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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 Sept. 14, 2011 15 Elul, 5771

‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | So what’s so super about the “supercommittee”?

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, as the supercommittee is known formally, held a first meeting last week that consisted entirely of speech-making by the panel members. The panel followed that triumph by holding a hearing Tuesday morning devoted in large part to trading blame for the deficit.

“We have a spending-driven debt crisis,” announced Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.), the Republican co-chairman. “I hope that we’ll be able to dwell somewhat today on just how significantly the big entitlement programs are the long-term drivers of this problem.”

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) countered that “the biggest portion” of the shortfall, other than the effects of the economic collapse, “are the tax cuts in 2001 and 2002, the Bush tax cuts.” The wealthy, he argued, “should be willing and ready to ante up, to meet their patriotic duty to contribute revenues.”

There are skeptics who say prospects are bleak that the supercommittee will come up with anything resembling a comprehensive solution to the deficit problem. I think those skeptics are too optimistic.

As the committee learned Tuesday in testimony from Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf, they must have legislation in hand by the beginning of November to meet their own late-November deadline. Yet if Tuesday’s hearing was any indication, they can’t agree on the nature of the problem.

“The fundamental question,” Elmendorf lectured the blame-crazed lawmakers, “is not how we got here but where you want the country to go.”

The chief congressional bean counter, highly regarded by both sides as a neutral referee, laid out the choices: If you want to keep entitlement programs the way they are, you’re going to need big tax increases and sharp cuts to everything else government does. If you want to keep taxes where they are, you’re going to need severe cuts to entitlement programs as well as to everything else.

The answer should be obvious to reasonable people: all of the above. To prevent a ruinous rise in taxes or devastating cuts to Medicare and Social Security, there will need to be smaller tax increases and smaller entitlement cuts.

There are serious legislators on the panel — Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.) and Max Baucus (Mont.), and Republican Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Rep. Dave Camp (Mich.) — but there are also enough hardened partisans to encourage a suspicion that the committee has been set up to fail. That probably means committee members will agree on little more than cuts to discretionary spending programs, such as the Pentagon, homeland security, veterans benefits, food safety and air-traffic control.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) indicated how low the panel’s expectations are when he began asking Elmendorf about ways to cut the deficit by cracking down on wasteful payments in programs such as Medicare.

Elmendorf resisted this thinking. “There is no evidence,” he said, that “efforts in this direction could represent any substantial share of numbers that begin with ‘t’ for trillion.”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) apparently didn’t hear that caution. “I want to underscore what our friend Mr. Kyl said about fraud and abuse,” he informed Elmendorf.

Wasteful payments are chump change compared with the big items: tax revenue that averaged 18 percent of gross domestic product over the past 40 years but is now at 15.3 percent, and spending on Social Security, Medicare and similar programs that has jumped from a 40-year average of 7.2 percent to 10.4 percent — and is climbing fast.

Democrats seemed to grasp only the first part; Republicans concerned themselves with only the second. Upton, for his part, blamed Obama’s health-care plan, which he alleged would “cost the nation nearly $2 trillion over the first 10 years.”

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), determining that “the huge bulk” of the deficit problem comes from tax policy, taunted his colleagues: “It’s time for this committee to get real.”

Each side employed leading questions to enlist the neutral Elmendorf’s support.

Hensarling asked if the growth in entitlements “can be described as explosive.”

“Very rapid, congressman, yes,” replied Elmendorf, who with his glasses and trim beard was well cast for the role of economic arbiter.

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) asked if the current level of tax revenue is “well lower than the historical average.”

“Yes, that’s right,” Elmendorf replied.

But Portman led the witness too far when he asked Elmendorf what “ought to be the primary focus of this committee.”

“It’s really not the place of me or CBO to offer recommendations about how to proceed,” the referee replied.

Too bad. If sensible people were in charge, the committee might actually do something super.

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Previously:



09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
08/03/11 Government on autopilot
08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
07/27/11 Life imitates sport
07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
06/24/11 ‘Mission accomplished,’ Obama style
06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
06/02/11 The Weiner roast
06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


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