The President elect wants $775 billion, but is it enough to move a $15 trillion economy? What are the prospects of making things worse? How will the money be spent? Will you qualify for a tax cut? On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, we look for answers. Also, Democrats accuse Governor Schwarzenegger of getting "cold feet" on a deal to keep California from running out of money, and closing arguments begin in the criminal trial of Orange County's former Sheriff Mike Carona.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Two weeks before inauguration day, President-elect Barack Obama is lobbying Democrats and Republicans for a stimulus package that is 60% federal spending and 40% tax cuts. He calls it "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan," and today he emphasized accountability and transparency.
He used to be called "America's Sheriff," but Mike Carona of Orange County faces prison time on federal charges of mail fraud, witness tampering and conspiracy. The jury heard closing arguments today in a trial that began in October. Frank Mickadeit is a columnist for the Orange County Register.
Frank Mickadeit, Columnist, Orange County Register
California faces a $40 billion deficit over the next two years, but in a few weeks it will run out of money to pay for operating expenses. Governor Schwarzenegger says new taxes are needed, but Republicans in the legislature won't go along. Democrats have a majority, but not enough to provide the two-thirds vote required for new taxes. They have been negotiating with Schwarzenegger on an $18 billion stop-gap, but today talks broke down. We get an update and learn more about the "dysfunctionality" of California government.
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Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
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