Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: The slacker factor

Talking Points 9/20


By Bill O'Reilly

Apparently Mitt Romney has begun to take the offensive about comments that were offensive to liberal Americans.

Earlier this week Mr. Romney was seen on tape saying that many Americans would not vote for him because they want free stuff rather than earn their way. As "Talking Points" pointed out on Tuesday, that's largely true.

So let's break it down. When I was teaching high school in Miami, Florida there were three kinds of students in my class. The first student worked hard and succeeded fairly well. The second student worked hard, but found getting good grades difficult for a variety of reasons. They didn't fail, but they weren't scoring big. And the third type of student didn't work at all. And many of them made excuses for their failure to do so.

Here is the point. Some of those failing students were outraged that I held them accountable for their laziness. They couldn't believe that I was giving them bad grades. They felt entitled to pass, no matter what they did.

But that was 40 years ago. Today the situation is for worse on the entitlement front. We've become a culture that generally excuses bad behavior. We make an excuse for it, unless it's felony type stuff. While my parents held me accountable for my actions, many parents today let their kids do what they want. So if they don't want to study, they don't have to.

That kind of attitude is now flooding the marketplace. And that's what Mitt Romney was talking about, a fairly significant percentage of Americans who believe society owes them stuff even if they don't even try to succeed. It's impossible to put a percentage on people who think that way and therein lies Mitt Romney's mistake; 47 percent of Americans are not slackers and the Governor knows that.

So in trying to make his point to a friendly audience, he didn't word the criticism properly. But there is no question that President Obama and the Democratic Party are not very interested in holding people accountable. They are far more interested in giving them stuff in return for votes. And that strategy may succeed.

Dennis Miller put it well last night.


DENNIS MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think a lot of people are worried that we're starting to skew over into a place where more people are not going for it, than going for it. That is dangerous.


O'REILLY: And it's dangerous because the successful people cannot carry everybody else. As Margaret Thatcher once said about socialism, there comes a point when you run out of other people's money. And we have.

The sad truth is that today millions of Americans are not willing to do what it takes to support themselves. They want the government to provide. They feel it is owed to them. Yes, times are tough. Yes, it's not easy to get a good job. But even in the face of a severe recession, most of us... most of us are working hard and many of us are succeeding. But far too many are not trying hard enough.

And that's "The Memo."