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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 March 16, 2008 9 Adar II 5768

A return of booster socialism

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | PHOENIX — When the upscale stores — Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and other magnets for affluent shoppers — open their doors at the CityNorth "urban village" being built here, Phoenix taxpayers will be there, sort of. They are providing a $97.4 million subsidy to the Chicago-based developer of the 144-acre project that will include residential, office and hotel facilities.


The subsidy — allowing the developer to keep sales taxes collected up to $97.4 million — might, however, violate the state constitution. Represented by the litigation arm of the Goldwater Institute, six taxpayers who own small, unsubsidized businesses say the subsidy violates three constitutional provisions.


The equal privileges and immunities clause says that government cannot without good reason — a large loophole — provide a privilege or immunity to one taxpayer without granting it to all. Another provision forbids laws conferring special benefits on a single corporation.


The third, and most interesting, provision, "the gift clause," was supposed to erect a wall of separation between government and corporations by forbidding gifts or loans of state credit; or state donations, grants or subsidies; or the state becoming a shareholder. This clause, of which many other states have variants, was born of chastening experiences but has been vitiated in Arizona and elsewhere by judicial mischief.


The plaintiffs say, reasonably, that the clause's original intent was sensible and should be restored through strict construction. The developer says, reasonably, that it undertook the $1.8 billion project on financial understandings that should not now be altered.


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The developer's profits come primarily from residential and office portions of the project, but Phoenix cares most about sales taxes from the retail stores. The city says, plausibly, that the subsidy is necessary because otherwise it would be engaging in unilateral disarmament: Burgeoning suburbs, which are rubbing up against it and one another, stand to reap substantial sales tax windfalls by luring — with subsidies — businesses to locate on one side or the other of jurisdictional boundaries. If the CityNorth subsidy had not been offered, the developer would be building a differently configured project.


This is a new imbroglio about an old and discredited practice — booster socialism. In the 19th century, governments practiced what is now called "corporate welfare," particularly benefiting railroads, which could make or break farmers and communities. Benjamin Barr, a senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute, writes:


"Illinois invested $10.2 million in 1837 for internal improvements, including 1,341 miles of railroad. Only 26 miles of the railroad were completed, making the interest on the debt exceed the state's revenue, which forced the state into default."


Arizona, having made improvident investments of public money in private corporations, adopted the gift clause at its 1910 constitutional convention. But the clause has been hollowed out by judicial decisions allowing entanglements of government and corporations when the entanglements satisfy the elastic criteria of having a "public purpose" or providing a "public benefit."


Arizona's Supreme Court has held that whether a government transaction with a private corporation violates the gift clause depends on "the motivating and animating cause of the transaction." Got that?


This is how courts weakened the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment restrictions on how government could take private property "for public use." In the original narrow understanding, "public use" meant public works such as roads, bridges, courthouses. Then taking property to cure "blight" (another elastic term) became a public use. Now property is taken and given to developers just because they will pay higher taxes than the original owners.


Similar judicial malpractice has enabled John McCain and other campaign "reformers" to eviscerate the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech" — unless Congress claims that the law's rationale is to prevent "corruption" or the "appearance" thereof.


Courts have misconstrued the gift clause into a nullity, so legislators now use any asserted public benefit, however remote, to justify using subsidies to compete with rival jurisdictions for businesses and their tax revenue — or to rationalize conferring benefits on powerful interests. For example, suburban Scottsdale's City Council has given $1.5 million for 19 automobile dealerships — some of them owned by companies with revenue in the billions — to spend on marketing.


Today, Phoenix taxpayers are paying the cost of a pricey law firm's defense of the constitutionality of their subsidy of CityNorth. Perhaps courts, which unleashed the subsidies competition by making mush of the gift clause, can make amends by reinvigorating that clause, as the Goldwater Institute requests. Failing that, Arizonans can stop booster socialism and enforce general disarmament among their cities by amending the clause with language that stipulates the original intent. The most effective cure for foolish politics is still sensible politics.


Clarification: In my Feb. 28 column, I said that Trevor Potter is president of the Campaign Legal Center. He is currently on leave from that position.

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.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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