Alan S. Blinder, former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Bank, argues that tax cuts given to upper-income folks during the Bush administration should expire for the same reason that they shouldn't have been enacted: the country can't afford them. Rather than using the increased tax revenue to lower the national debt, he says, the money should be redirected toward unemployment benefits. This would put more money into the economy and foster job creation. Redirecting the tax cuts to unemployment benefits would create about 500,000 more jobs each year (Wall Street Journal, July 19).
Aug 09, 2010
Two Republican candidates in Missouri's third congressional district primary race are vying to win the support of Tea Party backers. John Wayne Tucker, a pastor, appeared in an Internet commercial firing away with a semiautomatic weapon. Not to be outdone by that display of fervor, lawyer Ed Martin said on a radio show that he believes President Barack Obama is trying to send Americans to hell. Obama is trying to take away people's freedom, including "the ultimate freedom, to find your salvation, to get your salvation" (St. Louis Today, July 17).
And a side order of peace: Conflict Kitchen is a takeout restaurant in Pittsburgh that sells food from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict. Every four months a different country—and menu—is highlighted, along with the culture and politics of the country and the reasons for the conflict. It is now serving Iranian food, with assistance from Pittsburgh’s Iranian community (kubidehkitchen.com).
Parenting myth: Studies show that parents today spend more time with their kids, yet kids don't seem happier, more independent or more successful. They seem more troubled and needy. To raise healthy kids, put your marriage first and your children second, argues David Code (To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First, Crossroad). Code says current priorities set a poor example of marriage for children and create anxious households—and kids soak up that anxiety.
The flesh is weak: Mark Souder, the Republican congressman from Indiana who recently resigned over an extramarital affair, made this confession to World magazine: "I prayed multiple times a day, sang hymns with emotion and tears, felt each time that it wouldn't happen again, read the Bible every morning. . . . So how in the world did I have a 'torrid' (which is an accurate word) many-year affair?" (RNS).