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 Sept. 29, 2011 / 30 Elul, 5771

Daniels dares GOP candidates to be grown-ups

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels did not attract as large a crowd when he spoke at American Enterprise Institute (where I am a resident fellow) earlier this week as he did when several months ago, before he disappointed admirers by announcing that he wouldn't run for president.

I saw no political reporters there -- though a few may have been lurking in the back -- and he got only one question (from me) about presidential politics. No, he said, he isn't reconsidering his decision not to run, and doesn't think that Chris Christie is either.

But Daniels' message, based on his new book, "Keeping the Republic," was important, one that every presidential candidate should heed -- because it was about a looming issue that Barack Obama has so far decided to duck but that one of them, if he is elected, may have to confront.

We face, Daniels said, "a survival-level threat to the America we have known." The problem can be summed up as debt. The Obama Democrats have put us on the path to double the national debt as a percentage of gross domestic product, bringing it to levels that, as economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart have written in "This Time Is Different," have always proved unsustainable.

Daniels put it this way. Debt service will permanently stunt the growth of the economy. And that will be followed by a loss of leadership in the world, because "nobody follows a pauper."

That growth in debt will continue to be driven by growth in programs labeled entitlements -- though Daniels objects to that term. Congress, after all, can vote to cancel entitlement programs and deny promised benefits any time it wants, as the Supreme Court ruled in Flemming v. Nestor in 1960.

Daniels favors changes in Social Security and Medicare for tomorrow's seniors that will give them choices and market incentives in building retirement income and seeking medical care. He insists that "average folks can make good consumerist decisions" and rejects the premise held by liberals from the New Deal to today that they can't be trusted to navigate their way in our complex society.

This is quite a contrast with the Republicans out there running for president, who have had little to say about the problem of entitlements, in debates or in their platforms. Mitt Romney raises the problem but hesitates to advance solutions, and then attacks Rick Perry for intemperate comments about Social Security in his book "Fed Up!"

On defense, Perry points out the success of public employee pension plans in three Texas counties that outperform Social Security. But these programs are impossible to scale up in a society where most employment is in the private sector, where most people will hold multiple jobs over their working lifetimes, and where many people move from state to state (often, as Perry points out, to Texas).

Daniels laments that the candidates "have not yet stepped out on these issues." He says that he is "a little concerned that our nominee might decide, 'I'll just play it safe and get elected as the default option' " to an incumbent discredited by obvious policy failures.

"My question then is what matters -- winning or establishing the base that enables you to make big gains?"

It's a good question. As a campaign consultant, the candidates I admired most were those able to take hard stands on serious issues and make their positions work for them in the primary, in the general election, and then in governing. It sounds easy, but not many manage to do it.

Barack Obama sounded like such a candidate in 2008, and not just to his liberal admirers. He still tries to portray himself as the only adult in the room, the only one taking stands on principle and not for political gain.

But it's increasingly obvious he is something more nearly the opposite. George W. Bush did campaign for Social Security reform in 2004, hoping for bipartisan support in a second term.

Obama is campaigning against "millionaires" and "corporate jets." His "jobs program" includes higher taxes on job creators. He brushed aside his commission's recommendation for tax reform that eliminates preferences and lowers rates.

All this makes no sense as public policy and is dubious even as a campaign strategy. The question is whether the Republican candidates will dare to, in Daniels' words, "speak grown-up to citizens."

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.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




Michael Barone Archives

© 2009, Washington Examiner; DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles