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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 June 11, 2008 / 8 Sivan 5768

The entitlement mess

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Congress is spending us into a hole. We hear about the cost of earmarks and the Iraq war. But what about "entitlements"?


That's the government's ironic term for programs that transfer money from people who earned it to people who didn't.


Entitlement? How can you be entitled to someone else's money?


To finance "entitlement" programs, the government threatens force against the taxpayers who provide the money. Why are people who favor compulsion called humanitarians, while those who favor freedom are stigmatized as greedy?


But I digress. Today's big problem with entitlements is that their growth will soon eat everything in the federal budget.


Last month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed the growth of government spending and deficits for Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.), ranking member of the Budget Committee. The report estimated that spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which in 2007 represented about 8 percent of GDP, would balloon to 14.5 percent in 2030 and 25.7 percent in 2082.


There is no way that can fly.


If you add in all other spending, including interest on the debt, federal spending under the CBO's scenario would eat up an astounding 75.4 percent of GDP in 2084.


If taxes don't keep pace, the CBO says the "additional spending will eventually cause future budget deficits to become unsustainable ..."


And if taxes were to keep pace? The CBO says, "[T]ax rates would have to more than double."


One alternative to raising taxes would be to cut other spending. But at current spending-growth rates for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, all other spending would have to be reduced to zero in 2045.


How likely is that?


Rep. Ryan is understandably alarmed. In The Wall Street Journal May 21, he wrote about a bill he's proposing that would: give individuals tax credits with which to buy their own health insurance in a competitive national marketplace, let the states have flexibility in running Medicaid, give workers under 55 money to buy insurance rather than rely on Medicare when they retire, permit younger workers to invest up to a third of their Social Security taxes in private accounts, increase the retirement age and temper the growth in Social Security benefits.



I don't know if that would be enough. What we really need is a top-to-bottom freeing of the economy, including the health-care industry, and massive cuts in government both spending and taxes. This would leave us wealthy enough to take care of ourselves, with private charity assisting those who can't manage. But Ryan's heart is in the right place. At least he's trying to get the public and his colleagues to focus on what's important. He told me he hopes to play the role of "Paul Revere, sounding the alarm about the government's unsustainable fiscal path."


Sadly, his proposal has been largely ignored. The Wall Street Journal didn't even publish any letters about it.


At least Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Nussle said, "I am encouraged by Congressman Ryan's leadership in his efforts to address this serious problem that continues to swallow the budget and swamp our economy."


And the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget agreed: "It shows tremendous courage and leadership on Congressman Ryan's part that he is willing to lay out a comprehensive and detailed plan ...."


Pleasantly surprising is the lefty home-state Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's reaction, praising Ryan for "putting a plan forward" while the presidential candidates are "skirting the issue."


But for the most part, Ryan's plan is being ignored.


That's too bad, because this budget problem is the big one. The longer we wait to address it — the uglier it gets.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JUST OUT FROM STOSSEL
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel --- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong  

Stossel mines his 20/20 segments for often engaging challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposes of government waste and regulatory fiascoes. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


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