FROM Jason DeParle
Student Aid and College Failure As the gap grows between the rich and the poor in America's evolving economy, financial aid for college is supposed to be a great equalizer, but it's not working out that way. While 70 percent of wealthiest students graduate, just 26 percent of the poorest make it, even with $226 billion in aid for the academically qualified. Dropouts are left with tens of thousands of dollars in student-loan debt, but without diplomas to get good jobs to help pay it off. Is it time to reform student aid so it helps improve future prospects instead of making them worse?
Unemployed Get Tangled in a Frayed Safety Net President Bill Clinton signed a law he promised would "change welfare as we know it," partly with new emphasis on putting people to work. The idea was that, in times of crisis, states would still get families back on the rolls. But it's not working out that way. "Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year." That was a lead sentence this week in the New York Times. Jason DeParle wrote the story .
Immigration: The Issue That Isn't There John McCain is at odds with the Republican Party base, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are courting Hispanic votes. So debate about illegal immigration has quieted down, at least for the moment. There are 12 million undocumented workers in the United States and 200 million people are on the move worldwide, mostly from poor countries to richer ones. We get some global perspective on an issue the next President of the United States will have to deal with. Cheap labor and remittances are among the benefits. Broken families, lower wages and cultural change are some of the downsides. Borders are open to money. What if they were open to people?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.