Tax Hikes for All?
Lesley Stahl had good reason to be apprehensive before she interviewed David Stockman for this week's "60 Minutes" report on taxes: 30 years ago, she almost got him fired from his White House job! In this week's Correspondent Candid, "60 Minutes Overtime" takes you back to a time of feathered hair and over-sized glasses - the 1980s. Back then, Stahl was White House correspondent for CBS News and Stockman was the budget director for the Reagan administration.
Thirty years later, Stahl is still asking Stockman questions about taxes. And Stockman is still saying things that could get him trouble with the Republican leadership. According to Stockman, Americans need to pay more taxes. If drastic action isn't taken soon in this country, Stockman believes the federal government could be facing insolvency.
Listen to what Stockman has to say and then tell us what you think. Are you willing to pay more?
STAHL: Well, you've come out and said that all the Bush tax cuts should be eliminated. Not just on the rich, but on the middle class as well. Explain why.
STOCKMAN: Well, we just can't afford them. We couldn't afford them when they were adopted in 2001 and 2003. Since then, we've had two giant unfinanced wars, a huge bailout of Wall Street. This trillion-dollar stimulus program, and we have now created so much national debt, and such large permanent deficits that we're going to have to do some very difficult and painful things to close the gap, or we're going to destroy the economy, and render the federal government insolvent. As hard as that is to believe, we're edging in that direction.