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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 March 30, 2009 / 5 Nisan 5769

Not Yet Ready for a Welfare State

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Roadblocks. That's what Barack Obama has been encountering on the audacious path toward a European-style welfare state he has set out in his budget and other proposals.


He continues to insist that America cannot enjoy real prosperity again without higher taxes on high earners, a government health insurance program, a cap-and-trade program that amounts to a tax on energy and the effective abolition of secret ballots in unionization elections. The fact that there are large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress made it seem that the path was open. But roadblocks have started to appear.


One has been set up by the Senate Budget Committee. Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota, whose concern about budget deficits has persisted even though we no longer have a Republican president, has apparently decided that cap-and-trade is off the table for this year. But calculation as well as conviction probably lay behind his decision.


Cap-and-trade would impose higher costs on coal-fired electric power plants. In states where most electricity is produced from coal, this would mean higher utility bills for consumers and industrial users. By my count, there are 25 Democratic senators from states that get 60 percent or more of their electricity from coal (in North Dakota, the figure is 93 percent). Conrad needs to hold all but eight of those senators to be sure of the 50 votes he needs for the budget resolution. So you can see why he was ready to ditch cap-and-trade, which, in any case, addresses a problem — climate change — whose purported evil effects are decades away.


Ditching cap-and-trade, however, may set up another roadblock, since the money the government was going to take out of the private-sector economy was slated for Obama's middle-class tax cut.


Another roadblock was erected, in concrete, by Republican Sen. Arlen Specter when he announced this week that he would not vote, as he did in the last Congress, to advance the unions' card check bill. It was easy enough to support it and bask in approval from Pennsylvania union leaders when it was clear George W. Bush would veto the measure. But now that we have a president who would sign it, Specter took another look.


Card check would effectively abolish the secret ballot in unionization elections and impose unions on employers when union thugs — er, activists — persuaded a majority of workers to sign cards backing the union. And it would impose mandatory federal arbitration after 120 days of bargaining, so that for the first time federal arbitrators would set wages and working conditions without any guidelines.


With Specter firmly committed, Republicans now have 41 Senate votes against card check, enough to maintain a filibuster. Moreover, many Democratic senators — as many as 15, according to one count — have expressed qualms about card check. They've been hearing loud and clear from small and large businesses in their states that card check would be a disaster. And for any Democrat, it's a little hard to explain what's wrong about the secret ballot.


Other parts of the Obama program have, so far, not encountered resistance. Higher taxes on high earners are scheduled to come into effect in 2010 without a vote, though high-ranking Democrats like House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel have expressed doubts about the Obama proposal to reduce the charitable deduction for high earners. If you're a university president courting big donors, you don't want to see part of their contributions diverted to the U.S. Treasury.


The prospects for national health insurance look pretty favorable. The various healthcare lobbies that would be affected are sitting at the bargaining table, seeking to avoid destruction of their business models and advancing provisions that would give them an advantage over competitors. But then at this stage in Bill Clinton's first term, the healthcare lobbies were sidling up to the table, too — or as close to it as Hillary Clinton would let them get.


The problem on healthcare, as on cap-and-trade and card check, is that this is a big and complicated country. America doesn't have one energy system, one employee relations system, one healthcare insurance and delivery system — it has many. Members of Congress from different states and congressional districts have constituents who are very differently situated, and those differences cut across party lines.


Democrats from coal states like North Dakota see energy issues differently from Democrats from coal-free states like California. Democrats from heavily unionized Michigan see labor issues differently from Democrats from nonunionized Arkansas. And let's not get started setting out the regional differences in healthcare.


Setting up a welfare state is easier in European political systems, with their centralized governments and rigid parliamentary party discipline. American welfare state programs like Social Security and Medicare were set up and expanded step by step by very shrewd strategists operating over many years. Obama has the audacity to hope that he can jam things through with sizeable Democratic majorities at a time of economic crisis and uncertainty. But he has quickly encountered some roadblocks — and may yet encounter some more.

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.

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Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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