FROM Amity Shlaes
In Governors’ Races, Is Conservative Governance on the Ballot Too? Four years ago, Republican Sam Brownback was elected Governor of Kansas with double the votes of his Democratic opponent. He declared his administration would be a “real live experiment” in achieving prosperity by reducing the role of government and creating a model for other states. Some Republican business interests aren’t feeling the sunshine. They’re supporting Brownback’s Democratic opponent, Paul Davis.
Income Redistribution: Basic Fairness or 'Class Warfare?' 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.
Income Redistribution: Basic Fairness or 'Class Warfare?' The gap between rich and poor has been growing fast. The Bush tax cuts give $20 a year to the bottom fifth of wage earners and $118,000 to millionaires. President Obama’s stimulus package already passed and signed into law provides tax credits for 95 percent of American workers. The Obama budget says wealth is not “trickling down” and that raising taxes on the top three million families will help “economic opportunity to trickle up.” Republicans call that “class warfare.” We hear a debate and look at other factors that cause economic dislocation, including technology, changes in the work force and increased anxiety.
Will Federal Money Mean Economic Recovery? President-elect Barack Obama wants a federal spending program comparable to the Interstate highway system, created during the 1950's. But it won't look like his campaign promise to "rebuild America," at least not right away. The sagging economy has put a premium on speed, rather than the kind of projects that make for a historic legacy. What kinds of projects will be involved? What are the benefits and risks for private businesses and for consumers?
Will Federal Money Mean Economic Recovery? Barack Obama wants to "hit the ground running" with massive spending to "jolt" the sagging economy and create or save 2.5 million jobs, with a federal spending program comparable to Roosevelt's New Deal and Eisenhower's Interstate highway system, created during the 1950's. Obama's plan to improve highways and bridges, build schools and promote green technology with federal money funneled through states, counties and cities won't look like his campaign promise to "rebuild America" — at least not right away. The sagging economy has put a premium on speed, rather than the kind of projects that make for a historic legacy. Critics contend the US can't spend its way to economic recovery. What kinds of projects will be involved? We look at the benefits and the risks for private businesses and for consumers.
Should Barack Obama Go Big or Go Cautious? Barack Obama made a lot of promises during the campaign, then came the crisis in the economy. Can Obama fix the economy and spend big money on healthcare, education, infrastructure and energy independence, all at the same time? One school of would-be advisors says, yes he can -- it's time for bold action, just like it was for Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression. But others counsel against what they call "over-reaching," until after the economy's back on track. As debate rages over available courses of action, does Obama have the luxury to think big? Can he afford not to?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.