Dennis Miller on Health Care Showdown, Out-of-Control Taxes, Winter Olympics

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 24, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Miller Time" segment tonight: taxes, Olympics and health care. Joining us from Los Angeles, the sage of Southern California, Dennis Miller.

All right. So you've heard some of the bloviating tonight on "The Factor" about health care. A "Tombstone" high noon shootout. What do you think?

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DENNIS MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening, O'Reilly Wan Kenobi. First off, I have to say Doug Schoen was electric. It's tough to keep that guy down. That is just a pulsating vibrant thing there.

O'REILLY: But he was pretty interesting, wasn't he, Miller?

MILLER: He was very interesting. I'm just saying he plays a little doer, a little under the radar.

I've got two minds on tomorrow's health care thing. I think, Bill, that they — they can come in hard, where the Republicans enter the room. Remember that scene in "The Godfather 2" where Tom Hagen and Michael enter the testimony room with Frankie Pentangeli's brother from the old country. You could come in like that and send Obama a message. Or you could come in soft where they all have pinafores on and casserole dishes with au gratin potatoes and wieners in them.

I'm of two minds. I think they're going to split the difference, come in somewhere in the middle. Here's my plan for the Republicans tomorrow. You know Barack Obama is going to blow so much smoke people are going to think there's going to be new pope elected. So if I was the Republicans, I would just come in, take my time up front and lay down five basic things. When they say you've got five minutes, say, "We only need a minute." Lay down the five basics and say, "We yield our time back to you, Mr. President." Do it demurely. Don't make out like you're mocking him. But say, "We've just got five things, and they're pretty basic." And he'll do all the smoke and mirrors, the obfuscation, throw it back to them and say, "Once again, here are the five things we do. Cross state borders, tort reform, nurses all have to wear yoga pants," whatever you want to say. Then throw it back to him and say, "We yield the rest of our time."

O'REILLY: OK, so keep it simple, like you? Keep it simple.

MILLER: Really simple. You're not going to keep up with Barack Obama on — in a speech. You know that. So just be smiling. Don't — you know, act like you're being too cheeky. But just yield your time back to him because you can't beat him in a way. I'd keep it to name, rank and serial number tomorrow if I was the Republicans.

O'REILLY: OK. Are you as concerned about the tanning salon tax as I am, Miller? Because I know you live out there in California.

MILLER: Well, you know, Billy, I keep certain parts of my body George Hamilton bronzed. Then there are other parts that are kind of white. But there are specific parts that I keep at a nice, almost Mayan — you know the Mayans?


MILLER: I keep it right there. So yes, I am a little worried that I may pay a partial tax on that.

O'REILLY: OK, because I don't want to get into that, you know. You do live in the most taxed state except for New York. New York is the highest taxed state in the union.


O'REILLY: And your taxes are going to go up everywhere. Everything you do, Miller.


O'REILLY: There is even going to be a tax on George Hamilton. If you speak to him, you're going to have to pay extra money to the government. There will be.

MILLER: Well, you know, thank God the Donner party didn't get trapped at the Sierra Nevadas and have to cannibalize themselves now or they'd get hit with a food and beverage tax, no doubt. March 14, you know, coming up in a few weeks, you've got to set- the-clocks-ahead tax out here. It's crazy, Billy.


MILLER: I'm thinking of turning all my money over to the state because I think I'll have more access to it as a petitioner than I will as the actual proprietor here. Something — something is going to happen. They're going to go a bridge too far and they're going to have a tax revolt on their hands.

O'REILLY: Well, it's already — it's already — let's you and I commiserate here, all right? You have a couple of houses, right? We pay property taxes on the house, do we not?

MILLER: Sure, I do, out the wazoo.

O'REILLY: OK. We pay federal income tax, right?

MILLER: Uh-huh.

O'REILLY: State income tax?


O'REILLY: We pay — I pay city, New York City income tax, which entitles cab drivers to spew profanities at me. That's what that tax goes for. So that's three taxes. Property tax. Then every bill I get, phone, everything, there's a tax. If I want to buy anything, there's a sales tax. You got all that in California, too, right?

MILLER: How's about this? This morning they call and tell me I — I, Dennis Miller, am getting taxed on every gold medal we win at the Winter Olympics. How in the hell does that happen?

O'REILLY: You got that call, too?

MILLER: It's unbelievable, Billy.

O'REILLY: It's only people who make...

MILLER: I don't even get to keep the medal.

O'REILLY: ...only people who make $250,000 and up get the call on the gold. But between $100 and $250 you get taxed on the silvers. And the poor people...

MILLER: And the middle class gets the bronze.

O'REILLY: The bronze, right.

MILLER: Exactly.

O'REILLY: So you would say that this whole thing — the tanning salon, the tax on George Hamilton conversation, the tax on the Olympic medals, totally out of control, right?

MILLER: There is a point, Billy, where I wouldn't work anymore. Really. I'm 56 now. At some point I have to start balancing — I want to see some things in the world. If it got to a point where it was just silly, where I felt they were jobbing me, using me as a sucker and like treating me in the same breath as the bad guy, I'd just say, "Hey, you know, I don't know if it's 'Atlas Shrugged,' but it's 'Atlas Shirked.'" At some point I'd travel the world a little.

O'REILLY: OK, but there's going to be a retirement tax. I don't know whether you know that or not. But it's like the death tax. They come in and take 50 percent when you die. When you retire they take another 30. Look, it's just so out of control, and I just want everybody to know what's heading down the pike.

Finally, the Olympics. Have you seen anything that's really impressed you there?

MILLER: Well, I felt bad for — you know, I love Vancouver. My wife is from there. And up front they got dealt some really weird cards right out of the block. It reminds you that the only — the only time that Murphy's Law doesn't rest is when you're building everything on Murphy's Law. Then it goes — everything goes to hell. And I think they have resurrected it in the last — the last seven to eight days. It's been a great Olympics. And it just makes me laugh, Billy, how the personality of each nation is reflected in the events that they're good at. I look at the mellow Canadians, and they're the sweetest people. They are out there shoving this big granite teas cozy down an ice shuffleboard court. The Germans are skiing their tookuses off and then getting down and shooting guns. It's beautiful. It's the way history is.

O'REILLY: There you go. Dennis Miller, everybody, the sage of Southern California.

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