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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 Oct. 15, 2010 / 7 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

Wasting Our Money

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama has finally admitted that a core premise of his nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package was false. In an interview this week with The New York Times' Peter Baker, the president acknowledged that "there's no such thing as shovel-ready projects," despite the president's near-constant invocation of the term over a two-year period to explain how government spending was going to create jobs.

The president's admission is no minor matter; it goes to the heart of why his economic policies have been such a failure. Not since President Jimmy Carter's confession in 1980 that it took the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan for him to fully understand "what the Soviets' ultimate goals are" has a sitting president so fully exposed his ignorance.

Obama's admission might be refreshing if it meant he would rethink his economic assumptions, but the Baker interview gives no such indication. Instead, the president seems to think his biggest problem has been his failure to communicate his policies effectively.

"There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular," he said. "And I think anybody who's occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can't be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion."

The statements are both stunningly arrogant and misleading. The president of the United States is not a philosopher king. In a democracy, the president doesn't determine what "the right thing" is and let the people who put him in office be damned.

Nor did the president and his team neglect the "marketing and P.R." of his policies. The "shovel-ready" comments were all salesmanship and no substance. In his first year in office, the president gave 411 speeches, sat for 158 press interviews, conducted 42 news conferences, and visited 30 states, according to a compilation by CBS News. Failing to communicate was not the issue.

The president's problem is that he has neither experience in, nor understanding of, the private economy. He has worked exclusively in the nonprofit and government sector. He has an unlimited faith in government and limited trust in private industry. And the president surrounds himself with people who share his myopia.

When the president visited plants from Buffalo to San Francisco on his much-touted jobs tours during the spring and summer, he was there to tell workers that government saved or created their jobs.

But that is not how it's done. Job creation happens when individuals take personal risks: A man notices that all his friends and neighbors have garages stuffed with junk they don't want and starts a new business with $700 in startup capital and an old beat-up truck. A few years later, Brian Scudamore's 1-800-GOT-JUNK has 100 franchises across the country. A young woman decides her chocolate chip cookies deserve to be enjoyed beyond her family. Debbi Fields borrows money, opens a small storefront, and within seven years, her company, Mrs. Fields Cookies, had revenues of more than $45 million. A college student spends his time in his dorm room building personal computers for his friends and selling them for less than the name brands. He drops out of school, but by the time he's 27, Michael Dell is the youngest CEO on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies in America.

These individuals created great wealth for themselves, but they also created thousands of jobs for other people. The fallacy in Obama's thinking is the assumption we'd be better off taxing rich people more and having government spend the money directly.

But government can never be as efficient as the market. Scudamore, Fields, and Dell might just as well have failed as succeeded. When entrepreneurs fail, they've lost their own money and that of investors who have freely chosen to take the risk.

Government programs, however, play with other people's money — since government has no money of its own. When government programs fail, the consequences aren't born by the people making the decisions but by the taxpayers.

So when Obama finally realizes there's no such thing as a shovel-ready project, he's admitting he's wasted our money — billions of dollars — not his own. But his only answer is to raise taxes so he can spend yet more. It's the kind of thinking that dooms his presidency and our economy.

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.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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