'Patriotic Millionaires' Push to Pay Higher Taxes

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 14, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Factor Follow-up" segment tonight: President Obama wants to force so-called rich people to give more money to Washington.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some will argue we should not even consider ever, ever raising taxes, even if only on the wealthiest Americans. It's just an article of faith to them. I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more. I don't need another tax cut.


INGRAHAM: But a new AP poll says that about 62 percent of Americans want to cut government services to fix the deficit, while only about 29 percent want us to pay more in taxes.

Joining us now from New York is Erica Payne. She is the coordinator of the group Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Responsibility. I can't even do that acronym that quickly. And one of those millionaires, Jeffrey Gural. Jeffrey and Erica, great to see both of you. Jeffrey, just because I see your tie, you must be the millionaire in this equation, right?


INGRAHAM: We were trying to come up with something like slumdog millionaire but the anti-slumdog millionaire. You are wealthy, you've done well in your life and you want to pay more in taxes. Is that correct?

JEFFREY GURAL, MEMBER, PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRES: Well, I think that we have got a mess on our hands that both sides are responsible for, and in order to get out of it I think all Americans have to help. And, frankly, if it means that I have got to pay more taxes, I'm prepared to do that. I think it's unfair to put the burden just on middle income and poor people. Having said that, I have no desire to see the government piss away this money, and I think we all agree that we have got to cut spending dramatically. I think we have got to cut taxes on small business. They create the most jobs. But having said that, I think it's only fair to ask the wealthiest Americans to do their share and I certainly -- just before I came here, as a matter of fact, I wrote a check for $850,000 for my April 15th tax payment.

INGRAHAM: Now we're learning a lot about you. I love this. You are very forthcoming with your personal information.

GURAL: Exactly.

INGRAHAM: Jeffrey, so you wrote that money. That's a big check. We will get Erica in on this in a second. What's stopping you from writing a bigger check? Presumably you could write a much bigger check if you wanted to. Did anyone tell you you couldn't or preventing you from giving that money?

GURAL: Truthfully, if I knew that writing a bigger check would only go to pay down the deficit, I would be happy to write a bigger check. If you want to know what I really think we should do…

INGRAHAM: Write that in the memo part of the check. Say, "Only to be used for paying down the deficit." Can you do that?

GURAL: Well, but you can't do that. I think you know -- let's -- where is this theory about lowering taxes that creates all of these jobs? The first thing Bill Clinton did…

INGRAHAM: Well, we know one thing that doesn't create jobs, Jeffrey. Let me tell you what doesn't create jobs.

GURAL: What?

INGRAHAM: Obamacare didn't create jobs. The stimulus didn't create jobs. We have lost and bled eight million jobs since the beginning of this recession. Barack Obama pledged a lot of things, including millions and millions of new jobs, saved or created. It hasn't come to fruition.

GURAL: Laura…

INGRAHAM: It's been a colossal waste of money. Erica, let me get you in on this, and, Jeffrey, you can come back in on this because I want Erica to have a point of view. If people want to pay more money, they can pay more money. I'm so tired of hearing millionaires, "We should pay more in taxes. It's all falling on the backs of the middle class." The lower 50 percent of the tax class in this country pays three percent of the overall tax burden. The upper two percent pays about 97.6 percent.

PAYNE: Laura, I just want to…

INGRAHAM: So the idea that the rich isn't paying its share is a joke.

PAYNE: Laura, I just want to correct you on one thing. The month that George Bush left office we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. And last month in the private sector we added 200,000 jobs, and so that's a good step in the right direction. We are definitely not all the way there. I think what Jeff and the hundred other millionaires who signed this letter, including the founder of some of our best-known companies, a bunch of people from Google, the founder of, the founder of Men's Wearhouse, the founder of Ben and Jerry's, you know, really…

INGRAHAM: That's a real representative bunch.

PAYNE: Well, there aren't that many millionaires in the country actually. There are about 375,000 millionaires out of 307 million people.

INGRAHAM: Ben and Jerry's. I mean, you can't -- Cherry Garcia, I mean you can't get any more left wing than him.

PAYNE: They are paying the lowest taxes they have ever paid really in about the last 60 years. So, Jeff and his Patriotic Millionaire friends have come forward and just said, you know what? We all need to dig in a little bit and help our country through this period of time and they would like to do that.

INGRAHAM: But dig in.

PAYNE: Unfortunately if they write a check themselves, that's not going to be enough.

INGRAHAM: Dig in, Erica.

PAYNE: It's a big hole, Laura. It's a really big hole and it's something that everybody needs to contribute.

INGRAHAM: Yes. Let me get in on that point because this is a wild fiction that has been perpetrated by the left. And I guess George Soros is one of the guys doing it. Even if the people who are above $100,000 or more they make a year, even if they are taxed at the highest level contemplated, that doesn't even cover this year's deficit spending. When you do the math, you know, journalists have done this. I believe The Economist has done this. Financial Times has looked at this. That doesn't even cover Obama's deficit spending for one year. So the idea that this is somehow going to deliver us out of our evil economic state that we are in, the only thing that's going to do that -- and you are the businessman here, Mr. Gural -- is increasing the GDP. If we actually increase growth and productivity in the United States, which is what we are supposed to be doing, then we're going to have a lot more revenues coming in and then you will probably, I guess, maybe be a lot happier.

GURAL: Yes, but, Laura, you don't let anybody speak. The fact is that when Bill Clinton came into office, the first thing he did was raise taxes on people. When George Bush came -- by the way when Clinton left office we had a budget surplus. I made a fortune. Everybody did great. When George Bush came into office, the first thing he did was take your advice, lowered taxes for everybody, invaded two countries and now we have a mess on our hands.

INGRAHAM: And Barack Obama is still in those two countries and now engaged in another military conflict. I will see you those military conflicts and raise you Libya, which is a disaster.

GURAL: But Laura, let me ask you a question.

INGRAHAM: That's not how it works. Maybe in real estate you can do that, but not on this show. Let me tell you why those numbers that you just put out are false. The unexpected revenue windfalls from Bill Clinton's time in office, a second term, were largely the consequence of lower tax rates on capital gains. People were making enormous amount of money on capital gains in those boom years. That's what brought a lot of money into the federal treasury. That's my last word on it.


INGRAHAM: We appreciate it. Erica and Jeffrey, thanks a lot.

PAYNE: Thanks, Laura.

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