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Bill O'Reilly Hits Back at Jon Stewart

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 22, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: As you may know, we have been closely analyzing the terrible economic situation in this country. Dow down almost 400 today. And there is no question that President Obama's big government management solutions aren't working. Also, the "tax the rich" mantra, a ruse. There are simply not enough wealthy people in the entire country to make a dent in the federal debt no matter how much you take from them.

Enter Jon Stewart, a liberal man who has no use for whining millionaires, a man dedicated to mocking the hand that feeds him. In this case, the owner of 33 Subway sandwich shops, Congressman John Fleming, who opposes paying higher taxes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. JOHN FLEMING, R-LA.: If you go after the higher income earners, you're also going after the job creators. So whatever is cut out of those earnings is money taken out of capital for reinvestment for creating more jobs, opening up more locations.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": More locations. At long last, sir, we don't need more Subways.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O'REILLY: Especially if you're a sushi eating, latte drinking New Yorker. But Jon Stewart is not in that category. In fact, he's in a category all his own, kind of like me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

STEWART: But there is sadly only one Papa Bear.

O'REILLY: If you tax achievement, some of the achievers are going to pack it in. Again, let's take me. My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don't know how much longer I'm going to do this. I like my job, but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive.

STEWART: So if taxes are raised, Bill O'Reilly might quit his Fox show? Well that brings us to our new segment, "No. Stop. Bill. Don't. Please. No." I shouldn't poke fun. Bill is just standing up for a shrinking exploited minority.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O'REILLY: That's absolutely correct. I'm standing up for Americans with common sense, people who understand that under a Democratic Congress the nation racked up more than $5 trillion in debt in just four years, even as the economy tanked. So I and many others have come to the conclusion that the liberal tenet of taxing the rich and spending like Arab sheiks may not be the solution to fixing a moribund economy. Of course, I could be wrong. At least Ron Howard thinks so.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: To be honest, I remember on the "Andy Griffith" show when income taxes for the upper levels were as much as 90 percent. And that's the era that we often look back to with great nostalgia and it was a time of tremendous growth. So, you know, I'm not averse to paying some taxes to try to help the country grow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paying more taxes than you pay right now?

HOWARD: Yes. For me personally, I believe that it's silly. I'm with Warren Buffett on this one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Now, I do seem to remember Floyd the barber and Goober grousing about a 90 percent income tax rate, but it is a myth. The top tax rate in the 1950s peaked at 92 percent, but nobody actually paid anything close to that. In fact, in 1951 the handful of Americans -- we're talking maybe 200 making more than a million dollars a year -- paid about 62 percent, onerous to be sure. But in 1962, President Kennedy proposed a big tax cut for the rich in order to stimulate the economy and encourage investment, and the rates have been moderating ever since.

Now today, President Obama wants to buck that trend, but even fellow Democrat Bill Clinton knows a tax increase on the rich and corporations will not solve the country's economic problems.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Americans lost the fact that whatever you think about this millionaire surcharge, if -- I don't really care because I would pay it. But it won't affect me because I already pay the minimum income because I live in New York. I'll pay more, but it won't solve the problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: That's right. It won't solve the problem.

So let's recap, shall we? Jon Stewart mocks the Subway guy who wants to expand and me for telling you that higher taxes will not lead to economic prosperity. Better tax collection would help the feds, but raising cap gains and the income tax would most likely blunt consumer spending and investment leading to more, more economic hardship. Andy and Opie would side with Stewart, I believe. But I think I would get Thelma and Barney. Either way, I'm right.

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O'Reilly Factor, hosted by Bill O'Reilly, airs on Weekdays at 8PM ET on Fox News Channel.