FROM Mac Taylor
Projected Deficit Is Much Higher than Anticipated Next year's state budget deficit will be $19 billion, as previously predicted, but this year's budget is $6 billion out of balance, making a grand total of $25 billion. That's according to non-partisan California Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor in a report out today.
Budget Gap Is 'Awful,' Legislative Analyst Says Governor Ronald Reagan said he was so opposed to income tax withholding in California that his feet were in concrete. When he finally approved it, he said, "The concrete cracked." Last week the concrete cracked around Governor Schwarzenegger's feet. In addition to spending cuts to help solve the state's fiscal crisis, he called for an increased sales tax and a $12 annual vehicle license fee. Although fellow Republicans in the legislature still insist that's the wrong thing to do, especially in a recession, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst has chimed in, calling the Governor's proposals " credible " but differing over some details.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
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.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.