In this issue

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 14, 2005 / 3 Adar II, 5765

Soak the rich

By Rich Lowry

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Social Security debate is headed toward a monumental political irony: It might well be that Republicans offer creative ideas to make the system more "progressive" — i.e., more favorable to people lower down on the income scale — and Democrats resolutely refuse to adopt them. What happened to the Democrats we used to know, who made progressivity the highest test of any public policy and leapt at any opportunity to "soak the rich"?

Of course, this trend is partly the result of political desperation, as the GOP seeks ideas to make reform that includes personal accounts more appealing to Democrats. But that doesn't detract from the merit of the proposals. Some Republicans are now suggesting not just modernizing and putting what Democrats like to call the world's most effective government program on a sounder financial footing, but doing it in ways that are in keeping with that old Democratic value: fairness.

In the past, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint from South Carolina — who is seeking compromise with Democrats — has offered a proposal that would allow lower-income people to invest a higher proportion of their payroll taxes in personal accounts. DeMint suggested a sliding scale that would allow lower-income workers to invest up to 8 percent of the payroll taxes they and their employers pay, while upper-income workers would only get to invest 3 percent. Remember: The diversion of payroll taxes into personal accounts is, in effect, a tax cut. So this proposal would be what Democrats always profess to favor — a tax cut for the poor.

DeMint's idea would allow lower-income workers to benefit disproportionately from the higher rate of return that personal accounts offer over sending the taxes on to the federal treasury. Also, it would help black Americans especially to develop private assets, an area where they lag the rest of America as a direct result of the nation's legacy of racism. What is there for liberals — at least those who aren't theologically committed to handing President Bush a defeat on Social Security and opposed to encouraging private investment on principle — not to love?

Another key part of the Social Security equation is slowing the rate of growth of benefits to ensure the system's solvency. The administration has floated the idea of changing how Social Security benefits are adjusted over time, pegging their indexation to inflation instead of wage growth. This would create substantial savings.

Republican Sen. Robert Bennett from Utah has a proposal to keep the more generous wage indexing for lower-income workers and slowly phase in the stingier inflation indexing for the wealthy (in keeping with this priority, survivor benefits should be made more generous, and Social Security's disability benefits left untouched). The burden of the savings would therefore fall only on those who can most afford it. What is this if not "shared sacrifice"?

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More controversial in GOP circles is Sen. Lindsey Graham's proposal to deal with solvency by raising the cap on payroll taxes from its current $90,000, thus subjecting more of the income of the wealthy to the tax. This is both a tax increase and one solely on the better-off — in other words, ideal liberal policy.

All these ideas could be part of a reform deal. But Democratic opposition to personal accounts could prevent it, as well as the parties' contrasting theories of the welfare state. Liberals generally want it to cover as many non-poor people as possible, so that there is a big, powerful political constituency for government. Republicans should want to limit governmental dependence to those who can't fend for themselves. GOP proposals on Social Security are drifting in the right direction — toward maintaining the program as social insurance for the poor, offering uplift in the form of personal accounts and squeezing the governmental dependence of the fat and happy.

So, stick it to Ken Lay. Pursue economic justice. Level the playing field. Stiff George W. Bush's rich friends. Apply any demagogic slogan you like. And do it all while making Social Security better and stronger.

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© 2005 King Features Syndicate