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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 Oct. 27, 2008 / 28 Tishrei 5769

Go-cart, No Brakes

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | D.C. Democrats are now pushing for a new $300 billion stimulus package. Earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been talking up a $150 billion stimulus package. Apparently the cost of stimulation is rising, and fast.


Do I hear $450 billion?


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's rescue plan also grew from $60 billion to $175 billion. Republican presidential candidate John McCain's stimulus package is holding steady at $52 billion — which makes it seem, well, almost quaint.


If passed, the new Son of Stimulus package will follow on the heels of the $700 billion bank bailout, $110 billion of sweeteners added onto the first bailout, and February's $168 billion stimulus package, which did not deliver much hoped-for stimulus.


Is there an end in sight, or will Washington continue this spending spree well into the next administration? If you are looking for an inkling that fiscal restraint is out there somewhere, the signs are not good, friend.


You may recall, two short years ago, Democrats promised that if they were in charge of Congress, they would restore pay-as-you-go (also known as PAYGO) budget rules, which require Congress to pay for new spending either by cutting other spending or increasing taxes. In January, newly installed Speaker Pelosi proudly trumpeted new PAYGO rules in the House.


PAYGO is still on the books, but the rule has become more of a fictional device than accounting tool.


The Senate vote to add $110 billion in tax cuts to the Bush-proposed $700 billion bailout plan bypassed PAYGO. The more profligate Senate has arm-twisted until fiscally conservative House Blue Dog Democrats caved and supported PAYGO-lite bills before. As Taxpayers for Common Sense spokesman Steve Ellis noted, the House Blue Dogs are "getting rolled on a regular basis."


Together both Houses have gimmicks and trickery to bypass PAYGO to pass a measure to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from dinging middle-class taxpayers, to approve a pork-fest of a farm bill, to push through the energy bill, and more.


According to Ellis, Democrats don't like the fact that PAYGO makes it harder for them to propose new spending, while Republicans like the idea of PAYGO — until they're asked to forgo tax cuts. So both parties have a stake in ditching PAYGO.


Brian M. Riedl, an economist with the right-leaning Heritage Foundation, agrees. As he sees it, PAYGO makes Congress offset tax cuts, if they are extended, but not spending programs that are extended. "The idea that PAYGO means fiscal responsibility is ridiculous."


In that Washington's spending spree has continued unabated under PAYGO, Riedl has a point.


Democrats can argue — rightly — that the binge started before Democrats took over Congress. As Riedl noted in a Heritage backgrounder last October, "non-defense discretionary spending has expanded nearly twice as fast under President Bush as under President Clinton." But by last October, Democratic leaders had "used their majority to increase discretionary spending even faster."


And that was before the bailout.


Maybe PAYGO isn't such a great deal for conservatives, who see it as a trigger for raising taxes, but not cutting spending. On the other hand, if Congress cannot find ways to offset new spending in a $3 trillion budget, then there is no ceiling on what Washington will spend.


Ellis noted, "Every time you ignore PAYGO, or you do an end run around it, you reduce its credibility and effectiveness in the future. Eventually, it will become a laughing stock. It's getting close."


Surely it must be better to have the semblance of restraint than no pretense whatsoever.


In that sense, PAYGO may be similar to earmarks. At the last presidential debate, Obama pointed out that, "Earmarks account for 0.5 percent of the total federal budget" — or $18.3 billion in 2008, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. Ergo, Obama argued, eliminating earmarks is "not going to solve the problem."


But if Washington can't cut fat targets like earmarks, then Washington will never get a hold on runaway spending. And if Congress can't legislate within the PAYGO rules, then it's a go-cart with no brakes.


Do I hear $450 billion?

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© 2008, Creators Syndicate

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