Berlau on Air America today — debating deregulation on Thom Hartmann

Today at noon Eastern time, I will enter the lion’s den.

I will be live in the New York City studios of liberal network Air America having a friendly discussion about deregulation on The Thom Hartmann Program. Hartmann, author of books such as “”Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class,” usually broadcasts form Oregon, and when I’m guest I have joined him by phone. But today, he’s broadcasting form the home office and I will be joining him live and in person.

Hartmann is tough but friendly, and the last couple times I’ve been on his show, we’ve actually sort of agreed on the issues. The civil libertarian in him and me both strongly objected to the mandatory fingerprint registry in this summer’s housing bill for a broad swath of the mortgage industry. We also both opposed the Wall Street bailout when it was before Congress this fall, though I think his main objection was the “Wall Street” part and mine was the “bailout” aspect.

This time, I am pretty sure it will still be cordial, but there will be strong disagreements expressed as I attempt to defend deregulation’s record. I will be pointing to my recent Reason magazine article that documents that much of the financial deregulation measures opposed by the Left, such as repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial and investment banks, were signed by President Bill Clinton. What’s more, Clinton administration officials have credited this deregulation for fueling the ’90s prosperity that President-Elect Barack Obama has said he wants to go back to.

Here is a list of local radio stations that carry Air America programs. The show is also carried on the Sirius and XM satellite networks. Wish me luck