'This Week' Transcript: David Axelrod

Cain's tax would be an additional burden in states with sales taxes already on the books. And look at this: There are 26 states with current sales taxes at or above 6 percent. So under Cain's plan, that number would soar to at least 15 percent.

So it's catchy, but is it really something that's going to work, George?

WILL: Well, the danger right now is, as Laura says, the United States economy is driven by consumer spending, which is fueled by consumer credit. On the other hand, the American people consume too much and save too little, much too little. We had a savings rate of 9 percent in the 1980s, 5 percent in the '90s. In 2005, the savings rate went negative. The consumption went on because people took out home equity loans in the sure and certain confidence that housing prices never decline. That didn't work out so well.

BRENNAN: The other problem is, the math doesn't add up. Bloomberg crunched in the numbers, and it comes in about $200 billion short in revenue, unless you keep part of the current tax structure, which is the excise tax on beer and cigarettes, and if you exempt, he said, used goods, which I guess means a home and a car.

AMANPOUR: Well, this roundtable will continue in the green room at abcnews.com.

And coming up, a story of high-stakes global intrigue. Did the Iranian government plot to assassinate a top diplomat on American soil? It's a story with far-reaching implications, next.

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AMANPOUR: President Obama is urging America's allies to turn up the heat on Iran, after an extraordinary story of international intrigue burst onto the world stage this week.

It began Tuesday, when the administration announced that it had foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. The man at the heart of the case is an Iranian-American used car salesman from Texas. The FBI says it has him on tape offering an associate of a Mexican drug cartel $1.5 million to kill the Saudi diplomat by exploding a bomb outside a Washington restaurant.

The criminal complaint alleges that he traveled to Mexico in May to discuss the deal and even wired $100,000 as a down payment. But it turns out the cartel contact was actually a secret informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration. And when the feds foiled the plot, he told authorities he was, quote, "recruited, funded and directed" by men that he understood to be senior officials in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

Now, the FBI director, Robert Mueller, says the case reads like a Hollywood script, but the brazen scheme has many wondering why Iran would take such a provocative and unprecedented action on U.S. soil? And how high up in the Iranian government does the plot go?

Joining me now to assess the fallout is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, and David Sanger of the New York Times, who's written a lot about these issues.

First, let me ask you -- and welcome to the program...

ROGERS: Thanks for having me.

AMANPOUR: How far up now do you believe this goes? Was this directed by the top leadership of Iran?

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