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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 August 5, 2011 / 5 Menachem-Av, 5771

How the super-committee can strike a Grand Bargain

By Charles Krauthammer




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Conventional wisdom holds that the congressional super-committee established by the debt-ceiling deal to propose further deficit reduction will go nowhere. I’m not so sure. There is a grand compromise to be had. It does, however, require precise sequencing. To succeed it must proceed in three stages:

(1) Tax Reform.

True tax reform that removes loopholes while lowering tax rates is the Holy Grail of social policy. It appeals equally to left and right because, almost uniquely, it promotes both economic efficiency and fairness. Economic efficiency — because it removes tax dodges that distort capital flows (and thereby diminish productivity) while cutting marginal tax rates (thereby spurring growth). Fairness — because a corrupted tax code with myriad breaks grants deeply unfair advantage to the rich who buy the lobbyists who create the loopholes and buy the lawyers who exploit them.

Which is why the 1986 Reagan-Bradley tax reform was such a historic success. It satisfied left and right, promoted efficiency and fairness, and helped launch two decades of almost uninterrupted economic expansion.

But didn’t that agreement take years to hammer out? Yes. Today, however, the elements are already laid out by the Simpson-Bowles commission. The
super-committee doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. It simply has to make choices.

(2) Revenue Neutrality.

Every dollar of revenue raised by stripping out a loophole is to be returned to the citizenry in the form of lower tax rates. Initial revenue neutrality avoids ideological gridlock over tax hikes and ensures perfect transparency during any later alterations of that formula.

Start with the obvious boondoggles, from the $6 billion a year wasted on ethanol subsidies to your Democratic perennials — corporate jets, oil-company breaks, etc. That’s the fun part. Unfortunately, whacking that piñata yields but pennies on the dollar. The real money is in the popular tax breaks: employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Altering some of these heretofore politically untouchable tax breaks would alone be a singular achievement.

I’d suggest abolishing the health-care exclusion, which encourages wasteful medical spending. I would also gradually abolish the mortgage-interest deduction. Start by excluding second homes and mortgages greater than, say, $500,000. Lower that threshold by $100,000 chunks as the housing market meets certain threshold indexes of recovery.

As for charitable contributions, here I go soft. I’d leave the deduction intact on the Madisonian grounds that subsidizing private charity — donations to institutions chosen by the citizens, not the state — disperses power and strengthens civil society, the principal bulwark against state domination.

Your preferences will be different. So will the super-committee’s. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is to make choices that are deep, radical and revenue-neutral.

But, you say, is not the committee’s mission to reduce debt? This, as yet, does nothing. Correct. But it’s the indispensable premise for achieving the ultimate in debt reduction:

(3) The Grand Bargain.

Once you have serious revenue-
neutral tax reform in place, the ideological horse-trading that is required for massive deficit reduction — tax hikes vs. entitlement reform — can begin.

Republicans will resist the former, Democrats the latter. But tax-reform-first makes possible the compromise that eluded John Boehner and Barack Obama. Boehner was willing to increase revenue by $800 billion. Obama was reputedly ready to raise the Medicare age and change the Social Security cost-of-living formula.

Remember: Tax reform will already have slashed rates radically. In one Simpson-Bowles scenario, the top rate plunges to 23 percent. Conservatives could at that point contemplate increasing net revenue by slightly tweaking these new low rates, say, back to Reagan’s 28 percent, still much lower than the current 35 percent and Obama’s devoutly desired 39.6 percent. The deviation from revenue neutrality would yield new tax receipts for the Treasury, in addition to those resulting from the economic growth stimulated by the lower rates.

Democrats would have to respond by crossing their own red line on entitlements. That means real structural changes. That means raising the Medicare and Social Security ages, indexing them to longevity (until 70 becomes the new 65) and changing the inflation formula. Perhaps even means-testing Social Security (after one has recouped what one originally paid in).

The result of such a grand bargain would be debt reduction on a scale never before seen. World confidence in the American economy would rise dramatically. Best of all, we would be back on the road to national solvency.

It can be done. In three months. In three stages.

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