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.
In the United States, it seems capitalism is no longer as popular as it may have once been. With Americans facing stagnating wages, intensifying economic inequality and rampant poverty, polls show more and more people are questioning whether the so-called invisible hand of the free market is really good for society. So is it time to discard capitalism? On this episode, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich basically says no. In a new Netflix documentary entitled “Saving Capitalism” he argues that our economic system can and should be rescued and reformed — but he said that can only happen if voters can be mobilized to combat the influence of big money on our politics. During our discussion, Reich opened up about his battles with the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party while he was serving as a Cabinet Secretary. He also discussed what he regretted most about his time in office, and he said both Clinton and Barack Obama never confronted the structural problems facing America’s middle class.
He was one of the Freaks and Geeks. He was the guy trying to forget Sarah Marshall. He wrote a Muppet movie. He was Marshall Eriksen on “How I Met Your Mother.” He even played David Foster Wallace. On this episode, I talk to actor, writer and novelist Jason Segel about his new novel exploring the dangers of virtual reality. We also talk about how the Harvey Weinstein scandal could change Hollywood for the long haul.
High interest loans to subprime borrowers. Millions struggling to pay off debts. Allegations of financial shenanigans by lenders. It may sound like the mortgage crisis, but these factors are also all part of an intensifying controversy about student loans. On this episode, I talk to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro about skyrocketing student debt, and how the Trump administration is delaying rules to protect borrowers. During the discussion, Shapiro details his landmark lawsuit against America’s largest student loan servicer. The case — which alleges that the company systematically harmed borrowers across the country — could fundamentally reshape the lending industry and the student loan process.
One year after the election of Donald Trump, Democrats came roaring back this week in the 2017 elections — with the results in the swing state of Virginia being perhaps the most surprising of all. On this episode, I talk to self-described socialist Lee Carter, who just defeated a top GOP lawmaker to help Democrats make historic gains in Virginia’s state legislature. He tangled with the Democratic Party establishment, and says his race proves that to win across the country, Democrats must reject their corporate wing and embrace a progressive economic message.