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 .
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.
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?