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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama has taken the lid off federal spending on stem cell research. We speak with the man who persuaded California voters to raise $3 billion for stem cell projects.  What will this mean for research into Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Diabetes and other diseases? On our rebroadcast of today’s To the Point, a debate on whether it’s time to close the gap between rich and poor. Would increased taxes stifle growth by removing incentives for the wealthy to keep on working?


Banner image: President Obama lifts restrictions on stem-cell research. White House Photo: Chuck Kennedy

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis

Reporter's Notebook Happy 50th Birthday, Barbie 6 MIN, 44 SEC

Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel, introduced Barbie at the New York Toy Fair in 1959.  Since then, Mattel has sold a billion Barbie dolls and influenced generations of American girls. Deborah Ryan chairs the Toy Department at the Otis College of Art and Design near LAX.

Guests:
Deborah Ryan, Chair of the Toy Design Department, Otis College of Art and Design

Main Topic Income Redistribution: Basic Fairness or 'Class Warfare?' 25 MIN, 47 SEC

The stimulus package already passed and signed into law provides tax credits for 95 percent of American workers. Now the President wants to increase taxes on the wealthy, partly by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. One of his goals is to reduce the growing gap between the rich and the poor. We hear a debate and look at other factors that cause economic dislocation, including technology, changes in the work force and increased anxiety.

Guests:
Roberton 'Bob' Williams, Tax Policy Center
Amity Shlaes, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation (@AmityShlaes)
Daniel Gross, Daily Beast (@grossdm)
Dalton Conley, Chairman of the Sociology Department, New York University

Main Topic President Obama and Stem-Cell Research in California 17 MIN, 53 SEC

President Obama has made good on a campaign promise and lifted Bush Administration restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research. He said it has “he potential to help us understand and possibly cure some of our most devastating diseases and conditions.” He called the “medical miracles” that make-up scientific progress in America the “result from painstaking and costly research, from years of lonely trial and error, much of which never bears fruit, and from a government willing to support that work.” Five years ago, California voters did agree to invest in stem cell research, with $3 billion for the Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Guests:
Robert Klein, Chair of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine
William Hurlbut, Member, President's Council on Bioethics
Jesse Reynolds, Policy Analyst, Center for Genetics and Society
Arnold Kriegstein, Director of the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program, UC San Francisco

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