Home
In this issue
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 Nov. 4, 2010 27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

America Just Checked Into Rehab

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On Tuesday voters rejected President Obama's attempt to remake America in the image of an imploding Europe -- not just by overwhelmingly electing Republican candidates in the House, but by preferring dozens of maverick conservatives who ran against establishment Washington.

Why the near-historic rebuke? Out-of-control spending, unchecked borrowing, vast new entitlements and unsustainable debt -- all at a time of economic stagnation.

So what is next? Like the recovering addict who checks himself into rehab, a debt-addicted America just snapped out of its borrowing binge, is waking up with the shakes, and hopes there is still a chance at recovery.

It won't be easy. Obama and his Democratic Congress ran up nearly $3 trillion in new debt in just 21 months -- after running a disingenuous 2008 campaign that falsely promised to rein in the fiscal irresponsibility that had been rampant during the spendthrift Bush administration.

So the voters intervened and sent America in for rehab treatment. In our three-step road to recovery, we, the sick patient, must first end the denial, then accept the tough medicine, and finally change the entrenched habits that caused the addiction.

First, voters did not reject Obama's agenda because he was too centrist, borrowed and spent too little money, or did not more vigorously pursue unpopular agenda items like cap-and-trade and blanket amnesty. Nor was the Democratic meltdown because of Obama's inability to articulate his agenda. The vision itself -- not the talking points -- was the problem.

Obama failed miserably to keep the nation's trust. After just 21 months, the country concluded that he was an extremist, and that his attempts to manage the economy through massive borrowing, rapid growth in government size and spending, assumption of private enterprise, and serial harangues against business and the rich had turned a recession into a crisis of confidence and a near-depression. For some strange reason, Obama thought the cure for Republican big-spending was European-style socialism, when in fact, voters wanted an end to Bush-era borrowing and waste -- not far more of it.

Second, not being Obama will no longer be enough for the ascendant Republicans, many of them political novices or Tea Party mavericks skeptical of both parties. These outsiders told outraged voters that America will have to step up and start controlling spending in a manner Republicans never did as a majority in Congress from 2001 to 2006. Perhaps a good symbolic start would be to cut back on popular pet programs -- agricultural subsidies, for example -- whose end the republic will survive. This would be iconic proof of congressional willingness to alienate powerful special interests. Social Security, Medicare and some Defense programs all have to be on the table.

If conservatives plan to cut taxes, they will no longer be able to convince the public that the resulting supply-side growth in the economy will eventually bring in more money and balance the budget. Instead, right from the start, the new House majority will have to demand that we pay as we go -- every dollar lost in revenue will require a commensurate dollar cut in federal spending.

Republicans should be willing to be demagogued by a weakened Obama as heartless and cruel budget cutters -- even if the president may well be the ultimate beneficiary by running on the new theme of fiscal responsibility and a recovering economy in 2012.

Third, voters want their Congress and president to end the pathological value system that got us into this mess. Instead of the president barnstorming the country handing out borrowed cash to favored constituencies and playing one identity group against another, he had better stay in Washington, keep off Comedy Central and "The View," and only come out to brag when he has cut unsustainable spending for all of us.

It should also be an embarrassment, not an honor, for congressional members of either party to put their names on the latest pork-barrel projects. And instead of weekly newsletters from Washington that boast of bringing home the bacon, voters prefer hard proof that their government only spent what it took in. Any politician can promise a new project, an expanded entitlement or a special-interest tax break with someone else's money, but only a statesman can explain exactly how it is all to be paid for.

So for now, voters have said that they are sick of profligate Democrats. But if Republicans do not get that message regarding fiscal restraint, in two years it will be their turn -- again.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2010, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles