taxes

The Missing Money

One of my earliest memories of revulsion against war came from seeing a photograph from the First World War when I was a teenager. It was nothing gory. Just a picture of a military officer, in an impressive uniform, talking to a puzzled and forlorn-looking old peasant woman with a cloth wrapped around her head. … Read more

A Fair Tax Is Better for the Soul

Recently, a number of Catholic religious leaders protested against the Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), a fellow Catholic, as the commencement speaker at the Catholic University of America. Their gripe: His proposed budget cuts would reward the wealthy while cutting programs for the most vulnerable (a relative term). They signed a letter pointing … Read more

Our Moral Dilemma

Most of our nation’s problems are a direct result of our being immune, hostile or indifferent to several moral questions. Let’s start out with the simple and move to the more complex. Or, stated another way, let’s begin with questions that generate the least hostility, moving to those that generate the greatest. If a person … Read more

Obama and Business: Irreconcilable Differences

Last week, I noted that various forms of the word “unexpected” almost inevitably appeared in news stories about unfavorable economic developments. You can find them again in stories about Friday’s shocking news, that only 54,000 net new jobs were created in the month of May and that unemployment rose to 9.1 percent. But with news … Read more

Slaves to Words

We could definitely use another Abraham Lincoln to emancipate us all from being slaves to words. In the midst of a historic financial crisis of unprecedented government spending, and a national debt that outstrips even the debt accumulated by the reckless government spending of previous administration, we are still enthralled by words and ignoring realities. … Read more

A New Economic Direction

At long last, private-sector jobs are growing again. They rose 159,000 in October, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even more encouraging are the revisions to earlier surveys, indicating that the improvement in new jobs was not a one-time event. Job gains for August and September were revised up to 250,000 from 157,000. … Read more

Calling Their Bluff

Faith draws on far more resources of head and heart than the formal reasoning that flashes through our frontal cortex can account for. Religious sentiment and habits of piety formed in early life can lay down trails we will endlessly retrace in future decades. Conversely, pieties denied us when we were young will be harder … Read more

The Right Stuff

Eighteen months later and billions of dollars spent have not resulted in the new jobs that the stimulus program was intended to create. Private-sector employment has actually declined an estimated two million additional persons since the inauguration of the program. The elusive goal of creating private-sector jobs is the subject of much commentary among economists, … Read more

Friday Free-for-All

A few links for your Friday morning: The sole Protestant member of the Supreme Court may soon be stepping down, which raises the question: Does the religious make-up of the Court make a difference? Despite modern families’ feeling busier than ever before, a recent study shows that parents are actually spending more one-on-one time with … Read more

Actually, that may NOT be government junk mail.

Bob Collins at Minnesota Public Radio received a first-class letter from the U.S. Census, telling him that they’ll be sending him another letter next week. The apparent foolishness of the exercise got him thinking about its expense: There were 105,480,101 households in 2000. At 500 sheets of paper per ream, that’s 210,960 reams of paper … Read more

The Moral Case against High Taxation

As a pro-life Catholic, I wouldn’t vote for a politician with radical pro-choice views. And, for the most part, even those who disagree with me respect that position. But people begin to raise eyebrows when I say I believe that raising taxes on the wealthy to benefit the less well-off is wrong as well. How … Read more

Peace-Loving Conservatives

In my hometown, the peace rallies are always sponsored by the Unitarians. Actually, it is they who are the participants too.   Ain’t My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism By Bill Kauffman, Metropolitan Books, $25, 304 pages       In my hometown, the peace rallies are always sponsored … Read more

Why Taxation Isn’t (Necessarily) Theft

I still remember the pain when my best friend and I stopped attending the same school after first grade. His parents decided he would be better off in a private school. I asked my mom how he could do that, and she explained that his parents were spending a little extra money to send him … Read more

Seeking Smallness

“Do you think we’ll ever really be grown up?” I remember asking my next-door neighbor and best friend Krissy years ago. “Do you think we’ll ever talk about gas prices and health insurance and stuff?” We two ten-year-olds sat on our purple bicycles with sparkly tasseled handle bars and funky flowered banana seats as we … Read more

Those Government Checks

You’ve surely heard of the economic stimulus payments that the government is planning to send out this summer. Most people will receive $300. The government hopes that we will all rush out to buy things, and that this will revive a slumping economy. Trying to stimulate the economy with an infusion of cash is not … Read more

Motherhood

First, I want the reader’s sympathy. Before I wrote this column, I ploughed through the jargon-ridden and statistics-laden pages of a recent study on “Trends and Determinants of Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: The Role of Public Policy.” Once upon a time I read such things with something strangely approaching pleasure. Now they make my … Read more

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