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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 January 21, 2009 / 25 Teves 5769

Economic crapshoot ahead

By Tony Blankley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Finding wisdom on the question of economic stimulus may be Washington's most important task in generations — short of major war decisions. President Barack Obama currently is proposing to spend about $850 billion over two years that he asserts is intended to stimulate the economy and thereby add 3-4 million jobs that otherwise would not exist.


It is generally expected that Obama is lowballing it and that after Congress is finished, the level will be closer to $1.2 trillion. Without such efforts, it is asserted, we would face something on the dimensions of the Great Depression (during which America endured up to 24 percent unemployment and up to 13 percent contraction of gross domestic product in a single year). With the stimulus and other legislative and executive actions, people close to Obama hope that unemployment would top out at less than 10 percent and GDP contraction at about 5 percent.


Rarely has so much hung on contested economic theories and ambiguous historical references. The first question is whether fiscal stimulus can ameliorate an economic contraction. Interestingly, Obama's chief economist, Christina Romer, according to The New York Times, "concluded in research she helped write in 1994 that interest-rate policy is the most powerful force in economic recoveries and that fiscal stimulus generally acts too slowly to be of much help in pulling the economy out of recessions."


Although she now supports Obama's stimulus, many economists fear that by the time a stimulus comes online, the economy already will be recovering and all the stimulus will do is induce inflation. With trillion-dollar deficits and huge expansions of the money supply by the Federal Reserve, the prospect of double-digit or worse inflation in a year or two is a real danger to consider.


On the other hand, even many important conservative, free market economists — including some of former President Ronald Reagan's top economists — believe we do need a very big fiscal stimulus a la what we had in the 1930s and '40s. And here is where it gets even more confounding. Maybe a trillion-dollar deficit is too small. Most economic historians believe that the Great Depression did not end until World War II because only then was the deficit spending big enough to fully replace the lack of private-sector economic activity. FDR was afraid of big deficits and didn't spend enough to end the Depression sooner.


If that theory is right, consider that during WWII, the deficit as a percentage of GDP was: 1943 — 30 percent; 1944 — 23 percent; 1945 — 22 percent. A trillion-dollar deficit in 2009 would be only 8.3 percent of the GDP, although it would be bigger than the previous biggest deficit since WWII — 6 percent in 1983.


So, if the Depression-WWII theory is to be followed, then next year's deficit should not be a paltry $1 trillion, but rather about $2.5 trillion (in order to be about the same percent of the GDP as the WWII deficits were). At a mere trillion, we may be spending enough to badly inflate the currency without spending enough to lift the economy.


Of course, economic historians point out that 2009 is vastly different economically from 1943. Back then, we had almost a command wartime economy. There were few consumer products available; our economy was much more self-contained than our globalized economy and financial system is today; we had rationing of food, gasoline and other products; the government was spending the money directly to build and run war material factories; and 16 million people were in the military — mostly abroad.


So how literally do we want to copy the methods of the past to cure today's problem?


If we agree to spend trillions of deficit dollars in the next two years, can our political system spend it for the purpose of stimulus, or will it waste hundreds of billions of dollars on pet projects that do not maximize the stimulating potential of government deficit dollars? It is hard not to giggle at that question. There is already abundant evidence of members of Congress pushing for projects that will yield little stimulus but may yield local votes for them in two years. And from what I have heard off the record, team Obama also is checking around to see what politically popular projects they might back around the country.


Any experienced political observer must conclude that if we go ahead and spend the trillions of deficit dollars, inevitably a significant percentage of those dollars will get us very few jobs or economic activity per buck. If the spending will bring a prompt recovery, it may be worth the corrupt waste of much money. But will it work, even then?


We are about to roll the dice on the biggest crapshoot in the economic history of humanity. Will seven come 11? Or will it be snake eyes for our economic future?

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2008, Creators Syndicate

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