Policy Brief

Passage of the bankruptcy bill would make it harder for families struck by financial misfortune to get back on track. It would benefit the very profitable ($30 billion in 2004) credit card industry at the expense of the modest-income families who represent the great majority of those who declare...
02/24/2005
Publication
In response to ever-increasing financial pressures, families have come to depend on high-cost credit as a way to bridge the gap between stagnant or decreasing incomes and rising costs. How are families coping with their new burden? To hang on to the American Dream, to be part of the ownership...
01/09/2005
Publication
For the first time since its decision in Buckley v. Valeo nearly 30 years ago, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the  constitutionality of campaign spending limits.  The case,  Randall v.  Sorrell, No. 04-1528, raises issues that go to the heart of our democracy...
01/01/2005
Publication
Millions of citizens were disenfranchised in the 2000 election when they were denied their right to vote. In response, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), which purported to correct many of the country's more egregious election problems. One of HAVA's signal promises was its...
10/28/2004
Publication
Over the 1990s, credit card debt among young Americans rose dramatically—leaving many young adults over-extended and vulnerable to financial collapse. This briefing paper documents the rise in credit card and student loan debt between 1992 and 2001 and examines the factors contributing to...
10/13/2004
Publication
Many citizens are anxious not just about the security of their jobs and adequacy of their incomes, but also about related issues: high levels of credit card debt, healthcare and childcare costs, and the affordability of homes and college tuition. These day-to-day worries are increasingly...
08/05/2004
Publication
Credit card companies are preying on the American public and need to be reined in. Fueled by steady deregulation of the industry, credit card companies increasingly charge excessive interest rates and fees, making it harder for families to get out of debt and back on the path to savings. It's time...
08/04/2004
Publication
There has been a fundamental shift in our nation's priorities for ensuring access to higher education. In the 1970s and 1980s, most aid was awarded in grants, while loans remained relatively low. Over the last two decades, federal aid has shifted away from grants to loans, pricing out students from...
08/04/2004
Publication
The federal government helps Americans build personal wealth in a variety of ways, most notably with tax breaks related to homeownership and retirement savings. However, most of this assistance goes to people who are already doing well. In 2003, the federal government spent $110.5 billion in...
08/03/2004
Publication
Current public policies fall far short of addressing the basic disconnect that exists between an economy that produces a high number of low-wage jobs and a society where the cost of living has risen considerably in many areas, driven by the increased prices for housing and health care. The minimum...
08/03/2004
Publication
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