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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 Dec. 9, 2008 / 12 Kislev 5769

Incompetents who are fancied as experts are ruining this country

By Ed Koch

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Email this article | I have no doubt that Congress will bail out the automobile industry. The same fears of economic collapse that caused Congress to pass the $700 billion bailout bill now known as TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program), after the House of Representatives first rejected it by a vote of 228 to 205, will now produce rescue legislation for Detroit.

As we now know, six weeks after the President signed the TARP bill into law, Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson told the nation that he had essentially sold the Congress and the nation a bill of goods when he said that the U.S. Treasury would be spending the bailout money to buy the toxic assets of lending institutions in order to get them to lend money once again. Instead, the Treasury would take equity positions in the largest of the U.S. lending institutions which under the Treasury's definition included the largest insurance company in the world, AIG, which ultimately received $306 billion dollars from the bailout fund.

Congress only authorized Paulson to spend half of the $700 billion bailout fund and to come back to Congress for permission to spend the balance. However, with all of the publicly announced Treasury actions, including the recent bailout deals made with Citibank, it seems to me the Treasury Secretary may have invaded the second pot of bailout funds. Secretary Paulson is apparently not subject to FOIL requests, so attempts by the media to ascertain the amounts and conditions of loans made have been rejected. According to a recent press statement, the Secretary still has $15 billion uncommitted, and he said he wanted to leave the balance of $350 billion for the incoming Obama administration to disperse.

I have lost total faith in the Secretary of the Treasury, his boss, President Bush, and the Congress, on their capacity to handle the economic crisis we are in. Interestingly, Congress — that is the House of Representatives — and the public opposed and then supported bailout legislation, because we were warned by Paulson and the country's foremost economic experts that if the Congress did not pass it, the country would be headed for a crisis not seen since the Great Depression. And here we are having passed the bailout still staring the Great Depression in the face.

It was madness to pass the bailout: proving the point that decisions made out of panic rarely, if ever, result in responsible outcomes. It has also been established, at least to my satisfaction, that the so-called experts don't know what they are doing and they are the same experts who were in charge when we got into this mess. Interestingly, according to the New York Times of November 26th, "In the last year, the government has assumed about $7.8 trillion in direct and indirect financial obligations. That is equal to about half the size of the nation's entire economy and far eclipses the $700 billion that Congress authorized for the Treasury's financial rescue plan."

We are apparently going to repeat the same error we committed when we authorized the first bailout of financial institutions. This time, we will be bailing out the three automobile companies -- GM, Ford and Chrysler. The people to whom we are requested to give the additional billions -- they first asked for $25 billion and are now asking for $34 billion — are the same people who ran these companies into the ground. I have absolutely no confidence in their ability to turn things around. All should remember Chrysler is a private company, whose owners thought they bought the company cheap from Daimler, and now want the taxpayers to bail them out. Instead of bailing the automobile companies out, let them go into bankruptcy and either work their way out in Chapter 11 or be sold off in bankruptcy.

There is no shortage of solutions proposed for our financial troubles. One is to let the judges in bankruptcy redesign the terms of the mortgages before them -- which currently they are not permitted to do — allowing for lesser interest and longer total terms, and in the meanwhile, enact whatever laws are constitutional that would bar foreclosures from proceeding for at least a year so as to give the government the time needed to work out whatever other remedies are needed.

With respect to the car industry, someone has suggested we give any taxpayer who buys a totally American-made car -- allegedly the Big 3 make cars that are deemed to be more American than those manufactured by Toyota in the U.S. which imports more parts — a $5,000 or more tax credit on their tax return in the upcoming year, 2009. If this proposal sounds whacky -- I wish I had thought of it — it is less improvident than the proposals of the so-called experts.

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JWR contributor Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York, can be heard on Bloomberg Radio (WBBR 1130 AM) every Sunday from 9-10 am . Comment by clicking here.


© 2008, Ed Koch