Balancing State Budgets or Union Busting?
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Republican governors in several states continue their face-off with organized public workers. Is it just about their budgets? What's the role of partisan politics? How do Americans feel about the value of unions? Also, the opposition closes in on the Libyan capital, and General Motors has announced its first annual profit since 2004. Is the government takeover working?
Banner image: Protestors Kieth Woodhouse (L) and Jamie Duffin sit among protest signs taped to the walls of the state capitol on February 23, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Opposition Closes In on Libyan Capital ()
On a Libyan TV station today, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi blamed bloody violence on "hallucinogenic" drugs given young people by Osama bin Laden. Meantime, with half the country's coastal cities now in the hands of protesters, his mercenary and irregular forces are fighting back. Correspondent Bob Drogin is in Cairo for the Los Angeles Times.
- Bob Drogin: National Correspondent, Los Angeles Times
Are Republican Governors Union Busting? ()
Republican Governors around the country are trying to solve state budget problems without raising taxes by weakening public-employee unions. They claim it's not a coordinated campaign, but union officials call it a scheme to undermine a key source of money and manpower for Democrats. In Wisconsin, unions have agreed to pay more for healthcare and retirement, but not to give up their bargaining rights. The Senate's minority Democrats have left the state to prevent a vote in the legislature. Last week, President Obama accused Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker of "an assault against unions," but the White House says it's not mobilizing its forces. We hear what's happening in several states and debate the politics. What do voters think about the pros and cons of union organization, public and private?
- Michael Fletcher: National Economic Correspondent, Washington Post
- Jonathan Weisman: Reporter, Wall Street Journal, @jonathanweisman
- Carroll Doherty: Associate Director, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, @CarrollDoherty
- Steven Malanga: Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
- Nelson Lichtenstein: Professor of History, UC Santa Barbara
GM's Balance Sheet in the Black ()
In 2009, General Motors lost $21 billion before it declared bankruptcy. Last year, for the first time since 2004, GM turned a profit of $4.7 billion. Even after today's announcement the bailout of General Motors remains one of the most controversial actions of the Obama Administration. Did the government bailout save the day? Will taxpayers get their money back? We ask Jerry Hirsch who covers the auto industry for the Los Angeles Times.
Engage & Discuss
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