FROM Robert Frank
When the Wealthy Sneeze, the Economy Catches Cold The wealthiest Americans are a changing breed as conservative savers turn into manic spenders. Risk-taking millionaires can find themselves living out of their cars. What does that mean for the rest of us? Can government programs be sustained if they depend on taxing the least stable segment of the consumer economy?
When the Wealthy Sneeze, the Economy Catches Cold Democrats have given up on taxing millionaires to finance payroll tax cuts, but just for the moment. President Obama is clearly zeroing in on "the 1 percent." With economic inequality at record levels, there's growing pressure for the wealthy to pay more for government programs. But how much more? It's no longer true that the rich necessarily get richer. What was the most stable segment of the economy now feels booms and busts more than anyone else. Nobody's sympathizing with people who've lost their yachts and mansions, but what happens to government if it has to depend on them?
Live by the Rich, Die by the Rich California's dependence on wealthy taxpayers brought some good news this week with $6.6 billion in new revenue . But, in the future, bad news is virtually inevitable -- for the same reason. We hear from Robert Frank, writer and blogger for the Wall Street Journal , and Jean Ross, Executive Director of the California Budget Project .
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.
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.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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.