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. 6, 2011 / 10 Kislev, 5772

Our taxing mess

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Boy, is our tax system in a mess.

The mess began in 1913, when the 16th Amendment was passed and Americans were forced to pay federal taxes on their income.

People who made more than $3,000 -- a lot of dough in those days -- had to pay 1 percent to the feds. The top rate, which then applied to the superrich, was a whopping 7 percent!

Those rates didn't last long.

During World War I, the top rate shot up to 77 percent to finance our war efforts. After the war, it dropped down to 25 percent -- still 17 points higher than it was before the war.

Tax rates held steady until Franklin Delano "Big Government" Roosevelt came to town. Under FDR, the top rate shot up to 78 percent by 1936.

Then, during World War II, the top rate hit 94 percent. After the war, it remained above 90 percent -- into the early 1960s.

JFK promised to get America moving again and he did. Under his administration, the top rate was lowered from 90 percent to 70 percent -- with lots of loopholes to shield income from taxes.

The economy took off, but in spite of the positive results -- lower taxes cause growth, duh! -- the top rate wasn't lowered again until Ronald Reagan came to town.

In 1981, Reagan lowered the top rate to 50 percent. In 1986, he led the charge for simplification, helping eliminate most loopholes and reducing 15 income brackets to two. The top rate was lowered to 28 percent, the bottom rate to 15 percent.

The economy exploded.

But in 1990, George H.W. "Don't Read My Lips" Bush caved to Congress and raised taxes. He also added a third income bracket.

Then, in 1993, Bill "Franklin Delano" Clinton raised taxes yet again, adding two more brackets. Clinton even raised taxes retroactively on dead people -- who'd thought they'd finally found tax relief.

In the mid-'90s, with Republicans running Congress, taxes were lowered somewhat, but were also made extremely complicated as hundreds of changes were made to the tax code.

Whereas the tax code was 16 pages in 1913, it is now more than 70,000 pages -- and growing. Americans annually spend millions of hours and billions of dollars to avoid IRS audits.

I disappear for a week every year as I get my taxes organized for my CPA.

But there is some good news: Republicans and Democrats alike agree that tax reform is one of the best things we can do to get the economy rolling again and address our massive deficit.

Of course, to most Democrats, tax reform means higher tax rates, which is silly. The problem isn't tax rates -- it's tax receipts.

Why not eliminate deductions across the board -- so companies such as GE, which now use loopholes to pay zero, must pay a fixed percentage of their billion-dollar profits -- and lower tax rates?

The net result will be that people and companies that make money will end up paying more in taxes than they do now -- but they won't mind, because with simplified, lower rates, they'll be encouraged to invest and hire. Our deficit will shrink and we'll all be better off.

Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't appear to have any interest in leading broad tax reform -- one of the few issues on which he could rally bipartisan support -- and so it is dead.

Which is why our tax system is -- still -- in a mess.

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© 2011, Tom Purcell