All right, here is what was going on on my old Schwinn, before any repairs were done. The right brake lever required significantly more pull compared to front one. The problem was that the cables were old and had rust inside, which caused increased friction, and therefore brakes felt "hard" and not very effective.
This can be relatively easily fixed. Both front and rear brake cables cost me 10$ from local bicycle store.
The only tools required was good diagonal wire cutter, and screw driver to release the safety brake lever.
Result: brakes are SO SMOOTH, easy to apply, just like power automotive brakes verses old conventional.
Easy and important repair! Suggest to everyone who is unsatisfyed with the brake performance.
Thought I'd share this...