May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Dec. 23, 2007
/ 14 Teves 5768
The gift of doing very little
Hellbent on driving its approval rating into single digits, Congress adjourned after passing an omnibus spending bill larded with at least 8,993 earmarks costing at least $7.4 billion the precise number and amount will be unclear until implications of some obscure provisions are deciphered. The gusher of earmarks was a triumph of bipartisanship, which often is a synonym for kleptocracy.
This was the first year since 1994 that Democrats controlled both houses. Consider Congress's agreeably meager record:
It raised the hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 less than the $7 entry wage at McDonald's thereby increasing the wages of less than 0.5 percent of the workforce. Rebuffing George W. Bush, who advocates halting farm subsidies to those with adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000, the Senate also rejected more bipartisanship a cap at $750,000. This, in spite of the fact that farm income has soared to record levels, partly because Congress shares the president's loopy enthusiasm for ethanol and wants more corn and other agricultural matter turned into fuel.
Although Congress trembles for the future of the planet, it was unwilling to eliminate the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol. But our polymath Congress continued designing automobiles to make them less safe (smaller) and more expensive. It did this by mandating new fuel efficiency a 35-mpg fleet average by 2020 lest the automotive industry design cars people want. And Congress mandated a 12-year phaseout of incandescent light bulbs.
Bruce Raynor, president of the union Unite Here, expressed organized labor's compassionate liberalism when he urged sparing workers the burden of democracy: "There's no reason to subject workers to an election." The House agreed, voting for "card check" organizing that strips workers of their right to a secret ballot when deciding for or against unionization of their workplace. Unions, increasingly unable to argue that they add more value than they subtract from workers' lives, crave the "card check" system. Under it, once a majority of workers, pressured one at a time by labor organizers, sign a card, the union is automatically certified as the bargaining agent for all the workers. Senate Republicans blocked this, but the Senate Democrats voted to cripple the Labor Department agency that requires union bosses to explain how they spend their members' money.
|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.
To improve Americans' health, Congress hopes that by 2017, 22 million more people will begin smoking, enough to pay the increased cigarette taxes that purportedly would finance an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The program, supposedly for low-income children, would have been expanded to cover many children and adults from households with incomes far above the nation's median income. The president vetoed the expansion.
Having vowed to end the war in Iraq, House liberals ended the year in a minuet of moral evasion. Representatives passed a bill containing money for the war in Afghanistan but not for the one in Iraq. The Senate added money for Iraq. House Democrats then voted 141 to 78 against final passage, but House Republicans and moderate Democrats passed it and liberals headed home to brag about having voted against funding the war.
In January, with much preening, House Democrats embraced "pay-go," the pay-as-you-go rule that any tax cut must be "paid for" by compensatory tax increases or spending cuts. In December, Democrats abandoned it because of the alternative minimum tax.
The AMT was enacted in 1969 as an indignation gesture aimed at fewer than 200 rich people who managed, legally, to owe no taxes. But the enactors neglected to index the AMT against inflation, so this year it would have been a $50 billion bite out of 23 million taxpayers. The House voted to suspend the AMT for almost all who would have had to pay it and fund that with a $50 billion tax increase. Senate Republicans argued that no Congress ever intended the AMT to collect, or ever will allow it to collect, such large sums from such a large number of Americans. Therefore, pay-go would siphon $50 billion to compensate for a fictitious $50 billion. The Senate voted 88 to 5 to not collect the AMT this year, the House acquiesced and pay-go evaporated.
Rep. John Campbell, a California Republican, notes that this year the House took many more votes (1,186) than ever but that only 146 bills became laws, and most of those named buildings or other things or extended existing laws. Congress, and especially the Democratic majority, should be congratulated for this because a decrease in the quantity of legislation generally means an increase in the quality of life.
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.
© 2006 WPWG
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K