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FROM THIS EPISODE

This week Toyota is front and center in the news, with its Prius recall and problems with a sticking accelerator pedal. But regulations run far and wide in the life of the American consumer. There are hundreds of state and federal agencies that are supposed to make our lives safer. Do they really do the job? On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, guest host Sara Terry asks whether regulators have become too friendly with the industries they're supposed to regulate. Also, revolution on the right? What's brewing with the rise of Sarah Palin and Tea Party politics, and Mayor Villaraigosa's latest attempt to reduce the city's deficit.

Banner image: President of Japan's auto giant Toyota Motor Akio Toyod gestures as he answers questions during a press conference today at the Tokyo head office. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

 

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper
Sonya Geis

Main Topic Putting on the Brakes: Are Government Regulators Doing Their Job? 33 MIN, 46 SEC

Safe food, safe drugs, safe cars, safe airplanes -- honest deals and bank loans. The federal government doesn't rely on people doing the right thing to make sure your world is safe; they regulate that world. Congress is trying to pass new financial regulations, and Wall Street is pushing back. Now, with Toyota in the news, and regulators checking out what the company knew when about a faulty gas pedal, the whole question of regulatory effectiveness is in the spotlight again. Are regulatory agencies doing their job? Have industries gained more influence with regulators in recent years? Is the problem not enough regulation or too much?

Guests:
Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
John Berlau, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Gardiner Harris, New York Times
Lewis Gould, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin

Reporter's Notebook GOP, Palin Steep in Tea Party Politics 7 MIN, 27 SEC

It was a tea party with a lot of angry people, right-wing true believers who've had it with the current political state of affairs. Sarah Palin helped stoke that anger when she spoke to the recent inaugural Tea Party Convention, but will the anger of newly organized Tea partiers translate into real political change? Marc Ambinder is political editor at the Atlantic Monthly, a contributing editor at the National Journal and a consultant for CBS News.

Guests:
Marc Ambinder, The Week (@marcambinder)

Making News Villaraigosa Urges Council to Take Deficit-Reduction Measures 7 MIN, 13 SEC

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appeared before a full session of the Los Angeles City Council today to take questions on the budget crisis. He's urging the council to sell some of the city-owned parking structures and city council members to tap into some of their own discretionary accounts. Rich Orlov is City Hall Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Daily News.

Guests:
Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News (@Rickorlov)

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