What is in the giant Republican tax bill that just passed Congress? Why are people calling a key provision in the bill the “Corker Kickback”? On this episode, I talk to Matt Gardner of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy — a think tank that has been critical of the legisation. We go over many of the different provisions of the bill — and how it could change the country.
Smartphones — they connect us in profound ways, putting us in constant contact through text messages, emails and social media. But are they destroying our kids? On this episode, I explore that question with Jean Twenge, a psychologist who is the author of the new book “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.” We discussed skyrocketing teen depression and suicide rates and we talked about her research that suggests social media and smartphones could be part of those trends . We also talked about what parents can do to try to prevent the worst aspects of technology from harming our kids.
Last week, in the middle of the night, Senate Republicans passed a $1.4 trillion tax cut bill that was hastily scribbled on scraps of paper, and that most lawmakers had not seen before they voted on it. Most economists say the tax cut bill will increase the deficit and not spur significant economic growth. So why are Republicans pressing forward with this bill? To try to answer that, I called up Ronald Reagan’s former economic policy adviser Bruce Bartlett. He worked closely with Reagan on some of the major tax cuts of the 1980s, but has since become a critic of the modern Republican Party’s tax cut zeal. He has a new book out called “The Truth Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks.” Bartlett argues that the new tax cut bill is all part of a long-term conservative strategy to create the budget conditions that will justify cutting larger social programs.