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Talking Points

Insurrection in Wisconsin

 

By Bill O'Reilly

 

Thousands of state workers are objecting to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's call for an immediate eight percent cut in their benefits, and things got nasty today:

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CROWD: Kill the bill. Kill the bill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is an assault on our families.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an attack on all of us and we are here to say enough is enough, right?

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ultimately, he is going to destroy the state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

The state of Wisconsin has a $3.6 billion shortfall through 2013. It simply cannot afford to pay its bills.

 

This is happening to many states, and public workers are the first ones to take the hit.

 

Obviously, that's not going over well in Wisconsin. In the capital city Madison, 40 percent of the teachers called in sick on Thursday. And all over the state, workers are demonstrating against benefit cuts.

 

However, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan supports Gov. Walker:

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS.: He's basically saying, "I want you, public workers, to pay half of what our private sector counterparts are," and he's getting riots. It's like Cairo has moved to Madison these days. All of this demonstration is fine. People should be able to express their way, but we've got to get this deficit and debt under control in Madison if we want to have a good business climate and job creation in Wisconsin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

On the other side, President Obama sees it a bit differently:

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions. And I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors. They're our friends.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

But if state workers will not give back some of their benefits, there is no solution to the fiscal crisis anywhere. You can't raise taxes anymore. The folks are tapped out.

 

Where I live on Long Island, some elderly people are selling their homes because they can't afford the high property tax rate.

 

The solution in bankrupt states is for workers to agree to some kind of giveback, perhaps over a few years. That way they can look for other jobs in the private sector if they don't believe they are being compensated fairly in the public arena. I think that would be fair.

 

"Talking Points" believes that class warfare is about to break out in America. Union benefits are strangling not only state budgets but also the private economy.

 

Yes, workers do need protection. They need some kind of security in the marketplace. But the cold truth is that federal and state workers have reached the top of their earning pyramid. Bankruptcy looms in California and other states.

 

The givebacks are coming, and the blowback will be nasty.

 

And that's "The Memo."

 

Pinheads & Patriots

 

Matthew Perry, who played Chandler on "Friends," has a new program that he's promoting, using my interview with the president to get attention:

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR: But O'Reilly is so egomaniacal. Obviously he cares more about his -- he's more interested in his opinion than anybody else's, obviously. But he even showed that he's even willing to show the president that in his presence. And it was -- it was really off-putting and bad.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

So is Mr. Perry a pinhead or a patriot? We think we know how this will come out. We just want to see the numbers. You can vote on BillOReilly.com.

 

On Wednesday night, teen idol Justin Bieber did this:

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JUSTIN BIEBER, POP STAR: "Well, hello." And then he was like -- he was like, "My daughter Sasha, Malia, my wife Michelle, we are so grateful that you are coming to the White House."

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

Well, 68 percent of you think young Justin is a patriot for that imitation; 32 percent believe he is a pinhead.