STOCKMAN: Absolutely. In 1982, we were looking at the jaws of the worst recession since the 1930s. We overdid it in '81, cut taxes too much. We came back with the big deficit plan. In 1982, unemployment's 10 percent, the economy's in dire shape, and we raised taxes by 1.2 percent of GDP, which would be $150 billion a year, right now, not 10 years down the road, but right now. That's what we did in 1982, because we still had people in government who realized you can't simply be putting on this kind of debt into the world financial market.
AMANPOUR: So, George, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling for a vote on this up or down. Is that -- what is that going to do? And do you think there is room for some kind of debate on a consumption tax, even though very few people want to do income?
WILL: Oh, well, people of my persuasion will be all for it, considering a consumption tax, as soon as they repeal the 16th Amendment. Otherwise, they're going to pile a consumption tax, which is invisible to most people, on top of the income tax.
Larry Summers, the departing economic adviser, said conservatives hate the consumption tax because they think it's a money machine for government and liberals don't like it because they think it's regressive. We will get a consumption tax when conservatives realize it's regressive and conservatives -- and liberals realize it's a money machine. It's not going to happen. The Senate has voted in a nonbinding resolution something like 86-10 against the idea of a consumption tax.
HUFFINGTON: You know, what is interesting is what Ryan is leaving out. You know, he's talking about reforming Medicare. He's not even allowing the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to reduce drug costs. So he's not only addressing the major problem of drug costs rising, of health care costs rising.
And also finally over the last week, he started talking about corporate welfare, about oil and gas subsidies, for example, but that isn't part of his budget. So how can he be addressing seriously the budget deficit without addressing seriously corporate welfare?
He said, which also sounded interesting, that he doesn't want the government picking winners and losers. That's part of (inaudible) left and right debate. A lot of people across the political spectrum are saying that. Let's focus on this.
AMANPOUR: He said to us that he is willing to talk about sort of getting rid of all those subsidies for oil companies and all those loopholes. Where do you think this is headed, though, in real economic fiscal terms? I mean, is there going to be some kind of deal on the very difficult issues?
FREELAND: I thought that what you and Ryan had to say was right. I think that it's hard to see a real deal before the presidential election, and I think that David is right to point out that that could turn out to be quite tricky. And where we will really have the important market judgment is in June, when all this money that the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the economy and buying back, that's going to stop, and we're going to really see, how much is the world prepared to support the U.S. economy?
AMANPOUR: All right. We'll continue right after a break. And up next, President Obama releases his birth certificate and Donald Trump claims credit. More of that with our roundtable right after this.
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