Jewish World Review Feb. 10, 2003 / 8 Adar I, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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Consumer Reports

Runaway train | With war on the horizon and massive government spending proposed by both Democrats and Republicans, there is no question that President Bush's new budget is a runaway train. Reading the expenditure list would give anyone a massive headache (for which the government will provide medicine), but suffice it to say that record deficits are in the air, much like a squad of circling turkey buzzards.

Mr. Bush is rightly expanding the war on terror to confront chronic villains overseas, but here at home he is practicing a "Burger King" budgetary policy: "Have It Your Way."

Want subsidized medical care, the government is with you. How about cheaper prescription drugs? Sounds good. Money to fight AIDS in Africa, Mr. Bush has the checkbook out. High-tech military stuff and missile shields, all day long.

The problem is that the war on terror has depressed the economy, and the only way out of the recession is for Americans to spend more money. But most Americans are tapped out. The average American is $8,000 in debt, not including their mortgage obligation. So the only way most of us can spend money is for somebody to give us some more. That's why the president wants to cut federal income taxes.

But if you cut tax revenue, you can't pay the enormous bills the federal government is running up. So what's the solution?

First of all, and please page California Governor Gray Davis and New York City Mayor Bloomberg so they can hear this, the American working person simply cannot pay any more taxes. Critical mass has been reached. The government is now taxing just about everything, including blood if you happen to need a transfusion. The list of federal, state and local taxes is staggering. The everyday American simply does not have any more to give.

That's because in many places housing costs are horrendous. My father paid about 20 percent of his take-home pay to the bank holding the mortgage. Now, housing costs are double that for many of us. Just to purchase a small home in places like Los Angeles, New York, Boston and San Francisco often costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. And then, of course, there are the property taxes.

Because of the housing situation and the largesse of our leaders, many American workers are living from paycheck to paycheck. Cutting taxes is essential for millions of Americans in order to have a decent life.

Mr. Bush, I believe, sees the government as a force for social good but also as an out-of-control elephant, trampling the ability of Americans to improve themselves economically. This schizophrenia will not work in the long run. If taxes do go down, the government must get its spending under control and, most importantly, actually watch how the money is being used. Cutting waste and fraud in federal programs would save the country billions each year.

Finally, that old giveaway guy Ted Kennedy would have you believe that the rich should bear more of the tax burden. Well, I am one of the rich guys Kennedy is talking about. But unlike him, I wasn't born into money. I worked my butt off for it and took risks he could never understand. Right now my tax "burden" is more than 50 percent. Kennedy and others want that to rise. I say let's hold the line at half. Just like the Kennedy clan, I'd like the O'Reilly family to have some security in the future. I'm not real keen on handing over any more dough to a system that will not even drug test Americans receiving entitlement checks in the mail.

Kennedy sees me as mean and cruel. I see Kennedy as a man who wants quasi-socialism at my expense so he can appear to be compassionate as he sails off the coast of Massachusetts. His trust fund has been in a lockbox for decades. I'd like my descendants to have that advantage, too, Teddy boy.

In this time of war all Americans should sacrifice, and if the government needs more money out of my wallet, I will fork it over and shut up. But this country was founded on the principle that honest achievement would be rewarded, not confiscated. If we want to be Sweden, let's vote on it. If we want to stay America, let's get real about taxes and government spending.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


02/03/03: Dissenting dishonest dissent
01/27/03: The Clooney Factor
01/21/03: Poverty-inducing entertainment
01/13/03: To protect and serve
12/30/02: Global double Crossing
12/30/02: The villains of 2002
12/23/02: Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness
12/16/02: The Houston lesson
12/09/02: Somewhere Santa is weeping
12/02/02: A taxing situation
11/26/02: Talk is expensive when it comes to Bill Moyers
11/18/02: Sanity has left the building
11/11/02: The right stuff
11/04/02: The Attorney General blues
10/28/02: This ain't no game
10/21/02: It's only rock and roll, but it's brutal
10/14/02: The root of all evil
10/07/02: When children murder
09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate