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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?

Main Topic Global Recession and Insecurity 25 MIN, 37 SEC

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)

The Inheritance

David Sanger

Making News Stimulus Could Trigger More State Taxes, Spending Cuts 6 MIN, 36 SEC

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

Main Topic Violence in Mexico May Mean Spring Break in Palm Springs 13 MIN, 2 SEC

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.

Gary Warner, Travel Editor, Orange County Register
David Shirk, University of San Diego (@shirktwit)

Reporter's Notebook Lobbyists and Lawmakers Sipping Wine at Budget Time 6 MIN, 46 SEC

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.

Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times (@mcgreevy99)

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