Bill O'Reilly: What the 2012 Presidential Election Is Really About
By: StaffSeptember 30, 2011
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By Bill O'Reilly

The vote next year is not all about Republicans vs. Democrats or President Obama vs. whomever. No, the presidential vote will be a decision on whether America should be a traditional country or a progressive nation.

As "Talking Points" has been reporting, the Obama administration uses social justice and income equality as a spear-point to stimulate the economy. Trillions of taxpayer dollars have left the U.S. Treasury, traveling to various places attempting to create jobs and stimulate economic growth. The strategy has not worked, and now the country is in deep trouble with little job growth and a debt of more than $14 trillion.

But still the progressives press on, wanting yet more spending and higher taxes on the affluent to fund things like Solyndra, where more than a half-billion dollars was lost on a green energy company that declared bankruptcy. But for progressives like Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, it's not so much about economic performance; it's about what's morally right:


VALERIE JARRETT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: We have to give people a livelihood so that they can provide for their families. It's a vision based very deeply in values and taking care of the least of these and making sure that we are creating a country that's a country for everybody, not just for the very, very wealthy. We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life and a footing, and that's what government is supposed to do.


The key phrases there are: "We have to give people a livelihood. We have to lift them out of poverty." Now, Ms. Jarrett is an honest and sincere person. She believes what she says.

President Obama also believes that the federal government "must make the economy work for all Americans." The problem is that's impossible. Capitalism cannot deliver successful economic outcomes for everybody.

Enter Jon Stewart, who has become the face of the progressive movement, as stated by the website Mediaite. And that's true. Mr. Stewart has a vast amount of influence among liberals in the USA.

Wednesday night while promoting my new book "Killing Lincoln," I ventured into Stewart's domain in order to try to talk some sense into him about the economy and the left's incessant tax the rich mantra.


JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": What is this whole business with the poor, poor, rich and wealthy in this country? It's so unfair to them.

O'REILLY: Are you ever going to wise up? Ever? I mean, we've been doing this dance…

STEWART: Teach me, professor.


STEWART: Teach me.

O'REILLY: I don't mind paying 40 percent, but first they're going to have to stop wasting the money. One word: Solyndra. Do you know what that is, Solyndra?

STEWART: Yes, I do. It's a solar company.

O'REILLY: How much money was wasted there? Do you know how much?

STEWART: $500 million.

O'REILLY: $528 million. OK, $528 million.

STEWART: All right.

O'REILLY: OK, so if you clean it up, if you stop wasting it, then you come to the job creators and we'll help you out.


But Stewart, and many other progressives, remain unconvinced that the federal government has a responsibility to operate efficiently and honestly before demanding more tax dollars, wherever they may come from.


STEWART: That's a very…

O'REILLY: You've got to downsize the government so they can watch what's happening and make intelligent decisions. It's insane. Right now -- look, the $16 muffin. Do we all know what the $16 muffin is?


O'REILLY: All right. See, you don't even know what the $16 muffin is.

STEWART: What neighborhood do you live in? Who makes a $16 muffin?

O'REILLY: This is great. I'm glad. Look…

STEWART: All right.

O'REILLY: $16 muffin.

STEWART: All right.

O'REILLY: Broke the story last week on "The Factor." You were otherwise occupied, making your little wise remarks. Not reading what's happening. They had a bunch of conferences for pinheads, federal government, and they ordered 250 muffins at $16 apiece.

STEWART: That's a lot for a muffin.

O'REILLY: Yes. And you know what? I paid for the muffins, and so did you.

STEWART: I understand that.

O'REILLY: My tax dollars mean something to me. I work hard for my money.

STEWART: All right, so.

O'REILLY: All right. We have a $14.5 trillion debt in this country. These people don't watch the money. They just bid it out because they know guys like you and me will keep paying it, and it's got to stop. It's got to be downsized, and it's got to run efficiently.

STEWART: But revenues -- the big argument in this country right now with between the Democrats and the Republicans appears to be the Democrats are saying we need to cut spending, but we need to also raise revenues.

O'REILLY: Raising revenue is fine, and I'm for that. But you do it in an efficient way.


Does that make sense? Does that sound fair? I think it does, but the progressives say no. They insist the wealthy are not paying their fair share.


STEWART: Here is the reality. The top one percent take in nearly 25 percent of income today. Twenty-five years ago…

O'REILLY: And pay how much of the tax? Thirty percent of it.

STEWART: But 25 years ago it was 12 percent. Top one percent control 40 percent of the wealth; 25 years ago it was 33 percent.

O'REILLY: It just went up.

STEWART: Top one percent have had incomes rise 18 percent over the last decade.

O'REILLY: So we should shoot them.

STEWART: I'm not saying we should shoot them, but we shouldn't act like returning to the tax rate of the '90s is class warfare on par with Lenin and Marx.

O'REILLY: I told you…

STEWART: That's what I'm saying. You know what it is? I'm looking out for the folks.

O'REILLY: You want me to reply to something or what?

STEWART: Yes, reply.

O'REILLY: OK, I mean, you bus these people in from Cuba.


The divide between traditional Americans like me and progressives like Stewart is not about to be solved any time soon. But I am not giving up. I am determined to convince the left that class warfare is damaging America.

This week in The Economist magazine, which leans left, there is an article about taxing the rich. The magazine cites the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which does analysis for 34 countries, as saying that excessively taxing the wealthy can be a bad thing. The OECD says that affluent Americans provide 45 percent of all federal tax revenue, the highest percentage in the world. Yet, the left wants more.

The Economist sums up its analysis this way: "Higher (tax) rates on the rich are not, then, a free lunch. At low levels, rate increases will lift revenue, but not without a cost in efficiency and short-term growth."

If that analysis is true, President Obama's proposed tax increases on the wealthy would bring immediate harm to the American economy, something the country simply cannot absorb.

Now, I believe most Americans are fair-minded people, concerned for those not doing well in life. But I also believe the president and Congress have an obligation to respect the taxpayers by not wasting our money by hyping programs that are not likely to work.

In addition, I do not believe wealth redistribution is fair or even constitutional. Therefore the progressive vision is deeply flawed.

While I respect all good intentions, this country needs leaders who will improve things for all of us, and that's what next year's election will really be about.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

According to Forbes magazine, actress Eva Longoria made an astounding $30 million last year. And even though she is very wealthy, she remains a staunch supporter of President Obama, who wants to tax her more:


EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: He keeps getting beat up lately because there's such an extremist movement happening, and it's very dangerous, for me it's very dangerous, because it's not the character of America. It's really under attack. And he's been governing in, like, a state of emergency since the time he went into office, so we haven't really seen him do what he can do.


Now, it would be impossible for me to ever call Ms. Longoria a pinhead, so you'll have to make the call on that.

By the way, we'd love for her to come on "The Factor" and discuss the situation.

— 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: 
Thu, 09/29/2011
Transcript Show Name: 
O'Reilly Factor
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