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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 April 20, 2005 / 11 Nisan, 5765

Don't get old

By Tony Blankley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Question: What is the difference between squirrels and members of Congress? Answer: Squirrels make provisions for the future.

It has long been thought that one of the mental attributes that sets man apart from the lower beasts is his capacity to mentally abstract himself from the moment and contemplate the middle and long-term future. (As consolation for being given that gift, man was also uniquely given the capacity to laugh.) But if the current responses to fixing Social Security and Medicare by senators and congressmen — both Republican and Democrat — is any indication, we might want to consider electing squirrels to Congress rather than humans.

There is a building consensus in Washington that any meaningful rectification of Social Security's finances is dead for at least the next year or two. I am not quite prepared to join that consensus yet, but I understand why smart people think that way. Democrats are wandering around Washington proudly bragging that they have never been more united than they are now to kill any Republican-supported Social Security proposal. They note with pride that they are ahead of where the Republicans were in 1993 in their successful project to kill Hillary Care.

To the extent that they have a policy argument, it is that Social Security is not in any trouble that a modest little tax increase can't solve, and that President Bush has his priorities wrong — he should be solving the problems of Medicare first. As the unfunded Social Security liability is $3.7 trillion (over 70 years), the little tax increase would, by definition be at least $3.7 trillion dollars.

As the Democrats sincerely believe that regular, big tax increases are good for the country, I will concede the possibility that they are in good faith when they propose the world's largest tax increase as a cure for Social Security. But that can't happen until there is a Democratic president and at least 60 Democrats in the Senate, as almost all Republicans would oppose such a tax increase. Given that they are at only 45 senators, with a good chance of losing more in the next election, the Democratic leadership has to know that their policy of total opposition and total obstruction to any Bush bill on Social Security is in effect a formula for inaction for many years to come.

So, absent fairly prompt reform, the baby boomers will have to be satisfied with only $0.72 on the dollar of promised Social Security monthly payments. That is all the existing law promises when the revenues fall short.

The Republicans (except for the president and a few others) cast equally slender profiles in courage on Social Security. Give it to the Republicans, like good squirrels they are providing for their own future re-elections by refusing to support or fight for the financial retirement future of the general population. There is admittedly some risk to about one in 10 Republican members of the House that they might lose re-election if they support an unpopular bill. But even many members in safe districts are taking no chances in supporting reform.

Of course, if Social Security were the only financial threat lurking just over the horizon, even late efforts to fix it could be plausible, if more painful (the later we wait, the more painful the cure will be when it is forced on us).

But over precisely the same time period that we have to come up with the money or benefit cuts to keep Social Security solvent, we also have to do the same for Medicare. If the Social Security financial wave that will hit us is a scary 25-foot wave of water, the Medicare wave will be something the wrathful Hebrew Bible G-d would send if he was in an apocalyptic mood. Think in terms of Noah — or worse.

According to the Medicare trustee's report last month, Medicare costs currently consume the equivalent of 8.7 percent of all federal tax revenues. That number goes up to 32.8 percent by 2025, and an unbelievable but true 90 percent of all revenues by 2075. Calculated another way, the unfunded liability of Medicare by 2075 will be a little over $60 trillion — that's T as in Totally insane. Any way it is calculated, it can't be afforded. Not only is Medicare challenged by all the same demographic forces that are hitting Social Security, but also by the fact that demand for health care is going up, on average, about 3 percent more than GDP every year.

That is to say our demand for health care goes up much faster than our collective capacity as a nation to be productive. Currently, Americans spend, from all sources, about 15 percent of our GDP on health care (public and private). If current trends continue, that will increase to an impossible 79 percent by 2075. In other words, there will be little left for everything else in American life — public and private — shelter, food, transportation, education, clothes, capital investment, the military — all other economic activity.

Neither the British, the Germans, nor the Canadians, nor we have the slightest clue how to maintain funding for the levels of health care their populations assume will be available to them through their retirements. Those politicians who say solve Medicare before Social Security are in effect saying don't solve Social Security. If we don't have the political will to solve the easier problem of Social Security, my advice to boomers as they get older is: Don't get sick.

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.

Tony Blankley is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


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