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Governor Brown says President Obama should invest in pubic works to stimulate the economy.  LA Times Columnist George Skelton says Brown should follow his own advice.  We ask the Governor's office and the State Senate leader why $9 billion in infrastructure bond money passed by the voters is sitting around and not being spent. Is it time for Brown to "kick butt?" Also, an independent, bipartisan voice for political reform — one of the last of its kind — goes out of business. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, is there a quick fix for America's broken economy?

Banner image: Traffic passes a city sewer project in Los Angeles, California. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Main Topic Where Is $9 Billion in Unused Bonds? 16 MIN, 38 SEC

Governor Brown says, "Caution is not really the right path" when it comes to creating jobs and stimulating the economy. He wants President Obama to invest in sewers, schools and roads, just as Franklin Roosevelt did during the Great Depression. LA Times columnist George Skelton says, "Brown can look right under his nose and find $9 billion for thousands of paychecks."

George Skelton, Los Angeles Times (@LATimesSkelton)
H.D. Palmer, California State Department of Finance (@HDatFinance)
Darrell Steinberg, California State Senate (@proTemSteinberg)

Reporter's Notebook Center for Governmental Studies Closes 9 MIN, 12 SEC

For 28 years, the Center for Governmental Studies has been examining how public policy is made in California and how it can be made more democratic, with a small "d."  Since the Watergate era, it's been one of the state's most successful, bipartisan institutions of political reform, advocating what former LA Times City Editor Bill Boyarsky calls, "the dying cause of cleaning up elections and taking them out of the hands of big contributors." The CGS board includes prominent Republicans and Democrats, and its money has come from philanthropic foundations. But Board President Steve Rountree says, "Foundations have given up hope of meaningful reform," and the Center is closing its doors.

Tracy Westen, Center for Governmental Studies
Bob Stern, Center for Governmental Studies

Main Topic Are Higher Taxes the 'Price of Civilization?' 26 MIN, 32 SEC

Are Higher Taxes the 'Price of Civilization?'Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers and Wall Street Occupiers all agree that America needs more jobs, but they don't agree on how to create them. Republican presidential candidates will stage another debate in Las Vegas tomorrow, with most calling for creating jobs by cutting taxes and regulations to free up the private sector. Today, President Obama began a three-day trip to early primary states, calling for a jobs bill to be paid for with higher taxes on the richest Americans. What about taxing the rich, or a national sales tax?  Is government the problem or the solution?

David Leonhardt, New York Times (@DLeonhardt)
Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University
Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Parliament (@cafreeland)

The Price of Civilization

Jeffrey D. Sachs

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