Problems facing America

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the greatest dangers to the nation's wellbeing


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 29, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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In "Back of the Book" segment tonight, danger to, we, the people. We outlined it with facts in "Talking Points Memo" this evening which is posted on

So, now, the question becomes, how should we handle threats to our person and economic well-being. Joining us now from Washington, Fox News Political Analyst Charles Krauthammer.

So, the threats, right now, I think, are two-fold, economically because a lot of people are living paycheck-to-paycheck and wages are going down and expenses are going up.

And then there's the terror threat. I mean, Putin, is he direct threat to us right now with the Ukraine. Probably not, it's more annoying and embarrassing than anything else.

But, you know, ISIS army is certainly a threat, the Taliban in Afghanistan, certainly. If they could, they'd hit us. What do you think is the greatest threat in the world.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: And I would add to that, Iran going nuclear. That could be the greatest threat of all.

Now, we have an administration that has just paid Iran $11.8 billion to engage in six months of negotiations and ended with nothing. And, now, we're paying them $2.8 billion to give us another four months of useless --

O'REILLY: Right.

KRAUTHAMMER: -- negotiations. And even if we end up with an agreement, I guarantee you, it's going to leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, meaning, it'll be six months, eight months away from the bomb.

And that, I think, is the biggest of all threats because terror, at a conventional level, will give us 9/11.

But terror at the nuclear level will give us unbelievable destruction that we cannot imagine. And that would be coming.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, Kirsten Powers, top of the program, a liberal woman -- but not crazy. I mean, she'll criticize President Obama when she believes it's necessary.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, there are non-crazy liberals.

O'REILLY: Yes, I mean, -- and I've got the "Tip of the Day" on that in a minute. But she puts forth that, "Hey, it's always been this way in the world. And it's unfair to lay all this on President Obama."

And they're calling him weak and anything else, that he is doing just as well as Reagan did.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, it's true that it's always been this way. There's always been instability, there have always been bad actors.

And, sometimes, it's been worse when the bad actors were the heads of Germany and Japan. That was a lot worse.

Nonetheless, there is a difference now. And that is, before, with Reagan, with Clinton, I would say, with Bush Senior particularly, with the Gulf War, the challenge of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have had American leadership.

Look, the thing that's held the world together, the thing that has maintained the freedom of the Free World since the Second World War, has been the United States standing for what John Kennedy said, was the defense of liberty.

He said that in his inaugural address. We were the leaders. We protected Europe, we protected small powers, we protected Japan, we protected the Pacific Rim.

And, now, the world is looking around and saying, "Where is America." We have, as you say, ISIS, Islamic State at the heart of the Middle East, Iran going nuclear, Russia on the move, China claiming territory that it doesn't really have a right to.

And everybody is saying, "Where's America." And we have a president who says Russia is on the wrong side of history.


As if history is going to work stuff out without the United States. And that's probably a belief of his. It's an ideological belief of his.


But what it means is, our allies are unsure if there's anybody to back them up and our enemies are thinking we now have a free rein to do what we want.

O'REILLY: To do exactly what we want.

KRAUTHAMMER: Because the sheriff has gone home.

O'REILLY: Surely, Putin feels that way. Now, let's shift it back into the domestic arena.

All right, so the people are sitting there after six months of a Democratic administration and the economy is still nowhere, all right. It is a struggle for the folks to pay their bills, to get a good job.

You see the rise of entitlements going through the roof, not only in direct food stamps but in disabilities, which is the biggest scam in the world. And everybody knows it.

So, how do Americans caught in this vice -- what are the survival skills or advice that you can give them.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, it's six years and I think this is not people talking about Democrats or talking about some kind of insoluble problem.

It is rather simple. You take the neck, the boot of the government of the American economy.

Let the vital spirits, the vital energies of the American economy which are enormous and unmatched in the world, the skill, the technology, the risk- taking, let that loose.

If we get in a new administration -- unfortunately, we're going to have to wait two years. That's why we've had the slowest recovery since the Second World War.

You allow the U.S. economy to have less regulation, less taxation, less of the EPA trying to hold back the boon in energy which is why it pulled us to whatever extent it has out of our recession.

You allow all that to happen, the American economy is going to go gangbusters.

O'REILLY: And you need the leadership in Washington, too, as you said, allow not to not have that, you know.

KRAUTHAMMER: We're going to have to survive two and a half years.

O'REILLY: But I'm not sure that the folks who voted in Barack Obama twice are going to admit their mistake and see it your way, especially when the entitlements are flowing, Charles, the demographics are changing, the education is declining, the machines are addicting.

We're a different country now.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, look, your theory is, and it's one that could be true, -- you know, every once in a while you get it right -- is that there are fundamental changes in the country that means it opts, it will choose dependency.

I happen to believe that that tipping point is reachable. Europe reached it decades ago but it hasn't been reached here. I do think the majority of the unemployed would love to have a job, that they don't want to be on the dull. And they don't want --

O'REILLY: I hope so.

KRAUTHAMMER: -- food stamps. And if you have the right leadership and you have a Republican, a conservative who makes the case for a free society where people's energy and enterprise will allow them to succeed, you'll win the political argument, you'll win the White House, and you can have an economy that could actually work.

O'REILLY: All right.

KRAUTHAMMER: And that's what it will take.

O'REILLY: Hope so. Thank you, Charles, as always.

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