Inequality in America

Charles Krauthammer on inequality and the left


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 2, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

O'REILLY: In "Back of the Book" segment tonight, inequality in America.


Yesterday, a new mayor was sworn in, New York City, perhaps the most liberal mayor in this city's history. Bill de Blasio takes over from Michael Bloomberg. And here are some highlights of his introduction.

BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY (D): Our nation has the largest prison population in the world. Much of that problem stems from issues of race, perpetuated by the depth of human indifference to poverty.

REV. FRED LUCAS, JR., PASTOR, BROOKLYN COMMUNITY CHURCH: That the plantation called New York City be the city of God, a city set up on the hill, a light shining in darkness.

BLASIO: We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.


O'REILLY: Joining us now from Washington to react, Charles Krauthammer. Inequality, Charles, are we a nation that embraces inequality, which is what those gentlemen want us to believe. They want the audience to say that we are a rotten system and they're going to fix it.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No. In fact, I think, among the western nations, the prosperous nations, developed nations, we are the least interested in inequality. Because that implies that, in addition to empowering the poor, your objective is to impoverish the rich.

Americans, generally speaking, don't envy the rich. They want to be rich. They do believe we have an obligation to help the poor, to help those who are trying to get up the social ladder. And that's where the emphasis wants to be.

But this kind of class resentment about inequality implies that, somehow, this is a war of the rich on the poor. And that just isn't true.

O'REILLY: But in New York City now, the minorities are the most populated groups. They've passed whites.

And I think there are 3 million -- I want to get the stat right, but there are 38 percent -- 38 percent of New York City residents are foreign- born, OK.

So, this city does not really reflect the rest of the country demographically. However, de Blasio got power. He won by this class resentment.

Now, here is a question. I don't believe this guy is going to change anything about the poor and the rich, no matter how much he takes --


-- from the rich. Nothing is going to change under his administration because he doesn't know what to do.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, I agree entirely.


Take the one person in the country who has made a cause of inequality, which is the President of the United States, right. He has just said a few months ago, that will be the abiding theme of the rest of his presidency.

And yet, under this president, inequality in America has increased dramatically. We have had, for the first time in 40 years, the median household income declining during the recovery as much as it declined during the recession.

So, here you've got liberals running around with their hair on fire, screaming about inequality at a time when they've been in power five years, they have not just done nothing about inequality, they have exacerbated it.

O'REILLY: Yes. They made it worse because they --

KRAUTHAMMER: So, with the de Blasio theory, you'd have to say, Obama deliberately has wanted to do this. Obviously, he hasn't. Obviously, it's out of the control of the government.

O'REILLY: And the reason why is that these people like de Blasio and, to some extent, Barack Obama, punish private industry which, of course, provides the jobs and the economic ladder up when competition is introduced. But here -- but here's the threat --

KRAUTHAMMER: You talked about --

O'REILLY: Go ahead.

KRAUTHAMMER: You talked about the large number of immigrants in New York. The story of New York over the last century was these hordes of immigrants coming in to Ellis Island.

They start a small business. And that's been the story and the ladder of all those successes. And, yet, you have the liberal administration in Washington, over-regulating, overtaxing, introducing uncertainty, so that the ones who are hurt the most are small businesses.

The big guys, the big companies that have all the lobbyists and the lawyers have done extremely well. For example, they are exempt from the employer mandate. To little guy, not at all.

And then they're shocked, shocked to see inequality. And the guys at the bottom of the ladder, unable to climb the ladder.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.