FROM Christopher Edley, Jr.
Will the State Tax System Be Reformed? The sales tax in California may be the nation's highest, but 53% of state revenues come from the income tax. That creates problems, because incomes rise and fall with the stock market and the economy, creating the ups and downs that defy planning and lead to continuing budget crises. Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature created the Commission on the 21st Century Economy to develop a new system. The Commission's final report won't be presented until later this week, but its principal features are known. It would eliminate the sales tax and the corporate income tax and flatten the personal income tax by eliminating the top brackets. Lost revenue would be replaced by something called the Business Net Receipts Tax or BNRT.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.