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 May 9, 2005 / 30 Nisan, 5765

Is Dubya D.C.'s only adult?

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At first, President Bush tried to lowball his push to partially privatize Social Security. Or, as Harry Zeeve of the bipartisan fiscal-watchdog group the Concord Coalition put it, "For 60 days, Bush was talking about how great private accounts would be, without discussing the potential for driving the economy off a debt-cliff by borrowing to fund the accounts."

The American public refused to warm to his half-baked proposal. (Me, too. I support private accounts, but not without a solid plan to pay for them.) This left Dubya at a low point, where many other Repubs would have bashed the Democrats for not even having a plan and then slinked on to another issue.

Instead, Bush got serious. While 99 percent of Washington pols have been talking as if Americans have a sacred right to expect something for nothing, Bush backed a plan by a Democrat, Robert Pozen, called "progressive indexing." Pozen's plan would maintain Social Security benefit increases for lower-income workers, while limiting increases for high-income and middle-income workers, by tying the growth in their benefits to a price index. The White House claims this plan would fix 70 percent of the system's projected shortfall.

Bush "definitely put his neck out, and he deserves a lot of credit for offering a concrete suggestion for how to rein in benefits," said Zeeve.

No lie. Meanwhile, the Democrats have spent the last two months acting as if a few tweaks would fix Social Security's woes. They still have no plan, and they still aren't leveling with the American voter.

The Concord Coalition has put together a series of issues briefs — you can find them at www.concordcoalition.org — on just how close to collapse the system is. The organization notes that while Social Security "trustees say that Social Security is 'solvent' until 2042," what they mean is that the government has written IOUs for that amount without setting aside any money to pay it back.

There is no trust fund. While the trust fund has accumulated trillions in IOUs, "that just means that the government will owe itself a lot of money." Money it won't have. Thus, after the year 2018, the federal government will have to find new money to pay expected Social Security benefits.

In a statement last week, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi attacked Bush for saying the "unheard of — that he did not intend to pay the Social Security trust fund back." Pelosi also bashed Bush for cutting Social Security benefits for the middle class. As if everything would be hunky-dory without Dubya's plan.

Don't' take my word for it. As The Washington Post reported, under the Bush-Pozen plan, "workers earning as little as $35,000 a year would lose a quarter of their promised benefits by 2065, although their benefit under progressive indexing would be 11 percent larger than the check Social Security could afford to issue by then."

Democrats say they won't compromise with Bush unless he drops private accounts, but the voluntary nature of the Bush plan — only those who want private accounts would have them — is a compromise.

Besides, shouldn't the Dems welcome a plan that would allow poor workers, if they sign on, to leave their savings to their loved ones?

Meanwhile, some Republicans are distancing themselves from progressive indexing, lest they be associated with a cut in benefits for their constituents. They want private accounts without paying for them, to supplement government benefits without paying for them.

As Zeeve sees it, Washington has become the land of "do-nothing Democrats and free-lunch Republicans." He would like to see a Social Security reform that cuts benefits and raises taxes.

If you ask me, Bush has introduced compromise to the equation by proposing cuts suggested by a Democrat and proposing cuts that hit the GOP base. Still, that doesn't mean that Bush is done compromising. It won't help if Bush is compromising alone. It won't help if compromise means not each side giving something up, but each side getting what it wants, thanks to borrowing.

If Democrats won't budge at all — not even for a wealth-weighted plan that offers private accounts only to those who want them — then the system will go broke. And if GOP pols won't agree to benefit cuts, or won't agree to a modest tax hike, then the country is sunk.

Voters will be part of the problem, too. The left tells its partisans to demand that any reform leave out private accounts. The right tells its base to demand no new taxes. What voters should demand, says Zeeve, is "a return to adult leadership."

That's the only way to win a solid reform.

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© 2005, Creators Syndicate