In this issue

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 August 15, 2011 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5771

Balanced budget amendment unbalanced idea

By Jay Ambrose

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Give me a chance to say so, and I'll shout it -- the Tea Party is one of the most fascinating and productive citizen movements of my lifetime -- but it doesn't follow that I think a balanced budget amendment would achieve anything besides giving Congress one more opportunity to disregard the Constitution.

Some Tea Party activists say the amendment is crucial, and by the way, do they also like debt ceilings? Granted, wrangling over the ceiling this year enabled Republicans to make headway in deficit reduction, but these supposed limitations on irresponsibility have generally been a charade. They are like me promising to stay within my household budget unless I buy a new unaffordable motorcycle I've already decided to buy.

But, you say, this is not just a law (or an unmeant self-promise) we are talking about. It would be an article in our sacrosanct Constitution, and that indeed should be meaningful, only it would not be.

First off, an amendment without a plethora of escape clauses would be craziness, seeing as how virtually every enterprise, family and individual in this society needs to borrow money occasionally to get around some financial bend (appliance, car, house mortgage, college) or take advantage of an opportunity. The clauses, sadly, would render the whole a joke. The meaningful would have become meaningless.

It would be like a pay-as-you-go law President Barack Obama backed saying any new budgetary expenditures would have to be offset. It included some exemptions, and the moment a chance for new spending came along -- extending unemployment payments -- he and his buddies said this was just the exemption they were looking for. Finding comparable cuts of wasteful spending would have been child's play, but oh, no, that would demonstrate a lack of compassion, we were repeatedly told by liberal pundits specializing in non sequiturs.

Escape clauses mean rule of whim, but even if no such provisions were adopted, so what? Did the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech keep Congress from curbing free speech in campaign finance laws? No, it didn't. The Constitution's "commerce clause" is primarily meant to facilitate trade between states and had nothing to do with regulation until the Supreme Court was bullied into saying otherwise

It thereby opened the door to a nanny state that aims to run your life down to the kind of light bulbs you buy and how much water is in your toilet. There's scarcely a right in the Bill of Rights on which Congress has not trampled at one time or another.

Finally, a balanced budget amendment is the wrong girl to invite to the dance. The great Milton Friedman is quoted as having once said that deficits in a trillion dollar budget would bother him a whole lot less than balance in a two trillion dollar budget.

The point is that even with balance, you can spend the country into oblivion. One draft amendment would make new taxes dependent on a two-thirds vote, which too severely handicaps Congress, though a balanced budget amendment without something like that could mean we are taxed to perdition. Of course, we currently have the worst of all worlds -- a 2012 plan that calls for a record $3.73 trillion in total spending, a $1.1 trillion deficit and ambitions as soon as the politics get right to add $1 trillion in taxes.

The right girl to invite, Friedman said, was an amendment dictating spending limits adjusted upwards only for growth in inflation and population. While that would be an improvement, we would still be faced with emergency provisions and constitutional disdain, besides which it would work only if Congress immediately restructured entitlements.

What you come down to is the real need -- electing responsible, trustworthy, honest, intelligent, Constitution-respecting believers in fiscal propriety, liberty, individual initiative, governmental restraint generally and an understanding of how good intentions too easily go astray. Without the right men and women in power, wrong deeds will be done.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in 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.

Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.


08/10/11: Kerry's war on citizen speech

08/05/11: Upside to the compromise leaving the door open for obnoxious maneuvers

08/03/11: The people who may save America

07/29/11: On making deals, Obama is no LBJ

07/27/11: The threat behind the debt

07/23/11: Mean opposition to means-testing

07/20/11: Leftist babble makes debt crisis even worse

07/18/11: Time to raise demagoguery ceiling

07/13/11: Obama treating treaties badly

07/08/11: Is decline of U.S. exaggerated?

07/05/11: Not math deficiency, but demagoguery