Glenn Beck: America's Heroes

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," November 12, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Welcome to "The Glenn Beck Program." Hello, America.

We are approaching what I call "the trilogy of holidays." And I always talk about this around Christmastime, but when I talk about it, it's too late to do anything.

I'm changing. This show is going to change next year. And I hope you come along for the ride. I want to start a little earlier, because we have a lot of work to do.

The trilogy of holidays — it's Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

Well, we made Thanksgiving into football and turkey. Christmas is about presents.

And New Year's — we say the same thing, what is your New Year's resolution? Because we're still stuffed from pie from the last five weeks, we'd be, like, I've got to lose some weight! And then we give that opportunity as a reset — and then for some reason, we don't do it. I mean, we are convinced by society that we can't.

One thing we can't do is — it's abnormal in our society to downsize, to clear out the clutter in our lives. It's unnatural. Psychiatrists say it's unnatural. It goes against the growth that we think — we think it's growth get bigger and more.

People don't choose it because all of society is going in one direction. Every year, we are given a chance to say — whatever it is — I'm going to lose weight. I am, you know, going to go to church more often — whatever it is.

And if it's usually lose weight — I mean, I usually last about four hours. But some people, you know, last like six weeks mainly because you paid for the gym membership. And you're like, I feel guilty about it, I just paid for that. And then you just give up on it.

I think these things happen because we don't understand the holidays. From now until New Year's, I'm going to help you prepare for change — real change. I'm going to make changes in my life — changes that you can make in yours.

By 2012 — come with me for just a second — by 2012, I hope this would be the winning slogan in America: "Yes, I can." And it begins tonight.



BECK: Who are the guys in the gray suits? Who are they? West Point.

Hello, America. I have a whole studio full of people from West Point tonight. I'm going to introduce you to them here in a little while.

But I want to talk to you about the trilogy of holidays. And I want to start with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving — what is supposed to be — what we've done is turn them into football and basically — I mean, I know I'm not alone. You know, you don't let your wife see it because you're disgusted by yourself, you know, you undo your pants a little bit, you're just like, I think I'm going to vomit.

But an hour goes by and you're like, is there more of the stuff?
That's why it is. That's the way we've done. We've turned Thanksgiving in to food and football.

And then we approach this time where we — we have to change. We want to change, but we can't. And I think it's because we haven't looked at the first holiday in the trilogy here. We haven't evaluated our own life.

You can't evaluate your life until you know what matters in your own life. You say in New Year's Eve, "I'm going to lose weight," because you're a big fat fatty. But that's just looking at the negative. I mean, you don't want to — you don't want to be my eyes in the mirror every morning out of the shower. You don't. I mean, it's hard to sometimes miss the negative.

We look at the negatives and the problems daily on this program. But I'm going to start looking at some of the assets next year. We need to do that in our own life as well. I think that's what this holiday is really all about.

Split the word. Don't make it a compound word. Split it: "thanks"
and "giving."

OK. So what is it that you're thankful for? Just take the first half of the word. What is it that we're really thankful for? Is it your country, your freedom, your house, your family?

I think this is the problem. This is a problem in Washington. This administration has not looked at our assets.

Everybody in Washington, both sides, they'll say, oh, we're going to fix the problem. But they leave the biggest asset out of the solution.

What is the asset? What is the biggest asset this country has? Is it our wealth? It's our people. People are the biggest asset you have. And we leave that out.

Why would we do that? How could we possibly solve a problem?

Now, look at the second half of the word, "giving." What are we giving? Are you giving your time?

I have a hard time with that. Man, I do charity stuff. I hate it — I hate it so much. I get in the car and my wife is like, you got to go over and I — and I get in the car and it — I hate it.

We went and we worked at a homeless shelter. And I was just like oh, I mean, I just I have so many — every time I give service, every time on the way home, I say this and my wife just — she started just looking at me. Now, she doesn't say anything. She just — I'll say, we should do this more often. I don't know why we don't do this. I feel so good. Now, she just does this to me. Really?

It feels good to give. So, you're giving time, you're giving money, energy, backbone? Some give their lives. I've never been asked to give my life. I think I'm too much of a chicken. I don't know, I can't — I can't fathom what it is like to be in war.

This week, it was Veterans Day. And we, tonight, have a whole audience full of someday veterans — the country's best and the brightest.

It is not easy to get in to West Point. And yet, our country somehow or another what? Oh, why West Point? You should have gone to Harvard. You should — have you ever been to West Point?

The best and the brightest — and these men and women may give everything. They may give their eyes, their arms, their ideas and energy, possibly their life.

Gosh, what have we given? You know what makes you want to give?
Gratitude. The "thanks" part makes you want to give.

I can guarantee you — I haven't talked to them yet. I'm actually going to spend time with them after the show tonight. But I guarantee you that they know exactly why they're serving. They know what they're serving for.

If they haven't, you guys might want to reconsider even to sit here.

Every soldier I ever met, everybody in the military, they are serving for a specific reason. It might be different for everybody, but they have found something about this country that makes them want to serve. They are grateful. They are thankful for something and so they are giving.

Another word for "giving" is service. And when I thought about this earlier today, I thought service is an interesting word because you ask somebody in the service. I'm in the service. Really? Doesn't it seem like an incomplete sentence?

I'm in the service. Of what? In the service of what? In the service of their country.

What are you in the service of? You're in the service of what? Your country, your God, your family, your children, your house, your car, your debt — what is it? Because you are in the service of something. What is it?

If you are truly in the service of your country, then I think maybe it's about time our country says thank you.

I'm going to try very hard to not get overtly political here because then everybody in the military always says, oh, no, oh, no, don't look at me, I neither agree or disagree. So, keep the cameras on me for a minute.

There is a group of people that are serving our country and they are — well, I was going to say they're to not wearing the uniform — I mean, but they are. They're all wearing blue suits and red ties. And the blue suits and red ties, a lot of them have been great. A lot of them stink on ice and have caused a lot of our country's problems.

And then there are those in military service that allow amazing things to happen. They don't force things to happen — they allow amazing things to happen. The biggest service for their country is not going out is fighting and possibly dying, it's that that they stand guard to allow us to be protected enough to have amazing things happen.

Now, what are we doing with our freedom and our time that they stood, or will stand on the wall to protect so we can do something? What is it we're doing?

Gosh! Look what they're giving. Are we thankful for what we have? A way to give is do something important with your time, with your freedom.

I want to show you this. This is phenomenal to me and I address a little bit of this in the book, "Broke," which is the plan to restore our truth, our trust and our treasure.

But you can't — everybody focuses on how do we get out of this giant debt? You cannot get out of this debt. You cannot get out of the box we created for our yourself. Certainly cannot do it if you don't have truth, if you don't have honesty, if we're — we don't restore ourselves, first.

But there are things in here to restore our treasure. There are simple thing that we can do. There are commonsense things that we can do and one of the things that I address is the obscene amount the money that we are paying politicians in Washington.

I want to show you — this is the average guy in the U.S. Army. In the Army, they served for four years. They get out as a specialist — as a specialist. As a specialist, they make $22,676. Four years.

Pick up a gun and go stand in the line of fire because your country asks you to for $22,676. They ain't doing it for money. The average American makes $50,462. That's your salary. The average American, $50,000.

Now, here's where it gets good — the average salary of a federal employee, you know, the ones who can never get the paperwork right. The average person serving — serving in Congress. Remember, they use that word. They don't have a job. They're serving in Congress.

They — this is their master. This is the defender of what they're serving, the ideas of the Constitution. This is the guardian that protects them as they're supposedly protecting the Constitution. This is their master — we the people.

How much are they serving? How much do they get paid in the service?

This, by the way, is not average salary. This is what they all get. This is the basic salary — $174,000.

Which one is the master and which one is the servant? Which one has the most to be grateful for? And yet doesn't seem to be?

It goes back to idea of cleaning out the stuff in our life. Maybe it's that they have too much.

I want to show you — I want to show you some of our congressional leaders. And this happens on — this happens on both sides.

Harry Reid. Harry Reid was elected to the Senate in 1986 for serving four years in the House. When he entered the Senate, he was worth — believe me, I'm capitalist. I don't care how much you're worth — the more the merrier, brother.

He was worth $1.8 million when he entered the Senate. How much was he worth two years ago?

How is your 401(k) doing?

Nancy Pelosi. She was elected to Congress in 1987. Two years later, her estimated worth was $7.5 million. Today, $21.7 million.

How is it that these people are getting rich? How is it? How is it a guy who served honorably, this guy served honorably — when he was in service of his country, he served honorably. How did he leave the service, making this kind of wage and go right directly to Congress and now he can afford a vacation home. But he doesn't even pay taxes on. How did that happen? How did that happen?

We have to cut our budget. We have to. In the book "Broke," I outline budget cuts. And one of them that is controversial is I take on the Department of Defense. And the reason why I did it, it's easy for me to write a chapter on how we need to shut off NPR. I could write that one in my sleep.

I needed to be able to show you that the thing I care most about is the defense of our nation. And we can make intelligent cuts. We can make them without hurting our defense and without hurting people. We can actually help people.

John Boehner said that if he becomes House speaker, he's going to fly back and forth from his home to Washington on commercial airlines. Nancy Pelosi had to use a military aircraft. And I don't — for security, we do what we have to do.

Here's the thing with Boehner. If he's flying commercial, he'll fight hard against the naked scanners at the airport that nobody wants. Maybe we should have naked scanners in the halls and the meeting rooms and the halls of Congress. What do you think?

I commend him for spending less and anyone who yells at him or calls him a dope while he's at the airport, well, then, I guess he'll just have to chalk it up as a slight wound in the service of his country. And he certainly will not receive more wounds than these guys possibly will. This is a step in the right direction?

But here's what I'd like to propose. And I would like to ask you to take this on. You make the difference.

These guys in Washington could not say no. They couldn't say no to this.

Congressman — here it is — congressman shall not be paid — shall not be paid more than those who are currently serving on the front line of duty. They shall never make more than that.

There's no reason why congressmen should be able to enrich themselves — make more than a guy who's on the front lings fighting, somebody who is in a tank right now, somebody else who is risking his life to save a child in another country. Are you kidding me? There is no justification for congressional salaries, none.

Demand Congress lower their salaries and their benefit to the same benefits offered to our soldiers, period.

I'm going to take it a step further. Federal employees should not be allowed to ever make more than this. Ever.

Last year, the average household income, $49,000. It's up to $50,000 now.

You know what? Congress should only get raises and people in the federal government should only get raises if the citizens get raises.
Member of Congress should never make more than people who die on our battlefields.

Congress, I know, you've got a lot of special perks. Your medical care should be exactly the same that the V.A. hospital gives out. You are in the service of your country. If you don't like it, then maybe you should offer benefits that are better at the V.A. hospitals.

Oh — oh, there's one more thing. They're not going to like it because they have to keep two homes. Congress, I've got that solved for you. I'm more than happy and I know people — maybe Habitat for Humanity will come and help build barracks for you to live in. Back in a minute.


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