Hannan Rips PM Brown; Obama on Same Path?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight in "Your America," even from abroad, the future looks bleak. Now a couple of months ago, a British member of the European Parliament named Daniel Hannan captured the world's attention when he called out British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for pursuing an agenda similar to the one that we are faced with here at home.


DANIEL HANNAN, MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Prime Minister, you cannot carry on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the unproductive. You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt. And when you repeat in that wooden and perfunctory way that our situation is better than others, that we're well-placed to weather the storm, I have to tell you, you sound like a Brezhnev era apparatus giving the party line. You know and we know and you know that we know that it's nonsense.


HANNITY: Now recently, Hannan made the argument again, but while you listen to this video, try to replace Gordon Brown's name with Barack Obama's, and you'll see how the same criticisms apply here.


HANNAN: This man cannot listen to criticism. I don't just mean by that that he can't respond to criticism. I mean he literally cannot listen to criticism. It's always been Gordon Brown's tragedy. Now alas it's Britain's too because nothing can come between Gordon Brown and the pursuit of a wrong-headed policy. He's emptied our Treasury, he's exhausted our credit, he's dishonored our nation in the councils of the world, and still he carries on spending juggernaut-like, inexorable, insensible.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

He's going to borrow more in the next two years than every government since the national debt was instituted in 1692. My two little girls are going to spend their adult lives working off Gordon Brown's debt and all because Labor would rather ruin this country than face down its last remaining client group in the public sector. Shame on this prime minister and shame on this chancellor who diminished this country and betrayed our posterity.


HANNITY: Wow, Daniel Hannan joins me again from London. Daniel, good to see you again, thank you for being with us.

HANNAN: Nice to be back, Sean.

HANNITY: You know, I want to go through this. Emptying the Treasury. That's what we see happening. In one year in the United States, we are quadrupling our deficit. We are accumulating more debt with this one president than every president from George Washington up to and including and through George W. Bush.

It's almost an exact replica of what you are now going through with Gordon Brown, and I don't know how to stop it. Nor do I know how we are able to overcome it considering the numbers are so massive. Give us your thoughts.

HANNAN: And where's it all gone? If looking back you could say well, it's gone into giving us the best education system in the world or it's gone into infrastructure or better transport, or even if it had just gone into getting the banks lending again, if it had worked as a simple stimulus package, then OK, there'd be an argument for it. I suspect that you and I would have still been against it, but you could at least see that there would be a case. But even in its own terms, this policy has been a failure. It didn't have the stimulative effect that it was supposed to.

HANNITY: I listen to your words, empty the Treasury, exhaust our credit, continue to spend and continue to borrow more. I'm not exactly sure what the philosophy is behind this, but it used to be that in Great Britain and the United States that we had some consideration of future generations, our children and grandchildren. Has all of that gone out the window in both our countries?

HANNAN: I mean, I can't speak for your country. Certainly we are I think years ahead of where you are, and not in a good way. I mean, look, I don't want to come on this program and be disobliging about your president. No friend of America, and I'm proud to think of myself as a friend to your country, ever wants an American president to fail.

I'm with Newt Gingrich on this. He's a great hero of mine. I want your president to succeed, and I, therefore, want him to avoid the mistakes that our prime minister has made. We are if you like 10 years further down the road from you. You're at the beginning of a process, and we're at the end of it. We've had 10 years of socialism. And it has left us dishonored and indebted, our currency in free fall, scorned among nations, our democracy disdained, our system breaking down, our public services wrecked, and, as you say, our Treasury empty, and all for nothing. So look — we are coming for your future. Look into our crystal ball. And I hope you're going to avoid some of those mistakes.

HANNITY: Well, I hope so, and perhaps I'm in a better position as an American to be more critical because I see exactly what has happened in Great Britain happening here.

You're now paying what, a 61 percent tax rate. I read with great fascination considering your admonition and warning that we not adopt a nationalized health care, that your government rationing body has denied women with health care the life saving drugs that they would need, ostensibly giving them a death sentence. Is that what you see in America's crystal ball?

HANNAN: Last time I got on this show, I got into huge trouble with everyone attacking me for cautioning you against a British health care model. You guys are going to have to decide that. All I would say is this. Your country is great and prosperous and free because government is constrained and because the visionaries who wrote your constitution who knew what they were doing when they drafted that document and who understood where unconstrained government leads because they fought against it. They created a system of checks and balances that would keep the state small and the citizen big.

Now if you start going down this road towards a more European welfare model and more European health care model, more public spending, more spending on education, being nicer in your foreign policy, all of those things, you make your country less American. You make it more like everywhere else. And that isn't going to make people like you anymore, it's going to make them respect you less.

The reason that your country is respected and honored in the world is precisely because it's been as your founders understood it, it's been the city on the hill. It's shown us how by adopting a model based on personal freedom and the decentralization of power based on Jeffersonian democracy and disbursed decision making, how you can make people prosperous and successful and strong. And the world owes you a debt. Because the vision of your constitution didn't just keep you free, it inspired your fathers to take that freedom to other continents as well.

HANNITY: I wish most Americans understood American history as well as you do. I will say it was constrained. We now in America, Daniel, we have one party rule. I never thought I'd see an America that our banks would become nationalized as they now are, that CEO pay would be dictated and our finance industry ostensibly destroying risk, reward and incentive.

I never thought our government would take over the car industry as is happening as we speak here, and nor did I ever think that free market capitalization would be replaced by government health care, which we are on the verge of adopting. I wish people would hear your admonition. But I'm not sure they will.

HANNAN: Like I was saying, I don't want to be rude about your president, but let me just say.

HANNITY: Feel free. We have free speech. You can be as rude as you want.

HANNAN: Sean, but genuinely, he's your head of state, and he recently won an election, and I really want the guy to do well. I want America to be strong. I want America to be prosperous. I don't want Obama to fail.

But you say you couldn't imagine these things, Sean. I just wonder, you know, FDR did similar things, and I'm sure he thought he was doing them from the best of possible motives, that he was for the people and against the elites, and he was against the lobby groups and he may have been, there may have been an element of truth in that, but look at what he did. The worst diminutions of freedom come because people are convinced that they cannot do wrong because they're morally correct.

It's what Gordon Brown thinks. It's what FDR thought. And that in his mind justified ignoring the two-term limit, stuffing the Supreme Court, or trying to, treating the legislature as a rubber stamp. All of the things that Gordon Brown is doing here. So I'm sure that the people in power now think they are doing what is right for the country, but that is a very dangerous set of mind unless there are people in opposition. All of us need critics, that's what keeps us on our toes.

HANNITY: You sound like a modern day Paul Revere, warning us socialism is coming. Daniel Hannan, we appreciate you being with us, thank you once again my friend.

HANNAN: Thank you.

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