Home
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 June 16, 2008 / 13 Sivan 5768

Perot, Back On the Charts

By David Broder


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sixteen years after he shook up American politics by launching an impromptu campaign for president, Ross Perot is about to dip a toe back into the public debates. And, yes, he's bringing his charts with him to make his point.


Beginning today, people who go to http://www.perotcharts.com will find the Dallas billionaire waiting to challenge them on one of his favorite subjects — the "ruin" he says America is courting with its spendthrift ways.


"We are right at the edge of the cliff," the voice with the unmistakable Texas twang informed me when I called him the other day to find out about this latest venture. "We can't go on spending money we don't have."


That is not a new theme for Perot. It was his core message when he did his on-again, off-again, then back-on-again race against George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 1992. He led the field in the early months and, even after the confusing signals sent by his dropping out and coming back, he won more than 19.7 million votes — almost 20 percent of the total.


His real triumph, however, was a policy victory. With simple charts that he designed and displayed on prime-time television "infomercials," he managed to convey to millions of voters the stark reality of what the record deficits of the 1980s really meant.


It may well have been the first and only time that the abstraction of an out-of-kilter budget was communicated outside the boardroom or the economics classroom. People got it. A Post poll taken in October 1992, at the height of Perot's public information campaign, found that 63 percent of those surveyed said they worried a great deal that the federal budget deficit would grow, and an additional 17 percent said it worried them a good amount.


The newly elected Clinton took note and, prompted by Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and other economists, abandoned his campaign promise of middle-class tax cuts and instead made his priority cutting the budget deficit. Within a few years, we had a brief and blessed run of balanced budgets.


But with the current president, deficits have returned with a vengeance — and no one seems to care. Current polls show that fewer than 1 percent of the voters call the budget deficit one of the country's major problems.


Part of the reason is that politicians of both parties are laboring to disguise the reality from public view. Both President Bush and the Democratic Congress have issued budgets this year that claim to achieve balance in 2012 — just four years from now.


But those budgets are based on blue-sky assumptions that have no grounding in the real world. When I asked Perot what he made of them, he replied, "It's an election year. What would you expect them to say?"


In recent weeks, when I have found myself in conversations with former comptroller general David Walker and other economists who know how grim the long-term budget picture really is, I have mused aloud, "We need Ross Perot back." Turns out, he was quietly preparing his return. He took some of the basic work done by Walker and others and had professionals turn it into 35 very clear charts and link them on a Web site with an equally simple narration.


Sadly, Perot hired a professional announcer rather than read the text in his own distinctive Texas way, but he told me he's willing to substitute himself — which would make it a lot less pedantic and a lot livelier. With a personal investment of some $300,000, Perot has built a real teaching tool.


Perot is not offering any solutions. But he is clearly pointing to what he says are the culprits, the big entitlements — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. As the narrator puts it with the first of the charts: "The United States faces large and growing budget deficits mostly due to an aging population and rising health-care costs. Unless we solve the problems caused by entitlement spending, there will be little money left to do anything else in the future. Over time, our standard of living, our national security, our standing in the world and the value of our currency could all be threatened. The sooner we confront these issues, the better."


So far, John McCain and Barack Obama are not doing that. Perot, now almost 78, says he has no desire to get back into politics. But he's doing a service by unleashing his favorite weapon: those charts.

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.



To comment, please click here.



Previously:

06/16/08: The Many Gifts of Tim Russert
06/12/08: Why Hillary played the womyn card
06/08/08: Eclipsed by the Adventures of Hillary
06/02/08: Obama in retreat
06/02/08: Reality vs. the Mythmakers
05/29/08: Hamilton Jordan's Message to Obama
05/27/08: Let the Veepstakes Begin
05/19/08: The mental exercise of placing Obama in the Oval Office requires more imagination than did moving Reagan from the silver screen to Pennsylvania Ave.
05/15/08: For Obama, a Lost Moment
05/12/08: The price of delay
05/08/08: Phoniness and inevitability
05/05/08: Winning by destruction: An insider reveals the Hillary game plan
05/01/08: Candidates' high-mindedness is rooted in religiosity; but Hillary and McCain don't have hater as inspiration


© 2008, by WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles