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 April 14, 2005 / 5 Nisan, 5765

The Un-Savage Sword of Conan

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The last time I had been in the California governor's inner office for a one-on-one interview, I was meeting with Gov. Gray Davis, who was in deep denial about the impending recall election. I was there again Tuesday to talk to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. How was it different? Well, let's just say that Schwarzenegger keeps his "Conan the Barbarian" sword in a lined box near the head of a long conference table.

"Go ahead," the governor told me after the interview, "pick it up."

I wielded the Savage Sword of Conan, although my stomach slice was cut short when it met with the corner of an antique chest. (Warning to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez: Schwarzenegger says that the sword is so heavy that a mere nudge can send a chunk of flesh flying.)

Schwarzenegger's message: Just because he pulled his support for a pension-reform proposal to move new state and local government workers to a 401(k)-type pension plan, he still aims to reform the system — he isn't retreating. He just wants a measure that provides for death and disability benefits.

In his second year in office, this governor is more Sacramento-savvy than the rookie governor who said he didn't want to shuffle the boxes of bureaucracy because "I want to blow them up."

I ask: How is the budget you presented for the next fiscal year different from what Gray Davis would have done? Schwarzenegger said he didn't want to compare himself with Davis, who, he said, wanted to make more budget cuts.

(And look where it got him.)

Despite all the hollering about Schwarzenegger the Knife, the Legislative Analyst's Office sees very few real spending reductions in the $109 billion budget for 2005-2006. Of the $9 billion in what the leg analyst calls "savings," $2.3 billion comes from not returning money to the schools budget — even still, public school funding will exceed $9,800 per student — and $1.3 billion comes from a raid of transportation funds. There are about a billion dollars in real cuts made by such steps as freezing cost-of-living increases for the CalWorks grants and disability payments. So where is the ax?

"Nothing we want to do is drastic," the Austrian Oak explained. The guv doesn't want to roll back health care for needy families, as "it's too brutal." An aide brings a chart into the room, and Schwarzenegger shows how he plans to use gradual spending cuts to close the gap between what the state takes in and what it spends.

You're not blowing up the boxes, I say. "We will," Schwarzenegger says, noting his plan to improve the California Youth Authority and Department of Corrections office. So, for the Terminator 2005, "blowing up" means making bureaucracies work better. Besides, he adds, state government has to grow to accommodate a larger state population.

Some Republicans see this more reasonable tone as a betrayal. But there is a method to his saneness. For one thing, Schwarzenegger gets the math. "We are very ambitious," he noted, "but of course when you work with 120 legislators, everyone's hacking and chipping away and it slows down the process. The advantage that we have is democracy, but the disadvantage is it's not a dictatorship."

So the big, bold move Schwarzenegger now cites is something that many critics see as a gimmick. He has proposed ballot measures to reform the pension system (not now, but later), improve education, redraw legislative districts and reform the state budget process. The latter two areas are most important to him.

Schwarzenegger noted that it is wrong that Sacramento can raid transportation money instead of cutting spending elsewhere to balance the budget. Yes, he raided those funds, too, but only because past practices forced him to. Now, if he has his way, there will be a ceiling beyond which Sacramento cannot raise spending, and future governors and legislators won't be able to dip into school and transportation coffers.

As Schwarzenegger put it, "If the Democrats say, 'We want to raise taxes,' then the Republicans say, 'no.' And so out came borrowing, borrowing, borrowing, borrowing. It created the $22 billion debt that I've inherited. So what I'm saying is, this year, let's get to the source, to what created this problem."

I am not on board with the initiative approach. If Sacramento could get around Propositions 98 and 42, Sacramento will be able to get around this measure, too. Future lawmakers will find loopholes, or they'll sneak language into other initiatives that weaken any real reform. You can't wall up every crack in a creaky wall.

The answer isn't an initiative, but political resolve. He's a bodybuilder. He should understand self-discipline.

Besides, the Legislative Analyst noted, the state budget is troublesome because too much spending is on "autopilot." Schwarzenegger shouldn't fix a warped mechanism by adding onto the auto-spending.

His response: "Autopilot is not the evil. It's the autopilot that makes you spend more money than you have that makes the evil." I like that, even though I know his scheme can't work.

So the big man's big reform is: "Narrow the areas where they can create gimmicks."

His gimmick is fewer gimmicks.

Give the man this much: It was after Schwarzenegger garnered the signatures to put workers' compensation on the ballot that Sacramento passed compromise workers' compensation legislation. For him, the initiative is a bargaining chit.

Another Arnold-ism: "I've always said, if the legislators don't do the job, the people will."

I like voters, too, but in 1998 and 2002, voters sent a herd of legislators dominated by hard-left Democrats to Sacramento. Afterward, voters shouldn't have been shocked and outraged that government spending spiked and, when the tax revenue ran dry, the Golden State was swimming in red.

Voters loved Schwarzenegger's bravado about cutting waste, but when he prepares to hack away at big-ticket items like state and local pensions, his popularity sags.

The Dems deride the gov's gimmicks, even though their only trick is to raise taxes. Or should I say raise taxes, and then still spend more than they have?

Don't root against Schwarzenegger: If he loses, then the whole state loses.

Schwarzenegger said that he isn't weak. He looks at the next round of the budget game as "another squat with 500 pounds." He never expected it to be easy, and these days he has stopped trying to make it sound easy.

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© 2005, Creators Syndicate