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.
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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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.