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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 Feb. 21, 2006 / 23 Shevat, 5766

Big government falls flat

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During the past year, one of the philosophical justifications for the Bush administration's approach to government has collapsed. It held that President Bush was a "big-government conservative," or in the more striking formulation of the influential, Bush-friendly journalist Fred Barnes, a "strong-government conservative."


In theory, strong-government conservatism is alluring. If government is going to do something, it ought to do it well. In practice, however strong-government conservatism has mostly been a rationalization for lazy and politically expedient accretions to government. It hasn't given us a strong government, but a further-sprawling government that in many ways is contemptible.


Take the response to Hurricane Katrina. The Department of Homeland Security should be a perfect forum for strong government. Congress and the president identified a goal — preventing terrorists from attacking us on our soil — and named a new federal department after it: Homeland Security. They threw 22 disparate government agencies together, apparently on the theory that bigger is stronger.


In last week's House report on Katrina, there was one target for criticism that has gone unnoticed — big government itself. The report notes how important it was to share information "within agencies" and "across departments." It didn't happen: "Unfortunately, no government does these things well, especially big governments." The report goes on to say "flexibility and adaptability" were needed. Instead: "We again encountered the risk-averse culture that pervades big government."


Katrina didn't involve just the obvious failures. The further down the House report mines, the more failure it finds. To cite an example: "Top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Disaster Medical System do not share a common understanding of who controls the National Disaster Medical System under Emergency Support Function-8." Besides the heroic effort of the U.S. Coast Guard, strong government was nowhere to be seen.


Another signature Bush foray into expansive government is the Medicare prescription-drug plan. It takes one of the nation's problems — exploding entitlements for the elderly — and makes it worse. As Michael Mandelbaum argues in his new book, "The Case for Goliath," a major threat to the dominant American role in the world is a declining public willingness to pay for it. Piling up new entitlement costs makes this dynamic even more likely. With the prescription-drug plan, government got stronger — or bigger, at least — but the nation may well be weaker for it.


Some government programs actually promote strong government. A large, capable military is a foundation of national power. The Patriot Act and the National Security Agency spying program — by updating governmental capabilities to deal with a new national security threat — represent strong, flexible government. It is also possible to foster desirable values through government programs. Welfare reform promoted responsibility among welfare recipients.


But these kinds of programs hardly necessitate an ever-expanding federal government. The budget for the entire NSA is a relatively affordable $6 billion a year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency wasted about 1/6th of that, nearly a billion dollars, on a one-off boondoggle for mobile homes. According to Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation, nondefense, nonsecurity and non-Katrina-related discretionary spending has increased 34 percent since 2001. Huge entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are growing at between 6 and 9 percent annually.


None of this makes for strong government in the conservative sense. It creates a self-perpetuating appetite for even more government. The prescription-drug plan hasn't placated seniors, but whetted their appetite for an even more generous program. As spending increases, so does pressure for higher taxes. This threatens the most successful Bush domestic initiative, which is of the old-fashioned limited-government variety: tax cuts that helped boost the most important factor in national strength and well-being, a strong private sector.


When the GOP begins its post-Bush departure — roughly after the midterm elections in November, when the 2008 presidential nomination race begins — "big-government conservatism" will probably end up on the ash heap. The party will have to relearn what it used to know: A strong government is a limited government.

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© 2006 King Features Syndicate

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