Fox News
January 06, 2014

Sean Hannity's conservative solutions for America

Guests: Tucker Carlson, Kirsten Powers

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 6, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Happy New Year. Now, all too often, conservatives -- they're accused of simply just bashing President Obama, not offering their own solutions. Tonight, that ends!

Now, let me be clear. I love this country. It's given so much to me. I want to see America succeed and every American succeed. But it's time for a major course correction.

Now, earlier today, I released an article on my website, Hannity.com, detailing the conservative solutions I think that can help put America back on the right track. In a moment, I'm going to go through all of these in depth.

But first, let's take a quick look through the solutions, starting with a simple three-step plan that will fix America's ailing economy. Part one, it's the Penny Plan. It's a simple plan. You cut one penny out of every dollar the government spends. You do this every year for six straight years, guess what? You get to a balanced budget! Now, wouldn't that be good for our kids because we're robbing them blind. We're taking a sledgehammer to their piggy banks and we're robbing their future.

Part two of the plan, a balanced budget amendment. Why? Well, we need conservatives who will say no to any and all deficit spending. We have $17 trillion in debt, $90 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Part three, we must place a limit on the amount of money government will take from you, hard-working Americans. Now, if those don't work, well, looking into our own energy resources -- that could also fix America's ailing economy.

Now, and also moving on to the universal nightmare known as ObamaCare, what's the conservative solution to fix that train wreck? It's simple. Health care savings accounts. Now, that would allow you, the individual, to purchase insurance in a competitive marketplace.

And when it comes to the problem of government legislators themselves -- well, I think the conservative solution of this day and time -- well, we need term limits, six years in Congress, with only one term allowed in leadership, 12 years in the U.S. Senate and only two years in leadership. We need fresh blood.

And moving on to the problem of America's failing educational system, the conservative solution here is we got to save our kids from these failing schools. For example, in New York City, they spend $19,000 a year per student, and they have some of the lowest test scores in the country. The answer for our education system is school choice, freedom and competition.

And last but not least, when it comes to America's borders, for national security reasons and the rule of law, we've got to first and foremost secure the country's borders.

And tonight, as always, we want to hear from you. You can find a full link of my article at Hannity.com or on our Facebook page, and you can share your thoughts. And as always, it's time to "Trend at 10." Send your messages on Twitter using hashtag #Hannity over the course of the next hour.

And joining me now with reaction to the vision I'm beginning to lay out day by day, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson, FoxNews political analyst Kirsten Powers. Guys, happy New Year. Good to see you both.

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX POLITICAL ANALYST: Happy New Year, Sean.

TUCKER CARLSON, DAILYCALLER, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Kirsten, you're a Democrat -- $17 trillion in debt. We are raising the deficit -- raising the debt, what, anywhere between $600 and $1.4 trillion a year. Tell me why it can't work to cut one penny out of every dollar every year for six years, all across the board, no exceptions in government? Could that work?

POWERS: It could work. I think -- you know, but I also think you have to remember that the deficit is projected to be dropping. So you know, to pretend that nothing is being done on deficit reduction probably isn't entirely accurate. You know, but I think that there is certainly room for new ideas.

But more importantly, Sean, are you running for office?

HANNITY: No, I -- you know I'm running for? Look, I grew up -- I worked in restaurants. I washed dishes. I was a cook, a busboy, a waiter, a bartender. I did every job available in construction. And you know, the opportunities I've been given -- we're robbing that -- we're stealing from our kids!

Isn't, Tucker, this an issue of morality at this point?

CARLSON: Well, there are actually still those jobs available, and very few Americans seem to want to do them. So there's a cultural issue here at some point. No one wants to say so out loud. There are still busboys. Find one who speaks English as a native language, right? So, like, maybe Americans' expectations about work could change a little bit.

But I would say this. It's very hard -- Kirsten said correctly the deficit has moved a little bit. That's because the revenue has increased. Government is taking in more money. It's very hard to get anybody to give up a dime for anything.

I mean, the second you cut anything, everybody is, you know, crying catastrophe. "We're putting children on the street. We're, you know, hurting this group, hurting that group." You really need to get everyone to buy in on this. If you could do that, it would work.

HANNITY: I mean, and that's the point. If you -- we have built-in increases all across the board, 8, 9, 10 percent a year. It's impossible to sustain this, Kirsten, isn't it?

POWERS: Yes. Absolutely. I mean, I think it's one thing that we can definitely agree on, that -- that -- we have far too high of a deficit. We have, you know, out of control debt. And something needs to be done about it.

I do think Obama has put, you know, some things in place that are perhaps not aggressive enough. And look, entitlements have to be put on the table because as we all know here, two thirds of the government spending is in just a couple of places, and it's in entitlements and it's in the military. And everything else you talk about, you're basically talking around the margins.

And so there has to be something that's going to look at where the bulk of our spending is coming from and where it's going to increase as we have an increasingly aging population.

HANNITY: You know, the unemployment rate in North Dakota is 2.6 percent. The unemployment rate right now in Midland, Texas, Tucker, is 3.2 percent.

CARLSON: That's exactly right.

HANNITY: The answer, drilling on private lands. Couldn't we institutionalize that?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: If you're unemployed in Midland, you just don't want to work right now. And the same goes for parts of Wyoming, and as you said, North Dakota and Montana.

Yes, I mean, absolutely. The energy boom is the thing that the government has -- it's taken place in spite of the federal government's best efforts. It could lead to a resurgence in the manufacturing center. Cheap energy leads to progress. We know this, to material progress. I mean, that's what separates us from Chad and Burkina Faso, is cheap energy.

And there are a lot of opponents of that and who are against civilization itself. But if they'd get out of the way, I think we could -- we could ride that pretty far.

HANNITY: Yes, I think we could ride it far. Here's my prediction, Kirsten Powers, and you tell me where -- you love to tell me when I'm wrong. My prediction for the year, Democrats are going to push hard on class warfare, raising the minimum wage, which, by the way, only impacts 2.8 percent of American workers, and half of them are between the ages of 16 to 24.

They're not going to deal with substantive issues. And the Republicans -- they -- well, they just want to coast on ObamaCare until November 2014. No big ideas, no solutions, status quo. What do you think?

POWERS: Well, look, I do think the Republicans think they have a winning political issue with ObamaCare and they are going to ride that all the way to 2014 mid-term elections.

I guess I would disagree on the -- describing the minimum wage as not substantive. I don't think that that's not a substantive issue.

HANNITY: Two point eight percent of Americans will get...

POWERS: But it still -- look, there are a lot of people who would benefit from this being raised. It has not tracked with inflation. I think at a -- if it had tracked with inflation, it would be about $10 an hour. And I think that we should at least have it rising with inflation.

And then I think Democrats are open to looking at other things, like immigration, if the Republican Party...

HANNITY: Would you be open for drilling? Would you be open for...

POWERS: Yes, you know that I support -- I'm not opposed to drilling per se. I do wish that we could become more energy-independent into cleaner fuels. But as long as we are going to be using fuel, we might as well be getting it from the United States. You know, we're -- what's the difference if you're importing it? Then you're causing degradation to the environment somewhere. So you know, I feel like we should at least be doing it here, creating jobs, you know, in the safest way possible. I'm not for offshore drilling, but you know -- you know I support drilling in ANWR, you know, in places where there really is nothing there. I absolutely support that.

HANNITY: Why, Tucker, do I feel a sense -- and we're all successful. We work in TV. And I'll tell a dirty little secret. We're all probably overpaid, especially Tucker.

POWERS: Speak for yourself!

CARLSON: That's for sure!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: All right, but we do pretty well in the television business, right? Why do I look at one in six Americans in poverty, and it seems to me unimaginable, and yet there's no sense of urgency, Tucker, to really solve the problem. The deficit spending continues. The same old politics continues.

CARLSON: Right.

HANNITY: It annoys me more that the Republicans will do nothing bold, than what I expect from the Democrats.

CARLSON: I agree with that completely. There's something really wrong. And you don't really see it until you get outside the coasts and move toward the center of the country. I mean, lost in the debate over the minimum wage is why do we have native-born 40-year-old men working at Wendy's or driving Uber cars, right, or stocking Target on the third shift?

I mean, there's something really wrong with that. These are people who should be in the prime of their earning years. These are not people who are handicapped, disabled in any way. These are, like, adult men, heads of families, working in the service sector? There's something really wrong on a basic level with our economy that the minimum wage, whatever you think of it, it does not address the core ailment here.

HANNITY: No, I totally agree, and raising the minimum wage just raises prices. Minimum is still minimum, based on -- because it tends to feed on itself.

You know, one of the proudest moments I had recently on my radio show is, like, a year ago, I recommended -- I said if I was in trouble economically, I'd pack my bags and I'd move to North Dakota. Believe it or not, Kirsten, people listened to me. They called back a year later, and they're making six-figure salaries! That seems to be the answer.

Instead of importing oil from the Middle East with all its political instability and -- and having these sheiks get rich on us, why aren't we using the resources we have? We could literally make -- institutionalize North Dakota and Midland.

POWERS: I -- I told you. I mean, we agree. I mean...

HANNITY: But it's not happening.

POWERS: ... (INAUDIBLE) a miracle. Well, I know, but who's stopping it? I don't -- I mean...

HANNITY: Obama, Democrats, environmental groups to start.

POWERS: Well, some -- I mean, in some places, that's true. But I don't think it's true, I mean, for everywhere. But...

HANNITY: Leases are down 40 percent under this president.

POWERS: Yes, I think that -- look, it's become a hot button political issue, obviously. And you know, I think that it needs to be sort of depoliticized and looked at more in terms of what is the actual impact on the environment, which frequently is not that bad. And it does create jobs, and I think that that matters. I think creating jobs right now is the most critical issue that we're facing in this country.

HANNITY: All right, guys, good to see you both. Appreciate it.

POWERS: All right. Thanks, Sean.

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