A Firing Line Debate: "Resolved: That the Flat Tax Is Better than the Income Tax" NR CC

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Taped on 06/06/1995. Among the many tax-reform proposals floating about, one of the most interesting was the flat tax. The version being propounded would exempt from taxation the first $36,000 of annual income, and then tax all income over the threshold at 20 per cent. No loopholes. The participants have all come bristling with ammunition, and swing bracingly from statistics to ethics and justice.

William F. Buckley Jr.,Pete Du Pont
1 hour, 58 minutes

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Product Details

Director Unavailable
Starring William F. Buckley Jr., Pete Du Pont
Supporting actors Jerry Brown, Lester Thurow, Robert Kuttner, George McGovern, and others
Studio Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA)
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BruceK on October 27, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant, witty and entertaining debate with Buckley, Lester Thurow, Jerry Brown, George McGovern, Robert Kuttner, and others debating the issue of the flat tax.

It is moderated and introduced by Michael Kinsley with a whimsical sense of humor. Kinsley mentions at the time Steve Forbes who was a Presidential candidate pushing the flat tax. Kinsley said that not having a flat tax had not deprived Forbes of the entrepreneurial zeal to inherit a vast publishing empire from his daddy! I had forgotten was a delight our Public Broadcasting System used to be before it and the country had been dominated by the right wing supply side nonsense, and what Liberal really used to mean.

Surprise, Jerry Brown, former and current Governor of California shows up to argue the pro-Flat-tax side on the grounds that the tax system is so skewed in favor of wealthy interests and so currupt that removing loopholes and actually implementing a real flat tax would be a progressive improvement and a basis for resetting the tax system to some kind of fairness.

Buckley is a bit flat here as he usually is, but that's what I loved about Buckley and Firing Line, that he could express his right wing nonsense entertainingly and graciously accept defeat. But on the civil rights issues Buckley really shined. Somehow since Buckley's era racism and brinksmanship insinuated itself into Conservatism along with an almost ante-bellum belligerency and militancy that has not helped anyone.

The surprise or the night and the towering combination of intellect and passion comes from Lester Thurow, a young man here, who decimates the opposition from from the very start of his opening statement.
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