FROM Nicholas Johnson
Will the Recession Push State Governments to Shut Down? The recession is wreaking havoc with state governments all over the country by vastly reducing the revenues they depend on from taxes on property, sales and income. Last night, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut , North Carolina , Ohio and California failed to pass balanced budgets by the start of the fiscal year.
Will the Recession Force State Government Shutdowns? States all over the country are losing revenue. Last night, North Carolina and five other states failed to resolve disputes over taxes and spending in time for the start of the new fiscal year. Without balanced budgets, Pennsylvania and Illinois face partial shutdowns; Connecticut and Ohio are barely limping along. California has run out of money, and the biggest state in the union plans to pay its bills with IOU’s starting tomorrow. Last night in Sacramento, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a $24 billion shortfall $3 billion worse by blocking a stop-gap agreement with Democrats. What are the consequences for education, medical care and public health? Or is it a blessing in disguise if it forces fiscal responsibility on state capitols?
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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.