FROM Robert Frank
When the Wealthy Sneeze, the Economy Catches Cold The wealthiest Americans are a changing breed as conservative savers turn into manic spenders. Risk-taking millionaires can find themselves living out of their cars. What does that mean for the rest of us? Can government programs be sustained if they depend on taxing the least stable segment of the consumer economy?
When the Wealthy Sneeze, the Economy Catches Cold Democrats have given up on taxing millionaires to finance payroll tax cuts, but just for the moment. President Obama is clearly zeroing in on "the 1 percent." With economic inequality at record levels, there's growing pressure for the wealthy to pay more for government programs. But how much more? It's no longer true that the rich necessarily get richer. What was the most stable segment of the economy now feels booms and busts more than anyone else. Nobody's sympathizing with people who've lost their yachts and mansions, but what happens to government if it has to depend on them?
Live by the Rich, Die by the Rich California's dependence on wealthy taxpayers brought some good news this week with $6.6 billion in new revenue . But, in the future, bad news is virtually inevitable -- for the same reason. We hear from Robert Frank, writer and blogger for the Wall Street Journal , and Jean Ross, Executive Director of the California Budget Project .
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.
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.
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?
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.