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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 June 24, 2011 / 22 Sivan, 5771

Something new from California

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LOS ANGELES -- It' a California conceit that the culture begins on the Pacific and spreads not so slowly toward the Atlantic. Showbiz governors, governments of costly dreams, freeways, homosexuality as fashion, Valley Girl talk (like, you know), and once upon a time, even right-wing politics, more or less originated here. The latest trend is watching politicians panic when governments start to melt down and the bills for blowing the public's money on extravagances finally come due.

Jerry Brown, the new Democratic governor once as "Governor Moonbeam," is demonstrating what happens when economic consistency is imposed on spendthrift politicians. Not government thrift, nor aversion to raising taxes. It's great entertainment, if not exactly model government.

The governor and the legislature are sitting among the ruins of a balanced budget enacted as required by state law. The law requires legislators to enact the budget and send it to the governor by June 15 every year or be docked $400 a day until they get it right. Mr. Brown declared that the budget the legislature enacted, put together with a little spit, a drop or two of sweat and a handful of pixie dust, a budget worthy of only a veto. He said the budget the legislature submitted was taped together with "legally questionably maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings." But some of the Democrats who comprise a majority of the legislature thought not to worry, that the state controller would never hold up their paychecks because he was, after all, another Democrat.

Not so fast, said John Chiang, the Democratic controller, and a committed numbers guy. He looked over their math and said the budget the legislature submitted wasn't balanced after all: "The numbers simply did not add up." The state would spend $1.85 billion more than it would collect. Not even close, and no cigar. He won a hearty round of applause from the public, and legislators were outraged. This made it all even more delicious, particularly for Californians with a taste and appreciation for chutzpah. "John Chiang just wants to sit there and beat up on kids," cried Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles. "I now have to explain to my wife and daughter why we won't be able to pay our bills because a politician chose to grandstand at our expense." The leader of the Democratic majority in the Assembly agreed, and promised to employ the great American solution, a law suit.

"Chiang is now focused all the attention on himself so he'll have the next political move to become governor," he said. "Now it will require a law suit to educate him." He argues the controller violated the separation of powers in violation of the state constitution.

The Democrats seem outraged not on behalf of their constituents, but by the effrontery (as they suppose) of someone expecting a legislator to do the work he's paid to do. Plumbers and electricians, farmers and garbage men - working men and women - understand that if they don't perform the tasks they're paid to do they can expect to be docked. Politicians, alas, become accustomed to a shallow learning curve.

The governor, no fan of lean government, wants to balance the budget with more taxes and extensions of taxes about to expire. He got within two Republican votes of achieving that during the legislative session, but his talks with the Republicans coughed, spluttered and died. He expects now to put the new taxes to a statewide referendum, perhaps this fall. But his union allies, chief among them the teachers union angered by $150 million in cuts for education schemes, are reluctant to go to voters this year, preferring to try next year when Barack Obama, still popular in California though not nearly as popular as he once was, will pull more voters to the polls.

The dreaded "car tax" and an increased sales tax, enacted two years ago, expire next month. Those taxes cannot be "extended," and must be legislated as new taxes. That would be a hard sell, with an election year approaching. So the politicians are looking to save nickels and dimes. One state senator, Lonnie Hancock of Oakland, thinks he has found a novel source of savings. The state of California is spending $184 million a year to house and feed 714 prisoners on death row. California has executed "only"13 prisoners since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1978. Old age is the leading cause of death on death row, and Mr. Hancock argues that there's no point in spending millions to keep people alive while it waits to kill them. This could be the beginning of another California trend.

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

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