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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Sept. 19, 2011 / 20 Elul, 5771

The crisis this time

By David M. Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | So the Republicans are fighting about Social Security and the Democrats are exulting over it. This is news?

Ho hum. This has been happening, on and off, for three-quarters of a century. During a good deal of that time, Republicans have railed against Social Security and risked voter disapproval while Democrats have twisted their rivals' worries and words out of context. Social Security may be a good program, it may be good politics, but almost never since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security bill into law in 1935 has it prompted a good debate.

It's not doing so this year, when, more than ever, we need a good debate on Social Security, which today supports about 54 million people. Here's a simple explanation why: There soon will be too few workers supporting too many beneficiaries for a pay-as-you-go system like Social Security to survive without dramatic change.

The truth is that Social Security was approved 76 years ago with bipartisan support, with 81 Republicans in the House supporting the legislation along with 16 Republicans in the Senate. The 15 Democrats who opposed the bill in the House were matched exactly by 15 Republicans.

This was as bipartisan a bill as there has been on a controversial matter in history, unless of course you want to look at the Medicare Act vote exactly 30 years later. Seventy House Republicans voted for that cornerstone of Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society.

Even so, Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, the GOP's presidential nominee a year after Social Security was passed, expressed real doubts about Social Security, beginning with a campaign speech called "I Will Not Promise the Moon" in which he said the program was "unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted and wastefully financed." He lost every state but Maine and Vermont.

For the two decades that followed Landon's defeat in 1936, Republicans were chary of attacking Social Security. In fact, the great GOP figure of the time, Dwight D. Eisenhower, required less than a fortnight as president to propose in his first State of the Union message the biggest expansion of Social Security in history.

Later, in a remarkable letter Eisenhower wrote to his brother, Edgar, on Nov. 8, 1954, he said that if any party toyed with abolishing Social Security, "you would not hear of that party again in our political history."

In this letter, a revealing discourse on the Eisenhower political philosophy to a brother critical of some of the administration's actions, the president worried that "this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions." Then he said of those who would eliminate Social Security: "There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things ... Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

Precisely a decade later, GOP nominee Barry Goldwater wondered out loud about abolishing Social Security. The notion seemed tailor-made for the Democrats' strategy, which was to portray the Arizonan as a radical, even a crackpot. Goldwater's rhetoric was extreme but his notion, that the system ought to be voluntary, was echoed in the famous 1964 televised pre-election speech that made Ronald Reagan a national political figure and later was adopted by the George W. Bush administration.

Republicans stumbled in the Reagan years when they permitted House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill of Massachusetts to portray them as enemies of Social Security, and thus of old people. In the 1982 election, the Republicans lost 27 seats.

Last week the issue flared again in the Republican debate here, after Texas Gov. Rick Perry had suggested, not all that inaccurately, that Social Security was a "Ponzi scheme." The Mitt Romney campaign promptly distributed pamphlets in this state, where about a fifth of the population is on Social Security, asking pointedly, "How can we trust anyone who wants to kill Social Security?" Mr. Perry then offered his colorful "slam-dunk" guarantee to current Social Security recipients.

But the issue remains how to support this program, how broadly it should be applied, how much of it should be taxed and what the government should set as the retirement age.

This is no academic exercise. The greatest economic crisis facing the United States today isn't the national deficit or the trade deficit. It is the savings deficit. Some Americans may be putting away more money than they did a decade ago, but nowhere near enough.

This year's Retirement Confidence Survey shows that seven Americans out of 10 believe they are not on track to save enough for retirement. That may well underestimate the reality. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found this year that large chunks of lower-income Americans may well have to work until they are 80 to have enough money to cover basic living expenses.

All of which brings us back to Alf Landon -- a sentence no one expected to be typed in the year 2011. But Landon's critique of Social Security included this riff:

"It assumes that Americans are irresponsible. It assumes that old-age pensions are necessary because Americans lack the foresight to provide for their old age."

Let's punt that question over to the sociologists.

The political scientists, however, realize that in some form Social Security is here to stay. In that case, Democrats as well as Republicans are going to have to do what they don't want to do, which is to bring the system in line with both the savings crisis and the deficit crisis. The deficit-reduction plan the president released last week said not a word about Social Security.

"Even discussing those options is highly unpopular with a majority of Americans," one brave American politician said in a speech exactly 15 years ago this week, "in large part because we lack leadership that is able and willing to make a clear, compelling case for such necessary, long-term action." The speaker was Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Republican of Kansas and daughter of the 1936 Republican nominee. The venue was Kansas State University and the occasion was the 107th Alf Landon Lecture.

Comment by clicking here.

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


Previously:



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





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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