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FROM THIS EPISODE

Raising taxes has been anathema in Washington for 30 years, but the national debt has raised fears across the political spectrum. Are Americans willing to pay more? How important is fairness? Also, Standard & Poor's lowers its outlook on the US, and no naps for air traffic controllers.

Banner image: Elizabeth Krasovitov, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, advertises for a tax preparation office on April 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Karen Radziner

Making News Standard & Poor's Lowers Its Outlook on US to 'Negative' 7 MIN, 13 SEC

The ratings agency Standard and Poor's is taking a new look at what has been the world's most secure economy. Nearly $14.3 trillion in debt has led to what's called a "negative" outlook on the United States. This morning, that caused a drop is stock prices and a rise on interest rates on US Treasuries. Peter Coy is Economics Editor for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Guests:
Peter Coy, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Misreading the Public

Steven Kull

Reporter's Notebook Air-Traffic Controllers Get New Anti-Fatigue Rules 7 MIN, 19 SEC

Saturday night -- for the sixth time this year -- an air traffic controller fell asleep on the job, this time at a regional control center near Miami. Other controllers were on duty and no landings were missed, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the incident has strengthened his resolve to do something about it. Alan Levin covers aviation safety for USA Today

Guests:
Alan Levin, Bloomberg News (@AlanLevin1)

Main Topic Today's Taxes and Tomorrow's Financial Problems 35 MIN, 22 SEC

On tax day, nobody wants to talk about paying more but, despite the Republicans' 30-year line in the sand, that may be unavoidable, and it won't be just the richest Americans. The national debt is too big for them to do it alone. New polls surprisingly show that Democrats, Independents and Republicans are so worried about the national debt they might be willing to see an increase in taxes. Most important of all, they want everybody to pay a fair share.

Guests:
David Cay Johnston, Reuters (@davidcayj)
Steven Kull, University of Maryland's Center on Policy Attitudes
Carl Cannon, Real Clear Politics
Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation (@StephenMoore)

Free Lunch

David Cay Johnston

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