Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Is the federal government hurting or helping working Americans?

Talking Points 12/6


By Bill O'Reilly

Even though there was some good economic news today, which Lou Dobbs will analyze shortly, the key indicator of economic strength in America, wages, remains flat. This year, the average hourly wage in this country has increased by just two percent. Many economists believe because there are not enough jobs, workers have to take less pay it seems to make sense.

President Obama, though, he believes that the federal government can change that situation. However, in five years, his theory has not produced results. Nevertheless, the President remains undaunted.


OBAMA: We need to set aside the belief that government cannot do anything about reducing inequality. It's true that government cannot prevent all the downsides of the technological change and global competition that are out there right now, but we've also seen how government action time and again can make an enormous difference in increasing opportunity and bolstering ladders into the middle class.


O'REILLY: An enormous difference? I haven't seen it, have you? Maybe he's talking about FDR's new deal or Social Security or something like that, but presently? Big government and high taxation seem to be holding back the private sector and job creation. And the left seems to want it that way.

Yesterday, "The New York Times" editorialized, quote "The emphasis on cutting taxes and spending that began in the Reagan years is a direct result of economic insecurity now. It has led, for example to education cuts that have harmed children in low-income school districts. Reversing those decisions can still have an enormous impact," end quote.

But under President Obama, America's spending more money on education than any other nation in the world. Also, taxes have been going up and we have record debt. But the left wants more spending and even higher taxes. Simply put, the big government spending machine has not helped the economy very much. But again, liberal theory trumps results.


OBAMA: And the idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth is heartbreaking enough, but the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care or a community that views her future as their own? That should offend all of us.


O'REILLY: Well, it certainly offends me. If children are not getting a good education or do not have proper health care, I'm offended. But you cannot bankrupt the entire nation on some ideological quest for income equality. In a capitalistic system, that's impossible.

A "Wall Street Journal" editorial yesterday was blunt quote, "Mr. Obama returned to his favorite theme of rising income inequality. He ought to know since few presidents have done more to increase inequality than he has. Median household income has fallen since the economic recovery began, while the rich who own capital assets have done very well."

Now, two things. First, the reason there is such a wide gap between the rich and the poor in America is technology. We're living in a time where people who have tech skills will make money and people who have few skills will struggle. And the President's nanny state mentality is not going to change that.

Second, American children must master skills in school. But President Obama has done very little to reform the teachers unions to encourage discipline in the public schools and to be blunt about why some kids fail. The primary reason children do not learn is that their parents are chaotic, apathetic or not around. It all comes back to parenting and to discipline in the public schools.

Money doesn't have much to do with it. When I taught high school in Miami -- private school, but a poor school -- I had 45 kids in my class. No air conditioning. The school could barely afford chalk. Yet, most of those kids learned and prospered. Why -- because they were forced to. President Obama lives in a world of theories, not a problem-solver. He wants to throw money at everything. His big government programs are failing, period.

And that's "The Memo."