Bill O'Reilly: Future of Country Hangs on Debt Debate
By: StaffJuly 19, 2011
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By Bill O'Reilly

On paper, the debt thing is boring, and many Americans are not paying attention. But the controversy will define the future of the USA.

On one side, President Obama and the Democratic Party want America to become an entitlement state that compels social justice, financially supporting Americans who can't or won't support themselves.

On the other side, Republicans want a lean, mean economic machine. The GOP doesn't much care about providing money to those who have not. The party wants to drastically cut government spending and promote private business to bolster the economy.

A new CBS poll says that Democrats are winning the PR war. When asked how the debt negotiations are being handled, 43 percent approve of the way President Obama is going about it; 31 percent say the Democrats in Congress are doing OK; and just 21 percent believe the Republicans have the correct position.

That either means that the GOP is not getting its message out or the vast majority of Americans want a Western European-style entitlement state.

"Talking Points" does not believe that most Americans want that, so the message seems to be the problem.

Enter Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who absolutely destroyed CBS newsman Bob Schieffer on Sunday. Rubio began by hammering Mr. Obama:


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Every president has to be judged by the times in which he lives. This president has now been in charge for two and a half years, OK? He has increased federal spending by 28 percent. Washington went along with his prescription for joblessness, which was the stimulus package, and unemployment is higher than it was when he took over, significantly higher. In fact, we have not had unemployment this high for this long since the Great Depression, with no signs of it getting better.


And that's true. The president is having a very hard time moving the economy forward. But why? Sen. Rubio thinks he knows:


RUBIO: He proposed a budget that was so ludicrous that not even the Democrats in the Senate would vote for it; a budget that increased the debt, not solved it. There was a strategy to leave this to the last possible moment so that there would be a take it or leave it scenario like what some are painting right now.


With economic chaos facing the country, you have to do more than just criticize; you have to put forth a plan. So Mr. Rubio did:


RUBIO: I think a credible solution to our debt problem has to have two components. It has to have budgetary reforms, in essence a decrease in spending of at least $4 trillion or more, and it has to come with some sort of growth enhancers, something that helps grow our economy. And by the way, I don't trust Washington because they have shown time and again that any time they get their hands on more money they don't use it to pay or avoid debt, they use it to grow the government.


Sen. Rubio believes that if unemployment drops dramatically, government revenues will rise because more people will be paying taxes. He went on to say that he does believe in closing some tax loopholes that corporations and wealthy people use.

Now, this is not a partisan analysis here. This is the truth. Sen. Rubio put forth his party's position clearly and efficiently. If the Republicans want to win this vital debate, they need to follow Rubio's lead.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

As you may know, Warren Buffett is worth about $50 billion. Bill Gates, a bit more, about $56 billion. Both men are urging wealthy Americans to take The Giving Pledge, whereby they promise to donate much of their wealth to charity after they die.

On Monday, President Obama met with Buffett and Gates. The meeting was closed to the press, but there was a photo released. Let's see that photo. There they are. There's Buffet. He's telling how much money he has. That's with the hands. That's how much I have.

Obviously, private philanthropy is a good thing, especially if it could bring down the debt. We believe each American should decide who gets his or her money upon death. Of course, the government wants its cut, too. But if you give your money to charity after you die, you're a patriot. Ain't going to hurt you on judgment day.

— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on Send your comments to:

Transcript Date: 
Mon, 07/18/2011
Transcript Show Name: 
O'Reilly Factor