Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: The ghost of Ronald Reagan haunting President Obama

Talking Points 7/9


By Bill O'Reilly

Mr. Obama opened up a new front in his battle against Mitt Romney today by going back to the "tax the rich" mantra. The President trying to force Romney into defending wealthy Americans by opposing tax increases on them.

So, say hello once again to our little friend, class warfare. But here is an interesting side bar. The ghost of Ronald Reagan may be haunting President Obama. 32 years ago America was also in bad economic times. The incumbent President Jimmy Carter had expanded the federal government and lost control of the private sector. Unemployment and inflation were very big problems.

The challenger, Ronald Reagan, took full advantage of that portraying Carter as incompetent; and of course, Reagan won the election. On January 20th, 1981 Ronald Reagan said this in his inaugural address.


PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending.


O'REILLY: And Mr. Reagan kept his promise in that address dropping the federal income tax rate for the highest earners from 70 percent to 28 percent. Mr. Reagan went on to say that a large federal government was a problem, not a solution.


PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government.


O'REILLY: Mr. Reagan kept the federal government mostly in check during his eight years in office, adding about 12,000 workers in that time. By contrast, Jimmy Carter added almost 100,000 federal jobs in just four years. During Mr. Obama's first three years in office, the feds have added about 130,000 employees... more than 10 times what Reagan added in eight years. So you can see that Mr. Obama's philosophy is the exact opposite of Mr. Reagan's.

But history shows President Reagan was successful in reviving the American economy. So that's why Mr. Obama's policies are a bit perplexing.

In June, just 80,000 jobs are created in the USA, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but 85,000 workers... 85,000 left the marketplace in order to get disability payments.

Since June of 2009, there have been 2.6 million jobs created in America. But 3.1 million people have gone on disability. The math is clear... American workers are leaving their jobs to get paid by the taxpayers. And disability payments are at a record rate. That's a disaster for America.

Yet Mr. Obama continues to believe that he can tax his way out of the situation that raising taxes on the wealthy will somehow stimulate the economy. But listen to this. Say President Obama gets his way and he's able to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year? Say that happens... that rate hike would generate about $85 billion a year in increased revenue.

But right now, the feds are spending $85 billion every eight and a half days according to the Treasury Department. So it's all a ruse, this whole "tax the rich" deal means little in bringing down the deficit or anything else positive.

Look at this tax chart put together by the ISI group which invests money for institutions. It shows President Obama wants to raise the income tax rate for wealthiest Americans to 39.6 percent. Governor Romney wants the rate to drop to 28 percent like Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Obama would tax dividends, stuff you get from savings, at 43.4 percent in the top bracket. Governor Romney would tax them at 15 percent. President Obama would double the cap gains tax rate to 30 percent for everybody. Mr. Romney would keep it at 15 percent.

Now, if you double cap gains that would prevent me, a private investor, from aggressively putting any money in the market. The risk reward is simply too great. And I'm sure I'm not alone in that thinking.

So let me ask you, if Ronald Reagan was successful in reviving the American economy by dropping the tax rates for everybody, why would anyone think President Obama can revive the economy by doing the exact opposite? By raising rates for investors and the affluent? It doesn't make any sense. But still the President is betting big on that vision.

Here is what he said again today.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm calling on Congress to extend the tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 for another year.


O'REILLY: Congress, of course, is not going to do that. And if the Republicans win in November, federal tax rates will fall. Ironically, a few years ago, Mr. Obama was saying the exact opposite of what he said today.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up, take more demand out of economy. And put businesses in a further halt.


O'REILLY: That's right. "Talking Points" would support federal tax hikes on the wealthy if I thought they would help the folks. But there's absolutely no evidence more revenue to the government would do anything other than allowing President Obama to hire even more federal workers.

The President is not behind cutting spending. He's not stimulating the private sector. And he doesn't seem to be worried about America's massive debt. But the ghost of Ronald Reagan must be worried because this is 1980 all over again.

And that's "The Memo."