07 Feb

The Worst Thing about President Obama’s Interview with Bill O’Reilly

By: Blue Texan Monday February 7, 2011 10:30 am

The President sat down with Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl last night, and this exchange was absolutely appalling.

O’REILLY: Here’s what the Wall Street Journal said, I want you to react to this. Mr. Obama is a determined man of the left whose goal is to redistribute much larger levels of income across society. He may give tactical ground when he has to, as he did on taxes to avoid a middle class tax increase, but he will resist to his last day any major changes to Obamacare and the other load-bearing walls of the entitlement state.

This is The Wall Street Journal you know painting you as pretty left-wing guy. Are you going to go along?

OBAMA: Well, the Wall Street Journal probably would paint you as a left-wing guy. I mean, if you’re talking about the Wall Street Journal editorial page…

O’REILLY: I’ve got to tell you, that’s what this is.

OBAMA: You know, that’s like quoting the New York Times editorial…

O’REILLY: Do you deny the assessment? Do you deny that you are a man who wants to redistribute wealth.

OBAMA: Absolutely.

O’REILLY: You deny that?

OBAMA: Absolutely. I didn’t raise taxes once, I lowered taxes over the last two years.


For one, all taxation redistributes wealth. Period. That’s what taxes do. My wealth was redistributed by the Bush administration to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for no good reason, and I didn’t like it, but that’s the price of living in a free society. That should’ve been Obama’s first rebuttal — but he ran away from it. Way to reinforce the sophomoric right-wing frame that all taxes are inherently theft, Mr. President.

But even more depressing, this was a chance to make the moral case for a progressive tax — which by the way, was originally championed by a Republican president (Teddy Roosevelt), rescued the country from the Great Depression, won World War II and built the largest expansion of the middle class in our history.

Obama could’ve pointed out — right on Fox News — that taxes were much higher under Ronald Reagan and made the practical argument, in the face of an unprecedent gap between the wealthiest Americans and the poorest, for returning to those Reagan-era rates.

He could’ve quoted Louis Brandeis who wrote,

We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.

But “I lowered taxes” is all he could muster.

Absolutely pathetic

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