President Obama is pushing an end to the Bush Tax cuts and a $180 billion shot in the arm to the country’s infrastructure—which would include major upgrades to the nation’s roads, rail lines and runways funded by a government-run bank—as his economic plan heading into a hotly contested election season. What would be the cold hard results of extending the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of households with income below $250,000 for couples, or $200,000 for individuals, and insisting that federal income tax rates in 2011 go to pre-2001 levels for income above those cutoffs? Patt talks with experts on all angles of the plan, from the economic analysis to the number of jobs an infrastructure stimulus could create, to the populist rhetoric Obama is adopting in order to cast the election-year economic debate as a choice between supporting a fleeting middle class and giving breaks to the increasingly wealthy. What do you think of the plan and are there better alternatives? Patt also talks with some naysayers who side with House minority leader John Boener, calling for a two-year freeze on all federal tax rates and scaling back government spending to 2008 levels.
Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joseph Biden & director of the White House Middle Class Task Force
Robert Puentes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, who has been working for several on blueprints for the central bank for transportation
Samuel Staley, director of urban growth and land-use policy for the Reason Foundation, a libertarian research group – he opposes the centralized government bank for transportation projects.
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District of Illinois; Deputy Republican Whip & member of the House Ways & Means Committee