ObamaCare blunders part of larger single-payer plan?

Published Friday, November 29, 2013 / The Five
With Andrea Tantaros , Eric Bolling , Dana Perino , Bob Beckel , Brian Kilmeade

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," November 29, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Andrea Tantaros, along with Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino and Brian Kilmeade.

It's 5 o'clock and this is "The Five."

(MUSIC)

TANTAROS: We hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving.

Over the holidays, President Obama has been urging his army of supporters to talk about health care. So fine, let's talk about it. Rush Limbaugh thinks Obama is secretly rooting for the current health care failures so he can offer a solution, a single-payer plan.

So, is that so farfetched?

Well, let's look at the facts. Here's what Democratic leaders, including the president, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Kathleen Sebelius, have all said about single-payer over the years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal health care. That's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: I'm all for a single-payer system. I think what we have to do is work with what we've got to close the gap.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: ObamaCare is a step in the right direction but we're far from having something that's going to work.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I myself would have preferred public option but this was a compromise.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

TANTAROS: All right. Is that the end game all along?

Bob, wasn't it their goal to get a single-payer as part of ObamaCare? There just wasn't enough Democratic votes when they were trying to push it through?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: No, remember, they wanted a public option to be able to compete in the insurance marketplace and the insurance industry went crazy and so they dropped it because of that.

But the earlier thing that Obama said here was, before ObamaCare, this was about the single-payer, that had always been something that a lot of us wanted. And when the Democrats took over both the House and the Senate and the White House, there was still a lot of hope you could push that through. Then it became increasingly clear the insurance companies were not going to allow that so they fell back under Obama care.

TANTAROS: Eric, what do you think? From day one, it seems like this is what they've wanted.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: They've always -- we've been talking about that's the ultimate goal, single-payer. It's the only thing that would actually work in their world, what they're trying to do is cause a hybrid capitalist versus government-run health care system that's just not working, because they're trying to mandate it.

If they gave the option, they said, here are the health care companies, give us your best price, and, you know, public option comes in over here. They try and undercut the private companies. People on the right, like me, would say, well, that's not fair trade, that's not capitalism. But it's better than what we have right here, because now we're forced to buy something. So, you're forced on to the system.

But I have to take one step back. I was thinking about this this morning. Take a step back and take a deep breath. This system stinks. This system is horrible. It can't work.

Young people aren't signing up. Forget the website. The IPABs. That's going to come up. That's going to bubble up soon. Deductibles, premiums are going up, doctors leaving.

At the end of the day, there's nothing here. It's going to collapse. It has to collapse. There's no feasible way this works.

Bob, we spent a lot of time arguing --

BECKEL: It's a very small percentage of people who are not going to have insurance.

BOLLING: No, they're not, Bob, because when push come to shove, people aren't going to sign up for this. They're going to take the fine. And then who knows what the IRS is going to do about that.

BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: You know what corporate America is going to do.

BOLLING: It's a disaster.

KILMEADE: Corporate America is going to walk away --

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: -- in a capitalist system versus the government, when you have Medicare and Medicaid, it's been going on for years. So, how is that different?

BOLLING: How was that -- that's absolutely incorrect.

BECKEL: Medicare is a government sponsored --

BOLLING: That part is true.

BECKEL: It's lived side by side with --

BOLLING: Medicare is for the elderly. Medicaid is for people who can't afford --

BECKEL: I'm saying they live side by side --

BOLLING: They're not mandated, Bob. They're not mandated. This is the new wrinkle --

BECKEL: I don't think you cannot save Medicaid payment, you've got to pay FICA.

BOLLING: You're not mandated to buy it though.

TANTAROS: Let me get Dana in here.

Dana, as this thing progresses and gets worse, my prediction is that it doesn't collapse, because I can't see the biggest spender in history, President Obama, letting this thing death spiral on its own. I think he's going to throw massive amounts of money to keep it afloat.

But will they have an opportunity to make the case for single-payer if they don't get the enrollments? And they have to say, let's step in here and the government take control?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: It's hard for me to imagine an America today where that political conversation could take place and be successful, possibly in some of the states. You might be able to do a state-based experiment in Vermont or some place like that. Where there would be the political will to be able to do that.

In the recent book that was just released by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann called "Double Down," and they wrote "Game Change," the 2008 campaign. They recount a scene in which President Obama gets very frustrated with everybody telling him what to say and how to say it. He says, "Why don't I just go out there and say what I really think about all these things? Climate change, health care, whatever else." He has a whole long list.

And it would be refreshing to be able to hear that list. But I understand why his handlers were making sure he didn't take that step because if you look at all those clips beforehand.

Single-payer works very well in a left wing audience when you're running for a primary. But when the primary opponent has to come to the middle to run, to try to win the country wide, then America is just not there. They would rather have a competitive system and to give that a shot and to take care, through a safety net, of the elderly and people who aren't able to either -- you know, are low income, they need Medicaid, or they need a helping hand from one job to the next. That's the kind of America that most people want. That's why they didn't really go for what they wanted.

BECKEL: The political will thing is right. The political reality is, given the make of the congress now, it would be impossible to get a single- payer plan through. It just would.

So, you're really now having to live with this. The one thing people do want, they want the elderly taken care of and they want those who are poor taken care of. Poll after poll shows they want people who don't have insurance to get insurance.

Now, this may not work. It may not work for them. But they still at the end of the day do away with ObamaCare they still want to see people who don't have insurance get insurance.

TANTAROS: Well, Brian, if there wasn't the political will to do the public option when Democrats held both Houses of Congress and the White House, even now, it's tough to push anything through, as far as single- payer.

Dana brought up President Obama and what he really thinks. We played sound of Obama talking about a single-payer, but he hasn't always been consistent on how he feels.

Take a listen to the president in August of 2009, contradicting the sound we just played on him and his views on single-payer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter because, frankly, we historically have had an employer-based system in this country with private insurers. For us to transition to a system like that I believe would be too disruptive. So I'm not promoting a single-payer plan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TANTAROS: B.K., which one is it?

KILMEADE: It is the reality.

See, I have less interest in what President Obama really thinks and I'm more into reality. And to your point, Eric, it's nobody's plan. We're in the middle of the system we had and the system we're forced to live with. And the system we're forced to live with in ObamaCare is unworkable. The system we had needs to be tweaked.

So, we're in a situation where I'm not interested -- I'm not that interested in what President Obama really thinks because he does not have the power and he's about to lose the Senate. I believe if we stay on the same trajectory.

What I think is the most significant thing that's happened on FOX News regarding this over the last two weeks was Lanny Davis hopping on one of the evening shows and saying, don't blame President Obama, all our Democrats should apologize because we've been pushing for universal health care and it simply is not working.

I thought, oh my goodness. This is unbelievable. This is the moment where everyone is going to come together and say, listen, my idea was not good, let's have an idea that's actually going to work.

My feeling is there's no way President Obama has a master plan to collapse a system and only leaving the single-payer out. The same people that brought you the Web site and are so detached are not the same people who have a master plan that's going to collapse our health care system.

BECKEL: Brian, you said the previous system need to be tweaked. It needed to be completely wiped out.

KILMEADE: I don't think so.

BECKEL: It was terrible --

KILMEADE: Why?

BECKEL: Because premiums are going up every year for 50 years. The cost of medicine, way out in front of inflation, things were not getting.

KILMEADE: I love our medical plan. People come here for our top medical care.

BECKEL: I'm not talking about because we've --

TANTAROS: Why does it have to be a total overhaul? Why couldn't they start small and pass a series of small bills?

KILMEADE: Like Rahm Emanuel said.

TANTAROS: To tweak the system rather than reforming, Eric, one-third of the entire U.S. economy.

BOLLING: You said something very important. The cost of medical care was going up.

BECKEL: Yes.

BOLLING: This doesn't do -- ObamaCare doesn't address the cost of medical care whatsoever.

BECKEL: We don't know that. We haven't seen that.

BOLLING: In fact, it may actually allow the cost of medical care to rise even faster in the past, because it doesn't address the real issue. That is the real issue, the cost of medical care. Not the cost of health insurance.

That's the only thing ObamaCare does. It offers health insurance to people who don't have it. Somehow you're trying to figure out a way you're going to insure 30 million or 45 million more people, whichever number you like, without costing the American public anymore. Not a single dime more. Remember that? Not a single dime.

How is that going to happen?

BECKEL: It wasn't possible to do it then. It's not possible to do it now. But as a country, we have a responsibility to pony up some money for those people who don't have insurance.

TANTAROS: But we were. We have been. That's what we do.

That's what -- there's another cost and that's the cost of innovation and medical ideas and going forward to try to come up with new drugs and new technologies and new ways. For example, on tonsillectomy, rather than having somebody get their tonsils out and had to be in the hospital for seven days, is there better technology so that they can recover within 48 hours?

That kind of innovation companies from a market that is thriving. Not one where the government is pressing down. And I think that America has helped lead the world in medical innovation. Unfortunate cost of this legislation for the past four years and probably continuing on until we have more certainty is the cost of new wonderful medical breakthroughs.

KILMEADE: Medical devices, as well as the bio tech industry has been destroyed. These people are putting their hands up and saying, this no longer making financial sense for me to innovate and take financial risk to bring these drugs to market.

BECKEL: Oh, ridiculous.

KILMEADE: I'm telling you. I know a lot of people -- I know a lot of people in that business. They are saying to themselves, not right now. Because they're taking severe kicks to the ribs --

BECKEL: Not right now, I would agree with that.

TANTAROS: They're already planning, isn't it true, Bob, the administration, to sponsor health plans? And this was something that's written into ObamaCare so that they can go. They can sponsor specific health plans, two plans. It's a multistate thing. "The New York Times" covered it in the fall. That would be a big deal.

How can the insurance company compete with the president?

BECKEL: Well, that was the argument to do away with the public option, which I thought was a bad argument, but one that would politically -- you wouldn't be able to sell a single-payer plan. All this stuff we're talking about here gets down to the question of cost and delivery.

And I'm not arguing that we don't have excellent medical care in this country, when you -- if you can afford to get it. I think there's two levels of care in this country -- one for those who have money and the rest of the people.

BOLLING: But that's what you're going to create, Bob. You have people on ObamaCare --

BECKEL: You don't think that was there to begin with?

BOLLING: No, I think -- in general, you got good medical care. Whether you're going to an emergency room or you have a private doctor taking care of you. What you're doing now is creating everyone on ObamaCare, you yourself -- we talked about this a lot.

A good doctor is going to take a private patient or a group of private patients rather than seeing what he can get on ObamaCare and seeing what they're going to pay him back. It's Medicare and Medicaid on steroids. They don't like it.

Ask any doctor in the world who takes Medicare and Medicaid if they like it, if they do it because they like it, or they do it because they took the oath to do it.

BECKEL: A wide swathes of this country don't have what you have in New York City, which is an elite group of people to pay for those doctors.

PERINO: However, the other thing that ObamaCare did not address, which is another cost and it's the cost of doctors and their decision to stay in business or not, is tort reform. And the cost of insuring yourself as a doctor against lawsuits is something that's so prohibitive that you will have more doctors that will decide to make a choice. And say, I'm not going to take insurance at all.

If you want to come see me, there's a flat fee for it.

And so, the cost, it's not just the deficit, direct taxpayer money. It's just ObamaCare's lying like a lead blanket over innovation, as well as for doctors --

BECKEL: I've been for tort reform for a long time. Most Democrats won't because trial lawyers put a lot of money into the Democratic campaign.

TANTAROS: Yes. But the two states that have tort reform have the highest medical costs in the whole United States of America --

BECKEL: That one I don't understand.

TANTAROS: Actually, you would like this because insurance companies aren't really paying. People think that's a big myth that you sue a doctor and insurance companies just pony up the money. They don't. And so, that's an even bigger problem. Tort reform is actually not the answer.

Next, how to raise your children right -- well, right as in conservative. Or else they could turn out to be punk kids like these kids.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

BECKEL: Greg (INAUDIBLE).

TANTAROS: Coming up on "The Five."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Welcome back to "The Five."

Being a parent is not easy. I've got a 15-year-old son at home. We're trying to raise him to be a good citizen, who honors our traditions and cares about the country. Unlike these punks who harassed General David Petraeus a couple of months ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have blood all over you. I can smell you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You scumbag.

(EXPLETIVE DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you have to say? Huh?

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time, David. Every time, David. Every time, David. Petraeus. Petraeus.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a war hero!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: He can get it from me if he was one of those kids.

And one more thing I worry about is that when I send Eric Chase off to college, he's going to have left wing professors like this who try to indoctrinate him. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Republican Party in California as I say all the time, on the record, in print, and on the radio and on TV, is the last vestige of angry old white people. And that's what this is. Republicans are 82 percent white. Losers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Republicans, Bob, angry old white man, 82 percent white, angry, all grumpy. Wow. My kid's going to learn from that bozo?

BECKEL: That fits you pretty well.

Look, the reality is this guy represents a very small percentage of people in classrooms. You know today in America, there are more kids taking business administration than there are taking liberal arts in college?

PERINO: Thank goodness.

BECKEL: And it is -- the idea that somehow -- Greg's not here but this whole notion that all the professors are like that is silly. All liberal kids are going to treat Petraeus like that.

BOLLING: Can we stay on this?

BECKEL: Yes.

BOLLING: Liberal professors saying Republicans are angry old and that -- you completely went down the rabbit hole. That was a nice try.

Your thoughts on -- let's start with the Petraeus thing. If you have kids --

PERINO: Yes, I had a chance to talk to General Petraeus who's finishing up that semester teaching for a dollar after there was controversy before and he said, I'll teach it for a dollar. The class is made up of honor students and he said it could not have been a better group of students in that class. It's been fabulous. All those knuckleheads that are screaming at him on the street were not a part of the honors class. There's hope I guess.

KILMEADE: It was a professor that put them up to it, right?

PERINO: Yes.

BOLLING: Petraeus, your thoughts?

KILMEADE: My thought, as I said at the time, it's absolutely outrageous. It's one of the ugly (INAUDIBLE). I'm embarrassed for those kids who are going to grow up one day and look at that video and say, what the heck was I doing?

I mean, that's like screaming at George Patton. That's like screaming at General MacArthur. I don't care what your political slant is. What this guy's done is heroic. What he designed with the surge is something military experts are going to be looking at for generations.

He should be saluted about the same stoic way in which he served in the Sunni triangle is the same way he dealt with those guys as he walked across the street.

BOLLING: Bob gets mad at us when we pull his liberal professors who thrashed Republicans and the GOP and conservatives all the time. But we're willing to run any of the sound bites he comes up with, conservative professors doing the same. We can't find any.

TANTAROS: Yes. And they're intimidated, I think a lot of them, on college campuses. But I think the truth is more like the ones we just played than ones spouting conservative ideology on college campuses. But just think how naive those kids were. To think that they could actually intimidate somebody like General Petraeus who has fought people yelling Allahu Akbar with machine guns and he somehow going to be scared away by a bunch of kids.

KILMEADE: Yes, he walked through Fallujah without a --

TANTAROS: -- with backpacks and bands?

KILMEADE: Yes, I think he can handle New York City with a bunch of --

TANTAROS: Yes.

BECKEL: New York City's exactly right.

Let's talk about what we're talking about here. Indiana University, University of Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, you think they're full of liberal professors thinking that kind of stuff?

BOLLING: I'm not sure.

BECKEL: Come on. You took the Gutfeld medicine today.

BOLLING: No, no, I didn't think --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: But, Bob, I went to college, too, and my professors were very liberal. I distinctively remember being taught liberal, left-leaning ideology in college.

BECKEL: Well, you know, it didn't stick, did it?

BOLLING: No, not at all.

BECKEL: Too bad.

BOLLING: Let me as you this, you have kids, you push liberalism on them at all?

BECKEL: No, but they are inherently liberal because I'm liberal and I think kids taking up for their professors. I see nothing wrong with being a liberal. I mean, I don't find that bad.

(CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: What about you and your brother?

BECKEL: Yes.

BOLLING: What about you and your daughters, Brian?

KILMEADE: I have two daughters, 10 and 12 and my son's 17.

BOLLING: And?

KILMEADE: And what I think is not important to say they're conservative or liberal, what I think to say, you got to be patriotic, you got to understand where it come from, you have to have pride in your country, you have to learn to question things. And if you see a professor jam it down your throat, that X president or X party or white or racist or black or anything like that, you are supposed to stand up for it.

My feeling is that stuff rubs off on you. But I've never sat down with Brian and said, hey, you know what, this is what you think, this is what you know, and this is what I hope you conclude. It doesn't happen.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Dennis Prager and his notion about here's the five things you need to know to make your kids conservative. Teach them values. Liberal people teach their kids values, too. It might surprise a lot of people but they do.

KILMEADE: My dad voted for Hubert Humphrey.

BOLLING: I have a sophomore in high school who -- he goes to public high school. Very, very liberal group of people teaching him. And the students inherently are liberal. They hear it, they feel it, they breathe it, they get it, they lean left.

He comes from a conservative household. He understands about the Constitution. He understands about certain amendments in the Constitution. When he hears stuff in school, it jogs his memory.

I don't know where he's going to go. I'm not sure if he's going to be conservative or liberal, but at least I've given him --

BECKEL: Brian sounded very good. I'm very, very liberal, and my brother's right of you.

PERINO: Can I mention something?

(CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: I've seen you both together.

BOLLING: They dropped you on your head or long ago --

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: Can I mention something? I don't think until I was a much older adult and I still don't ask them today -- I didn't know how my parents voted.

BOLLING: Right.

TANTAROS: I think I remember one election they came home from work and they had both voted. I remember them saying they canceled each other out. But I didn't know who had voted for whom.

And what my parents did was just provide an opportunity for me to think a lot of different thinks. I remember one year coming home from college, I told my dad I was thinking about becoming a Buddhist. And he probably had to swallow pretty hard. OK. Knock yourself out with that one.

BOLLING: Very -- they want us to wrap. Quickly, around the table, your parents, liberal or conservative?

KILMEADE: I don't know. I think now more conservative because they watch FOX News.

BOLLING: How about you, Dana, growing up?

PERINO: Probably moderate conservative I guess.

BOLLING: And mine were --

PERINO: I don't know, maybe not.

BOLLING: Left of center, my parents.

You?

BECKEL: Left of left.

TANTAROS: I had a conservative and an independent. And I think my dad brought a little bit of that European -- more on social issues with him.

But the best example they set was making me work and getting your kids a job, because you look at that paycheck and they never pushed their ideology. You look at the paycheck. You see how much is taken out. They would show me what they pay in taxes. I would absorb their example.

My dad would say, don't take a nickel from the government. I never did. He wasn't saying vote a certain way. He was just saying --

KILMEADE: My family was Nixon, Humphrey, Kennedy.

TANTAROS: Be self reliant.

KILMEADE: I mean, we just --

PERINO: I think my dad was one of the first libertarians that I ever knew.

BOLLING: Very good, that's interesting.

PERINO: I actually think that's probably -- they probably think I'm crazy now.

BOLLING: They're wrapping up. We got to leave it there.

Ahead, some left wing union supporters attack Walmart for doing a Thanksgiving food drive --

(LAUGHTER)

BECKEL: Who writes this crap is what I want to know.

BOLLING: We'll have that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KILMEADE: McDonald's has some advice for its workers about stress, budgeting effectively and more. But a union-backed group is not loving it. In fact, the employee's Web site McResource advises workers who might be stressed to sing away that stress, chew away their cares, quit complaining.

Now, the advocacy group called Low Pay is Not OK is complaining about that, which is counterproductive. They're pushing McDonald's to pay more money to their fast food workers and not give advice.

Andrea, do you understand the mind-set of the employer being mad at the employee for complaining?

TANTAROS: Yes, I do. I hate people that complain. What's the saying over a famous person said in this building, negative people make positive people sick?

KILMEADE: Right.

TANTAROS: I think that's very true. Although, why are they telling them exactly how to run their lives?

KILMEADE: Sing away your stress. Whistle while you work.

TANTAROS: But can you imagine pulling up to the McDonald's drive thru and saying, hey, I'll take six chicken McNuggets and the some guy's going "The hills are alive"? Just getting the chicken nuggets.

KILMEADE: Well, I hope, if they sing as well as you, I would not have minded that.

But it say, it does go on to say that if you are stressed, you raise your hormone level 15 times what it should be and, therefore, you are not going to be healthy.

BECKEL: Let me tell you something, with that one, that's a flat-out lie. They say all this is based on research. We asked our brain room to find out any evidence of that. They found absolutely nothing.

McDonald's is a promotion for McDonald's only. They could give a crap about their employees. And they don't care about stress. They just want them to work.

KILMEADE: Well, I'll tell you one thing -- they're a huge employer in this country.

BECKEL: For low wage jobs, sure.

KILMEADE: And an international powerhouse, and they do provide videos for low-paid workers to get over it and earn their pathway up.

BOLLING: What's your problem with saying to an employee, here's how you can be happy, here's how you can be healthy?

BECKEL: Because it's crap, that's why. You're feeding them crap!

BOLLING: Let me guess, you just want the employer to pay the employee more?

BECKEL: Absolutely, but that has nothing to do when they say, this will reduce your stress. And there's no evidence to prove it.

BOLLING: The bottom line is, the reason why the unions pushed back is they wanted more money. They wanted the minimum wage.

BECKEL: Their web page is a lie. McDonald's lies, that's what I'm talking about. McDonald's lies.

BOLLING: You're losing your mind over the web page?

BECKEL: McDonald employees' web page is full of lies.

(CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: Dana, McDonald's, when you look at the menu in McDonalds, you think they're lying?

PERINO: No, I don't think they're lying. In fact, I had a chance last weekend, I stopped at three McDonald's on the way -- we did a little road trip on a weekend, now this is just my personal experience. In each place that I went -- because I love the hot chocolate and the Diet Coke is a perfect blend and oatmeal is fabulous and I love the smell of the fries. I don't eat them anymore.

What I witnessed was a diverse group of people with really good managers, with very pleasant attitudes. And everybody was -- I'm not saying they're so happy because they're making a low wage at McDonald's, but I think that the training and the management seems to be, at least from my personal experience, to be pretty good.

Now, I don't want a low-wage job like work at McDonald's is not meant to be for your whole life. For some people, it will be for their whole lives. But it's not meant to be.

So, you can take advantage of the good training programs and the leadership of a company like a McDonald's --

KILMEADE: And open up your own business.

PERINO: And then you can start -- I would be more likely to hire somebody who worked at McDonald's that hasn't.

KILMEADE: (INAUDIBLE) corporate organization understand the responsibility and checks and balances.

Eric, should we just pay people at McDonald's more and tell them to sing less?

BOLLING: Listen, I'm against the minimum wage. I think the free market is the best setter of the proper wage. And that's what will end up happen.

Bob, you're breathing heavy. But that's ultimately what this is all about. The fast food workers industry wants a $15 per hour minimum wage across the board, which would drive companies --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: -- which would drive the lower half of the profitability companies off the chart -- millions of jobs would go away. When you raise the minimum wage, job goes away.

BECKEL: Every time, I've heard that, it's never been proven.

TANTAROS: And look at McDonald's down in Texas, when the economy is doing well. They naturally go up.

BECKEL: In North Dakota, you can get a scholarship there. They'll pay and move you. They're making a ton of money, because that's what the market represents. Now, let's talk about Walmart. People are upset about Walmart. So are certain organizations because they have collections for some of their employees that could use a little help.

And people are criticizing, Andrea, and saying, wait a second, don't have a collection for Walmart workers, just pay them more.

Do you have -- do you think it's distasteful to have a collection come holiday time, like Thanksgiving, for co-workers?

TANTAROS: No, I don't, I think it's a very, very nice gesture. If co-workers want to contribute, that's naturally what co-workers do. I've been in situations where if someone's fallen on hard times, they've rallied together to help them pay their bills, especially at Christmastime. I think it's very --

KILMEADE: What about having some corporate organization towards helping people out, Bob?

BECKEL: The reason Walmart has this out is they don't pay people enough money to have a good Thanksgiving. That's why, plain and simple.

And they make them work on Thanksgiving. They're really a wonderful operation, after they've driven mom and pop shops out of business.

TANTAROS: They close?

BECKEL: Yes, I'd be happy to see them close.

PERINO: I would love for the liberals to leave Walmart alone because I think this is a choice that Walmart employees make for one another.

KILMEADE: Right, and you agree with Bob, Eric?

BOLLING: Bob, what, you don't want to work? Don't work, quit. Go find another job. Why does Walmart have to --

BECKEL: You're the one who says there's no jobs around.

BOLLING: Bob, I mean, you're so inconsistent, it's unbelievable. Just raise the minimum wage. Drive jobs elsewhere. Drive jobs --

BECKEL: You can't prove that will be the case.

KILMEADE: If I got to --

BOLLING: You can't prove raising the minimum wage will do a darn thing that won't drive them away, can you?

PERINO: They can pay more sales tax with things that they buy.

TANTAROS: Beckel institute was --

KILMEADE: I don't know. Somebody wise around this table said the entry level pay is not meant to be a career, it's meant to be a path. It's a beginning, it's an opening. If you're good, you'll rise up the ladder. And you'll help --

BECKEL: Do you think, though, the workers at Walmart, you're think that's a first level job?

KILMEADE: I don't think anyone -- I've never seen anybody there that's unhappy, but if they are unhappy, McDonald's --

BOLLING: It's a business, Bob.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: It's not the employment, EEOC employment.

KILMEADE: All right. I don't want to sacrifice the rest of the show for Walmart and McDonald's because, Bob, you're getting mad.

BECKEL: No, I'm not at all.

KILMEADE: Straight ahead, hope you made it home for the holiday yesterday and bad weather didn't get in your way. How's the forecast heading for your trip home? Stay tuned. We're going to give you an update.

But I'm not done speaking now. A warning for high school kids hoping to get into college. Some admissions officers now reading your tweets. They're reading what your posts are online.

Details straight ahead. Delete, delete, delete.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKEL: As a dad who got a kid in college and another one on her way soon, I've been thinking a lot about the college admissions process and their bills and what criteria should be used to get accepted. A growing number of schools across the country are moving away from standardized exams like the SAT and the ACT. More than 800 no longer mandate score submissions and I'm all for that.

I saw a little girl -- little girl, she was a senior in high school, a friend of mine's daughter, a straight "A" student, was the head of the cheerleading squad, was the head of the Debate Society. She was crying because why she couldn't get the college of her choice because she didn't have high enough SAT scores. She was a straight A student.

SAT is an absolute disgrace for admissions department to use. It's lazy and they're written by a bunch of fat, old dudes up in New Jersey and they're lousy tests.

TANTAROS: How do you really feel? How do you really fell? Tell us, please?

KILMEADE: Well, here's the thing, how else do you -- how else can you get a standard grade for someone from Oklahoma to New York to Wisconsin?

BECKEL: Look at their high school transcripts.

KILMEADE: Yes, different high schools have different demands. You won't know if there's an inflation of grades from here to there. My son is a senior in high school.

BECKEL: Are you going to put -- based a bunch of dudes outside of Princeton that are going to decide this?

KILMEADE: You're going to tell me it's just three guys smoking pot?

BECKEL: No, this thing's been under attack for years and for good reason.

KILMEADE: Well, the ACT, too. My son's taken both. It's just one of those facts of life. They need a standardized (ph) ground.

But I also know three of the 10 schools he's applying to don't want him.

BECKEL: Good, and let them all get rid of them. Let them all go broke.

PERINO: What they should add is an essay test, because the ineptitude in writing --

BECKEL: They have that now --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Not all universities have it, but getting there.

KILMEADE: You know, I think that -- I understand where you're coming from. If you have great grades but you're not a great test taker, but you have 96. That's you.

PERINO: Me, too.

KILMEADE: I mean, there's a lot of people. But also, in schools, in public schools, they also have to help you pass the SATs, different keys to that. So, you might be having 82. And all a sudden, you kick butt on the SATs and catapult yourself into a university you normally couldn't get into.

TANTAROS: I had really good grades but I was not the greatest test taker. My excuse was I was going to go to the bathroom during SATs. But the writing portion, the essay portion, helped balance out the math portion.

BECKEL: Yes, I think that was the one positive here.

TANTAROS: I do see your point, Bob. I think if they just make the panel decide at their own will based on diversity purposes, I think that's probably not very fair.

BECKEL: How did you do on your SATs?

BOLLING: I did well. Also, why would we take tools away from the admissions office for any school? Let them choose their own criteria. I would have more. I would have transcripts. I would have ACT. I would have SAT. I'd have a special essay. I have whatever it takes, Bob, because, as Brian points out, there are different criteria of different high schools around the country.

One of the best high schools in the country is across the river in Jersey City. Now, is it fair those kids may get lower transcript scores to a kid who may be going to a public school in the city and be graded at the same level?

BECKEL: Listen, if I thought standardized tests actually were reflective of what people were doing, but people who are opposed to those things had a group kids take them back to back and the range was 150 points.

BECKEL: You're talking about something different, though. You're talking about something different. You're making a very good point that within the ACT or the SAT, you may want to dig in and find out and make sure the questions are fair to the widest group of kids, rather than telling the colleges what they should or shouldn't be looking at.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: It's a fairly low bar, what we're asking American students to pass. If they're going to be competitive with students from all around the world, passing the SAT and ACT and getting a decent score is probably not that much to ask.

BECKEL: Well, I'm upset because I got the lowest score you could possibly get in the SAT.

If you're heading home this Thanksgiving weekend, stay tuned for an update on the holiday travel situation. Excuse me.

Also coming up, six Americans we should be very thankful for this Thanksgiving. We might have lost the Revolutionary War had it not been for George Washington's secret service agents.

Brian just wrote an incredible book about them. You'll have to hear their stories. Unbelievable. That's coming up next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: You've known Brian Kilmeade for years as a TV host here at FOX, but he's also an accomplished historian who just co-wrote a fascinating new book about a group of unsung heroes of the Revolutionary War. "George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring who Saved the American Revolution." On The New York Times best-seller list. And it couldn't be getting better reviews, including I found these, from two generals who followed in Washington's footsteps.

Tommy Franks writes, "Freedom is not free, never has been, and never will be. Kilmeade and Yaeger have done a wonderful job in reminding us all of the cost. Great read."

And this from Stanley McChrystal: "A fascinating read, highlighting some of our nation's unknown heroes, heroes who never sought credit nor recognition. Brian Kilmeade places them in their proper historical contest -- as brave patriots who defended the American Revolution."

So Brian, congratulations.

KILMEADE: Thank you.

PERINO: That's high praise indeed from two decorated veterans.

KILMEADE: Yes, I mean, it's a thrill to have them read it. And what I think is very emblematic of both those men is that they never want any credit. They always wanted to give it to their soldiers and their troops, especially in Tommy Franks' case. He was an infantryman. He didn't even go to any academy.

And what I tried to highlight, and I've been studying this for -- since, really, 1990, is that we know Washington belongs on the mountain. We know all these people are extraordinarily, Alexander Hamilton and Nathan Hale. But you didn't know a bartender can do what he did. You maybe don't know a farmer can do what they did. You didn't know a guy who owns a grocery store can have the type of courage that Robert Townsend displayed. A guy that was a printer and journalist could do what James Remington did. How a woman could infiltrate the social scene right here in New York City right downtown and be able to overhear what the British were saying and get that information to George Washington.

BECKEL: So these were basically people passing things on to Washington that helped him with his war plans?

KILMEADE: Absolutely. While the British infiltrated the entire area, they were in behind enemy lines for 3 1/2 years. They had to pretend to be somebody they're not. They had to have a cover story.

That's why Austin Rowe (ph), the bartender, as you see this map, as our great animation department put up, he all of a sudden went 55 miles when he got the word that something had to be picked up in Manhattan. He'd go up from Setauket right into Manhattan. He had to take a ferry. Why? Because the bartender needs some supplies, but there was a note jammed in there.

Then back to Setauket. Then over to Caleb Brewster. Caleb Brewster was a big guy who had five friends in a whale boat, and they would -- they would actually row through the British Navy across to George Washington, who had a courier. They did this for three years.

Whip Milton (ph) had invisible ink. They had encryption. So even if you brought these letters to life, you didn't know what 369 meant. You didn't know what 86 meant. You didn't know that 711 meant George Washington. That 712 meant Abraham Woodhall (ph) the farmer. You didn't know that 714 meant the grocery store owner.

And I just found this whole thing fascinating. So we tried to put it together in this story, and I think it hopefully gives these guys the credit they deserve.

BECKEL: So 7-Eleven was named after Washington.

PERINO: There's something in the book I wanted to get your take on. There's somebody in the spy ring that's never been identified. How is that possible?

KILMEADE: Yes. It is -- there's a lot of different theories I'm getting from across the country, now that everyone's reading the book. And I just didn't want to jump to conclusions and diminish everything else. But it is -- it could be the sister of Robert Townsend. It could be a love interest of Robert Townsend. They both came in with one certain letter in which Abraham Woodhall (ph) said "there's a person about to enter the ring to be of supreme help to all of us, and it's a lady." Sophistication; 355 is how the ledger reads.

BOLLING: So now that you're a best-selling -- "New York Times" best- selling author can you, like, get tables at Del Frisco's now and get in past the velvet ropes?

KILMEADE: No, Del Frisco's the only place I can get tables, because they love FOX over there. But for the most part, it's just telling a story, and we're able to do it here on FOX.

TANTAROS: Quickly, would you cast anyone from the FOX News Channel in the movie? Maybe Steve Doocy, maybe Elisabeth Hasselbeck or anyone from "The Five"?

KILMEADE: Well, Elisabeth Hasselbeck could easily be the lady 355, but of course, I'd have to have screenings with Dana and yourself to give you a proper opportunity because we have to make...

TANTAROS: We'll be happy...

BOLLING: Bob could be -- Bob could be George Washington.

PERINO: We love your enthusiasm.

TANTAROS: 7-Eleven.

PERINO: ... in the book, and it's a great thing to get your family for the holidays.

KILMEADE: Well, I appreciate it, and I love talking about it on "The Five."

PERINO: Congratulations.

TANTAROS: Congratulations, Brian.

KILMEADE: Can I stick around for one more block?

PERINO: Yes, because guess what?

KILMEADE: What?

PERINO: "One More Thing" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANTAROS: It's now time for "One More Thing." Dana, you're kicking us off.

PERINO: OK. My favorite topic, George W. Bush. President Bush, as you might have heard, became a painter after he left the White House. He's actually very, very good. And at the White House there's always an ornament every year. You can get one, the official one, from the archives, but at the BushCenter.org, you can order this one which is President Bush painted a cardinal, this bird here you see, that Mrs. Bush chose for the ornament for the year.

You can go on BushCenter.org and have not just a great ornament but one painted by President Bush.

KILMEADE: I'm getting that.

PERINO: Isn't that great?

KILMEADE: That is fantastic.

TANTAROS: Beautiful.

Roberto.

BECKEL: Yes. I want -- since yesterday was Thanksgiving and a lot of people had a chance to be with family and friends, I want to show you a list of stores here that had the courage and the decency to let their employees off for Thanksgiving, unlike Wal-Marts and McDonald's. And the...

TANTAROS: People got to eat.

BECKEL: The Home Depot, Nordstrom's, Dillard's, Costco, B.J.'s, T.J. Maxx, Marshall's and Ross. Congratulations. You did the right thing. I wish more employers in this country had that kind of sense.

TANTAROS: You can order online, though.

BOLLING: What if people wanted to work and make...

BECKEL: Why are you interrupted my "One More Thing"?

TANTAROS: A lot of people like working on...

BOLLING: You can't debate on "One More Thing"? It breaks all "The Five" rules.

TANTAROS: All right. Brian.

KILMEADE: OK. I've got to tell you, it's hard to be a champion and it's doubly hard to be a champion and have a good time, but the Miami Heat have a great time while they're winning. They always photo bomb each other in their post-game interviews. So I want to share some to you.

There's LeBron jumping in front of Dwyane Wade and there you see they're doing it again, having a great time in the postgame interviews there. And there you see Ray Allen.

And then you see LeBron being interviewed after a big game and then you see him being punked over there. And this happened -- also this week, you're about to see Dwyane Wade behind LeBron do -- actually do a cart wheel. First they threw a towel on his head and then they did a cart wheel, which you're about to see right behind him.

Just amazing with this type of pressure on these guy's shoulders, they just love this game and love to win. I just wanted to share that with you.

TANTAROS: All right. If you've ever been to Johnny's Booze and Pool in Huntington Beach, California, and you admire the pro-veteran sign, you might not be seeing it much longer. They were told to take down the sign, the owners, or face a $950 fine.

How ridiculous? It's just thanking the veterans. So a lot of people are very upset.

KILMEADE: They should be.

TANTAROS: They should be upset. This is ridiculous. They want them to take that down or else they pay a fine. They have until Tuesday...

PERINO: Ridiculous.

TANTAROS: ... to take it down.

KILMEADE: They should rally and pay the fine and leave it up.

PERINO: Yes, leave it up.

TANTAROS: A little collection pool even though Bob hates them -- Eric.

BOLLING: So I'm going to use my time to talk about your "One More Thing." What about all the -- what about some of these employees that wanted to make time and a half or double time?

BECKEL: A lot of these stores are paying them.

BOLLING: OK. So why do you have -- why should they be mandated to shut down on Thanksgiving? If they couldn't get employees, they wouldn't open up...

BECKEL: Nobody is mandating. It's a question of heart.

BOLLING: So you want higher minimum wages.

BECKEL: That's the thing about the...

BOLLING: You want fast food restaurants to raise the hours.

BECKEL: You're one level of a free market which is heartless and the rest of the free market, which is...

TANTAROS: What about stores being open on Christmas? Are you against that?

BECKEL: Absolutely.

TANTAROS: But what if you're Jewish?

BOLLING: Yes. What about Muslim holidays? What about Muslim holidays? Should they close on Muslim holidays?

BECKEL: Absolutely not.

TANTAROS: I cleaned house in tips on Thanksgiving. I love it.

All right. Don't forget to set your DVRs so you never miss an episode of "The Five." We'll see you right back here on Monday. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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