Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Does Obama's fundraising party seem too lavish for economic crisis?


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 3, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And after sitting on the sideline for most of the debt debate, President Barack Obama, well, he is giving himself a not so well-deserved pat on the back at this hour in the form of a lavish birthday party. But in light of the U.S. surpassing $14.3 trillion in debt, the Dow crumbling, millions still out of work, and the country flirting with a double dip recession, perhaps the President could find a better way to spend his time, however yet again, he is turning his back on the American people and our struggling economy. In return, he is attending a star-studded birthday fundraiser, headlined by Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson. Oh, and by the way, the event is being held in a $40,000 a night ballroom, he's charging more than $35,000 per person for admission. And by the way, you can even pay an extra 10 grand to get yourself a photo with the president.

I think by now it's pretty clear, this president is more interested in his celebrity status than solving the problems we face as a nation. Now, if you're not convinced, consider this. Tonight marks the 37th time the president has held a fundraiser since launching his re-election campaign. And, by the way, at around the same time in his presidency, George W. Bush attended only three. Alright, let's say you're still not convinced, let's head to the golf course. Because President Obama certainly has, playing a grand total of 75 rounds of golf since taking office. Now by comparison, George W. Bush in his entire eight years as president played golf only 24 times. So, that doesn't include basketball. That doesn't include the other concerts. That doesn't include the vacation trips. So how can anyone still defend President Obama's record? It's beyond me. Joining us with analysis tonight, a columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, Star Parker is back. And the author of the new hit book Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, Juan Williams is also back. And by the way, coming down moments ago, I check my handy Drudge report Juan, and let's see, we are now at 100 percent debt GDP with the new numbers that have come out. We've had horrible economic news. The president did all these fundraising trips until three weeks out of this crisis, even though we knew it was going to happen in January. Do you see a little disconnect here?

JUAN WILLIAMS, AUTHOR, MUZZLED: No, I'm just amazed at you tonight. I don't get this at all. Look --

HANNITY: Compar him to Bush.

WILLIAMS: -- this president has taken -- this president has taken less vacation time than President Bush.

HANNITY: That's not true.

WILLIAMS: You don't mention that. You go on about the golf course. What does golf have to do with this? And what -- the man is 50 years old. That's a milestone in anyone's life, Sean, and you're denying him the opportunity to have a birthday party.

HANNITY: Hey Juan, I am younger than the president. I'm going to be 50 years old this December.

WILLIAMS: Happy birthday.

HANNITY: No, you can say that to the president. And let me tell you something, Juan, I have told every one of my friends and my wife, I want nothing on my birthday. But here's the point. Star, look, the country is suffering. He's been out playing golf, he's been out basketball, he's been at concerts, he's been on vacations. He takes these, you know, the big parties, all the guests. And I'm thinking, he's out of touch.

STAR PARKER, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR URBAN RENEWAL AND EDUCATION: I don't know that he's out of touch as much as it's just hypocrisy. You know, as I have to constantly tell my liberal family and friends, the rich -- the disdain that they have for the wealthy and those that ride on private jets is because they are poor and don't know anyone, and never been on a private jet.

HANNITY: Wait, wait, wait. You raise are a good point. I wonder how many private jets. If you got to pay all told 45 grand for the dinner, the party, the birthday bash, and the picture with the POTUS, you got to wonder. You know, how many private jets just flew into Chicago today?

PARKER: Well, what we have to look at -- That's right. Most of this disdain is really rooted in envy, and the president very cleverly plays this. But he's grown over time very comfortable being, A, wealthy himself, but his lust to be with wealthy people, you know, while at one point he wants to attack them, and or get them to pay their fair share, so I suppose during the last couple of weeks, he couldn't get that through force, he now is just going to get it on the other end, because surely, we will see a lot of wealth in that room at the birthday celebration.

HANNITY: Ya know Juan, this is the first -- Juan, this is the first time I've found you or your fellow cohorts on the left not wanting to bring up George Bush. Bush only played golf 24 times in eight years.

WILLIAMS: This is distortion, Sean. Because you're talking about golf, okay, but vacation time --

HANNITY: Basketball, the Broadway shows, state dinners, concerts.

WILLIAMS: President Bush was down at the ranch much more. This is I think like only the tenth time or something that President Obama has gone back home. He's not even staying overnight in Chicago.


PARKER: You know what, but that's not even relevant.

WILLIAMS: He's having his party at a very small ballroom in a diverse neighborhood in Chicago. He's not having this at the Ritz-Carlton. But the larger point is where are the Republicans --

HANNITY: Forty thousand dollars a night to rent that ballroom!


PARKER: All of that is not relevant if he went into his own pocket all the time. The problem is, Juan, is where people are upset about this type of lavish behavior, is that he's constantly wanting to make wealthy people pay what he calls a fair share, and he's constantly attacking them. He plays class warfare. That's the dilemma. Now he's hanging around with wealthy. He loves wealth. And certainly we know that this is timely for his re-election campaign.

WILLIAMS: Well, Star, hang on, hang on. Hang on, let me just ask you something. What is duplicitous or hypocritical about saying that people who have benefited from life and business in this great country, should pay their fair share if you're going to cut entitlements, Social Security, Medicare --

HANNITY: We're not cutting anything.

WILLIAMS: -- for those most vulnerable in this society.

PARKER: Because these are the same people who stand in the way of having discussions about fair tax, flat tax, and other ideas that are coming to the table, so that people really pay their fair share.

WILLIAMS: I don't think anybody's standing in the way.

PARKER: What people are upset about including what the Tea Party was discussing, is that when you have almost half the country that does not pay any income tax at all, and then to say that others are not paying enough when they account for more than 60 percent of what is coming in, and now they are asking for us to re-adjust, and look at our budgets, and perhaps stop wasting away this tax revenue, this president insists on class warfare.

WILLIAMS: But Star, here is the other said of this. No, it's not class warfare.

PARKER: That's what he does. He interjected it yet again. Yes, it is.

WILLIAMS: Hang on a second. Hang on.

PARKER: He talks about the poor, and the sick and the elderly.

WILLIAMS: Just a moment. Please, just a moment. I mean, you got to realize that right now the tax rate in this country is right now at a 60-year low. A 60-year low.

HANNITY: Hey Juan, you don't live in New York.

PARKER: Well, of course it is, we're in an economic downturn.


WILLIAMS: Hang on. If you're talk about spending, government spending hasn't been this low since Eisenhower. So then you say, oh no, let's protect the fact that one percent --

HANNITY: Government spending? A hundred percent of GDP.

WILLIAMS: Hang on. One percent of America owns, the fabulous rich, owns about 50 percent of the country. And why you say they shouldn't pay their fair share is a puzzle to me.

PARKER: No, we're not talking about why they shouldn't. What we have to do is move beyond this discussion. I just talked about it in my last week's column. Poor people are not poor because rich people are rich. Now, if we are going to have discussions about how we gain revenue in our national coffers, how we spend that money, then we should have honest discussion. And that's not what this president is doing. What this president does is --

WILLIAMS: I think he is.

PARKER: Well, you can't say that --

WILLIAMS: I think, this is a fundraiser for campaign purposes, and these people aren't being forced to attend. They are delighted to be with the president on his 50th birthday.

PARKER: Well, you can't say that when -- well, wait a minute. I want to make one more point there, Juan. You can't say that when the ones that will have the best marginal benefit to change in the current system of these entitlements are the very poor that he keeps pretending this government entitlement program is working for. If we are going to have honest dialogue about what has broken in this country so that we can fix it, then we need to have an honest discussion. Number one, the Latinos are the very youngest. So, all of this is going to come crash on their back. Number two, the African-Americans, they're not recovering what they're already paying into these systems. Government has already been controlling all healthcare in their communities, and it's not working. Let's talk about the challenges of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in an honest way.

WILLIAMS: Excuse me. He was the one who wanted to talk about this and have a grand bargain. Speaker Boehner wanted to talk about it. It was people on the far right who said no, shut it down -- HANNITY: People like Hannity.

WILLIAMS: -- because we want to protect the very, very rich. Sean, you were one of those people.


HANNITY: Wait, wait, wait. One second. Hang on a second. I've let you get away with this, Juan. Juan, half the country doesn't pay taxes. One-half.

WILLIAMS: Yes. That's true.

HANNITY: Ten percent pay 70 percent.


HANNITY: Right now, if you live in New York, state, local, county, federal taxes, you are paying nearly -- and sales tax -- you are paying nearly 60 percent of your income in taxes, and you want to take a bat to my head and tell me to pay more.

WILLIAMS: Sean, you know that's not true. And you're my friend. I would never take a bat to you

HANNITY: I'm telling you the truth.

WILLIAMS: In terms of wealth, Sean, the people who own this country, the people who earn all the money.

HANNITY: You said I was one of them, I'm not.


WILLIAMS: They earn 50 percent of all the income, and you want to make a big deal out of the president's birthday. You know what you should be make a big deal out of, the fact that Republicans are gone from town. They're not coming back tonight, they've left the FAA totally dysfunctional and threatening this country.


HANNITY: I don't blame them. Washington is on vacation, our wallets are safe.

PARKER: There's freedom in the city, the politicians are gone.

HANNITY: Yes, thank God.

WILLIAMS: They should come back and do the business of getting the FAA back to work rather than blame game and complaining about President Obama's birthday.

PARKER: You get rid of Davis Bacon and they will.


HANNITY: They were one of the few if not only groups to succeed in getting much of what they wanted out of the debt deal, but will the Tea Party be able to capitalize on its big moment before it's gone? Plus, you just thought the debate was over, but in reality it's only just begun. Florida Congressman Connie Mack is in studio live, he'll tell us why, next.

Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.