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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 Nov 21, 2011 / 24 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

Memo to Washington: Kick the spending habit

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Treasury Department reported last week that the national debt had surpassed $15 trillion, clocking in at precisely $15,033,607,255,920.32 as of the close of business Tuesday. Since President Obama's inauguration in January 2009, the amount owed by the federal government to its lenders has soared more than $4.4 trillion, an increase of 41 percent in less than three years.

To put those figures in perspective, consider these:

When Bill Clinton was president, the national debt rose by an annual average of $193 billion. When the profligate George W. Bush was in the White House, the yearly debt increases averaged $612 billion. On Obama's watch, by contrast, the federal debt has been skyrocketing by more than $1.5 trillion per year.

It took 40 presidents and nearly two centuries, from George Washington to Ronald Reagan, for the US government to accumulate $1.5 trillion in indebtedness. The 44th president -- aided and abetted by Congress -- enlarges the federal debt by that amount every 12 months.

Yet the political class has its knickers in a twist because the much-vaunted "supercommittee" has only until Thanksgiving to come up a plan for trimming the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Washington's refusal to take spending reduction seriously amounts to an almost criminal abdication of its responsibilities to the taxpayers, and politicians of both parties share in the guilt. As a candidate for president in 2008, Barack Obama properly blasted what was then a $9 trillion national debt as "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic." Just weeks after moving into the White House, he vowed that by the end of his first term he would cut the $1.3 trillion federal budget deficit in half.

"We cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation," Obama told a White House summit on fiscal responsibility. "You don't spend what you don't have."

But Washington continues not only to spend what it doesn't have, but to do so at a record-setting pace. In the fiscal year that ended on September 30, the federal government burned through a staggering $3.6 trillion -- "well above amounts recorded before 2009," as the Congressional Budget Office dryly noted. The budget deficits of the past three years -- $1.416 trillion (2009), $1.294 trillion (2010), and $1.298 trillion (2011) -- have been the largest in American history, whether measured in dollars or as a percentage of GDP.

For all the hyperventilating in recent months about "draconian" cuts and "slashing spending" and the "brutal" scope of the automatic reductions that are supposed to take effect if the supercommittee doesn't agree on a plan, the bottom line is unchanged: The federal budget, like the federal establishment it funds, is grotesquely overweight and getting fatter by the day. The frantic stimulus spendathon has done nothing to heal the economy, and it is ludicrous that anyone can speak of the government's current "austerity" with a straight face. The deal that raised the federal debt ceiling last summer didn't impose austerity on Washington's budget-makers. It averted austerity.

Sequestration -- the triggering of spending cuts if the supercommittee fails to come up with the required deficit trims -- will barely slow the spending train. Between 2013 and 2021, the federal budget is expected to grow by another $1.7 trillion. And if the sequester trigger is pulled? By another $1.6 trillion. If that's "brutal", I'm Katy Perry.

Like any morbidly obese patient, the federal behemoth needs to go on a diet. Ultimately the only prescription for reducing the government's parade of yearly deficits and mounting debt without suffocating economic growth is to cut spending. Politicians find that a frightening prospect, and special interests and pressure groups don't hesitate to exploit their fear.

But kicking the out-of-control spending habit isn't impossible. Other governments (and earlier administrations) have done it, and with excellent results. Under Prime Minister Jean Chretien in the 1990s, Canada slashed spending across the board, reduced its federal payroll by 45,000 jobs, and privatized the national railway and air-traffic-control system. The result, as Fred Barnes recently chronicled in National Affairs, was an economic rebound. A deficit of nearly $37 billion turned into a $3 billion surplus, and a national economy that had been growing at an anemic 1% kicked into overdrive, expanding by an annual average of 3.4% between 1994 and 2006.

The longer Washington avoids serious and permanent spending cuts, the higher the debt will climb and the more painful the ultimate reckoning will be. "We cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences," the president said in 2009. It was true then. It's even truer now.

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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