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FROM THIS EPISODE

Barack Obama began a tough selling job today with an urgent warning about years of recession if Congress fails to enact a massive stimulus program. We look at the state of the economy and how different it might look, even after recovery. Also, the UN suspends food aid to Gaza, citing danger to its staff, and in light of challenging economic circumstances, the Internal Revenue Service is promising "flexibility."


Banner image: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Producers:
Gary Scott
Katie Cooper
Karen Radziner

Reporter's Notebook The Friendlier Tax Man 7 MIN, 48 SEC

There's no silver lining to the financial crisis, but there is what could be good news from an unexpected source. The Internal Revenue Service says there could be leniency in collecting taxes. Doug Shulman, Commissioner of the IRS has told reporters, "We're going to continue to enforce the law…but where citizens are in difficult economic times and in need of some flexibility, we're going to give it to them." Janet Novack is Washington Bureau Chief for Forbes magazine.

Guests:
Janet Novack, Washington Bureau Chief, Forbes magazine

Main Topic A Political Salesman Lays It on the Line 35 MIN, 21 SEC

President-elect Barack Obama said today that only the federal government is big enough to prevent economic recession from lasting for years to come. Calling the America's economic crisis "no accident of history," he decried "an era of irresponsibility" from Wall Street to Washington and warned that "a bad situation could become dramatically worse" if Congress fails to act soon. But sounding more like a president than a president-elect he observed that the seeds of the problem provide hope for overcoming what he called a "devastating loss of trust and confidence…" We hear more about how bad things are, what Obama proposes and the prospects for improvement if he gets what he wants. Were years of "prosperity" really a sham? What's in store for America's standard of living?

Guests:
Sudeep Reddy, Wall Street Journal (@Reddy)
Peter Morici, University of Maryland (@pmorici1)
David Smick, global financial market strategist
Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy)

Making News UN Suspends Food Aid to Gaza, Citing Danger to Staff 5 MIN, 53 SEC

The United Nations said today it is suspending operations in Gaza because Israel can't guarantee the safety of refugee workers. The International Red Cross says Israel has failed to help wounded civilians, specifically four children found beside their mothers' bodies. Joel Greenberg is Jerusalem correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.

Guests:
Joel Greenberg, McClatchy Newspapers

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