Home
In this issue
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 Oct. 18, 2009/ 30 Tishrei 5770

The Real Jobs Threat: A Stimulus for Hill Dems' Fortunes?

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As Harvard's president, Larry Summers, economist and former Treasury secretary, was a lion in a den of Daniels. The faculty Daniels, their tender feelings hurt by his occasional testiness, cowered together and declared him a meanie. Facing a faculty vote of no confidence, he resigned.

Now he is Barack Obama's principal economic adviser. So, weary of John Boehner, leader of House Republicans, dwelling on rising unemployment, Summers sent him a letter. In it he said, as Obama and his minions so consistently do, something that may be the text of this year's White House Christmas card: At least we are not George Bush, so there.

Summers said Obama "is committed to not repeating the fiscal mistakes of the last eight years." The letter, like its author, is trenchant and intelligent. He notes that job creation was much better during the eight Clinton years — an average of 225,000 per month — than between November 2001, the end of the last recession, and December 2007, the beginning of this one, when the monthly average was just 94,000. And Summers tartly reminds Boehner that in 2003 the Republican-controlled Congress passed a prescription drug entitlement "that was not offset by either spending cuts or tax increases" and that in its first decade will cost more than $1 trillion, including interest on the necessary borrowing.

But speaking of unfunded medical entitlements: The furrowed Washington brows that currently express faux puzzlement about how the health-care entitlement — aka "reform" — will be paid for are theatrical. There is no mystery. The new entitlement will be paid for, to a significant extent, the way much of government is paid for — by borrowing from China.

Republicans are operatic when they pretend to take seriously, in order to wax indignant about, the Democrats' professed plan to partially pay for Sen. Max Baucus's version of reform by cutting at least $400 billion from Medicare. Supporters of the Baucus bill are guilty of many things but not, regarding such cuts, of sincerity. Congress regularly vows to make Medicare cuts, and as regularly defers them.



FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Today, Washington routinely speaks of trillions, as in: This year's trillion-dollar deficit. And the $9 trillion in projected deficits over 10 years. And the upwards of $1.8 trillion that Baucus's "$829 billion plan" would actually cost in the first 10 years (2014-23) in which its provisions would be fully operational. But the number from which Washington flinches is precisely 999,999,999,997 less than a trillion. It is: 3.

Many Democrats believe that rising unemployment means the nation needs a "second" stimulus — but one they could call something other than a stimulus because it would be the third. The first was passed in February 2008, two months after the recession began. Its $168 billion tax rebate failed to stimulate because overleveraged Americans perversely saved much of it.

Admitting that the first stimulus existed would complicate the task of justifying a third one, given that the second one — the $787 billion extravaganza that galloped through Congress in February — has not been the success its advocates said it would be. The administration predicted that if Stimulus II were passed, unemployment would not go above 8.5 percent. On CNN on Feb. 9, Summers was asked how soon Americans would "feel results, the creation of jobs." Summers answered, "You'll see the effects begin almost immediately," starting with "layoffs that otherwise would have happened." Summers's formulation resembled various presidential statements, such as his goal "to create or save" 600,000 jobs in 100 days and up to 4 million jobs by 2010, and the statement that as of June, Stimulus II had "created and saved" 150,000 jobs.

Assertions that things would be much worse if Stimulus II had not been passed cannot be refuted because they are based on bald claims about numbers of jobs "saved." Because those cannot be quantified, the assertions are unfalsifiable and analytically unhelpful. They are, perhaps, helpful to the administration by blurring the awkward fact that since Stimulus II was passed, the unemployment rate has risen from 8.1 percent to 9.8 percent and probably soon will pass 10 percent.

But one-quarter of Stimulus II will be spent this year. Another quarter will be spent in 2011. Half will be spent in 2010, an election year. Which suggests that Stimulus II is, and Stimulus III would be, primarily designed to save a few dozen jobs — those of Democratic members of the House and Senate.


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.

Archives

© 2006 WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles