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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 Jan. 7, 2009 / 11 Teves 5769

The Risks in Obama's Ambitions

By Michael Gerson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama was elected, in part, as the antidote to ambition. Unlike John F. Kennedy, who campaigned against the golf-playing complacency of the Eisenhower era, Obama appealed to a nation weary of large national exertions — a nation longing for a normality beyond the wars, hurricanes, floods and assorted plagues of the Bush years.


Yet headed toward the inauguration, the scale of Obama's ambition is becoming evident.


I am not referring to his stimulus plan, which tends toward the limited and conventional. Obama's tax cuts are designed to improve household cash flow. But it is the iron rule of stimulus packages that temporary tax cuts have temporary results — like coffee instead of a meal for a hungry man.


Obama's proposed infrastructure spending has the Lincolnian appeal of fostering "internal improvements" — raising the prospect that public spending might have some lasting public benefit. But there is a fine line between infrastructure and pork — the line between building a bridge, which might promote economic growth, and painting a bridge, which merely provides a few jobs for a few weeks. And Congress is not particularly known for its navigation of fine lines.


The Obama economic plan is expensive but hardly revolutionary — much less "socialist." In reality, American presidents have few levers long enough to shift a continental economy. During an economic winter, they shovel the snow — and then take credit for the spring.


But there are two other areas where Obama's campaign pledges are proving ambitious.


First, Obama proposes to require all but the smallest businesses to provide health coverage to employees — or pay a tax. He would also create a government-run insurance plan similar to Medicare that would compete with private companies to cover the uninsured. The problem is this: Because government can impose price controls, it can make the public option cheaper. Companies, tired of dealing with complicated health-care burdens, would have an incentive to drop employees from coverage, and uncovered individuals would have an incentive to join the public system — achieving universal nationalization of health care by small steps.


In reacting to this approach, Republicans face a difficult, defining moment. This is not 1994, when opponents, offering no alternatives, killed the Clinton health reform. Many businesses are sincerely discontented with the current employer-based system.


But predominantly publicly run health care is an ideological red line for Republicans. In other instances where the middle class has become dependent on government for its health care — witness Britain — the conservative case for individual responsibility and limited government has been fundamentally undermined. People hold tightly to the security of their benefits even when treated by a health system with surly incompetence. Not even the most compassionate conservative is going to accept government control of 16 percent of the economy.


If Obama's proposal demonstrates genuine neutrality between public and private health options — empowering individuals to make a free choice — it could gain significant Republican support. If the plan is an intermediary step toward a single-payer system, Obama can expect a serious fight, even from a weakened opponent, because the deepest values of American conservatism will be at stake.


Second, the scale of Obama's environmental ambitions has been highlighted by the current economic crisis.


It is another iron rule that prosperous, confident nations do more for the environment than economically struggling ones. And this sets up a conflict between Obama's urgent environmental diagnosis — a cumulative scientific case for serious, possibly catastrophic climate disruption — and the economic and political realities of the moment.


The centerpiece of Obama's environmental approach is an "economy-wide cap-and-trade program," designed to dramatically limit greenhouse gas production. But this would act as a large tax on the use of fossil fuels — in an economy where falling energy prices have been one of the few sources of good news.


If Obama plows ahead with an aggressive cap-and-trade system, Republican and Democratic opponents — focused exclusively on jobs — will find plenty of excuses for legislative inertia. If he phases in a system too slowly, it will undermine his own arguments for urgency. If he abandons a cap-and-trade system in favor of investing in eco-infrastructure — a more efficient energy grid, weatherizing public buildings — he will get what he wants, and also get slammed for betraying a serious commitment.


During the campaign, I sometimes criticized Obama for lacking specificity and ambition. But as the specifics emerge, the ambitions of his campaign pledges are ever more clear.


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Previously:


12/31/08: Support Obama Will Need
06/13/08: Prince Charles, Organic Conservatism Icon
06/11/08: No longer a bankrupt political joke but still overshadowed
04/23/08: McCain's anger management
04/10/08: A Country for Old Men
03/06/08: Does the America Need a Hug?
03/06/08: Obama's First 100 Days
02/29/08: Words Aren't Cheap
02/22/08: He Said, They Said
02/20/08: Dying silently in Zimbabwe
02/15/08: Hillary's Unappealing Path
02/13/08: NATO's Afghan Stumbles
02/08/08: Why McCain Endures
02/06/08: One surge that led to another
02/01/08: In North Korea, Process Over Progress
01/30/08: Compassionate to the end


© 2008, WPWG

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