December 2, 2014
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
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
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
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
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Apr. 18, 2013 / 8 Iyar, 5773
Utterly outraged by their president's callous betrayal
A. Barton Hinkle
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.
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.
• 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