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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 August 11, 2010 / 1 Elul, 5770

Why we need to let states go broke

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Federal Band-Aids won't cover the fiscal problems of such states as New York, California, Michigan and Connecticut forever. State bankruptcy and fundamental restructuring of state and local finance -- and labor relations -- is at hand.

Take Connecticut. In the current fiscal year, $2 billion in federal subsidies have helped tide it over the recession -- a hefty share of its $15 billion budget. But these infusions are one-shot grants, renewed only if Congress acts affirmatively to do so. Other states depend on similar manifestations of federal largess.

In Washington, the House is set to pass a $26 billion aid package this week -- fresh federal aid amounting to about 2 percent of state and local spending. But if the Republicans win control of Congress this fall, it is hard to see any legislative willingness to renew these subsidies.

Instead, GOP lawmakers will point to the examples of New Jersey, Virginia and Indiana -- where conservative governors have slashed spending to avoid tax hikes. In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell has reduced spending to pre-2006 levels.

If Congress fails to renew its subsidies, the more profligate states will face cash shortfalls in the current fiscal year. They'll threaten school closures, prison releases and all manner of mayhem if their subsidies aren't renewed. But the Republicans in Washington are likely to refuse -- asking why the responsible states should bail out the spendthrifts in Albany, Sacramento, Lansing and Hartford.

At that point, the bond markets will start eyeing state (and local) balance sheets more critically -- demanding higher rates or even refusing to lend. California won't be the only one trying to get by on IOUs.

But beyond this tale of woe lies a golden opportunity to reform state governments and redress the imbalance of power between elected officials and public-employee unions.

Absent endless federal subsidies, states will simply no longer be able to afford to give the unions everything that they want. And governors -- many of them newly elected Republicans -- will realize that they can't even afford to honor agreements their big-spending predecessors OK'd.

The GOP Congress should then amend the federal bankruptcy law to provide for a way -- now absent -- for states to declare bankruptcy. (Municipalities can do so under current law, but states have no such relief.)

Here's the key: The reforms must require that states abrogate their public-employee union agreements in the bankruptcy process, just as private corporations like Delta and Chrysler have done. The wage hikes, the work rules, the pension plans all go out the window.

Few states will have the starch to cut benefits for those now receiving them. But most will cut pensions for current workers and all will slice them for future employees. Even the threat will be a powerful bargaining tool.

And beyond the fiscal adjustments, the power of the municipal- and public-employee unions will be broken.

Voters throughout America will loudly applaud if Congress tells the profligate states, "Work it out on your own. Don't look to us for a bailout."

President Obama could veto the bankruptcy reforms -- but a Republican Congress need do nothing to assist states in their plight until he relents. All of the political and financial leverage will be on Congress' side.

The result could be the greatest revolution in state and local governance since public-employee unions came on the scene. The public and the voters would get their local governments back, and the grip of public unions will be weakened. It would be the state and local equivalent of President Ronald Reagan's tough stand against the air-traffic controllers' strike.

Politically, the unions that fund and fuel the Democratic Party would be emasculated, dramatically shifting the national balance of power.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's prediction about socialism will have come true for America's states: "Sooner or later, they run out of other peoples' money."

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