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 July 23, 2009 / 2 Menachem-Av 5769

A ‘Pay-Go’ Full of Loopholes

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is less than meets the eye to the Democrats' "pay-go bill," the lavishly touted gesture toward fiscal responsibility that the House passed on Wednesday.


The pay-as-you-go measure, known as pay-go and endorsed by President Obama, was hailed by Rep. George Miller of California, the head of the Democratic Policy Committee, as a device that will force Washington to "make tough choices" and "help bring our fiscal house in order."


Other sponsors, such as Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who genuinely worry about the flood of red ink inundating the government, were more modest in their claims. They acknowledged that by itself, the bill will do nothing to cure the giant budget deficits, but they said it might deter Congress from "digging the hole deeper."


Its key provision requires that any new tax cut or entitlement increase be paid for by an offsetting reduction in other programs or a tax increase. If, for example, you want to guarantee child care for every working mother or provide her with a payroll tax cut, you would have to find savings or revenue elsewhere of equal size.


When the Democrats controlled Congress back in 1990, they passed a similar law and it helped establish the kind of discipline that led briefly to balanced budgets in the Clinton administration.


When the law was about to expire in 2002, the Republican majority let it die, figuring that its absence would make it easier to pass more of the tax cuts recommended by President Bush. Deficits mushroomed.


In the 2006 election, the Democrats took over and the first thing they did was restore pay-go as a rule of the House and Senate. This year, Obama encouraged them to make it a law, hoping it would give him more power to enforce it.


It could do just the opposite. The bill says that at the end of the year, if Congress has spent more on new entitlements or tax cuts than it has saved, the president can roll back or sequester the excess. But the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeper, warned in a July 14 memo that, as introduced, the bill might allow spending to increase — and by a staggering amount.


"In effect," it said, "that rule would allow the Congress to enact legislation that would increase deficits by an amount in the vicinity of $3 trillion over the 2010-2019 period without triggering a sequestration."


The reason is that the bill exempts from pay-go all of the spending involved in Medicare physician payments and all of the revenue dependent on estate and gift taxes, the alternative minimum tax for individuals and the administration's plan to continue the middle-income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.


That is not the only giant loophole in this version of pay-go. Unlike the one enacted in 1990, it is not accompanied by any multiyear cap on discretionary spending. That means the 40 percent of the budget reflected in annual appropriations bills for ongoing or new government programs does not have to be paid for.


When I asked Hoyer about the budget office report and these big exemptions, he said, "They are right." But he defended the exemptions as necessary to get the bill approved. If the Medicare payments and the tax breaks that may be coming were not exempted, he said, they would certainly be given waivers this year — and that would set a bad precedent for the process.


To critics, including Kent Conrad, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, that sounds like premature capitulation to the free-spending ways of Congress.


The realistic appraisal of this legislation came in a hearing of the House Budget Committee from Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and an adviser last year to John McCain.


"It is important to recognize," he said, "that rules such as pay-go are no substitute for the genuine political will to solve the problem" of runaway budget deficits. "The very best-case scenario is that that legislation will not worsen an already bleak fiscal picture."


Keep that in mind as you listen to the Democrats celebrate.

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.


Archives



© 2009, by WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles