April 2011 Archives

Sun Herald
April 28, 2011

CFSI releases it latest research paper: The Future of Financial Services: Recommendations for Asset Building

CHICAGO -- The Center for Financial Services Innovation today released The Future of Financial Services: Recommendations for Asset Building, a report detailing the results of a year-long study to understand how current and impending trends will affect the structure of the financial services industry with recommendations for how the asset-building field can respond.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Ruth Simon
April 29, 2011

The clock is ticking for the biggest U.S. banks to revamp their foreclosure practices.

Nation of renters and hoarders

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CNNMoney
By: Paul R. LaMonica
April 27, 2011

If you need any more proof of how sorry a state the housing market is in, look no further than how well real estate investment trusts that own apartments and storage facilities are doing.

Teach financial literacy earlier

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Corpus Christi Caller Times
By: Michael Rizzo
April 29, 2011

If your seventh grader came home from school and told you that the American Revolution was fought in 1872 against Uganda, you'd be outraged by his historical illiteracy.

SBA Approves New Lenders

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Sarah E. Needleman
April 28, 2011

The U.S. Small Business Administration on Thursday approved six community-based lenders to immediately start accepting and processing applications for "Community Advantage" loans from qualifying small businesses.

Huffington Post

Colleges Must Ensure Quality Not Inequality

By Michael Roth

April 28, 2011

 

Recently, I had occasion to hear two voices calling for radical change in American education: Geoffrey Canada, whose Harlem Children's Zone has developed a new model for effective learning while providing significant opportunities for young people, and Mark C. Taylor, a professor of religion whose recent Crisis on Campus points out the need for radical change in higher education. Both men recognize how our educational system has evolved for many into economically and culturally destructive factories of failure.

Washington Examiner

Changing government incentives is the first step to restore family formation

By Robert W. Patterson

April 28, 2011

 

It may be unfair to indict the political class for lack of nerve in addressing family breakdown.

 

Even as the retreat from family life became pronounced among the low-income population and has devastated the poor, Congress deep-sixed Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996 in hope of reversing the rise in out-of-wedlock births among African Americans that had raised the Irish ire of Daniel Patrick Moynihan 30 years before.

The Hill

A path to poverty: Happy Mother's Day

By Jeffrey Lewis

April 27, 2011

 

Every woman regardless of age, ethnicity, race or marital status should ask themselves one question this Mother's Day: Why is the Republican plan to solve the nation's debt and deficit crisis going to push me closer to poverty in my older years?

Underbanked, Under Banks' Radar

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American Banker

Underbanked, Under Banks' Radar

By Jennifer Tescher

April 28, 2011

 

Banks are working hard to cut costs and at the same time deliver more value for their now-pricier checking accounts. They are creating pricing structures that encourage customers to switch to electronic statements.

The Nation (New York)
By: Bryce Covert
April 26, 2011

Considering women themselves were once property, we've come a long way: most women can now walk into a bank and open an account, sign up for a credit card, or take out a loan. As recently as the 1970s, credit cards were issued only with a husband's signature; it took the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 to force companies to make cards available to women. Women quickly embraced credit, and less than thirty years later they carry roughly the same amount of consumer debt [1] as men and even have more cards in their wallets than men [2] do--by a 5-to-4 margin.


MyBankTracker.com

By: Carolyn Okomo
April 26, 2011

You can earn points good for a free airline flight. You can earn rewards for using your debit and credit cards. You can even earn rewards simply for shopping at some of your favorite stores. But, what if you could earn tuition rewards just for being a good saver?

The Huffington Post
Amanda M. Fairbanks
April 26, 2011

NEW YORK -- Hardly a day goes by where Ashley Angello doesn't fret about her student loan debt.

The Huffington Post
By: Janell Ross
April 27, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In the decade leading up to the Great Recession, Wanda Nolan grew accustomed to steady progress.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery & Brady Dennis
April 26, 2011

The White House is warning that catastrophe will strike if Congress fails to raise the limit on the national debt: With too little cash to pay creditors, the U.S. government would default. Interest rates would skyrocket. And the economic recovery would collapse.

Washington University in St. Louis News
By: Jessica Martin
April 25, 2011

Study part of growing body of research on assets and their connection to college success.

Evidence supporting the link between savings and college success is growing. Three studies out of the Center for Social Development (CSD) at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis offer a connection between assets and college enrollment and completion.

The Arizona Republic
By: Russ Wiles
April 25, 2011

Millions of young adults in their 20s and 30s are mired in debt at a time when they should be building wealth as their careers grow. Many factors tied to a tough economy have contributed to this situation, but a lack of financial education isn't helping.

The Washington Post
By: Dina ElBoghdady
April 26, 2011

The share of renters who spend more than half their income on housing is at its highest level in half a century, and it's no longer just low-income tenants who are feeling the pain, according to a Harvard University study scheduled for release Tuesday.

The Huffington Post
By: Yepoka Yeebo
April 26, 2011

NEW YORK -- Around 10 million American households -- or one in every four families that rent their homes -- could have to chose between paying rent, buying groceries or keeping current with bills, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Huffington Post
By: Dave Johnson
April 25, 2011

There is a deficit of jobs AND the deficit is jobs. The public is so much smarter than the geniuses in DC. Washington talks about the deficit but the public knows that the deficit is jobs.

The Huffington Post
By: Preeti Vissa
April 24, 2011

A while back I wrote about asset poverty and how asset-building, not just income, is critical to achieving financial stability. The good news is that the federal government has a number of programs aimed at helping individuals and families build assets such as retirement savings or owning a home. The bad news is that this assistance is heavily skewed toward those who are already well-off, with very little help available to those who need it most.

A Minimum-Wage Job?

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Dennis Nishi
April 24, 2011

After sending out 100 résumés and getting no responses, Joel Lueck, 52, took a part-time job at a Harris Teeter grocery store making $8 an hour. He had earned nearly $100,000 a year as a network engineer at Nortel Networks in Raleigh, N.C., before he was laid off in 2008, a year before the Canadian network-equipment provider declared bankruptcy.

NPR
By: Marilyn Geewax
April 24, 2011

As the days grow warmer, employers who run roller coasters, water parks and hot dog stands are preparing for the summer season. They're seeking workers to fill jobs at or just above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By: Michael S. Roth
April 24, 2011

Recently, I had occasion to hear two voices calling for radical change in American education: Geoffrey Canada, whose Harlem Children's Zone has developed a new model for effective learning while providing significant opportunities for young people, and Mark C. Taylor, a professor of religion whose recent Crisis on Campus points out the need for radical change in higher education. Both men recognize how our educational system has evolved for many into economically and culturally destructive factories of failure.

Los Angeles Times
By: Julie Mianecki
April 23, 2011

Statistics typically show how many students simply fail to make payments. But a recent survey has found that for every person who defaults on student loans, at least two more are late or short on payments.

Tasha Younger has been one of the hidden statistics in the growing number of graduates and former students overburdened with education loans.

The Huffington Post
By: Nick Carey
April 25, 2011

CHICAGO (Nick Carey) - Like an increasing number of well-heeled Americans, the Hodgsons decided it was time to buy a new home, even if most of the U.S. housing market remains in the dumps.

The Washington Post
By: Eli Saslow
April 16, 2011

PULASKI, Va. -- The destitute people who line up outside her office are asking for more help than ever. The organization where she works has less than ever to give. It falls on Denise Hancock to navigate the chasm in between, so she rubs her forehead, opens her office door and calls out into the waiting room. "Come on in," she says.

Los Angeles Times
By: David L. Kirp
April 24, 2011

Minority students are especially prone to the fear of failing. But that can be changed.

April is the time when students across the nation are being diligently prepped for the dread exams mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. The fate of thousands of public schools turns on how well their charges do. Now there's a study that appears to show that a simple one-hour exercise can halve the racial achievement gap, while also making minority students healthier and happier. Although this claim sounds as preposterous as a pitch for a potion to cure baldness or to erase wrinkles, it's made in a recent issue of the journal Science.

Geoffrey Canada

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Time
By: Arne Duncan
April 21, 2011

School Reformer

Geoffrey Canada is an extraordinary innovator and one of my heroes. He has shown time and again that education is the surest path out of poverty. The Harlem Children's Zone Project, which he founded, provides a cradle-to-career continuum of high-quality neighborhood schools and support services for disadvantaged children. It's based on the simple idea that you cannot divorce where kids live from where they learn -- and it's the template for President Obama's Promise Neighborhoods program.

Forbes
By: Stephanie Eidelman
April 21 2011

Student loans exceeded credit card debt last year as the largest source of debt for Americans. In fact this year, student loan debt alone is projected to top $1 trillion. Some call it the next bubble that's going to burst. I tend to agree.

The Huffington Post
By: Scott Gerber
April 21, 2011

There are over 81 million young people unemployed worldwide. Not to mention tens -- if not hundreds -- of millions more that are underemployed. In the U.S., youth unemployment is just shy of 20%, nearly 40 percent of Gen Y has been either unemployed or underemployed at some point since December 2007 and college graduates are so poor that they are being forced to move back in with their parents and default on student loans in record numbers.

Time
By: Bonnie Rochman
April 21, 2011

"Is money important?" my 3-year-old asked this week. I answered truthfully with a hearty "Yes." I explained it to her simply, telling her that we need money to pay for our house and our food and her ballet class. Maybe it's because we're trying to claw our way out of a recession, but financial entrepreneurs seem to have jumped on the fact that, historically, parents haven't done a very good job of teaching their kids to manage money.

The Washington Post
By: Paul Kane
April 21, 2011

A congressional task force launched by President Obama last week to help cut the federal deficit is off to a rocky start, with some members complaining that the agenda is destined to provide political theater, not a sweeping rewrite of spending and tax policy.

The Washington Post
'By Dina ElBoghdady
April 21, 2011

Some borrowers can't keep up with their mortgage payments because they're struggling to make ends meet.

In These Times (Illinois)
By Akito Yoshikane
April 20, 2011

A college education has long been viewed as a wise investment, but nowadays it's coming at a high cost. Last year marked a dubious milestone: student loan debt outpaced credit card debt in this country for the first time, and recent reports suggest the gap may widen this year as more students continue borrowing to finance their education.

The Daily Yonder (Texas)
By: Roberto Gallardo & Bo Beaulieu
April 21, 2011

Income inequality is increasing between counties in both rural and urban America. Income gains in richer counties are outpacing gains in poorer places. Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that inequality has a number of ill effects on society.

When the recent financial crisis began back in late 2007, media reports noted that income inequality in the U.S. was at a historic level, unequaled since the time of the 1929 crash and the ensuing economic depression. Case in point: The top 1% of wealthiest Americans took home nearly a quarter of the nation's income.

Business Week
By: Kathy Barks Hoffman
April 20, 2011

A proposal to make up some of the money low-income workers would lose if Michigan's Earned Income Tax Credit is eliminated isn't getting many cheers from groups who say the credit should be saved.

The Huffington Post
By: Connie Cass &Stacy A. Anderson
April 21, 2011

Christopher Cadaret's been fixing TVs and stereos for fun since he was 10 years old and thinks he'd like to work in electronics or auto repair. But four months after he dropped out of high school, he can't find a job of any kind.

The Huffington Post
By: John Hope Bryant
April 20, 2011

As the nation acknowledges Financial Literacy Month, 2011, it is more obvious to me than ever that what we are going through now is not a just an economic recession, but a global reset, and that financial literacy is so much more than a brochure or website.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Peter J. Wallison
April 21, 2011

Many predict calamity for the housing markets without them. Federal Reserve data tell a different story.

As Congress prepares to debate how to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, those in politics and real estate who support a government-backed housing finance system are predicting calamity. Institutional investors, they say, will not buy U.S. mortgages or mortgage-backed securities unless they are guaranteed by the government. The numbers tell a different story.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Ruth Simon
April 21, 2011

Three years after credit markets froze, two crucial forms of bank lending that remained stubbornly weak are finally showing signs of life, another indicator that the credit crisis is on the mend.

The Huffington Post
By: Arthur Delaney
April 19, 2011

Robin St. Louis of Charlotte, N.C. lost her job as a sales rep just before Christmas in 2009 and said she hasn't had much luck with her job search since then.

NPR
By: Larry Abramson
April 19, 2011

The tough economy continues to boost the number of students in college, as people try to burnish their job credentials. That's leading some schools to ask whether they should shrink the time it takes to get a degree.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta & Carol E. Lee
April 19, 2011

Confident Messages Flow in Interviews, Appearances Following S&P Warning on Downgrading Government-Debt Rating.

President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expressed confidence that Washington would solve its budget problems, seeking to tamp down concern over a credit-rating report that questioned the country's long-term fiscal health.

The Seattle Times
By: Stephannie Stokes
April 19, 2011

College students are getting hit hard by tuition increases, requiring them to seek more financial aid and resulting in higher student-loan debt. Columnist and student Stephannie Stokes argues that burdening graduates with high debt is counterproductive.

While Congress and the White House tackle the federal deficit, a greater threat to the financial security of America's future is ignored. Student-loan debt in the U.S. will hit a staggering $1 trillion this year.

The Huffington Post
By: Connie Cass
April 20, 2011

WASHINGTON -- No matter how many subjects they're acing, most college students these days find economics a grind. Tricky financial calculations influence everything from what school they attend and what major they choose to how quickly they finish their degrees - or whether they graduate at all.

The Washington Post
By Dina ElBoghdady
April 19, 2011

A sweeping financial measure enacted last year bars lenders from approving a mortgage without verifying that the borrower has a reasonable ability to repay it.

The Washington Post
By Philip Rucker
April 19, 2011

Freshman Republican in a bind over vote on raising the debt ceiling.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- On his 104th day in office, Rep. David Schweikert stepped before about 60 of his constituents here and, like an economics professor, flipped through one scary chart after another to hammer home his point: America faces a tidal wave of debt.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Robin Sidel
April 20, 2011

ALBANY, N.Y.--Schuyler Tilly, a banker at First Niagara Financial Group, sits at a long office table and spreads out documents outlining the terms of a $1 million line of credit he just extended to local businessman John Stevens.

Why don't blacks save more?

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Reuters
April 12, 2011

Yet another survey confirms what we already know: Blacks don't save as much as their white counterparts.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By: Beckie Supiano
April 18, 2011

Financial-aid experts typically advocate putting more money into the federal Pell Grant program. But now, with cuts very much on the table--the U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget resolution for the 2012 fiscal year on Friday that would take the maximum grant back to pre-stimulus levels--they are making recommendations for how to trim it.

The Wall Street Journal
By: William McGurn
April 19, 2011

The more the feds try to lower the cost, the worse the problem becomes.

Poor Sarah Lawrence. Well, maybe poor isn't the right word.

U.S. Warned on Debt Load

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta & E.S. Browning
April 19, 2011

S&P Signals Top Credit Rating Is in Danger, Stoking Political Battle on Deficit.

A blunt warning Monday from a credit-rating firm about the U.S. government's mounting debt pushed stock markets lower and intensified political divisions in Washington about how best to tackle growing deficits.

The Seattle Times
By: Neal Peirce
April16, 2011

"Don't tax me" rhetoric ricocheting around Washington and the state capitals are all missing a huge point, writes Neal Peirce. It's "tax expenditures" -- the vast sums in deductions, exemptions and credits built into the tax codes but mostly immune from federal and state budget debates.

Budget attacks, counterattacks, "don't tax me" rhetoric ricocheting around Washington and the state capitals: They're all missing a huge point.

New America Foundation
By: Pamela Chan & Karrie Peterson
April 15, 2011

As the demographics of this nation are shifting away from a white-majority, we've reached a critical time to address the accompanying racial wealth gap among U.S. households. In light of these current trends, the Insight Center hosted their Color of Wealth Summit last week in Washington, D.C. The Summit was part of their Closing the Racial Gap Initiative which is "a national effort to build awareness and support efforts addressing the wealth gap that leaves the average American family of color with only 16 cents for every dollar owned by the average white family." This year's summit focused on children of color and centered around the release of a new report, Diverging Pathways: How Wealth Shapes Opportunities for Children, primarily authored by Trina Shanks, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan School of Social Work. The report examines household wealth data for children across all major racial and ethnic groups and attempts to illustrate how disparities in wealth relate to indicators of child well-being.

The New York Times
By: Ron Lieber
April 16, 2011

One of the best things about being around preschool-age children is that they are a blank slate awaiting your imprint. All of the big questions come up before first grade -- God and death, jail and fairies -- and most 4-year-olds will believe pretty much any answer you give them.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Neil King Jr. & Luca Di Leo
April 18, 2011

WASHINGTON--Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Republican leaders have assured the White House they are prepared to lift the debt ceiling in time to avoid disruptions to capital markets and a potential credit default.

The Middle-Class Tax Trap

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The New York Times
By: Ross Douthat
April 17, 2011

"Let's tell the truth," Walter Mondale said, accepting the Democratic nomination in 1984. "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did."

The Huffington Post
By: Stephen Ohlemacher
April 17, 2011

WASHINGTON -- As millions of procrastinators scramble to meet Monday's tax filing deadline, ponder this: The super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all.

The Huffington Post
By: Amanda M. Fairbanks
April 15, 2011

NEW YORK -- For David Cristello, the jobs are catch as catch can.

The Huffington Post
By: Shaya Tayefe Mohajer
April 17, 2011

LOS ANGELES -- For $700 a month, 65-year-old Esmeralda Calderon cares for children part-time through a federal community service job that's in jeopardy because of cuts to the proposed federal budget for 2011. It's the only source of income for a woman who has no one to rely on and lives alone in public housing in a gritty Hollywood neighborhood.

USA Today
By: David Moltz
April 14, 2011

Tidewater Community College, in Virginia, will soon require students to go above and beyond Education Department requirements to receive federal loan funds. Starting next fall, students who want the college to certify their eligibility for student loans must complete personal budget worksheets, outlining a "realistic picture of their financial situation" both before and after graduation, and a student loan repayment plan estimating how their monthly payments fit into those budgets.

How Worrisome Is Student Debt?

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The New York Times
By: Judith Scott-Clayton
April 15, 2011

Judith Scott-Clayton is an assistant professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Student loan debt has risen to its highest level ever, with starting balances averaging $24,000 among the two-thirds of graduates who borrowed for their degree, Tamar Lewin noted in an article in The New York Times on Monday. This increase has heightened longstanding concerns that college students are borrowing too much.

New America Foundation
By: Stephen Burd
April 14, 2011

[Editor's Note: A version of this post ran first on our sister blog, Ed Money Watch]

After months of drama, the White House and Congressional leaders found the money to keep the current maximum Pell Grant in place for the upcoming school year. But this victory did not come without a price -- Congress is on the verge of eliminating a popular policy that allows low-income students to collect two grants in a single award year with the second grant generally used to pay for summer school.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By: Derek Quizon
April 14, 2011

The likely elimination of the year-round Pell Grant program has left thousands of students who had hoped to receive a second grant this year in limbo. Advocates worry that without the additional aid, many low-income, nontraditional students will make slower progress toward their degrees, or they could be forced to drop out of college.

The New York Times
By: Ngoc Nguyen
April 15, 2011

Estrella Bryant was at risk of losing her San Francisco town house last year.

The Right Foreclosure Fix

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The Wall Street Journal
April 15, 2011

Fair and orderly mortgage servicing vs. political points.

When last year's mini-scandal about sloppy mortgage practices erupted, two public policy approaches emerged: Banking regulators wanted to identify mortgage servicers' bad practices and fix them. The Department of Justice, state Attorneys General, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and others wanted to use the episode to punish companies and score political points. That distinction became clearer Wednesday when banking regulators released their findings and enforcement actions.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook
April 15, 2011

Measure Is Just Small Step in Addressing Deficit, but Shows Republican Resolve to Slow Growth in Government Spending.

Congress on Thursday ended months of political haggling and passed a bill cutting nearly $40 billion from the 2011 budget, taking only a small bite from the burgeoning federal deficit but hitting a milestone in Republican efforts to slow the growth of government spending.

POLITICO
By: Andrea Levere
April 13, 2011

Obama Stokes Deficit Fight

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Carol E. Lee & Damian Paletta
April 14, 2011

President Rips GOP Fiscal Plan, Says Mix of Taxes, Cuts Needed; Foes Dismayed.

President Barack Obama asked Congress to adopt a mix of revenue increases and spending cuts to tame the nation's long-term budget deficits, in a combative speech that portrayed Republicans as backing "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires" while demanding sacrifice from the nation's seniors, poor and the middle class.

Big Banks Get Foreclosure Orders

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Victoria Mcgrane, Alan Zibel & Robin Sidel
April 14, 2011

Regulators Detail Steps Lenders Must Take to Revamp Processes; Fines Are Still to Come.

U.S. regulators hit the nation's largest banks with a first round of sweeping penalties for improper home-foreclosure practices, issuing detailed orders to revamp the way they deal with troubled borrowers.

Raise America's Taxes

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The New York Times
By: Nicholas D. Kristof
April 13, 2011

President Obama in his speech on Wednesday confronted a topic that is harder to address seriously in public than sex or flatulence: America needs higher taxes.

The Washington Post
By: Philip Rucker & Paul Kane
April 14, 2011

House Republican leaders maneuvered Wednesday to round up support in the party for two major spending bills. Both are expected to pass the House, but it's the size and makeup of the coalitions behind the bills that will help shape Washington's fiscal debate over the next several months.

The Washington Post
By: Annie Gowen
April 13, 2011

The number of homeless families in the Washington region rose nearly 10 percent during the economic downturn, according to data released Wednesday as part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' annual survey of the homeless.

NPR
By: NPR Staff
April 13, 2011

As President Obama and members of Congress debate national budgets, Shawn McMahon has been calculating individual and family budgets.

Tax the Rich!

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New York Press
By: David Cay Johnston
April 13, 2011

Or why America's 30-year experiment with trickle-down economics has failed

For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supplyside economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity--so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates. The late Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist who wanted to shut down public parks because he considered them socialism, promoted this strategy. Ronald Reagan embraced Friedman's ideas and made them into policy when he was elected president in 1980.

CNN
By: Raul M. Grijalva, Mike Honda & Lawrence Mishel
April 14, 2011

Editor's note: U.S. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, D-Arizona, is co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, D-California, is a member of the U.S. House Budget Committee. Lawrence Mishel is president of the Economic Policy Institute.

(CNN) -- Despite a weak economic recovery and persistent, unacceptably high unemployment, Washington is prematurely pivoting from job creation to deficit reduction. Worse yet, many of the budget proposals flooding Washington are nothing but reverse Robin Hood plans to redistribute wealth from working families to the most privileged among us.

CNNMoney.com
By: Annalyn Censky
April 13, 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The chief of the International Monetary Fund is encouraging governments to focus on job creation and narrowing the gap between rich and poor.

Reuters
By: Dave Clarke & Clare Baldwin
April 13, 2011

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. bank regulators plan to announce settlements later on Wednesday with the largest lenders over allegations of shoddy foreclosure practices, but the pacts will not include financial penalties.

Education Week
By: Sarah D. Sparks
April 8, 2011

The disquieting side effect of our increasingly detailed longitudinal studies of students is we keep finding warning signs of a future graduation derailment earlier and earlier in a child's school years.

The New York Times
By: Eric Dash
April 12, 2011

Just two years after the financial panic reached its nadir, the nation's biggest banks have regained their footing.

Bloomberg Businessweek
By: William Selway
April 12, 2011

(Adds mayor's comment in 10th paragraph.)

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. cities and local governments will lose at least $3 billion in funds for housing, community redevelopment projects, public transportation and police and fire departments as part of the budget agreement that averted a federal government shutdown.

CNNMoney.com
By: Jeanne Sahadi
April 13, 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- For years, President Obama has been clear about his preferred tax policy: Tax the rich more and protect households that make less than $250,000 from higher taxes.

The Huffington Post
By: Pam Allyn
April 9, 2011

We are currently in the midst of a series of budget battles, and funding for vital early childhood education programs is at risk of being cut or eliminated entirely.

President urged to cap spending

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The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
April 13, 2011

Otherwise, lawmakers say, they'll reject increase in debt ceiling.

Lawmakers in both parties urged President Obama to offer a detailed plan for curbing the national debt in the speech he is to deliver Wednesday, warning that they will not authorize fresh borrowing unless he agrees to mandatory restraints on future spending.

The New York Times
April 12, 2011

Here are two numbers to keep in mind when thinking about the House Republicans' budget plan: They want to cut spending on government programs over the next decade by $4.3 trillion. And they want to cut tax revenues over the same period by $4.2 trillion.

The Washington Post
By: Holly E. Thomas
April 17, 2011

Without fail, the annual Peeps diorama contest provides surprising insight into the zeitgeist, from pop cultural references to political sendups to musings on the state of humanity. Creative types look to the local, national and international stages for inspiration, and their dioramas are shoebox-size portrayals of the very things that have entertained, entranced and irritated us over the past year. From this year's 900-plus entries, we gleaned that Justin Bieber and Banksy are deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness; that Lady Gaga's appeal, while seemingly endless, is nearly impossible to capture with candy; and that some of you might be spending a bit too much time playing Angry Birds. Read on to discover the inspiration -- and perhaps a few more life lessons -- behind the five finalist dioramas.

Los Angeles Times
By: Noam N. Levey
April 12, 2011

In their drive to cut medical assistance to the poor while pushing tax breaks benefiting the affluent, congressional Republicans are following the lead of a group of governors who have championed this approach to balance state budgets.

Forbes
By: Daniel L. Bennett
April 11, 2011

The government often decides that it would like to subsidize a particular good or service in an attempt to make it more affordable for consumers. It generally does so with good intentions. However, such subsidies are frequently captured by the providers and fail to result in lower prices for the consumer. In such instances, the providers simply increase their prices by the amount, or some portion of, the subsidy. They maintain their margins and increase their revenues, all thanks to the generosity of the public purse (or perhaps politician's failure to understand basic economics). This problem is especially prevalent for subsidized goods and services that economists consider to be relatively inelastic. The term inelastic simply refers to a good whose demand is relatively unresponsive to a change in price. Health care, food and education are often thought to fit the bill of an inelastic good - consumer's generally continue to pay for them even when prices rise.

NPR
By: Pam Fessler
April 11, 2011

Several states want to scale back or eliminate a tax credit for the working poor, as they try to balance their budgets. Anti-poverty groups say some of these same states also want to cut taxes for businesses.

The New York Times
By: Jennifer Steinhauer & Robert Pear
April 11, 2011

WASHINGTON -- After a bruising battle with Republicans over financing the government through the rest of the fiscal year, Democrats spoke proudly of their success in staving off painful cuts to programs near and dear to them, ones that became the centerpiece of their fight against huge cuts sought by Republicans.

The New York Times
By: Tamar Lewin
April 11, 2011

Student loan debt outpaced credit card debt for the first time last year and is likely to top a trillion dollars this year as more students go to college and a growing share borrow money to do so.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta & Carol E. Lee
April 12, 2011

White House officials have opened the door to a deal with Republicans that would allow the U.S. to increase its ability to borrow, potentially easing worries in financial markets that the country might default on its debt.

The Washington Post
By: Dina ElBoghdady
April 12, 2011

Senators involved in writing part of a broad financial overhaul measure say they are dismayed that the Obama administration proposes carrying out their plan by pushing home buyers to come up with hefty sums of cash at the closing table.

The New York Times
By: Jonathan Mahler
April 6, 2011

On a recent morning, Ramón González, the principal of M.S. 223, a public middle school in the South Bronx, arrived at work as usual at 7:30, stripped off his coat and suit jacket, deposited his tea and toast from a nearby diner on the cluttered conference table in his office and hustled down the hallway to the school's back door to greet arriving students. González had a busy agenda for the day. Among other things, he needed to get to work on a proposal for the city's Department of Education to expand 223 into a high school.

Talks Focus on Programs' Cuts

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook
April 11, 2011

Republicans and Democrats continued to haggle over how to spread nearly $39 billion in cuts across a multitude of government programs behind the deal that averted a government shutdown last week.

Bloomberg
By: Rich Miller
April 10, 2011

The sharpest drop in unemployment in more than a quarter century obscures a simple fact: The jobs market still isn't working for many Americans.

Education Week
By: Michelle D. Anderson
April 11, 2011

When Sarita Fuentes thinks of homelessness, she doesn't conjure the stereotypical image of a disheveled older man pushing a shopping cart through an urban neighborhood--she thinks of her students.

The Huffington Post
By: Mike Lux
April 8, 2011

The Ryan budget is a remarkable document: all of its budget cuts hammer working class families, seniors, and students -- while all of its tax cuts go straight to millionaires. It does almost nothing to deal with the deficit, yet still manages to deal a death blow to virtually every member of the working middle class and everyone trying to work their way into it. It is especially hard on seniors and the most vulnerable in society in the midst of the toughest economic times since the Great Depression, doing serious economic damage to anyone who isn't a millionaire, oil company, or Wall Street bank. The good news, for those who are millionaires? They get so many economic benefits it will be hard to keep track of them all.

Taxing the Rich

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The New York Times
By: Nancy Folbre
April 11, 2011

Nancy Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Increased taxes on the rich could balance the budget and end the showdown over how many billions to slash from social spending.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Arkadi Kuhlmann
April 11, 2011

By allowing borrowers to write off the interest on their mortgages, the IRS is incentivizing homeowners to drag out their payments for years. There's a better way.

If the financial crisis revealed anything about homeownership in this country, it's that "ownership" is too often a misnomer.

Obama Puts Taxes on Table

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Carol E. Lee And Damian Paletta
April 11, 2011

President Barack Obama will lay out his plan for reducing the nation's deficit Wednesday, belatedly entering a fight over the nation's long-term financial future. But in addition to suggesting cuts--the current focus of debate--the White House looks set to aim its firepower on a more divisive topic: taxes.

The Boston Globe
By: Janna Herron
April 9, 2011

After the steep drop in the housing market revealed cracks in the long held belief that there was minimal financial risk in owning a home, does it still make sense to buy a house? The economy and high jobless rate have only made it more complex for many families, despite low mortgage rates.

The Boston Globe
By: Dina ElBoghdady & Zachary A. Goldfarb
April 11, 2011

WASHINGTON - Most home buyers put down less than 20 percent when they take out a mortgage, a sign of how hard it has become to scrape together enough cash to purchase a house.

The Plain Dealer (IDAs)
By: David Rothstein & Joel Ratner
April 9, 2011

Northeast Ohio needs new ways to help families -- especially the most vulnerable among us who have the least -- build assets so they can grow and protect their incomes.

Reuters
April 8, 2011

Now that federal budget wars are threatening an adult-sized time-out for the principals involved, it's a good time to examine what's at stake for most of America.

The Washington Post
By: Paul Kane
April 8, 2011

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say they are about $5 billion apart in their haggling to reach a deal to fund the federal government for the rest of the year.


The Huffington Post
By: Janell Ross
April 7, 2011

Children of color are four times more likely than their white peers to be born into a poor family and suffer a lifetime of consequences, ranging from diminished academic standing to increased financial insecurity, a report released Thursday found.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Emily Maltby
April 7, 2011

As Democrats and Republicans remain in gridlock over the federal budget, some business owners are wondering how they will be affected if agencies run out of funding and the government shuts down

The Wall Street Journal
By: Louise Radnofsky
April 7, 2011

If Congress shuts down the federal government, Washington would still end up paying hundreds of thousands of employees who are sent home.

The Root
By: Meizhu Lui
April 6, 2011

Black households with children have just 4 percent of the wealth of whites. This widening divide has a profound impact on opportunities for kids -- and America's future, says the director of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The Huffington Post
By: Rich Williams
April 6, 2011

Millions of high school seniors who earlier this year experienced the joy of opening a college acceptance letter might soon be devastated to receive another letter, courtesy of their representatives in Congress, that cuts their financial aid days before the enrollment deadline.

Education Week
By: Jane Stancill
April 6, 2011

Here's a bright idea: If you want smarter kids, treat them as if they're smart.

The Seattle Times
By: Jon Talton
April 6, 2011

The economic consequences of a federal government shutdown are unknown. For one thing, the shutdown may not happen. Its short-lived predecessor, in the 1990s, happened during a decade of high job creation and high growth. But the Ryan budget proposal, a radical break from 50 years of public policy, goes beyond political games and may well represent the future. Even Democrats are embracing budget-cutting despite the slow economy, and both sides are committed to maintaining costly American military adventures. So something's got to give. The notion of raising taxes back to levels that sustained the America I grew up in -- President Eisenhower's top tax rate on the wealthy was 91 percent -- is not even considered.

Fortune
By: Geoff Calvin
April 7, 2011

FORTUNE -- The hot topic of income equality gets especially emotional now, at tax time, and will get even more so this year, with the latest IRS data showing what happened in the recession.

Disabled, but Looking for Work

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The New York Times
By: Motoko Rich
April 6, 2011

BATESVILLE, Ark. -- Christopher Howard suffers from herniated discs in his back, knee problems and hepatitis C. As a result, Social Security sends him $574 every month and will until he reaches retirement age -- unless he can find a job.

The New York Times
By: Helene Cooper
April 6, 2011

Describing education and education equality as the "civil rights issue of our time," President Obama called Wednesday for a renewed effort to eliminate the achievement gap between African-American students and others.

Obama Presses for Budget

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Naftali Bendavid, Janet Hook & Carol E. Lee
April 7, 2011

Issues 'Narrowed'; Parties Asked to Work Through Night as Shutdown Looms.

President Barack Obama emerged from a late-night meeting Wednesday with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying the two parties had moved closer to a spending agreement to avoid a government shutdown Friday, but no deal had been struck.

Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)
By: Caroline McMillan
April 6, 2011

A housing policy recently-passed by the Charlotte City Council allows new subsidized housing to be located only in neighborhoods a new study classifies as "stable."

The Huffington Post
April 5, 2011

It might have taken a near-historic recession for many Americans to notice our country's rapidly rising levels of income inequality, but the gap between rich and poor has finally gone mainstream, with bloggers, economists and policymakers of all stripes spouting theories on why we should or shouldn't care.

Fortune
By: John Stumpf
April 4, 2011

FORTUNE -- For most Americans, their home is the largest and most important investment they will ever make. Ensuring that they have the right kind of mortgage is critical to their financial well-being and -- as we've seen recently -- critical to our entire economy.

DailyFinance
By: Bruce Watson
April 5, 2011

Members of America's military face threats to life and limb around the world every day, but it's a domestic threat that has recently put the top brass on the offensive on the home front -- predatory lenders.

The Washington Post
By: Kevin Sieff
April 5, 2011

As policymakers over the past decade focused on closing the achievement gap between white students and underrepresented minorities, another rift was widening: the gap between Asian American students and everyone else.

New Faces of Childhood

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Conor Dougherty
April 6, 2011

Census Shows Hispanic and Asian Children Surging As Whites, Blacks Shrink.

America's child population grew more far diverse over the past decade as a decline in the ranks of white children was offset by surging growth of Asians and Hispanics.

NPR
By: Kathy Lohr
April 5, 2011

Alonzo Mendez is the first person in his family to go to college. He's a 19-year-old student at Atlanta's Georgia Perimeter College and he's just one of many Georgia students who benefit from the state's HOPE scholarship, a program that uses lottery funds to pay college tuition for students who maintain a B average.

The Washington Post
By: Daniel de Vise
April 5, 2011

Last year at this time, Congress was pushing through the biggest boost to the federal Pell Grant program in a generation. Pell, the largest source of grant aid for low-income students to attend college, once covered two-thirds of the cost of a public college. It had dwindled to covering about one-third of those costs by the time the Obama administration stepped in with a massive infusion of cash.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Nick Timiraos
April 5, 2011

About one in five mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac over the 1997-2009 period would meet the proposed standard of "safe" mortgages that would be exempted from costly new lending rules, according to a federal report published last week.

The Wall Street Journal
By: John D. McKinnon
April 6, 2011

The House Republicans' tax plan for the next fiscal year promises to lower rates and boost economic growth, while holding federal revenue more or less steady as a share of the economy.

Budget Talks Head to Brink

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Naftali Bendavid, Jonathan Weisman & Carol E. Lee
April 6, 2011

Parties Far Apart on 2012 Spending, Long-Term Vision as Friday Deadline Nears.

Republicans and Democrats stumbled one day closer to a government shutdown on Friday, as the two parties escalated what has become a broader battle over Washington's role in the U.S. economy.

Center for American Progress
By: Folayemi Agbede
April 4, 2011

Unions Offer Protection and Access to the Middle Class

Unions bolster opportunities for all workers in our country. They encourage political participation and offer access to the middle class, as a recent report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund explains. But unions and their benefits are especially important for communities of color, for whom unionization has long been a critical component of their economic mobility.

Minnesota Public Radio
By: Tim Post
April 5, 2011

Winona, Minn. -- As the cost of earning a college degree continues to increase, some students have found a way to lower their tuition bills: earn a four-year degree in three years.

The Washington Post
By: Paul Kane & Jon Cohen
April 5, 2011

As federal officials began formal preparations for a government shutdown, the Obama administration told House members on Tuesday that their version of a short-term spending budget was a no-go, according to a Democratic congressional aide familiar with the talks.

The Washington Post
By: Paul Kane & Jon Cohen
April 5, 2011

As federal officials began formal preparations for a government shutdown, the Obama administration told House members on Tuesday that their version of a short-term spending budget was a no-go, according to a Democratic congressional aide familiar with the talks.

The Washington Post
By: Danielle Douglas
April 4, 2011

The NAACP and Wells Fargo opened a financial literacy center in the District on Monday, a project that stemmed from the settlement of a lawsuit that accused the lending giant of steering black borrowers into subprime mortgages.

The Huffington Post
By: Dave Johnson
April 4, 2011

For most people the "American Dream" is to be in the middle class, or to raise yourself up to be in the middle class. And people used to expect that things would get better over time for all of us. But today more people are going the other way. Many people are finding it harder just to get by and stay even, and expect that things will get even worse for their kids. This is because more and more and more of the income is going to few and fewer and fewer people. This is called income inequality and it affects almost all of us in a bad way. Budget cuts just make this worse.

The Washington Post
By: Neil Irwin
April 4, 2011

Inflation is back, with higher prices for food and fuel hammering American consumers, and this time it really hurts.

GOP Aim: Cut $4 Trillion

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Naftali Bendavid
April 4, 2011

Budget Plan Would Transform Medicare, Reset Budget Debate; Democrats Balk.

Republicans will present this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade and transform the Medicare health program for the elderly, a move that will dramatically reshape the budget debate in Washington.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta
April 5, 2011

Without congressional action, the federal government will hit its legal borrowing limit no later than May 16 and could default on its debt by July 8, the Obama administration said Tuesday.

USA Today
By: Christine Dugas
April 5, 2011

After making big financial gains in recent decades, African Americans and Hispanics are again losing ground, critics say.

The Atlantic
By Derek Thompson
April 2, 2011

At the center of a perfect storm of boomer burnout, a brutal recession, and a rapidly changing industry, the mobile home retail market could be the worst industry in America. Here's why.

If I asked you to name America's least fortunate industry, your mind might go to records stores, obliterated by on-demand apps; or photofinishers, left in the cold as digital cameras turn Americans into our own photo editors; or fabric makers, where business is booming ... in Shenzhen, China.

The New York Times
By: Ron Lieber
April 1, 2011

The predicament of state workers has drawn a great deal of attention recently, and rightly so. The health of their pension plans and their right to organize are fundamental issues.

The New York Times
By: Robert H. Frank
April 2, 2011

LIKE everyone else, government officials want to look good. That often leads them to enact policies that promote favorable movements in the indexes by which they are judged. But when those indexes are imperfect, bad choices often result. And that's nowhere more evident than in economic policy.

The Huffington Post
By: Ethan Rome
April 4, 2011

The Republicans in Congress are about to show us their cards, and seniors and middle-class families aren't going to like what they see. At a time when U.S. corporations have taken the biggest profits in the nation's history and corporate taxes are at the lowest levels in generations, the GOP is hatching an appalling scheme to devastate America's seniors and families with $1 trillion in Medicaid cuts.

The Huffington Post
April 2, 2011

In a state with one of the largest achievement gaps, Democrats say Minnesota's education funding bill ostensibly takes aim at programs for disadvantaged kids.

NPR
By: Zoe Chace
April 3, 2011

Economist Bill Rodgers has a name for the recovery -- and it's not a very nice one.

The Washington Post
By: Susan Kinzie
April 3, 2011

MARSHALL, Va. -- Frances and Clarence Corum moved into Frances's mother's house when they were married, raised children and retired there.

GOP Aim: Cut $4 Trillion

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Naftali Bendavid
April 4, 2011

Budget Plan Would Transform Medicare, Reset Budget Debate; Democrats Balk

Republicans will present this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade and transform the Medicare health program for the elderly, a move that will dramatically reshape the budget debate in Washington.

NC Policy Watch
By: Bill Schweke
April 1, 2011

"Jobs!" At this juncture of a painfully slow recovery from a major recession, there is little doubt regarding what most North Carolinians wants the most from their public policymakers and the private sector.

Revising the American Dream

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The American Prospect
By: Courtney Martin
April 4, 2011

Patriotism isn't about stars and stripes. It's about ensuring all Americans have economic stability.

"All Americans have a duty to defend the American dream."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (CFED)
2011

Postrecession, the asset-building movement continues to gain momentum across the country. Individuals and families pursue wealth-building strategies based on such time-honored principles as budget to save, save to invest, credit building, controlling debt and protecting wealth once it has been accumulated.

NPR
By: Tamara Keith
March 31, 2011

Part of an ongoing series

Annica Trotter's job search has been filled with stressful moments.

Investor's Business Daily
By: Paul Sperry
April 1, 2011

Blacks and Hispanics have lost much of the housing gains they made during the Clinton and Bush administration campaigns to boost minority homeownership, new census numbers show.

Time
By: Brad Tuttle
March 31, 2011

If you're in a jam, payday loans promise to be a quick-fix solution. In exchange for absurd interest rates equating to 450% and up, a borrower can get a short-term loan that'll be paid back in the near future (once the borrower reaches "payday"). While the terms may seem outrageous enough for consumers to want to avoid these loans whenever possible, at least borrowers are on the hook for a very brief time period, and the loans are one-time solutions, right? Actually, wrong.

The New York Times
By: Motoko Rich
March 31, 2011

Hard as it can be to land a job these days, getting one may not be nearly enough for basic economic security.

The New York Times
By: A. G. Sulzberger
March 31, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Citing concerns about the national debt, a handful of conservative state legislators have blocked a vote to accept federal money to extend unemployment benefits, effectively cutting financial assistance for more than 10,000 out-of-work residents next week.

The New York Times
By: Lizette Alvarez
March 31, 2011

PALM COAST, Fla. -- With his worn black canvas briefcase at his feet, Richard Dudenhoeffer, a cabinet maker, stood at a computer at the one-stop employment center and scrolled through Florida's employment listings before settling on three applications: Custodian for the Flagler County School Board. City meter reader. Assistant manager at a tractor supply company.

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