A "trigger" provision in last month's state budget deal may increase both cuts in state spending and raises in taxes. We hear what federal stimulus money has to do with it. Plus, violence in Mexico is changing a lot of plans for spring break vacations. On our rebroadcast of To the Point, forget the "axis of evil." Economic recession now threatens political upheaval around the world, with national security consequences here in the US. We look at potential sources of trouble. Is Washington paying attention?
FROM THIS EPISODE
The World Bank says the global economy will shrink this year for the first time since the 1940’s. Falling demand in the West has led to the sharpest drop in world trade in 80 years. Millions of jobs are disappearing in developing countries. US intelligence agencies say political instability is becoming a greater threat to national security than international terrorism.
Steven Schrage, Scholl Chair in International Business, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Jonathan Broder, Newsweek (@Newsweek)
Joel Kibazo, Associate Fellow in the Africa Program, Chatham House
David Sanger, National Security Correspondent for the New York Times (@SangerNYT)
In May, Californians will be asked to approve six ballot measures confirming $42 billion in spending cuts and new taxes that made up the compromise that was worked out in Sacramento last month. But taxes could be higher and spending cuts deeper if the state doesn’t get $10 billion in federal stimulus money. John Howard, managing editor of Capitol Weekly, has more.
John Howard, Capitol Weekly
Last month, the State Department renewed its warning against travel to Mexico, where it says “the greatest increase in violence has occurred near the US border.” The Los Angeles Times has reported that beheadings and bodies “dissolved in barrels of lye” have been found in and near Tijuana. The Orange County Register says the largest West Coast travel firm specializing in student spring breaks has transferred this year’s destination from Baja to Palm Springs.
December’s legislative spending reports were released last week, revealing that lawmakers of both parties continue to be wined and dined at lobbyists’ expense, 25 years after passage of political reform in California. One day after Governor Schwarzenegger announced a fiscal emergency, a two-day retreat was convened at the Wine and Roses hotel in Lodi. Patrick McGreevy has the evidence.
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Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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