90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Tax Hikes, State Deficit Nightmares

Illinois hikes its income taxes 67 percent to help close its budget deficit. We look at states swimming in red ink, and the way out.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Woodstock, right, at the State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Jan. 13, 2011. (AP)

American states – state governments – are in trouble. They are facing deficits and budget gaps like never before — huge, wide gaps that the federal government won’t cover.  The gaps are so big they swallow up cutbacks faster than many statehouses can cut.

Now one of the most hard-pressed states, Illinois, has pulled the emergency cord – raising state income taxes overnight, in a desperate, midnight move, by 67 percent in one go.

Illinois’ “fiscal house,” said the governor, “was burning.”

We look at state budgets in turmoil, and extreme measures on the way.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Ray Long, statehouse reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

J. Fred Giertz, professor of economics and faculty member of the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. He’s executive director of the National Tax Association.

Susan K. Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, a division of the Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies and advances effective solutions to critical issues facing states.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

 
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February
Friday, Feb 20, 2015

We explain what happened with the old podcast feed this week and last, share some other Oscar categories and reminisce about the golden days of Double Rainbows and Honey Badgers who just don’t care.

More »
Comment