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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 Feb. 25, 2013/ 15 Adar, 5773

The one big thing Democrats and Republicans can actually agree on

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | The last time the Senate met it actually came to a unanimous decision. It agreed that the traditional rendering of George Washington's Farewell Address, which for 111 years has been read in the chamber on or around the birthday of the first president, would instead occur tomorrow, and that Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte would perform this commemorative act. That's a start.

When she gets around to reading that revered document, the New Hampshire lawmaker may think the 17th paragraph was written especially for the 113th Congress. In that passage, Washington talks about "obstructions to the execution of the Laws," the danger posed when factions hold "artificial and extraordinary force," and the peril involved when small groups seek "to make the public administration the mirror of ... ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction."

It makes you wish the Farewell Address were read more than once a year, or that Ms. Ayotte's 99 colleagues might actually break with form and listen carefully to what's being said in the Senate.

Now let's go from the first president to the 44th.

In the neighboring chamber only a dozen days ago, the latest incumbent in the Washington succession spoke to those who hold the seats once occupied by Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, Caleb Strong of Massachusetts and Rufus King of New York. In his State of the Union address, Barack Obama said the American people "expect us to put the nation's interests before party," adding, pointedly, "They ... expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can."

Much of what the president said went unheeded at best, opposed at worst. But he did speak of one matter where both parties could come to swift agreement -- and of course not a peep has been heard about it from either branch of government since. It is a comprehensive overhaul of our tax system, 100 years old this month.

Let's recognize that throughout our history there's been no issue more consistently contentious than taxes, except, of course, race. This is why lawmakers wheedle, maneuver and plot to get on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, where the tax laws are written -- or, if you will, ruined.

The country was founded on a tax rebellion; the notion, still not fully redeemed, that all were created equal came later, in part to dress up the American revolution and clothe it in Enlightenment raiments. Tax rebellions have been central to our history from Pennsylvania's Whiskey Rebellion of 1791 to California's Proposition 13 of 1978.

In our time, Republicans have waged consistent war against taxes, equating them, as their patriot forebears did, with tyranny, or arguing that they distort economic behavior and act as a brake on growth.

In his address in the House chamber earlier this month, the president portrayed a tax overhaul as a way to hit deficit-reduction targets, arguing that the country could "save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected."

That's almost certainly true, but it's also almost certainly a losing argument. Those who have tax loopholes and deductions are those best armed to preserve what President Washington would have called "the ill-concerted and incongruous" in our tax code.

It's the next paragraph in the president's address that has political merit. "The American people," the president said, "deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can't pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America."

In short: a less complicated, fairer system. Also -- and here we plunge a policy dagger into the heart of accountants coast to coast -- one that is comprehensible to the normal human being.

In his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter described the U.S. tax code as a "disgrace to the human race," perhaps the only thing upon which he and his 1981 successor Ronald Reagan would agree.

Reagan, assisted by the Democrat who headed Ways and Means, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski of Chicago, was able to strip the code in 1986 of many barnacles and lower the top rate to 28 percent from 50 percent. (The top rate has since migrated up to 39.6 percent.)

Now the trumpet summons us again to tax overhaul. The president -- like Reagan, with Illinois roots, but a Democrat -- believes that "now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit."

He was speaking language his rivals understand, and embrace. And the beauty thing -- as George H.W. Bush would put it -- is that Republicans are in accord. "There's the possibility now of doing something very big," Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said in an interview. "It's going to take presidential leadership. He's got to bring his party to the table. Republicans desperately want to do tax reform."

So there we have it. Two willing parties. One extremely juicy target. A way to ensure justice (the Democratic imperative) and lower rates (the Republican preoccupation). Also a way to increase the economic activity subject to taxes (a Democratic priority) and a way to help small business (a Republican goal since the time Newt Gingrich was speaker) all at once.

And a way to do what almost nothing does in a culture where it takes minutes to boot up a computer and hours to figure out how to get On Demand on your television. It simplifies things.

What's not to like?

Well, the Republicans are going to want tax overhaul to be revenue neutral and the Democrats are going to want to use it as revenue enhancement -- and those differences are not nuances.

There's going to be a debate about the rate of corporate taxation, but if we are lucky that will include a parallel one about tax obligations by companies with substantial operations overseas.

There almost certainly will be a discussion about whether the tax system should be an implement of social policy, but we have been having that debate for almost 24 decades. We probably won't decide that one in the next 24 months.

The three most powerful and evocative words in the American political lexicon are John F. Kennedy's. They are: Let us begin. Let's.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



02/18/13 Obama is wrong to make young people think college is mainly about making a living
02/11/13 The war inside the GOP
02/04/13 Presidential politics, frozen in place
01/28/13 Speech invokes past for present and future
01/14/13 If Obama's inaugural address is to be remembered at all
01/21/13 Identity crisis in the GOP
01/07/13 History meets firearms
12/31/12 In search of our better angels
12/24/12 Wounded in war, Inouye just kept serving his country
12/10/12 President as change agent
12/10/12 Another overtime election
12/03/12 Defining the Obama presidency: Our re-elected chief executive has the whip hand now, but how will he use
11/19/12 New Hampshire 2016
11/12/12 Obama's second chance
11/05/12 America's first martyr to free speech
10/29/12 Making hay in Iowa
10/15/12 When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance
10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
10/01/12 Debating the debates
09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





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