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 Feb. 15, 2006 / 17 Shevat, 5766

Why pretend, GOPers? With lax spending control, ruling party undermines its political control

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If Republicans aren't going to be serious about controlling federal spending, perhaps they should quit pretending to be so.

With much political gnashing of teeth, and nary a Democratic vote, Republicans just cut federal spending by less than $8 billion a year.

For their trouble, Republicans have been denounced by Democrats and various spending lobbies as meanies to seniors, students and the poor.

And for what? In reality, the national trajectory will not be meaningfully altered if the federal government spends $2.701 trillion this year rather than $2.709 trillion or if the federal deficit is $415 billion rather than $423 billion.

President Bush's proposed 2007 budget continues the pretense of being serious about controlling federal spending. According to the numbers released, Bush is proposing to increase overall federal spending by just 2 percent.

But that excludes the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the country spends next year what it will spend this year on those engagements, an estimated $120 billion, then federal spending will increase by nearly 7 percent.

And that's before the Republicans in Congress weigh in. On average, Congress has added about $75 billion a year to Bush's spending requests.

Under Bush and Republican control of Congress, federal spending has increased much more rapidly than the national economy. When Bush took over, federal spending was 18.5 percent of the gross domestic product and had been declining. In 2006, it is expected to be nearly 21 percent.

Federal spending under Bush has been increasing twice as fast as it did during the divided government days under President Clinton.

In his budget, Bush proposes some more minor economies whose political cost probably isn't worth the savings. In the short run, these economies don't matter much. In the long run, the spending challenges require fundamental reforms, not pocketing nickels and dimes.

So, what would a really serious effort to control federal spending look like?

It would begin by attacking corporate welfare, for both substantive and political reasons.

Substantively, it's a lot of money. Federal corporate subsidies are estimated to be around $90 billion a year. These subsidies create economic inefficiencies by distorting consumer and investor decisions.

Politically, starting with corporate welfare provides the bona fides to effect economies in other programs with more politically sympathetic constituencies.

The next easiest place to save serious money is federal grants to state and local governments. Since 1990, the cost of such subventions has more than tripled. They now constitute nearly 17 percent of the federal budget, compared with 11 percent in 1990.

These subventions undermine representative government by clouding responsibility and accountability. Federal elected officials appear to be bestowing free money on local communities. Local elected officials get to take credit for new projects without the political pain of raising the money for them.

The real economies, however, need to be made in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Over this half-century, the federal cost of these programs is expected to rise from about 8.5 percent of GDP to nearly 19 percent, or almost what the entire federal government consumes in national output today.

Simply put, there's no level or distribution of taxation possible to pay this bill that will not severely damage the economy. The programs have to be reformed so they cost less.

What needs to be done is well-known. Federal assistance for retirement income and health care has to be made more a function of income. Middle-class and upper-income workers are going to have to save more while they work to provide more for themselves in retirement. Federal costs for Medicaid need to be capped in exchange for greater state control of the program.

Such recommendations aren't going to come out of a bipartisan commission, as Bush has proposed. If they are going to happen, they will happen because Republicans proposed them and persuaded the American people they were necessary.

Some congressional Republicans oppose real control of federal spending. Some believe that proposing it will cost Republicans control of the federal government.

Perhaps advocating real spending restraint would cost Republicans control of Congress and the presidency. Perhaps the American people aren't ready to make grown-up decisions about what's reasonable to expect from their federal government.

But it's hard to see the political advantage to the pretend game Republicans are currently playing, in which they attempt insignificant economies at great political cost while running up overall spending faster than even a fairly robust economy is expanding.

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.

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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