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December 2, 2014

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 May 5, 2011 / 1 Iyar, 5771

The debt-ceiling scaremongers

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the public debt of the United States approaches the $14.3 trillion limit currently allowed by law, Congress is being pressed by the Obama administration to change the law and raise the limit. For months, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned that failing to lift the debt ceiling would have "unthinkable" consequences. But many lawmakers are insisting that they will block the federal government from borrowing more money unless budget cuts and spending reforms are part of the deal.

Geithner told CBS last week that the results of failing to raise the debt ceiling would "shake the basic foundation of the entire global financial system." Other voices are singing from the same hymnal. "If Congress fails to raise the federal debt limit, the government will default, which all parties agree would have catastrophic effects on the economy," writes Joshua Green, a senior editor at The Atlantic. The Associated Press recently reported that if "borrowing slams up against the current debt limit ceiling of $14.3 trillion and Congress fails to raise it," the resulting "damage would ripple across the entire economy, eventually affecting nearly every American." When Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia asked at a hearing in April what would happen "if we were to default and not raise that debt ceiling," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke replied ominously: "It would be an extremely dangerous and very likely recovery-ending event."

Sounds scary. If the US government were to default on its debt, the fallout would indeed be calamitous. The full faith and credit of the United States would be undermined, foreign investors (who hold almost half of outstanding Treasury debt) would be spooked, interest rates could shoot up, and a stock market crash could set off a new financial panic.

But as anyone with a credit card or home-equity line of credit knows, reaching a borrowing limit and defaulting on debt are two very different things. Maxing out your credit card doesn't mean you're broke, it only means you can't borrow more money. So until you get a credit-limit increase or pay down some principal on your debt, you'll have to live on your take-home pay. But as long as you continue to make timely interest payments, your creditworthiness remains intact.

By the same token, reaching the federal debt limit will not plunge the federal government into default. "Hitting the ceiling means that we can spend only what we collect in taxes," wrote former Assistant Treasury Secretary Emil Henry in The Wall Street Journal last week. Federal tax revenue for 2011 is expected to be $2.2 trillion, while net interest on the debt will cost $225 billion. With so much money coming in, the United States will have no trouble paying its creditors.

Of course $2.2 trillion cannot fund everything in a bloated $3.7 trillion federal budget. That's why the administration wants to keep borrowing money -- but it can't do unless Congress lifts the debt ceiling. The only alternative would be to cut spending, which is exactly why the budget hawks have chosen this moment to draw a line in the sand. They know that the pressure for spending cuts will dissipate the moment the debt ceiling is hiked.

There's no doubt which alternative -- more debt or less spending -- voters favor. Despite all the scaremongering, large majorities consistently say they are against boosting the debt ceiling. A poll for The Hill in February found just 27 percent of likely voters in favor of an increase, while 62 percent (including 64 percent of independents) opposed it. According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, only 16 percent of Americans want the limit raised.

After last November's GOP landslide, Democrats know better than to ignore the intense public desire to curb government spending and debt. At least four Democratic senators, The Washington Post reports, are now threatening to buck the White House and join Republicans in freezing the debt ceiling and insisting on deficit cuts before they'll consent to lift the country's borrowing limit.

Here's hoping voters keep the heat on and their heels dug in. For only fear will bring Washington's insane spending binge to an end. For committed fiscal conservatives, like many of the Tea Party freshmen elected last year, that means fear of the strangled growth, crushing taxation, and irrecoverable loss of wealth and opportunity to which runaway federal spending and debt will sentence future generations of Americans. For the rest of Capitol Hill, it means fear of being thrown out of office by alarmed and infuriated voters, who think $14.3 trillion is about as high as a debt ceiling ought to go.

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.

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

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