Home
In this issue
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 Apr. 18, 2013 / 8 Iyar, 5773

Utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Washington, as the story goes, remains stuck in a budgetary stalemate between big-spending liberals who want to raise taxes and lavish money on wasteful programs, and crypto-anarchist conservatives who want to burn the entire federal government to the ground. If you believe his press clippings, President Obama has just boldly waltzed into the middle of this tug-of-war with a Nixon-goes-to-China proposal to tackle runaway entitlement spending.

Bunk.

The gulf between proposals does not exactly resemble the Grand Canyon. It looks more like a golf-course divot.

Ten years out, the House Republicans' plan would spend $4.95 trillion, or 19.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product. The Senate Democrats' plan would spend $5.69 trillion, or 21.9 percent of GDP. Obama's plan would spend $5.66 trillion, or 21.7 percent. The president's budget, then, yaws far closer to the Senate Democrats' proposal than to the midpoint between the two congressional blueprints. Yet all three plans still lie within shouting distance of one another.

You can read that a couple of ways. The first is to conclude that the president has shifted markedly to the right. That's how many big media outlets are playing it. The New York Times says Obama's new budget "defines him as a president willing to take on the two pillars of his party — Medicare and Social Security — created by Democratic presidents. ... (Some on the left are asking) whether he is a progressive at all." The Washington Post says Obama has "set aside the grand ambitions that marked his early days in office. ... Obama proposes nothing on the scale of the $1.2 trillion initiative to extend health coverage to the uninsured that he pursued after taking office in 2009."

Seriously? That's the standard? Then to avoid charges of progressive apostasy, Obama would have to propose another new trillion-dollar program every year. After Obamacare for health care, we'd need Obamacare for housing. Then Obamacare for the nation's food supply. And so on.

The second way you can read the numbers is to conclude that Republicans are not nearly so austere as they — and for that matter, Democrats — would like everyone to believe. And there are good reasons to buy that interpretation. For one thing, we can take the House proposal as basically an opening bid in the negotiations — whereas Obama has made it clear his budget represents his final offer: Take it or leave it. While the GOP probably is willing to accept a less austere budget, the president is not willing to accept one that is more austere.

But then you can't really use the word "austere" in reference to any of these budgets. Not unless you're the sort who thinks Albania would now be the crown jewel of Europe if only the late Communist dictator Enver Hoxha had been a little more stern with the counter-revolutionary elements.

Overall, Obama's budget increases spending at a rate of 4.5 percent a year. And despite all the talk of entitlement "cuts," it increases Social Security spending by 25 percent after adjusting for inflation, and increases Medicare spending by an even larger amount. The so-called cuts to those programs are simply slight reductions in the rate of growth.

Elsewhere, the president proposes about $25 billion in ostensible cuts. But those are more than offset by higher spending — such as $77 billion for an expanded early-childhood education program — along with higher taxes, to the tune of about $700 billion.

This would be on top of the $600 billion in taxes the president already won in the year-end fiscal-cliff deal, not to mention the $1 trillion in tax hikes passed as part of Obamacare. But the president's current $700 billion tax hike is less than Senate Democrats' proposal to hike taxes another $1 trillion — so it occupies what, in Washington, passes for the middle ground.

All of this assumes you can trust the fiscal projections. But you can't. Washington always low-balls. Look at the health care exchanges required under Obamacare, the cost of which is now expected to be more than double initial estimates. Or consider Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate, a 1990s-era formula meant to impose fiscal discipline on that program. Congress writes a waiver from it every year like clockwork. It should tell you something that, according to Yuval Levin in National Review, more than 90 percent of the cuts in Obama's budget will take effect after he has left office. What it should tell you is that they won't ever happen.

Nevertheless, progressives profess to be utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal. Imitating a long-standing practice on the right, they now are threatening to "primary" Democrats who compromise by raising taxes and spending to a less-than-ruinous degree. There is talk of recruiting a presidential candidate who will not fall prey, like the perfidious Obama, to the sin of ideological deviationism. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's name is being bandied about, for instance. She is no Enver Hoxha, but she will have to do.

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.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




04/11/13: Cognitive dissonance on guns
04/04/13: Do unto others, but not unto us, say the media
04/01/13: Observations from the auto shop holding pen
03/14/13: The nation-building follies
03/12/13: Will the right come around on pot?
03/07/13: Another U.S. dupe falls for a dictator
02/28/13: How dare you say that here!
02/26/13: Eating Frito-Lay chips at gunpoint
02/20/13: Death Star petitions are just what we need
02/13/13: ObamaCare proves law correct --- deep down you knew it would
01/29/13: It's Time to Get Judgy About Incompetency
01/23/13: Look who's mocking fascist fear-mongering now
01/16/13: Only in Washington could you get away with referring to spending and tax increases as spending 'cuts'
01/09/13: Obama begins his second term, Bush's fourth
01/07/13: Who's Attacking the Constitution Now?
01/03/13: Why, historically, January is the perfect time to debate the filibuster
12/26/12: When libs devalue diversity
12/20/12: Mark Your Calendars
12/13/12: Gun control, ad infinitum
12/11/12: Fracking can help fix the CO2 problem
12/06/12: Let's open the door to lots more immigration
12/04/12: Who's watching the kids? Just about everyone
11/29/12: The Real Middle-Class Champion was Mocked and Opposed
11/26/12: It's time to cut a deal on the budget
11/20/12: The case for a carbon tax
11/15/12: Cue the hysterics. Reports of Democracy's Death Greatly Exaggerated
11/07/12: The $4,000 Trash Can: We need regulation, but not this much
10/23/12: The Ballad of Islamist Rage Boy
10/17/12: Undermining the values that enable people in poverty to escape it? Sadly, yes
10/11/12: How Much Is This Tax Cut Gonna Cost Me, Doc?
10/04/12: Warrantless spying skyrockets under Obama
08/20/12: The wrong side absolutely must not win
08/14/12: America was not built on dirt alone
08/02/12: Libs Discover Their Inner Cheney
07/30/12: Feds want to help you --- whether you want help or not
07/23/12: Barack Obama, Storyteller-in-Chief
07/23/12: Nation's worst outsourcer? You
07/19/12: Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under
07/12/12: Obama, Romney: As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
07/05/12: Are teenagers big children --- or little adults?
06/25/12: Minorities treated as mere numbers
06/21/12: Memo to the the Little Guy: Seemingly innocuous activity could bring the federal hammer down out of a clear blue sky
06/19/12: We mustn't let America be buffaloed
05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast