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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. 17, 2008 / 18 Tishrei 5769

Let's hope ‘temporary’ isn't temporary

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "There's nothing so permanent," Milton Friedman famously said, "as a temporary government program." For instance, I grew up in a rent-controlled apartment thanks to a temporary measure enacted during WWII. I was born nearly three decades after the war ended.


Let's hope that the partial nationalization of America's banking system isn't equally "temporary."


In a dramatic meeting Monday between Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the heads of the nine biggest banks, the U.S. government made the financial industry an offer it couldn't refuse: Uncle Sam is buying big chunks of your banks whether you like it or not. Paulson didn't say, "I can either have your signature on this contract or your brains," the way Don Corleone explained things to Johnny Fontaine's bandleader in "The Godfather," but you get the picture.


Extraordinary crises sometimes require extraordinary measures. The danger is that the extraordinary could become merely ordinary.


Fannie Mae and related institutions were created during the New Deal to help expand homeownership. It was — and is — a laudable goal, and the government can point to some real successes, particularly when such programs were fundamentally conservative in their practices. But even then, the government was simultaneously subsidizing bad risks — hence making them seem less risky than they really were — while delaying the day when those toxic loans would reach critical mass.


We've hit that day, and it has cost us trillions of dollars.


The Bush administration's shock trauma team has been doing things they once considered unimaginable and even today find philosophically repugnant. But again, we do things to patients in an emergency that we would never do when they're healthy.


The federal government's mandatory quarter-trillion-dollar buy-in to the American banking system, we're told, is a temporary measure. The terms of the loans rammed down the bankers' throats are designed to encourage them to pay it all back within five years.


But who says those terms will stay that way? After all, the government now has a more real and explicit ownership position in these "private" banks than it ever did in Fannie and Freddie, which were so-called Government Sponsored Enterprises. More important, the Bush team is heading out the door. When the next squad comes in, they might discover they like being co-owners of America's banking system.


Democrats in Congress had great fun using Fannie and Freddie as public policy piggy banks, rewarding constituencies, funding pet projects, forcing the private sector to dance to their tune. What's to stop them from renegotiating this week's deal after the election and using Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and the others as Fannie Mae 2.0?


Please don't say that the terms of the deal are set and the government can't revise them. If there's one thing the last month has hammered home, it's that nothing is written in stone. Besides, the banks may grow to like the security of partial nationalization and even lobby to Congress to stay on as less-than-fully-silent partners.


Heck, that way they wouldn't have to pay back the loans.


Barack Obama already has a strong record of sympathy for "public-private partnerships" and other schemes that put government in the driver's seat. ACORN, the militant wing of the Democratic Party, has been trying to shake down banks for years, and Obama is on record as saying it and similar groups will have a major role in helping him craft policy. And it's hardly reassuring that Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Nancy Pelosi will be running Congress. It doesn't seem crazy to suspect that a crowd that sees nationalization of health care as a vital public policy goal will not be dogmatically adverse to the nationalization of the credit markets.


John McCain is better about such things, but not by much. An avowed disciple of Teddy Roosevelt, McCain has a record of whipping the private sector — even Major League Baseball! — to do his bidding. Teddy Roosevelt himself revised his faith in "trust-busting," preferring instead to let big business grow bigger so long as it agreed to follow the orders of even bigger government.


In Wednesday's night's third presidential debate, CBS's Bob Schieffer missed a vital opportunity to ask both candidates whether they would pledge not only to abide by the bailout's sunset provisions but to further promise to get the government out of Wall Street as quickly as possible. Such pledges wouldn't be legally binding, but they would help create political pressure from the right direction.


That didn't happen. So now we'll just have to trust that the politicians and Wall Street won't mess things up. Anyone feeling good about that?

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