Commentary

EOP Director Tamara Draut explains how billions of dollars are being taken from the wallets of ordinary Americans through practices that were once considered usury and illegal.

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Senior Fellow David Callahan explains why the corporate scandals of recent years have done little to debunk the myth that Wall Street is geared toward ordinary investors.

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Senior Fellow Nomi Prins delves into the shady accounting of major U.S. defense contractors operating in Iraq.

Although the amount of public money circling Iraq is staggering, there is no way to even trace it. Therefore, whether it's being spent wisely and methodically, whether projected revenues are on target or realistic, and whether cash is leaking out around the edges remain a total mystery.

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Senior Fellow David Callahan shows why most of the recent corporate wrongdoers are likely to walk free because of weak laws and even weaker law enforcement agencies.

The failure of our legal system to ensure accountability for corporate abuses that cost investors so dearly sends a terrible message: Ordinary Americans are being reminded once again that the rich live by a different set of rules, while would-be corporate criminals are seeing that crime pays.

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NEW YORK -- Nine months after the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) -- whose passage was sparked by the disputed 2000 presidential vote -- became law, the action on election reform has shifted to the state level. State governments are now charged with implementing the legislation, and while that poses the danger that some states will take the opportunity to cook up new methods for voter suppression, it also offers election reform advocates the best chance in a long time to improve the way America votes.

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The president is changing tactics. Forget weapons of mass destruction, the war in Iraq is about terrorism; time to go back to the United Nations to get some help with the military occupation and with paying the $87 billion reckoning for staying in Afghanistan and Iraq that is now being acknowledged. But he has reaffirmed his strategic vision: It is America's strategy of preventive war against rogue states, the very concept that has been the source of America's inability so far to defeat terrorism or establish anything resembling democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Unlock the Block Project Director Jazz Hayden observes that the "felony disenfranchisement" laws that bar 4.65 million Americans from voting have an explicitly racist history.

Is it coincidence that the harshest disenfranchisement laws are mostly in former slave states? Not in the slightest. Like poll taxes and literacy tests, the ostensibly race-neutral disenfranchisement laws were created to keep blacks from voting.

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NEW YORK -- As New York City peers into the abyss of deep budget cuts, many city leaders are infuriated by Gov. George Pataki's unwillingness to do more to help the five boroughs. This is hardly the first time city leaders have howled about not getting their fair share from Albany, but the problem has become so pronounced that the City Council even held a hearing recently to consider seceding from New York State.

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NEW YORK -- As Congress debates next year's budget, alarm bells are sounding among groups that work with the poor. Every day, it seems, brings a new report about drastic cuts at the state level to health insurance, child-care, and other programs that help low-income families. Advocates predict that Republican budget proposals, with their meager aid to the states, will mean ever more pain for Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder.

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President Miles Rapoport looks at the challenge of implementing the new Federal election law in a way that will maximize voter participation.

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