Debt, Taxes, and TSA Oglers

One more round of links before I make it back to the office:

Jim Rogers has predicted another recession within two years. It’s not a good idea to bet against this guy. If you’re employed and have any surplus income beyond the bare necessities, please do what you can to eliminate your debt and build up an emergency fund.

Speaking of debt, here’s a scary chart showing the unprecedented levels of debt in American society. It seems that the Christian and bourgeois ethic of debt avoidance has almost completely disappeared in the last thirty years.

Unlike Congress, the UK’s Parliament is actually trying to do something about its budget deficit and has started making cuts. In addition to freezing public-sector salaries, several programs have gone on the chopping block, including the UK Film Council. There has been much hand-wringing over this move in liberal circles–take a look at The Guardian‘s editorials for the last few days–but according to this piece, the film industry’s employees are actually pleased. I suppose we shouldn’t shed too many tears over the demise of an institution that bankrolled Sex Lives of the Potato Men, a film The Guardian allowed to be defended in its pages.

Here’s a brief analysis of what would happen to ordinary people if the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are allowed to expire at the end of this year. It looks pretty bad for my family, primarily because of the halving of the child tax credit. Tack on the increased marginal rate, and we’d be looking at several thousand more dollars in income tax next year. Those who argue that the tax cuts are the reason for the big deficit might want to take a look at this essay, which shows that increased annual federal spending over the last ten years is about nine times larger than the annual dollar amount “lost” to the government because of the tax cuts.

If this article makes you never want to fly again, you have some sense of dignity. Add modesty to the list of Christian ideas that gets no respect today.

About Dr. J

I am Professor of Humanities at Faulkner University, where I chair the Department of Humanities and direct online M.A. and Ph.D. programs based on the Great Books of Western Civilization. I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy and a member of the faculty at Liberty Classroom.
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