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 Nov. 15, 2010 / 8 Kislev, 5771

Two Wonks with One Plan About Too Much Debt

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The draft deficit-reduction proposal released last week by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and retired GOP Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming — the co-chairmen of President Obama's bipartisan commission on reducing the national debt — has the feel of what two wonks might draw up on cocktail napkins in a bar. It's a bit too easy for two unelected guys to hash out a plan that tells other people what they have to give up — just to be fair.

The thing is, sometimes two smart guys in a bar make more sense than the entire Washington political establishment. There are a number of intriguing ideas in their plan to cut nearly $4 trillion from the federal deficit through 2020. It's worth more than a look.

The draft document starts by noting that Americans traditionally have been willing "to sacrifice to make our nation stronger over the long haul." I have to wonder if that remains the case.

On the left, many Democrats seem intent on dumping the entire deficit on one group — the rich — and the consequences to the economy be damned. House Speaker (for now) Nancy Pelosi rejected the draft as "simply unacceptable." Note: That makes the Democratic Party the team that is obstructionist and won't compromise.

The three House Republicans on the commission issued a statement that called the draft "provocative," while commending "the co-chairs for advancing the debate." You also hear Republicans complain about the deficit endlessly — but they also seem to think they never should have to pay higher taxes.

Bowles and Simpson call for cuts of $100 billion in military and $100 billion in discretionary spending. The draft starts by calling on Washington to lead by example, with the White House and Congress shaving 15 percent off their budgets. It calls out the federal travel budget for growing by 56 percent from 2001 to 2006, even as the private sector used technology to pare travel expenses. It also targets wasteful or unnecessary spending, such as the (should have been cut sooner) Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Economic Development Administration and duplicative research funding for fossil fuels.

When he ran for president, Obama argued that eliminating earmarks won't "solve the problem" because earmarks account for a mere "0.5 percent of the total federal budget."

Bowles and Simpson are having none of that. Their draft calls for the elimination of all earmarks. Good call. If Washington can't stop burning through sums that some D.C. pols dismiss as chump change, then this country is doomed.

Mother Jones' Kevin Drum concluded that Bowles-Simpson isn't "serious" because it "turns suddenly vague and cramped" when it gets to the most fearsome driver of the deficit, Medicare.

As if to prove Drum's point, the draft has an odd take on how to pay for the "doc fix" — a pending 23 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors and other health care providers, which both parties want to delay. Bowles-Simpson wants to pay for the "doc fix" by — you guessed it — cutting payments to doctors and health care providers.

The commission has until Dec. 1 to submit a final plan. First, 14 of the 18 commissioners will have to agree on one. Will they have the stamina to adopt the Bowles-Simpson suggestion to raise the retirement age from 67 to 69 by 2075? Stay tuned.

A more radioactive proposal calls for flattening income and business taxes by lowering rates and limiting deductions. Then there's the provision to raise gasoline taxes gradually by 15 cents per gallon between 2013 and 2015 — an idea worth exploring. It's a tax increase that would achieve some of the energy efficiencies that Democrats have tried to force through regulation. It's a consumption tax that everyone would pay, including the 36 percent of income-tax filers who, according to the Tax Foundation, paid no income tax in 2008.

I know that I'll hear from Republicans and Democrats who will complain: Just because politicians failed to control spending, that doesn't mean they should be subjected to higher taxes. They place all of the blame on Washington, yet none of the responsibility on voters.

That's how America piled up all this debt.

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