New Trade Agreements Will Offshore Even More American Jobs While Unemployed Continue to Suffer

Despite slow improvement in the job market, many American workers are still anxious and vulnerable. The job market is still fragile, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that the President is pushing is likely to make things worse for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

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Time for Three Strikes and You're Out for Banks?

On May 20, five of the biggest banks in the world pleaded guilty to charges of interest rate manipulation and agreed to pay $2.8 billion in fines for the felonies they committed. Two of the banks, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, are U.S.-based. Each has a long rap sheet of recent settlements for their corporate misdeeds, and each has paid large fines and settlements -- nearly $35 billion in the case of JP Morgan Chase. But otherwise, these businesses go on with no reduction of rights or privileges and with no decision makers being sent to prison.

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"I Am Suffocating Under a Pile of Student Loan Debt"

Student loan debt is now the largest contributor to our country’s overall debt burden. The total amount of student loan debt is now more than $1.2 trillion, and on average, students graduate with $30,000 of debt, which can take 20 years or more to pay off.

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To Better Protect Workers, We Need More Wage Inspectors and Stronger Enforcement

Cities across the country have voted to increase the minimum wage, ensure workers can take paid sick days, and offer workers paid parental leave.

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This Small Infrastructure Investment Can Increase Bicycle Ridership by 75 Percent in Just One Year

While all eyes are on our national infrastructure funding plan (or lack thereof), something remarkable is happening across the country. Local governments are building innovative transportation systems to respond to 21st century problems. One new trend that stands out is an increase in protected bicycle lanes.

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Meet the 25 Hedge Fund Managers Whose $2.2 Billion Tax Break Could Pay for 50,000 Highway Construction Jobs

Congress is trying to figure out how to come up with $10 billion to extend funding for the nation’s Highway Trust Fund for a year.  Without action, it will run dry at the end of this month.

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The U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Isn’t a Threat to Business, but Crumbling Infrastructure Is

Our country’s once-robust infrastructure has played a vital role in the success of our economy. Roads, bridges, and transportation systems are the heart and blood of commerce and give consumers easy access to goods and services. Our public schools produce the next generation of workers.

Infrastructure has never been a partisan issue in this country; everyone knows it is essential. Unfortunately, paying for these investments seems to have become a partisan fault line.

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What Portion of Our Collective Wealth Are We Willing to Invest So People Can Succeed?

That is the question President Obama posed at the Georgetown University Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty on May 12. It was a fascinating discussion -- not least because it was a discussion, with the president exchanging views with two scholars and replying to questions by moderator E.J. Dionne of theWashington Post. The president acknowledged the growing awareness of inequality and poverty. He challenged us to see that over decades, we have been disinvesting in shared institutions (like education) that lift people out of poverty. He agreed with the premise of one of the panelists, Robert Putnam, whose new book Our Kids describes the "withdrawing from the commons" occurring across the nation. Where in decades past affluent, working class and poor children might all have attended the same public school, all able to participate in school sports and music programs, today's communities are far more segregated by class as well as race. The well-off are less likely to send their children to a public school, and fewer have the equalizing experience of sports teams and band because strapped school districts now charge hefty fees to participating students, shutting out some struggling families.

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Subsidizing the Idle Rich While Poor Kids Go Hungry

To hear some politicians tell it, America’s welfare system is facing a grave crisis: Millions of poor people, they say, are idling away their time eating lobster and relaxing on cruises.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, for example, recently signed welfare reform rules banning people receiving public assistance from using their $100 a week in benefits to buy steak or seafood, go to swimming pools, or take cruises.

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Tougher Ozone Pollution Standard, More Public Resources Needed to Help Americans Breathe Easier

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2015—Dirty air is unhealthy for everyone, but one type of air pollution – ozone – is especially dangerous to children, the elderly, those with diseases like asthma and heart conditions, and people living in poverty. In conjunction with Asthma Awareness Month, a new report and interactive map from the Center for Effective Government show how a tougher ozone standard and more public resources would create cleaner air for more than 206 million people in 46 states across the country.

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