Full Episode: 'Fiscal Cliffs and Fiscal Realities'

This episode aired on Dec. 14, 2012

When it comes to America's economic health, all anyone seems to talk about is the "fiscal cliff," and the perils of our inevitable plunge. But media's favorite metaphor is distracting us from actual and crucial fiscal realities. Independent political and economic analysts Bruce Bartlett and Yves Smith join Bill in a discussion about why Washington insiders are talking about the deficit crisis instead of the jobs crisis.

Bartlett, former advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, got into hot water with fellow conservatives when he aired concerns about the direction of their ideology and wrote critically of the second George Bush. His most recent book is The Benefit and The Burden: Tax Reform -- Why We Need It, and What It Will Take. Yves Smith, who spent more than 25 years in the financial services industry, is the founder and editor of the popular blog Naked Capitalism, and runs a successful management consulting firm.

Following the conversation, Bill shares his perspective on one of the most corrupting D.C. fixtures -- the revolving door between Washington leadership and lobbying. That lucrative pathway ensures that "when push comes to shove, corporate interests will have the upper hand in the close calls that determine public policy... no matter which party is in power."

Finally on the broadcast, poet and former publishing executive James Autry joins Bill to talk about issues of art and of heart. He shares his poems with Bill and discusses his and his wife Sally's challenging but inspiring experience raising their autistic child.

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