FROM Eric Schoenberg
The Age of Outrage in Europe and America Multibillion-dollar investor Warren Buffett has made headlines by suggesting that he and other rich people pay too little in taxes. In this Sunday's New York Times, columnist Roger Cohen wrote that "a feeling has grown in Western societies that uncontrollable forces are at work shrinking possibility. "History," he said, "has never seen a global power shift as radical as the current one that managed to be peaceful." We hear a lively debate.
The Age of Outrage in Europe and America In Britain, Greece and elsewhere in Europe, outbreaks of street violence have disrupted the usual tranquility of spring and summer. The combination of high unemployment and new austerity measures is creating a loss of hope in the future among young people. Sound familiar? Multibillion-dollar investor Warren Buffett has made headlines by suggesting that he and other rich people pay too little in taxes. Are countries in the developed West facing a crisis of confidence? On both sides of the Atlantic, the gap between the rich and the rest of the population is growing fast. Is the work ethic losing its currency? Is it time for the rich to pay more taxes and share what they have or face an outbreak of class warfare?
Taxing the Multinationals One economics editor says Washington has been running a " fiscal clown show " for the past 10 years by spending more and taxing less. The report that General Electric earned more than $5 billion in profit while paying no taxes at all focused attention on multinational corporations. We hear how they do it, using laws approved by both parties in Congress that allow them to keep their money overseas. Congress could change those laws to help pay down the deficit. Should the world's super-power use its clout to get corporations to pay their fair share?
Wealth Inequality in America Whether Washington allows a federal shutdown or not, massive cuts are being made in federal programs for the poor and the hungry. Last week, New York Times food-writer Mark Bittman and 4000 others associated with a group called Bread for the World fasted to focus on increased suffering that will barely make a dent in the deficit. They also pointed to growing inequality, with the richest 400 people now owning more wealth than 50 million American households combined. But, is it government's job to level the playing field? We hear from Bittman, an investment banker who wants to pay more taxes, economist and and others.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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.