Is Obama Taking Pointers From Hugo Chavez?

Is it me or has anyone else noticed that Marxism has suddenly become "cool" in America? Che is just a T-shirt; Mao is a favorite philosopher or a hip purse; Stalin is someone with whom Oliver Stone can "empathize."

These people were all ruthless, cold-blooded killers.

Mark this down on your calendar: Friday, January 22 — you and your family are going to learn the true history of Che, Mao, Stalin, the killers of socialism and communism — part of our new year, new show.

We're going to set the record straight. And once you see it, more people will wonder what I'm wondering tonight: Why is it that nobody seems to be paying any attention to the similarities we're seeing between what Hugo Chavez has been doing in Venezuela and what's happening here?

When have Marxism and/or socialism ever led to prosperity? Have the moves we've made toward socialism helped? The jobless numbers came out on Friday: We're at 10 percent still. With the expected rush of December hiring for Christmas, we still lost jobs.

Ten percent 10 percent unemployment; 85,000 jobs lost in December; White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called it "disappointing" and added, "We are in a very tough economic environment."

That's weird, I thought the worst was behind us — to quote his boss. And it's actually much tougher than he knows or admits because his boss is wrong. The thing about job numbers, they come out the first Friday of every month but they don't really show the whole picture.

Eight-five thousand jobs lost for the month of December, but what they don't take into account is the group "not in the labor force." Who are these people? They are the ones who have given up or, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it "Persons outside the labor force who want a job, including those who have stopped looking because they believe no jobs are available (discouraged workers)."

How many of those "discouraged workers" could be out there?

Well, the change from October to November was 326,000 people — 326,000 have given up. But the change from November to December: 843,000 people. But they don't count in the government's statistics as unemployed. They are just "discouraged workers" who don't have jobs.

But I want to show you what our old friend Hugo Chavez has been up to.

President Chavez, harried by recession and declining popularity, announced a major currency devaluation late Friday to shore-up government finances and stimulate economic growth before key elections this year. Let's take a look at some of the things Hugo Chavez has done up to this point:

May, 2007: Chavez takes control of oil projects part-owned by foreign private companies

May 28, 2007: Radio Caracas Television, the country's oldest private network and its most watched, goes off the air after Chavez refuses to renew its broadcasting license. He accuses the channel of causing "moral damage" and backing the coup against him in 2002

2009: Chavez begins a campaign of threats, fines and intimidation against the country's only remaining opposition TV station, Globovisión

July 31, 2008: Chavez announces nationalization of Banco Santander the local subsidiary of Banco de Venezuela. Then on November 20, the government took over four private banks

And Hugo Chavez moves to silence and discredit his critics:

June 2009: Police raid the home of Globovisión's president and ordered the station to pay $2.3 million for giving free airtime to anti-government groups during a 2002 oil strike

August 1, 2009: Chavez begins the shutdown of 34 radio stations

Now let me show you what has happened in the past year in the United States of America, under Barack Obama.

Remember: Chavez nationalized big oil; shut down the country's most-watched television network; threatened, fined and intimidated the only other opposition station; shutdown 34 radio stations; took over banks and tried to silence his critics. OK? Here's the past year in America — again, Chavez grabbed control of big oil, let me show you what Maxine Waters said:


REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-CALIF.: And guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal will be about socializing ... uh, um ... would be about, basically, taking over and the government running all of your companies.


Chavez intimidated, shut down or fined any media critical of his policies. Meanwhile, Obama's FCC diversity "czar," Mark Lloyd said this:


MARK LLOYD, FCC DIVERSITY 'CZAR': In Venezuela, with Chavez, really an incredible revolution — a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.


Lloyd also said this on the Fairness Doctrine:


LLOYD: What we are really saying is that the Fairness Doctrine is not enough.



And, according to Lloyd, commercial broadcast owners who do not comply with these regulations would be forced to pay a fine, the proceeds of which would "directly support local, regional, and national public broadcasting." PBS, funded by your tax dollars and soon fines on private broadcast companies? Lloyd estimates that the fines "would net between $100 million and $250 million" for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which in turn would, according to Lloyd and his colleagues, "cover controversial and political issues in a fair and balanced manner."

Chavez took over Venezuelan banks. In America, Barack Obama and the U.S. government executed a bailout of some of America's largest banks and the federal government now owns 35 percent of Bank of America's pro forma tangible equity. On December 14, Obama said this about our banking situation:


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With the help of the American government and the American taxpayer, our banks now have a greater obligation to the goal of a wider recovery, a more stable system and more broadly shared prosperity.


Chavez has worked overtime to silence his critics. On June 16 of last year, Obama mentioned his alleged "opposition":


OBAMA: I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration ...


That's a pretty big megaphone.


And when the White House said Fox News isn't a news organization, Obama had this to say:


OBAMA: And if media is operating basically as a talk radio format then that's one thing, and if it's operating as a news outlet that's another. But it's not something I'm losing sleep over.


And now, Chavez is devaluing the Venezuelan currency ... again. It is what we've been telling you since George W. Bush was in office: This president and the last president devalued our dollar and what happened in Venezuela is going to happen here if we don't stop spending money.

But more importantly, if you're going to control a people you must have them dependent on you. So what's the best way to do that? You can change the radio stations, you can control their energy supply, you can even make it so that they have to come to the government to do business. But the most effective way is to become the slave master and make them come to you for employment. How could you lose your job as president if the voter understands that by voting for your competitor — who wants to reduce the size of government — that would mean losing your job? The real power grab is getting them into your employ.

What happens when you compare America's "goods producing" category of jobs vs. government payrolls? From 1939, the public sector — the government — has been steadily growing and the private sector has been growing as well in fits and starts. But it keeps going up — up to about 1999/2000 when "goods producing" bounced around its peak.

Then what happened?

"Goods producing" fell off a cliff and toward the end of 2007, there were more government jobs than producing jobs in this country. And yes, it is not lost on me that most of this happened under Bush.

Now imagine what will happen under Obama. We used to make goods; now we make consumers. We buy "stuff" from other countries and, at this rate, we will all be doing it on government salaries. Which is interesting because if the government is creating government jobs and taxes are paying those jobs and those workers are paying taxes, that makes as much sense as feeding a hungry man his own feet — eventually you are going to run out.

— Watch "Glenn Beck" weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel