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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 Feb. 22, 2010 / 8 Adar 5770

Governors face the music

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the nation's governors gather in Washington for their annual winter meeting, the states they lead are facing what one knowledgeable authority calls "a lost decade" of stagnant or declining revenue and budget crises.

Ray Scheppach, the man who used that phrase, has the credentials to call the situation "almost unprecedented." A veteran federal budgeteer, he has served as executive director of the National Governors Association for the past 27 years.

In an interview just before the opening of this year's meeting, he told me that the most recent survey he'd conducted shows that "the states have not bottomed out yet; they're continuing to deteriorate. This year will probably be the worst for state budgets, and with the jobless recovery we're having, we're looking at a lost decade" before anything like normality returns.

In a memo to his member governors, Scheppach spelled it out: "The bottom line is that states will continue to struggle . . . because of the combination of the length and depth of this economic downturn, the projected slow recovery, and the additional Medicaid responsibilities" slated for the states if health-care legislation passed by the House and Senate should become law.

In previous recessions, he said, lagging revenue meant that the worst budget years for states usually came two years after the recession formally ended. This time, the lag could be even longer, with several studies suggesting it may be 2014 or 2015 until revenue returns to the level of 2008.

Letter from JWR publisher


The governors' think tank, its Center for Best Practices, has drafted a 15-page report detailing how they can go about "redesigning state government for the new normal." During one of the closed sessions, Republican Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Democrat Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, both from Midwest states that have felt the brunt of the auto industry collapse, will lead a discussion of the steps that will be required.

Scheppach told me that the realization is beginning to spread, among governors and legislators, that this is no ordinary downturn and there will be no quick bounce-back. Therefore, "the states will have to downsize permanently," he said. As the Center for Best Practices put it, this means going beyond "the traditional tools of budget cutting: targeted and across-the-board program cuts, reductions to local aid, layoffs, benefit cuts, furloughs and salary reductions."

Some states are selling assets, including toll roads and office buildings. They are consolidating and coordinating services and combining agencies.

But beyond all that, the report envisages big changes in the main areas of state spending. The era of prison-building and ever-stiffer sentences is ending, because, as Scheppach put it, aging inmates "are turning prisons into nursing homes." The cost of managing, safeguarding and caring for thousands of prisoners is forcing states to weigh options for protecting against crime.

The budget squeeze is forcing previously off-limits changes in the other main state expenditures for elementary, secondary and higher education. Pressure is growing for consolidation of small elementary and high school districts and for increasing the teaching loads of college faculties. Some states have begun measuring the percentage of undergraduates who receive degrees and rewarding the campuses that graduate most of the students they enroll.

When one considers the changes underway in the states and the larger changes still to come, the Washington debate about balancing the budget through a bipartisan commission of uncertain membership seems almost academic.

As part of last year's stimulus package, states received $135 billion in borrowed federal money to avoid layoffs of teachers and cuts in health care. "Without it," Scheppach said, "we would have gone under."

But the House-passed extension of an additional $25 billion in Medicaid relief has been in and out of the Senate jobs bill this year, and its ultimate fate is uncertain. The states may be left to struggle on their own.

With both education standards in the 1980s and welfare reform in the 1990s, we have seen this pattern before: States act while Washington dithers and delays. Once again, the governors are facing up to a fiscal reality that many partisans in Washington prefer to ignore.

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