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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 May 22, 2011/ 18 Iyar, 5771

Golden State blues, in the red

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | SACRAMENTO — In 1967, five years after California became the most populous state, novelist Wallace Stegner said California — energetic, innovative, hedonistic — was America, "only more so." Today, this state's budget crisis is like the nation's, only more so. Bob Dutton is an island of calm in the eye of the storm — which should agitate Gov. Jerry Brown.

Dutton came to California from Nebraska at age 19 in 1969 and now is leader of Republicans in the state Senate. He contentedly says his caucus is "almost like a chamber of commerce board of directors."

Its members are mostly from small businesses, as he is. Because they are term-limited, they cannot make a career here, so they might as well follow their small — well, smaller — government inclinations.

They have it in their power to compel Gov. Brown to confront the public employees unions that have gained so much power over the state's budget. All they need to do, Dutton notes, "Is just say 'no' to more taxes."

This is so because Brown needs two Republicans in each house of the Legislature to raise taxes (actually, to reinstate for five years some taxes and fees that will have lapsed by July 1), or to authorize a November referendum that could reinstate them.

Brown's plan for balancing the budget is to close about half of the deficit with reductions and fund shifts already approved, and the rest by tax increases. Republican resistance to the taxes is explained by facts provided by Troy Senik, writing in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal:

"Californians already labor under sales-tax rates usually reserved for states without income taxes (at 8.25 percent, the nation's highest) and sharply progressive income-tax rates usually reserved for states without sales taxes (the state's top rate is 10.55 percent, and it doesn't allow you to deduct your federal taxes, as some states with income taxes do)."

Those tax levels are surely related to these demographic facts: Between 2000 and 2010, Los Angeles gained fewer people than in any decade since the 1890s, and Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area have the slowest growth rates since the end of Spanish rule. For the first time since 1920, the Census did not award California even one additional congressional seat.

California's Constitution makes a balanced budget mandatory. Sort of.



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For more than a decade it has been "balanced" only by creative accounting — a fact that should give pause to conservatives, in Washington and elsewhere, who are eager to constitutionalize fiscal policy by putting a balanced budget requirement in the U.S. Constitution.

California's is one of the world's longest Constitutions — if a document that has been amended more than 500 times by direct democracy can be said to truly constitute a political system. It controls much of state spending. For example, about 40 percent of the budget is dedicated to education. The Legislature has limited or no control over as much as 85 percent of revenues.

Brown knew all this last year when he campaigned for governor on a principle he articulated when running for president in 1976: "A little vagueness goes a long way in this business." Brown is, however, a veteran practitioner of the rhetoric of reform. A transcript from "Meet the Press," Oct. 5, 1975:

"Mr. Will: Governor, you expressed an interesting concept of representation when you said that you wanted to be governor of the 54 percent of the people who didn't vote last year. How do you fashion a program for people who express no mandate?

"Gov. Brown: To stand up to the special pleaders who are encamped, I should say encircling the state Capitol, and to see through their particular factional claims to the broad public interest."

The most muscular pleaders are the public employees unions. In 1978, Brown conferred on government employees the right to unionize and bargain collectively. In 2010, their unions fueled the campaign that restored him to the governor's office. Thus does the liberal merry-go-round spin.

Bill Whalen of the Hoover Institution notes that California's four most influential Democrats are Brown, U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who are 73, 77, 70 and 71, respectively: "No other state's political ruling class is as gray, a terrific irony for youth-worshipping California."

Dutton and other relatively anonymous Republican legislators can, by being constructively obdurate ("no"), shake the foundations of reactionary liberalism — the regulatory state that seemed so right in the septuagenarians' formative years, a half-century ago.

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