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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 Sept. 28, 2011 / 29 Elul, 5771

Professor Warren's ire

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

Meeting with voters in an Andover living room last month, US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren vigorously challenged the idea that Obama Democrats are engaging in "class warfare" when they clamor for higher taxes on the wealthy. A YouTube clip of her remarks has liberals cheering; MoveOn calls it "The Elizabeth Warren Quote Every American Needs To Hear."

Warren, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Republican Scott Brown in 2012, claims that raising taxes on those who succeed is justified by "the underlying social contract" that made their success possible: Government services gave them a leg up, so they must "pay forward" to help others.

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody!" Warren preaches with populist fervor as she addresses an imaginary business owner. "You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory . . . because of work the rest of us did.

"Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific -- God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

As an argument for higher taxes, this is admittedly an improvement on Barack Obama's 2008 declaration to Joe the Plumber that "when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." Nonetheless, Warren's words reflect the infatuation with government and condescension toward private initiative that have been such hallmarks of the Obama presidency. Her eagerness to minimize the entrepreneur's achievement while exalting the role of the public sector may win cheers on the Left, but it puts her sharply at odds with mainstream voters.

By overwhelming margins, Americans think well of small businesses and those who create them -- Gallup found last year that 84 percent of respondents had a positive image of "entrepreneurs," and 95 percent felt positive toward "small business." The public's view of government, by contrast, could hardly be worse: In a poll out this week, 81 percent of Americans -- a record high -- express displeasure with their government. Last month, respondents ranked government dead last among 25 business and industry sectors.

Of course that doesn't mean that some government isn't necessary. Warren's implication that Republicans or conservatives who decry "class warfare" are unwilling to pay for roads, schools, or police and fire protection is childish. Not even the most libertarian Tea Partier, never mind a moderate like Brown, wants to zero out basic public services. Warren doesn't need to hector factory owners, imaginary or otherwise, into acknowledging that they benefit from highways and police departments, or that those benefits need to be paid for.

What's a lot harder to explain is how they benefit from the kind of government incompetence that can turn a $2.8 billion Big Dig project into a $22 billion Big Dig scandal. Or from government loan guarantees that squander fortunes on Solyndra and other ventures in "green" crony capitalism. Or from vast government entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, with their trillions in unfunded obligations and unsustainable costs. Or from government subsidies for airports nobody uses and broadcasters that can support themselves.

In the video, Warren gestures emphatically each time she repeats her claim that entrepreneurs succeed only at the expense of "the rest of us." Far from refuting the "class warfare" charge, her words and body language confirm it. Yet surely she is aware that half of US households pay no income taxes at all. She must have some sense of the staggering array of taxes, fees, and assessments that anyone who develops a successful small business must continually pay to governments at all levels.

And even a Harvard law professor -- at least one who aspires to the US Senate -- has to realize that most entrepreneurs get rich only when they create value for others.

Yes, there is an "underlying social contract" on which civilized society depends. But there are two sides to that contract -- and more to its terms than just taxing away ever-bigger "hunks" of wealth from people who succeed. When 81 percent of Americans are fed up with their government, and when that government already spends far beyond its means, is it really the risk-takers of the private sector who deserve Professor Warren's ire?

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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