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Tax Cuts: Politics and Reality

Politicians say they can cut taxes and cut the deficit. Ronald Reagan’s budget director David Stockman now says that’s a big lie. We hear him out.

House Republican Leader John Boehner, who wants to extend tax cuts for all, including upper incomes; and President Obama, who wants cuts extended for the middle class. (AP)

Big politics over taxes and tax cuts right now. President Obama says he wants to make George Bush’s tax cuts permanent for the middle class. Republicans say no way unless the richest Americans keep their cuts, too.

Everybody claims they want the right thing for the economy, the deficit. Do they?

Ronald Reagan’s famous former budget director David Stockman says not at all. The Republican plan, says Reagan’s man, is a “big lie.” And the president, he says, is being way more generous than we can honestly afford with the middle class.

We’re looking for truth on taxes.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Greg Ip, U.S. economics editor for the The Economist, and author of the new book, “The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World.” You can read an excerpt.

David Stockman, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan and former U.S. congressman from Michigan.

Alan Auerbach, professor of economics and law – and director of the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance – at U.C. Berkeley. He served as deputy chief-of-staff of the U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation in 1992.

Gerald Seib, executive Washington editor and “Capital Journal” columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He’s co-author of “Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power.”

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No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

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