FROM Darrell Steinberg
Where Is $9 Billion in Unused Bonds? 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."
Letting Cities Raise Their Own Taxes California's $25 billion budget gap will be partly closed by $12 billion in spending cuts passed by the Assembly and Senate. Republicans have refused to allow a statewide vote on a $12 billion tax increase to make up the rest. Now the President Pro Tem of the State Senate, Democrat Darrell Steinberg, has introduced a plan to allow cities, counties and school districts to raise taxes on their own.
Will California Ever Get a Budget? This year's legislative session is about to come to an end, with the state budget two months overdue and likely to remain so. Governor Schwarzenegger has already said it may have to wait until his successor is sworn in next year.
$40 Billion Hole in State Budget Stays Empty California faces a $40 billion deficit over the next two years, but in a few weeks it will run out of money to pay for operating expenses. Governor Schwarzenegger says new taxes are needed, but Republicans in the legislature won't go along. Democrats have a majority, but not enough to provide the two-thirds vote required for new taxes. They have been negotiating with Schwarzenegger on an $18 billion stop-gap, but today talks broke down. We get an update and learn more about the "dysfunctionality" of California government.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
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?
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.