Craig T. Nelson Blasts Government Expansion

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 10, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HANNITY: Craig T. Nelson stars in the new movie, "The Proposal," which opens in theaters June 19. Let's take a look.


CRAIG T. NELSON, ACTOR: Your mother and I have come up with a proposition, and I happen to think it's a terrific idea.

MARY STEENBURGEN, ACTRESS: We want you to get married here tomorrow.



HANNITY: Now, earlier, I sat down with Craig to talk about the new movie and, not surprisingly, politics.


HANNITY: All right, I have read some stuff that you have recently said.

C. NELSON: Yes, I did say it. I'm going to get arrested, I am sure. The IRS is going to come for me.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

HANNITY: You're not going to pay...

C. NELSON: I'm so mad. I'm angry. First of all, California, where it's, like, a wholly-owned subsidiary or a hedge fund, depending on what –

HANNITY: It’s broke.

C. NELSON: We didn't even have to wait for the earthquake. We are now just floating away.

And here I am, as a grandfather and a father, and I'm watching the first things that they talking about hitting are education and firefighters and police. Why?

HANNITY: Doesn't make sense.

C. NELSON: Education to me is the most important thing that we've got going in this country. I mean, a lot of my family are teachers. I was the recipient of a great public education, and I see that's one of the first things that we're going to go — what are we going to raise? Illiterate masses.

HANNITY: By the way, most people with a public education are usually liberal Hollywood activists, so you know, something must have happened. You must have...

C. NELSON: I grew up. I grew up.

HANNITY: That's true.

C. NELSON: I grew up. I had great teachers.

HANNITY: But not only that. Look at, for example, 25 percent of New Yorkers are thinking of leaving New York. They're taxed almost as high as California. It's going to be higher when it's all said and done. So you're right about California. You're thinking, is it true about not paying income taxes?

C. NELSON: Well, what I'm thinking is that, if I'm a fiscally- responsible person and investor, I'm going to invest my money in a company that's bankrupt? I'm going to go to a bank that is not — doesn't have any fiscal acuity? And that's our government.

HANNITY: That is — it's worse than that.

C. NELSON: And I'm saying to myself, "Wait a minute. What if each of those withheld as much as Timothy Geithner withheld?" You know what? We're not going to pay that.

HANNITY: You do that, I do that, we're going to be arrested. Listen, I mean it sincerely, Timothy Geithner...

C. NELSON: Do you think that a lot of us, en masse, doing the same thing, standing up — we're not a representative form of government any more. We're not being represented. We have lobbyists who are petitioning for certain favors, certain grants. And here we are...

HANNITY: So you're saying we hold back what Tax Cheat Geithner didn't pay? Hold back that amount of money?

C. NELSON: Just that amount, would change a lot of things.

HANNITY: I like that.

C. NELSON: At least would...

HANNITY: I like that idea. Now the IRS is going to arrest me with you. Great.

C. NELSON: It would say to the government, you know, we're protesting the way you're doing things. I didn't know I was responsible for this bailout. I really didn't know. I wasn't asked about it. There were companies that went under. Aren't we a capitalistic system? Aren't we free to do that?

HANNITY: Supposed to be. But they're taking over the car companies. They're telling CEOs what they can get paid. They're taking over financial institutions. They're doing, you know, all these things. And they're doing it for our own good, though.

You remember Ronald Reagan saying...

C. NELSON: I don't want to be told what's for my good.

HANNITY: The worst words in English language, "I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help."

C. NELSON: Yes, I understand.

And I'm watching the vets come back. And I'm saying, why aren't they taken care of? To me, that's an item on the first agenda. The other is education.

I mean, I worked some with Dogs for Vets, guys who need help. And to me, it's just unfathomable that we're not taking care of these people, that we're not saying, you know, from get-go, "You guys are going to be guaranteed an education, you men and women."

HANNITY: And your kids.

C. NELSON: And your health care.


C. NELSON: Please. You deserve it.

HANNITY: One of the things — I work with a charity. And, you know, we raise money for a scholarship fund so every child of every soldier that has given their life for us.

And believe it or not, we don't have any money set aside for them for that.

C. NELSON: Right.

HANNITY: If we're not going to help those guys out after they gave their all for us, we are really failing morally in our responsibility.

C. NELSON: It's an obligation. But there is no accountability any more. And, you know, to me, there's a lack of responsibility, where the lies become truth. I mean, we are, as Scott Peck said, people of the lie. And..

HANNITY: It's a great book. I read it.

C. NELSON: What happened?


C. NELSON: Where did that — where did that start? You guys aren't responsible. You don't have to be.

HANNITY: What do you make of — there is a certain segment, and I would argue a growing segment of society that believes the false hope, the false promises that are laid out there by the government, that they'll provide your health care and your daycare and your baby bond, and they'll pay for college.

And meanwhile, we've quadrupled the debt in one year. We're going to quadruple the deficit in 10 years. We're going to be paying $1 trillion on debt, on interest payments on the debt. You know, why — what about these people that think government should be doing everything in their life?

C. NELSON: Well, Sean, to answer your question, I'm 65 years old. I just took out my Social Security, because I think I deserve it. And I wanted to get it before it was gone.

HANNITY: It's going to be going soon.

C. NELSON: And welfare for my unions. My union's broke. So I felt, like, this was something I was promised, and that I worked for it.

HANNITY: You paid it. That's your money. Yes.

C. NELSON: Exactly, so why — why, then, is it, like, their bank account? I want it for me. I want it for my retirement.

But more importantly, I want it for my kids, you know. I want to see my kids grow up in a world that I grew up in, which was it had imagination and it had hope. And all of a sudden, I see that being dissolved, and I am saying, as a country, as a people, we are a republic. We are a democracy. These people represent us.

HANNITY: But don't you see — it's — look, I think there are well- intentioned liberals, really, that want to do the right thing, "Kumbaya" liberals. They just – if we share and you share, we'll all get along together.

But I also think that there are very sinister people that are in this for the power. And they understand that the more people are dependent, the more powerful they become, because people have to go to them for whatever their needs are in life.

C. NELSON: If that's true, and I think it is, there are people like the American people. There's a great mass of us out there. They're sick and tired of it. And we're not going to take it anymore.

HANNITY: You ever think of...

C. NELSON: Peter Finch.

HANNITY: You're the actor. Go ahead.

C. NELSON: We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore! Go ahead, open your windows! Raise your blinds!

I mean...

HANNITY: It's true.

C. NELSON: But that's how this country was founded.

HANNITY: Tell me about your — your latest project: movie, and you've got a series coming up?

C. NELSON: Yes, I've got "The Proposal," which is a movie with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, coming out.

HANNITY: I always liked Sandra Bullock. Is she nice? She's a great actress.

C. NELSON: Oh, yes, she's incredible. And Ryan is a great guy. Mary Steenburgen and Betty White.

HANNITY: She's really a liberal. She is so left-wing.

C. NELSON: Oh, yes but she — she's funny.

HANNITY: You've got to send a message to her from me. Tell her to come on the show, and we'll debate.

C. NELSON: Oh, Betty, you're going to love her.

HANNITY: I will not love her.

C. NELSON: You'll be a changed man. You'll be a changed man.

I've got a series coming out, "Parenthood." And Jason Katims who isis a writer and creator of "Friday Night Lights" wrote this. And Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are producers.

And I'm doing a movie right now called "The Company Men" with Tommy Lee Jones.

HANNITY: He's a great actor. I love him.

C. NELSON: He's incredible. He’s a wonderful actor.

HANNITY: Even though I don't know how he didn't contaminated by Al Gore's, you know, carbon footprint. But...


C. NELSON: Well there’s no reason -–

HANNITY: You're not going to have any friends if I keep going.

C. NELSON: The greatest thing about it all is the compassion and forgiveness that we've got to have.

HANNITY: That's true. I'd agree with that. I'm a Christian.

C. NELSON: You know, the bottom line is compassion and forgiveness. That doesn't mean that we can't be forthright. And please, you know, stand up.


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