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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 Nov. 22, 2010 / 15 Kislev, 5771

Ways to come to grips with America's fiscal mess

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Is there any chance we can come to grips with our short-term and long-term fiscal problems -- the huge current federal budget deficit and the huge looming increases in entitlement spending?

Maybe so. Or at least the chances seem a little better after the release of two sets of proposals in the weeks after the election.

One came from Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, chairmen of the bipartisan commission Barack Obama set up in February to address the subject. Rather than wait for a consensus from their 18-member commission, the two presented their own array of proposals to stabilize the national debt at 60 percent of gross domestic product and cut the budget deficit to 2 percent of GDP by 2015.

Another came from an initiative from Clinton budget director Alice Rivlin and longtime Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici that would similarly stabilize the national debt and would cut the budget deficit to 1 percent.

These recommendations are not likely to be adopted in full, but they do show that it is within the realm of possibility to hold the national debt below the 90 percent level to which it is headed -- and that has been identified by economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff as the point at which governments tend to face a financial crash.

Unfortunately, the prospects for entitlement reform still seem poor.

Incoming House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the Bowles-Simpson plan was "simply unacceptable," and other Democrats indicate no more interest in making even minor modifications in Social Security -- a slow increase in the retirement age, reduced benefits for high earners as the years go on -- than they did when George W. Bush pushed for Social Security reform in 2005.

Those changes would actually make the program more progressive, concentrating benefits among those most in need. But Democrats evidently prefer holding on to the Social Security card in the hope it will be trump in future elections.

As for Medicare and Medicaid, they will be in play as Republicans on Capitol Hill and in state capitals try to throw sand in the gears of Obamacare. Bipartisan agreement on these issues seems far, far away.

Taxes may be another matter. Bowles-Simpson threw out a bold proposal to eliminate tax preferences -- including the hitherto sacred deductions for home mortgage interest and state and local taxes -- and to cut rates significantly below where they have been since World War II.

The top rate would be only 23 percent. The corporate income tax would be cut from the current almost-highest-in-the-world 35 percent to 26 percent.

The principle here is the same as that of the bipartisan 1986 tax law, that cut numerous preferences and lowered the rates as well. It was hammered out in tough and protracted bargaining by House Democrat Dan Rostenkowski, Republican Sen. Bob Packwood and Treasury Secretary James Baker.

Leading Republicans' responses to these proposals was at least somewhat positive -- in vivid contrast to Pelosi. In at least some conservative circles eliminating "tax expenditures" is not seen as a verboten tax increase.

It's not clear that the lead players will step up to the plate. Incoming House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp does not have the experience that Rostenkowski brought to the 1986 negotiations. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus may not have as flexible a Republican ranking member if, as expected, Charles Grassley leaves that position and it is taken over by Orrin Hatch.

Hatch, whose seat is up in 2012, watched as his Utah colleague Bob Bennett was denied renomination this year by the Republican state convention. He may be wary that the same thing could happen to him.

Nor is it clear that Obama is interested. Voters this year were evidently not pleased with the big government policies that have raised federal spending from 21 to 25 percent of GDP. But many Democratic politicians would like to see government stay at that level indefinitely. Their ranks may include the presidential nominee who told Joe the Plumber that he wanted to "spread the wealth around."

Still, Bowles-Simpson and Rivlin-Domenici have done the public a service by showing how the current fiscal and long-term entitlement crises can actually be addressed. They have shown that it is hard -- voters can't get everything they want -- but that's not impossible.

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.

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




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