Republican Tax Plan, Political Comedy, Expertise And Democracy

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Should experts or everyday citizens be the ones to steer our government? Our guest says that relying too much on expertise is undemocratic and shares his ideas for giving people more chances for civic engagement. We also talk to one of Egypt’s most famous comedians about making light of politics under an authoritarian regime. We also break down the details of the Republican federal tax plan released today.

Featured in this Show

  • House Republicans Reveal New Federal Tax Plan

    House Republicans released a new tax plan Thursday morning, the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades. The $1.5 trillion plan cuts taxes for corporations, reduces them for some middle-class families, and puts the U.S. closer to the tax system championed by businesses, according to Republicans’ talking points. The proposal is likely to cause lots of debate before a final bill. President Trump has said he wants the legislation on his desk by Christmas. We get analysis of the tax proposal from an expert at the Brookings Institution.

  • Should Experts Or Everyday Citizens Steer Democracy?

    How much of a role should the knowledge of experts play in our government’s policymaking? Our guest says that relying too much on expertise is undemocratic, and everyday citizens should be given more opportunities to participate in and learn about democracy. He shares his ideas for expanding those opportunities and talks about the downside of giving experts too much power.

    Do you think everyday people should have more of a say in the way government works? Or do you think we need experts to guide our policies on complicated issues? Email us at or post on the Ideas Network Facebook page.

  • Political Comedy From Egypt To America

    As a political satirist and star of what became Egypt’s most popular TV show, Bassem Youssef poked fun at Egypt’s political elite, from former President Morsi to current President el-Sisi. When the government decided they didn’t want him doing it anymore, he was forced to flee the country, and now, he’s making people laugh in the United States. We talk to Youssef about political comedy from Egypt to America.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Dean Knetter Producer
  • Haleema Shah Producer
  • Henry Aaron Guest
  • Nicholas Tampio Guest
  • Bassem Youssef Guest

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