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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

Tax reform's uphill push

By George Will




JewishWorldReview.com | The Sisyphean task of tax reform should be tried only by someone who will not flinch from igniting some highly flammable people — those who believe that whatever wrinkle in the tax code benefits them is an eternal entitlement. Tax reform’s Senate champion is Ron Wyden, the affable, cerebral and tall Oregon Democrat who once wanted to be the NBA’s greatest Jewish power forward since . . . never mind.

Anyway, a serious Republican reform plan has been produced by Rep. Dave Camp, who is retiring from Congress but will probably be succeeded as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee by Paul Ryan, who has a wholesome monomania about promoting economic growth. Conservatives should rejoice that the Senate’s most important chairmanship, that of the Finance Committee, has come to Wyden, whose progressive credentials are impeccable but who says: “We like expanding the winners’ circle.” And who believes that economic growth of 4 percent is not only feasible but urgent.

Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office might do “dynamic scoring” rather than “static scoring” of tax reform. That is, the CBO would consider probable behavioral changes — by workers, business executives, investors, savers and consumers — when projecting the revenue results of reforms that change incentives. If the reforms were likely to increase economic growth, the CBO would estimate increased government revenues, reducing resistance to tax cuts.

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Although Wyden, 64, is in only his third full term, in January he will be the Senate’s seventh-most senior Democrat. If Republicans then control the Senate, Wyden will be the ranking Democrat on Finance, which probably will be chaired by Utah’s Orrin Hatch, who is the most senior Republican and second-most (behind Vermont Democrat Pat Leahy) senior senator. Wyden comes from Portland, the Vatican of progressivism, so Democrats may tolerate him collaborating with Hatch and Ryan — adult supervision for the congressional sandbox — in crafting tax reforms that respond to the CBO’s recent ominous economic outlook for 2014 to 2024.

It projects growth through this year of about 3 percent. This would be “the largest rise in nearly a decade” but would be anemia continued, considering that the unprecedentedly weak recovery from the recession has left median household income 3.3 percent lower than when the recovery began almost five years ago. The CBO says that after 2017, “growth will diminish to a pace that is well below the average seen over the past several decades.” It cites “long-term trends — particularly, slower growth in the labor force” as the population ages.

The CBO also mentions other reasons the growth potential is “much slower than the average since 1950”: “Changes in people’s economic incentives caused by federal tax and spending policies set in current law are expected to keep hours worked and potential output . . . lower than they would be otherwise.”

Growth-igniting tax reform is required to rescue the nation from a “new normal” of appalling underemployment. Wyden, whose state produces wood products, says “housing is a very real economic multiplier — it cannot be outsourced,” so do not expect him to favor substantial curtailment of the deductibility of mortgage interest payments, a $70 billion benefit disproportionately benefiting affluent homeowners. Wyden’s party will insist on preserving the deductibility of state and local taxes, a nearly $80 billion benefit that encourages state and local spending. Unions, especially, will fight for the $260 billion benefit of not taxing as compensation, which it obviously is, employer-provided health insurance. “You never,” says Wyden equably, “get to start from scratch in Washington.”



Of the nation’s embarrassing down-at-the-heels infrastructure — roads, airports, harbors — Wyden says, “You can’t have a big-league quality of life and big-league economic growth with little-league infrastructure.” He has a plan (“Build America Bonds”) for getting “billions of private dollars off the sidelines” and into infrastructure investments.

In addition to minimizing growth-suppressing economic distortions, tax simplification would reform politics by shrinking opportunities for transactions between private factions and the political class. This class confers favors as much with the tax code as with appropriations. “You can drain the swamp,” says Wyden. “They did it in ’86.”

Yes, Congress simplified the code, eliminating preferences to pay for lower rates, but the swamp was unimpressed: Since then, the code has been re-complicated more than 15,000 times. Still, Wyden, ebullient in the face of daunting evidence, will, like Sisyphus, roll the reform boulder up the mountain, challenging the axiom that tax reform cannot be done in an election year or the year before one, which are the only years we have.

George Will Archives

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