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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 April 17, 2012/ 25 Nissan, 5772

A big day for Swiss cheese

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Life is unfair, as John F. Kennedy famously observed. That might not have been the most memorable thing he ever said, but it's probably the most quoted, and when better to repeat it than on the last day for Americans to file their federal income tax returns.

Jimmy Carter, who has mercifully all but disappeared down the memory hole, called theU.S. tax code "a disgrace to the human race." Hitler, cancer, and baseball's designated hitter follow closely, but we take Mr. Jimmy's point. How the government confiscates our money, like a root canal without anything to kill the pain, is not very nice. But like a village dentist armed with only a pair of greasy pliers, the government gets the job done.

This is not a good year for a taxpayer to cut corners in calculating how much he owes, because the new director of the Internal Revenue Service has decreed no more Mr. Nice Guy.

The word "service" in a title is a favorite euphemism of government plunderers and purloiners, recalling the most terrifying words a citizen can hear: "We're from the government, and we're here to help." Hurricane Katrina was bad enough, and then the feds arrived. "Service" is something rendered to the government, not to the unarmed citizen. Douglas Shulman, the director of the IRS, describes his federal fiefdom as "a financial services institution," as if it were the friendly bank on the corner of Main and Elm. "I am a firm believer that the true progress of an institution such as the IRS is achieved by standing on the shoulders of those who have preceded us," Mr. Shulman told a Washington audience. You could almost hear the contrived catch in his throat.

However, the accountants who prepare millions of tax returns hear something else. They see the IRS standing not on "the shoulders of those who have preceded us," but on the necks of everyone else. "We've been instructed to show no mercy this year, to disallow everything," says one IRS compliance officer. "It's frightening."

Stung by the reluctance of Congress to raise taxes, the Obama administration has obviously set out to use the Internal Revenue Service to do the dirty deed. President Obama has big plans for expanding the federal government once he achieves "flexibility" after the November election. The coming schemes will cost money. Since Congress won't co-operate and the Treasury is overdrawn at the Bank of China, the only solution is confiscation. There's still standing room on the necks of taxpayers, even widows, orphans, the disabled and the infirm, some even sick unto death.

One avenue to more revenue (more a boulevard, actually, than an avenue) is the closing of loopholes in the tax law. Everyone in Congress - Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives - agrees this is a good idea, as far as it goes. The tax code, as Jimmy Carter said, resembles Swiss cheese, with holes for handouts, carve-outs, subsidies and loopholes for the many and justice and mercy for the few. Mr. Obama made a show of declaring war on loopholes months ago. "Get rid of loopholes," he demanded in his State of the Union address last year. "Level the playing field."

Loopholes are the evasions that everybody in Congress loves to hate, but Congress creates new ones in every tax bill. It's the love that dare not speak its name, but it's the way of Washington, where inconsistency is a virtue. Some loopholes are cuter than others, and anyone who wants one must hire an effective (and expensive) lobbyist. An author, poet, sculptor or screenwriter, for an artistic example, must pay taxes on "ordinary income" at rates up to 35 percent. The Nashville Songwriters Association knows how to lobby, and a songwriter who sells a catalog of songs gets a better deal. He can report the income as a capital gain and claim a rate of 15 percent. Sobbing, singing and sighing about disappointment, blighted hopes and hard times is only a pose.

Congress and the IRS are dancing partners in a carefully choreographed ballet. Occasionally a congressional committee will call in a commissioner to make him squirm like a man sitting in damp skivvies about abuses of taxpayers, arrogance of the agency and its high-handed interpretation of tax law. But it's only a ballet, and the IRS is eager to perform a passable pas de chat. The ballet terrifies taxpayers like "Peter and the Wolf" terrifies small children, and there's always a spike in compliance, craven or otherwise. So be grateful for that helpful foot on your neck, and hurry down to the post office.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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