The National Council of Churches has announced that it will be shutting down its historic New York office as a means of consolidating its operations.
NCC announced Wednesday that it will leave its office at the Interchurch Center building in Manhattan, N.Y., known by many as the "God Box." Kathryn Lohre, president of NCC, said in a statement that the consolidation was part of the organizational streamlining process the group is undertaking.
"It is important that we honor this moment with reverence and respect for the Council's history as an iconic presence in the beloved 'God Box'," said Lohre. more >>
Marco Rubio, the Republican junior U.S. Senator from Florida, recently spoke on what he believes to be the breakdown of the American family and its direct consequence on the country's economy.
"I think morality ultimately is the function of the church and our faith, not government, but certainly government cannot be immune from morality, nor can our society because the breakdown in morality is having a direct economic consequence on our country," Rubio said in a Wednesday interview with Christian Broadcasting Network's "The Brody File."
"The breakdown of the American family is one of the leading causes of poverty. The breakdown in the American family is one of the leading causes of these instances of violence that we're seeing. The breakdown of the American family is one of the leading causes of educational underperformance," Rubio continued. more >>
A national study found that most Americans strongly oppose proposed capping of charity deductions, which are set to be discussed by the House of Representatives at a hearing on Thursday.
"The support for protecting the charitable tax deduction among the American public continues to be exceptionally strong," said Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham and Company, which conducted the survey. "Regardless of household income, education, age, race, or gender, Americans do not want the deduction to be hurt in any way as Congress and the administration debate how best to deal with our national debt crisis."
The nationwide poll found that 61 percent of respondents say that they feel strongly about keeping the current tax reductions, which is up from 56 percent in January 2012. Hispanic people mostly strongly supported the deductions, with 65 percent voting to keep them. more >>
Soaring equity markets and surging confidence on Main Street appear to have combined with misleading unemployment data to put a positive spin on the nation's job situation -- which is likely to be reflected in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday. However, the reality is that the job situation deteriorated significantly in January, meaning that hopes of finding a job today are no better than they were a year ago. Whatever tone the president uses to describe today's job situation, he should do more than offer partisan solutions, instead seeking a bipartisan approach to job growth.
While the government reported a modest uptick to 7.9% in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January, the unadjusted rate increased to 8.5% -- up nearly a full percentage point from December's 7.6%, and just 0.3 points below the 8.8% unadjusted rate of a year ago. While seasonal adjustments smooth out the unemployment numbers as intended, they tend to distort real-world job market conditions -- those faced by job seekers. These are better reflected by unadjusted unemployment rates that show jobs were a lot harder to get in January.
A deeper dive into the government's unadjusted unemployment data shows that the number of employed Americans declined by 1.4 million in January, while the ranks of the unemployed increased by 1.3 million. As a result, the 0.1-point decline in the participation rate was unable to head off a surge in last month's unadjusted unemployment rate. more >>
To say that the federal government has a spending problem is "almost a false argument," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on "Fox News Sunday."
Congressional Republicans frequently argue that the federal government does not have a revenue problem, but a spending problem.
In the interview, which was taped on Friday and aired Sunday, Chris Wallace played a clip of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) saying, "At some point, Washington has to deal with its spending problem. I watched them kick the can down though road for the 22 years I have been here and I have had enough of it. It's time to act." more >>
White House insiders say President Barack Obama, who spent much of his time since re-election discussing highly charged social issues, will turn his attention back to the issues that most Americans say are the most important to them: jobs and the economy.
Obama's second inaugural address was viewed by many as indicative of a more liberal direction for the president in his second term. Topics included gun control, gay rights, immigration and climate change. He was also criticized for only briefly mentioning jobs and the economy, even though most Americans say those issues are their main concern.
When Pew Research Center asked what the top priority should be for Congress and the president this year, the most common answers were strengthening the economy (86 percent), improving the job situation (79 percent) and reducing the budget deficit (72 percent). more >>