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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 May 19, 2011/ 15 Iyar, 5771

Hugs and taxes

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Pausing in his struggle to solve, or to get others to solve, today’s iteration of California’s recurring fiscal crisis, Jerry Brown, the recurring governor, recently approved a new contract for the prison guards union. Henceforth, guards can cash out at retirement an unlimited number of unused vacation days. Most California employees can monetize only 80 accrued days. Many guards will receive lump sums exceeding $100,000. The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that guards possess time worth $600 million. The union contributed almost $2 million to Brown’s 2010 campaign.

In 1980, according to former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 10 percent of the state’s general fund went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons; in 2010, almost 11 percent went to prisons and 7.5 percent to higher education. The national average incarceration cost is $29,000 per inmate per year. California’s cost is $49,000, about $7,000 more than a year’s tuition at Dartmouth.

Brown says the union is cooperating with his plan to reduce state costs by transferring prisoners to county jails. But funding this would require the extension of a vehicle licensing fee and other taxes due to expire next month. Which brings us to the importance of Bob Dutton.

Leader of the 15 Republicans in the 40-seat state Senate, Dutton is the un-Brown. Where Brown is lean, exotic and epigrammatic, Dutton is ample, Main Street and laconic. And he is an impediment to Brown’s plans to get voters to increase their tax burdens by referendum, or to get Republicans to enable the Legislature to increase them.

As a candidate, Brown said he would seek voters’ approval for any taxes to close the yawning budget deficit. He wanted a referendum this June on a five-year extension of “temporary” taxes and fees imposed in 2009 and due to expire soon. In an off-year referendum, turnout would be low — and dominated by pro-taxation public employee unions.



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Because two-thirds of both houses of the Legislature must vote to put a measure on the ballot, Brown needed two Republican votes in each. As Republicans are doing in Washington about raising the debt ceiling, some California Republicans offered support for a referendum conditional on Brown’s agreeing to various reforms, particularly regarding public employees’ pensions: This year, more than 12,000 state and municipal retirees will receive pensions of at least $100,000. Brown and the Republicans could not agree, so there is no referendum.

In his January inaugural address, Brown, 73, said: “At this stage of my life, I have not come here to embrace delay and denial.” Dutton embraces denying tax increases for a state whose total tax burden is one of the nation’s highest. He says that when Brown “pushed me for a plan” for balancing the budget, he replied: The state expects $90 billion in revenues, up from $82 billion in 2005. “Spend it any way you want — you set the priorities.” But don’t expect more.

“Hug a Republican, make them feel good,” Brown recently told an audience. “In fact, I’m going to go up and down the state to see if I can’t hug Republicans and . . . tell them, ‘We love you, but give us a break, let the people vote.’ ” In March, Brown said: “This is a matter that’s too big, too irreversible, to leave just to those whom you’ve elected. This is a time when the people themselves can gather together in a special election and make the hard choice.”

Dutton, evidently not the hugging sort, says making such choices is the Legislature’s job. And for the people to “gather together” — note the communitarian patina Brown puts on plebiscitary democracy — in an election about these taxes would be redundant: In two referendums, in 2009 and 2010, voters resoundingly rejected extending the taxes.

On Monday, Brown reported good news that actually is bad news for his agenda, which he has modified hardly at all. An unanticipated $6.6 billion in tax revenue over the next 13 months will reduce the projected $15.4 billion deficit, but will also reduce the force of his dire warnings about a budget balanced only by spending cuts. Yet he still insists on five-year extensions of higher sales and vehicle taxes. His only concession to the revenue windfall is to propose higher income taxes for four rather than five years.

So the revenue surge serves to underscore the state government’s metabolic urge to grow, and the unswerving devotion of Democrats to that project. Dutton’s response is economical: “Ridiculous.”

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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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