90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Paring Back The U.S. Government

Call it extremism, but conservative Yuval Levin doesn’t apologize. The U.S. government  needs a radical paring back, he says. We’ll hear him out.

The U.S. Capitol building. (AP)

The U.S. Capitol building. (AP)

For decades, Democrats and Republicans argued over how to divide the pie and burden of national spending and entitlements.  Now there is a significant wing of the GOP that wants to blow up the pie.  To radically pare back government spending.  To hit the reset button on America’s social compact and economy.

To get lean, they say, to get competitive in the 21st century.  President Obama says let’s invest in our common future.  They say sure, but only after an obsolete governing model is gone.  And they want Mitt Romney to say that, too.

This hour, On Point:  the unvarnished call to radically remake government.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Yuval Levincontributing editor, The National Review and The Weekly Standard. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote that Levin’s piece in The Weekly Standard titled “Our Age of Anxietywas the “definitive essay” on how America’s welfare state model was in its death throes.

Robert Kuttner, co-editor of the American Prospect, and author of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future.

From Tom’s Reading List

Weekly Standard “There is something very strange about the 2012 presidential race so far. The election comes at a time of extraordinary public unease, which clearly demands some response from the political system, and especially from the men running for the highest office in the land. But the two presidential candidates are both running campaigns oddly detached from what is rightly worrying voters. ”

National Affairs “The most significant cause runs deeper. We have the feeling that profound and unsettling change is afoot because the vision that has dominated our political imagination for a century — the vision of the social-democratic welfare state — is drained and growing bankrupt, and it is not yet clear just what will take its place.”

The New York Times “What Descartes was doing for knowledge, others would do for politics: sweep away the old precedents and write new constitutions based on reason. This was the aim of the French Revolution.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

 
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
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