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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 January 21, 2008 / 14 Shevat 5768

What would Reagan say?

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Running for president on a third-party ticket in 1968, George Wallace famously claimed that there wasn't "a dime's worth of difference" between the Republican and Democratic nominees. Would anyone tuning in this year's crop of candidates say the same thing?


Consider some recent sound bites:


"You said we would fight for every job! You said that we would fight to get health care for all Americans! You said we'd fight to secure our border! You said we'd fight for us to be able to get lower taxes for middle-income Americans!"


"Guess what they're doing in Washington: They're worrying, because they realize, the lobbyists and the politicians realize, that America now understands that Washington is broken. And we're going to do something about it."


"Washington told us that they'd get us better health care and better education — but they haven't. Washington told us they'd get us a tax break for the middle-income Americans — but they haven't."


You don't have to be a political junkie to recognize those as specimens of populist Democratic boilerplate, right? The only challenge is to match each quotation to the Democratic candidate who said it.


Except that no Democrat uttered those words. The three big-government platitudes above were taken from Republican Mitt Romney's Michigan primary victory speech on Tuesday.


No one is surprised when Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards insists that it's the federal government's responsibility to "get us better health care and better education." Coming from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the claim that the Bush tax cuts shortchanged middle-income Americans is all too familiar. But from a Republican like Romney, who casts himself as the truest, most Reaganesque conservative in the GOP field?


Romney's message used to be one of unabashed small-government conservatism: "Government is simply too big. State government is too big. The federal government is too big. It's spending too much." Those words still appear on his website, but there was nothing like them in his remarks last week. He told his supporters that Washington is broken and needs to be fixed — which is decidedly not the same as saying it needs to be shrunk. Romney used to boast of the hundreds of spending line-items he vetoed as Massachusetts governor; "I like vetoes," he told audiences. But these days he's singing from a different hymnal.


To be sure, Romney is hardly the only Republican candidate to distance himself from the gospel of less-intrusive, less-expensive government. Certainly no one would confuse Mike Huckabee — who as Arkansas' governor raised taxes, hiked spending, and expanded state regulation — with Barry Goldwater, the original "Mr. Conservative." And the man who succeeded Goldwater in the Senate, John McCain, is guilty of such big-government abominations as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law and opposing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.


But it is Romney whose pitch has shifted the most as he (again) seems to be reinventing himself, this time as a government planner with more faith in the power of top-down federal intervention than in the innovations and efficiencies of the free market.


In Detroit last week, Romney vowed to resurrect the moribund US auto industry - which has been declining for decades — with massive corporate welfare and other government largesse. He derided as "baloney" McCain's blunt reality check that many auto manufacturing jobs are gone for good. He condemned "the absence of a federal policy designed to strengthen the US automotive sector," sounding for all the world as if he just stepped out of some 1970s statist time warp. He promised "a fivefold increase — from $4 billion to $20 billion — in our national investment in energy research, fuel technology, materials science, and automotive technology." He called for "a Manhattan-style project, an Apollo-style project" to achieve that ever-beckoning chimera, energy independence.


Whatever else it might be, this is not fiscal conservatism.


"If I'm president of this country, I will roll up my sleeves in the first 100 days I'm in office, and I will personally bring together industry, labor, congressional, and state leaders, and together we will develop a plan to rebuild America's automotive leadership," Romney now says. "Washington should not be a benefactor, but it can and must be a partner."


It must? That sure wasn't the Gipper's view.


"What is euphemistically called government-corporate 'partnership' is just government coercion, political favoritism, collectivist industrial policy, and old-fashioned federal boondoggles nicely wrapped up in a bright-colored ribbon," President Reagan declared emphatically in 1988. "It doesn't work." Far more effective, he had learned, was when Washington "cut taxes, spending, and regulation, and got government out of the way and let free people create new jobs and businesses."


Not a dime's worth of difference between the parties? Well, no, I wouldn't go that far. But it would be nice if Republicans who claim to be Reaganesque conservatives occasionally paused to ask themselves: What would Reagan say?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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