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 June 23, 2009 / 1 Tamuz 5769

The value of an old clunker

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm torn, if you want to know the truth.

Last week, the United States Senate passed the "Cash for Clunkers" bill — they tucked it into an emergency war-funding bill — and President Obama will soon sign it into law.

Here's how the clunker bill works:

If your current car averages 18 or fewer miles per gallon, you'll qualify for a $3,500 voucher toward the cost of a new car — so long as the new car averages at least 4 mpg more.

Better: If you buy a new car that averages 10 mpg better than your current car, the government will give you a $4,500 voucher.

That is why I'm torn.

I own two vehicles: a 2001 Nissan Maxima SE and a 1992 Chevy S-10 truck, both in excellent condition.

My Maxima gets 19 mpg in the city — it averages 22 mpg — so it doesn't qualify for government dough.

But my truck surely does. It only gets about 10 mpg.

Of course, that isn't a problem. The truck sits in my father's garage most of the time. It goes out only when someone in my family needs to pick up a piece of furniture or some mulch.

I love that truck.

Its dated two-tone silver-and-maroon paint job, white-letter tires and red velour interior scream "1992." It's the kind of vehicle somebody like Bill Clinton might have used to pick up someone like Monica Lewinsky.

Despite its coolness — despite its near-mint condition — the truck is 17 years old. In the real market — the free market — it is worth only $2,500.

Which puts me in a troubling position.

Once President Obama signs the clunker bill into law, my truck will instantly be worth $4,500. All I have to do is find a new vehicle that gets 22 mpg — not hard to do.

Of course I don't need or want a new vehicle. I love my Maxima. And my truck is perfect for what it is intended to do.

And I can't bear the thought of what will happen to my beloved truck if I take the deal. All vehicles traded in under the clunker program will be crushed into a block of steel and smelted. Not even the transmission or the motor can be salvaged.

But then again, one must keep emotion out of financial decisions. Only the government is dumb enough to pay me $4,500 for a $2,500 vehicle — and only a dummy would walk away from a $2,000 gain.

Sure, I know what the critics are saying: The program's $1 billion price tag is a waste of money at a time when we're bleeding red ink. I know we've already squandered some $30 billion meddling in the private auto industry and have likely made things worse, not better.

I know the unintended consequences of the government's clunker program will hit the poor and middle class the hardest. Even with government perks, many people can't afford a new car. Because the program will take thousands of used cars out of service, it will cause the cost of used cars to go up.

I know the political class is trying to impose a desired outcome on us. They're eager for us to drive ever dinkier cars. I know they're bribing us — with our own dough — to make us bend to their will.

But then again, this will surely be my last chance to qualify for a government perk of any kind. I'm generally on the paying end of government programs — not the receiving end — and all of us will be paying plenty more if Obama succeeds in signing a torrent of big-spending programs into law.

And so I am torn.

I had been happy with my two perfectly good vehicles, but, suddenly, I'm thrust into the throes of a major automotive decision.

I've been avoiding my truck lately. Wracked with guilt — I can't believe I may be bought off for a lousy 2,000 bucks — I can't look my truck in the headlights.

Such are the peculiar thoughts that only the government can produce.

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© 2009, Tom Purcell