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?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.