This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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Now, for the "Top Story", tonight, Charles Krauthammer found the President's new budget, quote, "scandalous". That's what he told Bret Baier last night, causing Mr. Baier to furrow his brow. Charles joins us now from Washington. Scandalous?
KRAUTHAMMER: Scandalous because he knows otherwise. If he didn't, he would be clueless. I don't think you are right in saying that he doesn't believe the debt is important. I think he knows it is. He said so in his first two years. He said so when he appointed a commission on debt. The debt commission itself was a report I'm sure he read. Said that it's a mortal danger to the country and you don't have to make a theoretical proposition out of this.
All you've got to do is look across the Atlantic at the meltdown of the entire social democratic experiment in Europe, which is the -- the -- the perfect example of the entitlement state. Athens is in flames. This is what happens when you pile on debt.
And what does he do in this budget? He adds another $1.3 trillion, four years in a row. This is a man who will have added $5 trillion to the debt in one term.
O'REILLY: Ok. But he says he has to do it because of the economy and that there was no other way out. We would have been in a Great Depression if he didn't do it. And he also says that by this massive spending that down the road, down the road, the economy will rise so high and the revenue from the tax because he's going to tax you and me and the rich guys, all right? And all the debt will then come down to a very manageable position and that's what he is telling the folks.
KRAUTHAMMER: Down the road? In the sunny uplands of the future, down the road. In the first two years of his presidency, he says we can't cut anything. We have to spend like crazy because the economy is in bad shape and there is high unemployment.
Now he said, in fact, he said it yesterday in the speech he gave, the economy is strengthening, unemployment is improving so now we can't cut, we have to keep spending. He will always say that we need to keep spending and we won't cut any --
O'REILLY: Why, though? Why will he always --
KRAUTHAMMER: Because the project of the liberal idea is to infantilize the population with all kinds of benefits. The conservative idea is the safety net for those who can't do it on their own, for all kinds of reasons and to make sure there is no destitution in the country.
The European idea, which Obama is a believer in, is that the state should provide for the middle class, provide free education. Look, what has he been offering in the last couple of weeks? If you bought a mortgage that you can't afford, we're going to help you out with a lot of money. If you have a student loan that you couldn't afford but you did anyway, we're going to help you out with a lot of money.
What they want is an entitlement state. Free health care and in fact we're going to give you contraception, not only as a right, but it will be without a co-pay --
O'REILLY: All right. So they -- they see themselves -- the President sees himself though --
KRAUTHAMMER: This is all for the middle class and that's what ruined Europe and it will ruin us.
O'REILLY: Ok, but the President sees himself -- the President sees himself as a compassionate man, a man of the people, a man helping struggling families in the middle class. And that's how he sees himself.
Now, do you agree with me that there is a shift in American society; that it's too hard to succeed now, because it is. We live in an ultra- competitive world now. Much more competitive than it was even 20 years ago to really have to work hard, you really have to get educated, develop a skill.
All right, some people say, you know what? I don't want to pay the price. Because I have my own little world, right here on the PC, right here on my machines that I carry around all day.
That means more to me because it's easy, it's fun, it takes me away. It means more to me than going out there and making my way in the world, which is brutally hard. I see this as a psychological shift that is playing to Mr. Obama's electoral advantage.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I'm not sure it's a massive or even a significant psychological shift in the nation. I think ever since the New Deal, there has been a segment of the population that is very happy to live off the teat of the giant state. And there's always been a segment of the population that wants to be independent.
So what happened when Obama started with these giveaways, and the goodies, the $1 trillion stimulus and Obamacare, you've got the birth spontaneous, without any leadership of the Tea Party Movement. People -- ordinary Americans saying, this is not how I want to live. This isn't America, that's Europe. That's not us. And I think that remains a dominant instinct in the United States and it's the reason --
O'REILLY: But why then are the polls so divided; 50 percent think he's doing a good job. Everybody knows he's a massive spender. You know if what you are saying is true, his approval rating would be 35. All right, and most people say we don't want to be Europe. But half of the country is saying we do want to be Europe. Wrap it up for us?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, we had a test of that in the real election it wasn't a poll in November of 2010, where Obamacare, the big state the intrusive --
O'REILLY: Oh they took it on the chin then. The economy was worse then.
KRAUTHAMMER: It wasn't on the chin, it was a shellacking. And right now, we're going to have a test of your proposition in November.
O'REILLY: All right.
KRAUTHAMMER: I think that will determine if we are a passive populist or if we want to maintain our independence that's exactly what's at stake. But the problem is that we don't have a Republican in the field for the presidency who can articulate the message --
O'REILLY: Right, now. I mean, they might get better at it. But look, if President Obama wins in November, we all have to learn French and I'm assuming the government will pay for our lessons.
Charles, thanks very much.
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