Guns on campus won't prevent sexual assault

By Sam Bieler and Janine Zweig  ::  February 20th, 2015

This week, the New York Times reported that legislators in several states are pushing to expand concealed firearm carrying rights on college campuses. Sexual assault prevention is a purported reason for the necessity of these laws. One Nevada assemblywoman told the Times that “if these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I [...]

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Philanthropy and government underscore a framework for resilience in the face of disaster

By Matthew Johnson  ::  February 19th, 2015

When disaster strikes, the affected communities don’t want to get caught unprepared for the recovery ahead, said philanthropy and government leaders speaking at an Urban Institute event held at the National Building Museum on Thursday. And building the resilience to recover from disaster requires thinking about physical as well as social dimensions, they added. “These [...]

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Jean Carlos Rubell

Mapping our way to better outcomes for kids and families

By Justin Milner  ::  February 19th, 2015

A version of this post also appeared on the Drive Impact blog. Growing up, although my parents took turns driving the family car, my mom was always the one who made sure we actually got to where we were going. For all his non-spatial strengths, my dad could get lost driving around the block. (The [...]

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A tax code for a different time

By Caleb Quakenbush  ::  February 19th, 2015

With a new Congress and fresh talk of (unlikely) base-broadening tax reform, legislators may find it useful to remember the distant origins of some popular tax provisions and ask whether they’ve kept up with the times. Three of the largest and most popular tax provisions—the mortgage interest deduction, tax benefits for employer pensions, and the [...]

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Addressing income inequality first requires knowing what we’re measuring

By Eugene Steuerle  ::  February 18th, 2015

Politicians, researchers, and the media have given a good deal of attention recently to widening income inequality. Yet very few have paid attention to how—and how well—we measure income. Different measures of income show very different results on whether and how much inequality has risen. Without clarity, even honest and non-ideological public and private efforts [...]

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More than one in three FHA borrowers could save money by refinancing today

By Karan Kaul and Laurie Goodman and Jun Zhu  ::  February 16th, 2015

President Obama announced during the first week of January that there would be a 0.5 percentage point cut in the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) – from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. Since the announcement, economists have tried to estimate the number of existing FHA borrowers that could benefit from refinancing [...]

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The five major forces driving down mortgage interest rates

By Ellen Seidman and Wei Li  ::  February 12th, 2015

Mortgage interest rates—at 3.59 percent for a 30-year fixed rate loan and 2.92 percent for a 15 year loan—are now at their lowest level since May 2013*. Potential homebuyers in the last several years have been consistently hearing that mortgage interest rates are about to go up, but the downward trend of the last year [...]

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Teen sex - yes, let's talk about it

By Laudan Aron and Janine Zweig  ::  February 12th, 2015

A bill introduced last week by Senators Kaine and McCaskill would require that health education in public secondary schools cover “safe relationship behavior” aimed at preventing dating violence and abuse, stalking, harassment, and sexual assault. Currently, there are no federal requirements to teach sexual assault prevention in schools. The introduction of the Teach Safe Relationships Act [...]

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It takes a package of policies to substantially reduce poverty

By Linda Giannarelli and Kye Lippold and Sarah Minton and Laura Wheaton  ::  February 11th, 2015

The Children’s Defense Fund’s recent policy recommendations could reduce the number of children living in poverty by 60 percent—down from 10.9 million to 4.3 million, according to our analysis. Our study also shows something that we’ve seen in other analyses of anti-poverty policies: that it takes a package of policies, not just a single policy, [...]

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