Must Read Op-Eds for October 6, 2011

Updated

WHERE’S THE JOBS BILL? EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

Ultimately, families making $250,000, and even those making less, will have to give back some of the tax benefits they got from the Bush administration if the budget is to return to long-term health. … In the end, it may be a political exercise anyway, since Mr. McConnell’s Republicans will filibuster any jobs bill, and Mr. Cantor’s will reject most of it. But the sharp contrast with the Republican plan to do nothing can only be made if Democrats are clearly united behind a plan to invigorate the economy. Mr. Reid insists the millionaire’s tax will unite Democrats and produce a vote on the jobs plan in the next few days. It cannot come soon enough.

IS ISRAEL ITS OWN WORST ENEMY? BY NICHOLAS KRISTOF
NEW YORK TIMES

People have the right to vote on the government that controls their lives. Some of my Israeli friends will think I’m unfair and harsh, applying double standards by focusing on Israeli shortcomings while paying less attention to those of other countries in the region. Fair enough: I plead guilty. I apply higher standards to a close American ally like Israel that is a huge recipient of American aid. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk — or drive a diplomatic course that leaves their nation veering away from any hope of peace. Today, Israel’s leaders sometimes seem to be that country’s worst enemies, and it’s an act of friendship to point that out.

ASK REPUBLICAN ABOUT JOBS, THEY’LL ANSWER ABOUT OBAMACARE
BY DANA MILBANK
WASHINGTON POST

By most of the usual measures, President Obama has no business being reelected. Here’s why he might be anyway. On Wednesday morning, as Senate Democratic leaders were scrambling to find a way to enact part of Obama’s jobs bill, a dozen Republican lawmakers assembled outside the Capitol to complain about … health-care reform. Toward the end of this 2010 reprise, Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.) raised a valid point. “What we really needed to be focusing on two years ago was putting people back to work,” he said. “We literally spent two years fiddling while Rome was burning.”

ELIZABETH WARREN AND LIBERALISM, TWISTING THE ‘SOCIAL CONTRACT’
BY GEORGE WILL
WASHINGTON POST

Warren’s emphatic assertion of the unremarkable … misses this point: It is conservatism, not liberalism, that takes society seriously. Liberalism preaches confident social engineering by the regulatory state. Conservatism urges government humility in the face of society’s creative complexity. Society — hundreds of millions of people making billions of decisions daily — is a marvel of spontaneous order among individuals in voluntary cooperation. Government facilitates this cooperation with roads, schools, police, etc. — and by getting out of its way. This is a sensible, dynamic, prosperous society’s “underlying social contract.”

WHY THE PESSIMISM OVER PUTIN’S RETURN?
BY KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL & STEPHEN COHEN
WASHINGTON POST

Those days of a yielding Putin, however, may be behind us. He said as early as 2002 that “the era of Russian geopolitical concessions [is] coming to an end.” What’s clear is that Putin’s future cooperation with Washington will depend on his understanding of Russia’s national interests and equally on Washington’s cooperation with Moscow, which, despite Obama’s heralded “reset,” has not yet involved any tangible American concessions.

THE BANKER BAITERS EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

Reasonable people can disagree about which politician is more economically irresponsible—the President who wants bureaucrats to dictate profit margins or the Senator who encourages a run on a bank. These can’t possibly be the answers to a struggling economy in the U.S. and a debt crisis in Europe. As for the problems of 2008, bankers created plenty of them, though not as many as government did. In 2011, banker baiting won’t help the economy, and we doubt it will do much for Democratic election chances either.

GOV. CHRISTIE RESTS HIS CASE BY DANIEL HENNINGER
WALL STREET JOURNAL

Ask Rick Perry, now bogged down in the immigration quicksand. Some similar act of imperfection awaited Chris Christie. The purifying furies of the Web forest would have been on him in minutes. Feel free to believe he said “No” only because of organizational challenges. I think something purely political scared him off. It might behoove the hyper-energized conservative base to look in the mirror and ask why Chris Christie is only the latest to take a pass on the gauntlet.

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Must Read Op-Eds for October 6, 2011

Updated