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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 Dec. 6, 2006 / 15 Kislev, 5767

GOP needs to make a down payment

By Dick Morris & Eileen Mc Gann


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Are the lame-duck leaders of the failed 109th Congress like the Bourbon kings of France who, Talleyrand once said, "learned nothing and forgot nothing?" They will have a chance to signal a steepening of their learning curve when tax-credit legislation comes up for their consideration during the lame-duck session this week.


One of the hallmarks of the centrist positioning, so potent in the Clinton administration, was the use of targeted tax breaks to achieve the same ends as tax-and-spend legislation once did — to enhance specific and important social outcomes. Some of the most effective tax credits have expired this year and, unless Congress renews them at this session, they will vanish from the 2006 tax forms.


The best include:

  • $3,500 tax credit for the first year for employers who hire a former welfare recipient.

  • Tax deductions of up to $4,000 for higher-education tuition. Five million families took this deduction in 2004.

  • Deductions for state and local sales taxes in states with no income tax — Florida, Texas, Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming — states with about 20 percent of the nation's population.

  • A 20 percent tax credit on businesses' R & D costs.


Perversely, it is the popularity of these tax credits that makes them so hard to renew because, like a Christmas tree, they are targets for ornamentation — amendments that offer less popular and pressing special-interest tax breaks.


Republicans, in particular, have tried to hold their renewal hostage to further reduction or total repeal of the estate tax. But repealing the so-called "death tax" would benefit just 8,200 people who are organized into a mega-millionaires' lobby. For them, the repeal could mean billions.

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Last year, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) demanded that legislation to raise the minimum wage be tied to reduction of the estate tax, saying "it's all or nothing" — a quid pro quo deal. That kind of reasoning may have had a lot to do with the loss of the Republican majority in the Senate.


Ronald Reagan sold tax reduction as a tool for middle-class empowerment. Clinton took it one step further by harnessing the reduction of taxes to specific steps to advance social good, much as federal expenditures once tried to do. But the Republicans held these tax breaks hostage, demanding, in addition, passage of tax breaks that have nothing to do with social progress and only make very rich people very much richer.


For their part, the Democrats want to hold these tax breaks hostage to an increase in the minimum wage. While raising the pay of millions of workers certainly outranks cutting the estate tax for a few thousand, it doesn't belong in this bill. Let the Democrats pass the higher minimum wage and, better yet, index it for inflation as we do Social Security benefits, on their own time when they take over in January.


But if the Republicans want to use this lame-duck session for a down payment on the idea that they got the message of Election Day, what better way to do it than to extend tax breaks for employers who hire former welfare recipients, kids trying to afford higher education, and businesses trying to compete through R & D in the global economy?

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is author, most recently, of "Because He Could". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.



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