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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 December 17, 2012/ 4 Teves 5773

While Feds Dawdle, States Tackle Fiscal Problems

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Democrats in Washington declare that they will absolutely, positively allow no changes whatever in the nation's unsustainable entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare.

But out in the states, politicians of both parties aren't averting their gaze from impending fiscal crises. They are working to change policies that put state governments on an unsustainable trajectory.

The most obvious example was the passage of a right-to-work law last week in Michigan, the birthplace of the United Auto Workers union.

This was retaliation for a failed power grab by both the UAW and public sector unions — Proposition 2, which would have enshrined collective bargaining in the state constitution.

Michigan voters defeated Prop 2 last month by a 58 to 42 percent margin. It won in the two counties that include the effectively bankrupt cities of Detroit and Flint. It lost in the other 81 counties.

Right-to-work means that no one can be forced to join a union. The law also stops the automatic deduction of union dues from public employees' paychecks — which is to say, taxpayer funding of the public employee unions that have driven costs and pensions on an unsustainable path.

Gov. Rick Snyder was initially reluctant to push right-to-work. But he saw that neighboring Indiana was attracting new jobs after it passed right-to-work last winter, while Michigan was losing jobs.

Michigan's law is similar to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's law limiting public employee unions' bargaining powers and stopping the automatic flow of taxpayer money to union treasuries. Unions there protested, but Walker prevailed in a June 2012 recall election.

The Michigan and Wisconsin laws were partisan Republican measures, opposed by all local Democrats. Republicans have leverage elsewhere, as well.

They hold the governorships and legislative majorities in 24 states with 52 percent of the nation's population (25 states with 53 percent if you count Nebraska with its nonpartisan single-chamber legislature). They also hold governorships but not legislative majorities in five more states with 6 percent of the nation's population.

In contrast, only 13 states with 30 percent of the nation's people have Democratic governors and legislatures. But even where Democrats are dominant there are stirrings of reform.

Consider Rhode Island, where Democratic state Treasurer Gina Raimondo has worked to limit the state's unsustainable pension obligations. The state pension fund is currently paying out more to retirees than it's taking in from current employees, and instead of getting an 8.25 percent return on investments, it has been getting 2.5 percent.

Rhode Island has hired Democrat super-lawyer David Boies to bring a lawsuit to reduce the state's pension obligations. "There's no contract," Boies said. "Even if there was a contract, the state, pursuing the public interest, has the right to modify contracts."

Or consider New Jersey, where Republican Gov. Chris Christie has famously opposed the public employee unions. He has formed a coalition with Democratic legislators with roots in private-sector unions.

Those Democrats, like Christie, argue that public employees should not get far more generous benefits and pensions than the taxpayers who are paying for them.

Another example is the state of Washington, where last week two Democrats joined with Republicans to form a new governing coalition in the state Senate. That wouldn't have happened four years ago, when Democrats had a 31-18 edge.

But in the Obama years that margin was whittled down to 26-23, and with two defections the new coalition is ahead 25-24. It installed a supporter of charter schools and critic of teacher unions as education chairman and a skeptic on Obamacare as health care chairman.

If you look back on the great conservative public policy successes of the 1990s, welfare reform and crime control, the initiative came from the states and localities, mostly from Republican governors and mayors, but from many Democrats, as well.

Something similar seems to be happening on pensions and union contracts. A few large states, notably California and Illinois, are trying to solve their problems by raising taxes. The result seems to be unemployment above the national average.

But in many states, reform is taking hold, led by Republicans in some cases but by Democrats, as well. The fiscal squeeze is felt more urgently in the states: They can't print money and can't count on Ben Bernanke's Federal Reserve to buy 70 percent of their bonds.

Some Democrats in Congress recognize that entitlement programs are on an unsustainable path. But they're not saying much in public.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama seems to be heeding the advice of those who say entitlements must never, never be reformed.

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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