The Center for American Progress Daily Digest for today boasts a number of important, and disturbing, articles and columns: An economic snapshot for June, a look at what to do about Hamas and Fatah, and a look at public opinion on energy and the environment.
Signs of trouble abound, and consumers and businesses have become more cautious amid a weakening economy. This could add to the existing problems of low income gains, declining benefits, and rising debt payments. And large risks to economic and job growth persist—record household debt and massive budget and trade deficits—which could put a damper on future improvements. Wages are falling, benefits are disappearing, family debt on the rise, and more...
The share of new mortgages entering foreclosure was 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2006, the highest level on record since 1979. The default rate on credit cards grew to 3.9% in the first quarter, an increase of 29.5% over the first quarter of 2006. And the personal bankruptcy rate, measured as bankruptcy cases relative to the U.S. population, grew by 51.5% from the first to the fourth quarter of 2006.
The violence in Gaza this past week creates new facts on the ground and generates new laments about increasingly limited options for the United States in the Middle East. For all those concerned about security, stability, and the values we hold dear, what happened in Gaza is a harsh wakeup call—one that should spark action going forward, not just words of regret for what brought us here.
Last week, with the president in Europe for the G-8 conference, our weekly public opinion snapshot covered the public’s desire for serious action on global warming, the greatest threat to our environment. This week, as Congress debates energy policy, it’s worth stressing that the public’s environmentalist commitments extend to this area as well.
An April CBS News/New York Times poll collected a wide range of data that demonstrates these commitments. By an almost two-to-one margin (63 percent to 32 percent), the public endorses the idea that protecting the environment is so important that "requirements and standards cannot be too high" and that "continuing environmental improvements must be made regardless of cost."
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