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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 Jan. 31, 2011 / 26 Shevat, 5771

Obama missed an opportunity on tax reform

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While I was out ill for six weeks in December and January, the world changed. Before that, the White House had badly misjudged the political climate. When I went to Ohio with Vice President Biden in October, he did his best to ignore the evidence of economic pain, giving a pep talk to skeptical factory workers and telling me and other reporters that he believed Democrats would retain their majorities in both the House and Senate.

The election rout came as a shock to President Obama and his administration. But Obama took the lesson and acted promptly. The first step in moving back to the center was to liberate himself from his dependence on Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and cut his own deal with Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader of the Senate. In return for a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts, Obama got not only big pieces of his own economic agenda but also ratification of the arms treaty with Russia and the termination of "don't ask, don't tell."

Thus fortified, he began to repair the White House, giving it a distinctly Clintonian cast. He had already hired Jack Lew, a skilled negotiator, as his budget chief. He brought in my friend Bill Daley, a politically savvy operative with strong business and banking ties, as chief of staff, and Clinton administration veteran Gene Sperling as his top economic adviser. Liberal Democrats fretted, but the vibes from Washington to Wall Street were good.

Then fate intervened. The Tucson massacre provided the kind of occasion when all of the American people turn to the president to express their horror and grief but also their determination to reach out to each other and recover. As Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton had done before him, Obama did not disappoint. His address to the memorial gathering reminded everyone why his voice had been cherished during the 2008 campaign - and why they might want to keep it in the White House.

Everything was cued up for the recovery process to climax at Tuesday's State of the Union address . It played well with the public, with its invocations of bipartisanship and its bursts of economic optimism. But it lacked a centerpiece.

Obama called this a "Sputnik moment" but offered no such ambitious enterprise. The one I had hoped he would choose is the overhaul of the tax code, which could pay multiple dividends.

I also hoped Obama would talk about closing special-interest loopholes, technically known as tax expenditures. Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the president's debt commission, had spotlighted the remarkable fact that $1 trillion a year disappears from the Treasury because of these loopholes.

Recovering those funds ought to be at the top of the economic agenda. Big chunks of them are embedded in two pots that have broad public support - the mortgage-interest deduction and the tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance.

But at least half of that $1 trillion is steered to favored special interests.

Think what recovering $500 billion a year would mean. If you used half of it to reduce individual and corporate tax rates, as Republicans would like, you would give a huge shot in the arm to economic recovery and job growth. If you used much of the rest to bolster education and alternative energy, and repair infrastructure, as Democrats wish, you could actually do those things without deepening the deficit. And you could even set aside $100 billion to reduce the national debt. What a great message that would send abroad - that the United States is serious about ending its economic tailspin.

I wanted to hear Obama urge Paul Ryan, the new Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee whose intellectually ambitious ideas have enlisted bipartisan interest, to meet soon with Kent Conrad, the retiring Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee who well knows the arcane recesses of the tax code. Together, those two could provide an agenda and a strong nudge to the respective tax-writing committees. And I have to believe the big freshman class of legislators would welcome the opportunity to do what no predecessors since another politically divided Congress, prompted by Ronald Reagan, James Baker and the late Dick Darman, and Democratic Sen. Bill Bradley, had done in 1986: clean up and simplify the tax code.

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