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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 March 29, 2013/ 18 Nissan, 5773

Fairy-tale budgeting: Both Dems and Republicans base their figures on fantasies

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The farthest known galaxy is about 13.3 billion light years away. But MACS0647-JD may be closer to Earth than Democrats and Republicans are to each other on taxes, spending and debt -- and that either is to reality.

Last week House Republicans presented their proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Senate Democrats (for the first time in four years) offered a budget, too.

The Congressional Budget Act requires the Congressional Budget Office to project federal spending and tax revenues 10 years into the future. This lets lawmakers and staff try their hand at writing fiction.

The difference between a fairy tale and the fifth year of the Five Year Defense Plan, for instance, is that there is a moral to a fairy tale, which is what we used to say when I worked in the Pentagon because projections for how much money the Defense Department would have to spend five years hence always proved fanciful. There are so many variables which can vary so much that no mere mortal can do more than make a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) about what revenues will appear so far in the future.

A SWAG isn't worth much even if the mortals making it are smart and honest, dubious assumptions to make about politicians.

The plausibility of a SWAG depends on its assumptions. By far the most important in estimating tax revenue is the rate of economic growth.

From 1948 through 2012, the gross domestic product grew at an average annual rate of 3.22 percent. GDP grew at an average rate of 1.4 percent during President Barack Obama's first term, 2.18 percent last year.

The SWAG of the nonpartisan CBO staff is that through fiscal year 2023, GDP will grow at a real (adjusted for inflation) average annual rate of 2.88 percent.

Pollyanna and Dr. Pangloss must be CBO analysts. Only 12 times in the last 65 years -- and not since 1984 -- has GDP ever grown that much or more in a single year. In a paper in January, CBO said its forecasts "have deviated from actual growth by roughly 1.25 percentage points."

Republicans say they can balance the budget in 10 years without raising taxes because they plan to spend $5.7 trillion less over the decade than CBO forecasts would otherwise be spent if no changes are made in current economic policies. These savings can be achieved if Obamacare is repealed and Medicare, Medicaid and the income tax are reformed, estimates the author of the GOP plan, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

But the GOP budget wouldn't actually reduce spending, even though the federal government spends twice as much today as it did in fiscal year 2000. It assumes the government will spend $1.2 trillion more in 2023 than it spends now. The increase alone is more than the entire government spent in 1989.

Senate Democrats plan to spend $1 trillion more than the Republicans. Democrats would raise taxes ($975 billion, according to their calculations, $1.5 trillion by the GOP's), but deficits in their budget wouldn't fall below $407 billion.

Republicans and Democrats are required by law to use CBO forecasts to build their budgets. If current CBO estimates of GDP growth are off as much as they've been in the past, GOP plans to balance the budget by FY 2023 are a pipe dream.

If Rep. Ryan's other assumptions come to pass, the economy would get a boost. But it's safer to bet the Jacksonville Jaguars will win the Super Bowl than that Democrats will agree to repeal Obamacare and cut income tax rates.

Because a budget with annual deficits of more than $400 billion isn't fiscally responsible to start with, overestimating revenues by perhaps 40 percent is far more devastating to Democrats. Actual deficits would be much higher.

Other faulty assumptions Democrats make then would cascade. (They assume -- preposterously -- that neither mounting debt nor tax hikes would exert drag on the economy).

Both budgets are fairy tales. But there's a big difference.

To get their numbers, Democrats rely on pixie dust, magic beans and chicanery.

It is chiefly their assumption Democrats would act responsibly that makes the Republican budget a fairy tale.

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 Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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