answer/educate Mr. Bordenave, where would he start? Or finish? How teach a course in Economics 101 right there and then?

Welcome, Mr. President, to the economic expectations of entirely too many Americans, who think your job is as simple as signing a blank check. How do you suppose so many of us could have got that idea? Surely it wasn't the tone of your own Spread-the-Wealth campaign promises that encouraged such delusions.

Even this president, who's no stranger to spending money here, there and everywhere, and is about to spend still more on the nation's health care, or at least on its health insurance with far from certain results, knows there is a limit to what even America can spend without inviting the direst consequences. For the inflation that is the surest result of blank-check economics can be the cruelest tax, driving up prices and weighing heaviest on those least able to pay.

Governors know they have to balance revenue and expenditures, at least in states like Arkansas that require balanced budgets, and now the president, too, is beginning to learn there's no blank check he can sign and solve all the nation's fiscal problems. Any more than there's a free lunch, as much as the Gabriel Bordenaves of the world think there is. And there are an awful lot of them. They seem happily innocent of what happens when a president keeps signing blank checks, and a government keeps printing paper money to pay its rapidly accumulating debt rather than balance its budget.

What happens is that the nation's currency is devaluated. See the short, unhappy history of Weimar Germany, a case history of inflation gone wild. See what's happening to the value of the U.S. dollar even now, and the worried sounds coming from those who hold huge amounts of them in bonded debt, like Communist China's leaders, who can be the savviest of capitalists when they hold American securities.

But the president of the United States is a busy man. He can scarcely be expected to explain all this in a 30-second street-corner lecture on the dangers of inflation — even if he were fully aware of them. Maybe he should have just handed his heckler in New Orleans a copy of Henry Hazlitt's classic little guide, "Economics in One Lesson." And suggested his questioner start with Chapter XXII, "The Mirage of Inflation."

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.

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.