By Clark Holmes
According to U.S. Commerce Department estimates, approximately 63.9% of U.S. households owned their own homes at the end of the fourth quarter, 2014.
The last time the homeownership rate was this low was 1994 and it hasn’t fallen below this level since 1988. In the mid 1990s the Clinton Administration began a decade long campaign to increase the homeownership rate. The campaign ran to the middle of George Bush’s tenure, and ended with the great recession.
The Commerce Department’s figures confirm the case, yet President Obama maintains the economy is better and American’s are better off than they were when he first took office.
The year-end figures showed that household formation increased by 1.66 million from the prior year, with 2 million more renter households and 350,000 fewer owner households.
Capital Economics economist, Paul Diggle, suggests the prolonged slide in homeownership could be coming to an end. The vacancy rate in the rental market is also near a 20-year low, and foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies are at the lowest levels in the last eight years, since the great recession.
MSNBC: Bibi Visit Not Unprecedented, Clinton WH Hosted Israeli PM During Election Against Bibi (February 24, 2015)
The Clinton Foundation is receiving contributions from foreign governments, as Hillary Clinton gets ready for the 2016 presidential campaign.
According to The Wall Street Journal, donors include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany, and a Canadian government.
Hillary Clinton re-joined the foundation after leaving the State Department in 2013 and has fronted a $250 million endowment campaign, Fox News Reported.
The Journal has reported that foreign donors doubled in 2014:
-UAE donated between $1 million and $5 million last year.
-Germany gave between $100,000 and $250,000.
-Saudi Arabia, which has contributed at least $10 million since the foundation’s founding in 1999.
Does this sound strange to you?
Why is Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE interested in funding Clinton’s possible presidential campaign?
By Robert Gehl, February 16, 2015.
Just a few short years ago, the media was touting Barack Obama as one of the greatest presidents in history.
Today, not so much.
A survey of political science scholars by the Brookings Institution puts Obama at mediocre at best and by a margin of 3-1, they rate the President as one of the worst in history.
Just two short years ago, Obama was ranked 17th best by scholars, slightly better than Bill Clinton but behind John Adams.
The latest survey was sent to 391 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics section, the premier organization of experts of the American presidency, and 162 participated online.
First, President Obama ranks 18th overall, but beneath the surface of the aggregate figures lurks evidence of significant ambivalence. For example, those who view Obama as one of the worst American presidents outnumber those who view him as one of the best by nearly a 3-1 margin. Similarly, nearly twice as many respondents view Obama as over-rated than do those who consider him under-rated. One area where there is significant expert consensus about the president, however, concerns how polarizing he is viewed as being – only George W. Bush was viewed as more a more polarizing president.
Next, Obama does not perform well on more specific dimensions of presidential greatness, often viewed as average or worse. For example, he is the midpoint in terms of both personal integrity and military skill (e.g., 10th of 19 in both categories), but falls to 11th when it comes to diplomatic skill and 13th with respect to legislative skill. Even so, when asked which president should be added as the fifth face of Mt Rushmore, Obama ties with James Madison as the 7thmost popular choice.