Mary Matalin joins the show to talk cable news, the GOP...and tortures Stu

Yesterday CNN announced some major changes in their lineup. Among these was a host of names that will no longer appear on the network. Two of the most notable being James Carville, and a personal friend of Glenn's, Mary Matalin. This morning, when Matalin called into the show she had a different focus. The former CNN contributor didn't spend much time discussing her former employer, instead she mostly spent her time on the show torturing Stu.

You see, Stu prides himself on having attending the Super Bowl the last six years in a row, and this year is no different. However this year, instead of hunting down tickets once he arrives, Stu is trying to take advantage of Glenn's friendship with Mary Matalin. What can she do to help? Well, Matalin and her husband are co-chairs of this year's Super Bowl Host Committee.

"Oh, Glenn, I'm great and I've been meaning to call," Mary said as she greeted Glenn over the phone this morning. "You know I listen every day but I haven't been able to listen, I've been so busy.  I'm co‑hosting the Super Bowl here and I've been meaning to call to see if Pat wanted to come to anything."

Ouch. Sorry, Stu.

Pat and Glenn, of course, played right along. Noting that he can't make it, but that Mary should auction off for charity. That was someone with a lot of extra money [i.e. Stu] could bid on it and do some good.

"How about game day tickets or something like that?" Mary joked.

The ideas kept rolling in — none of which were good for Stu.

"How about this:  Pat and Stu come down.  Pat goes to the game and we auction off walk‑ins to the free things with Stu," she said. "How is that?"

After quite a bit more mocking, Glenn got down to business and asked Mary about her departure from CNN. Of all the people they actually kept around, he couldn't believe they would let her go.

"I feel the same way leaving as you did," Mary responded.

"Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I'm free at last?" Glenn joked.

"I'm raising kids. I have to control my schedule," she said. "They [CNN] have built all new studios and they want people there that can get there on a moment's notice. And not only can I not do that, I'm too old in my life to do that. I don't want to follow those kind of stories.  So I'm not ‑‑ I have many friends there, I've had them for a million years, I love John King.  I love Anderson."

Glenn noted his fondness of Cooper and Blitzer from his time at CNN.

"I think they are honorable men. I really do. I like them. They are nice guys," he said.

Glenn transitioned to the state of the GOP, explaining his feelings that the party is basically over.

"I'm done with the GOP.  How do we hold onto our country when the GOP is just ‑‑ they are just folding on absolutely everything and I don't know what they stand for anymore," Glenn said to Mary.

"Let's go to first principle," Mary responded. "Why ‑‑ the first principle for me is the reason I became a conservative, growing up in south Chicago, I didn't know any Republicans." The college I went to, 17,000 kids, there were 11 Republicans. The reason I became a conservative is because those were the days of this wave of, this new wave of 'progressivism feminism'. It was like a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bike. I said, "that's it. I love men, I want men in my life." I didn't want to do that group think thing. I'm going back to first principles here."

Much like Glenn, Mary moved to an area with a stronger community. Where they can fix their educational system and surround themselves with good entrepreneurial people.

"You're exactly ‑‑ Mary, that's exactly where I am.  I don't care about Washington anymore," he told her. "We have to watch them. We have to make sure that we're paying attention. They're out of control. I don't believe in either party right now but I do believe in the American people. I do believe we have to fix our families, fix our street, fix our town."

"Fix our state," he added. "If our states are all rock solid, Washington, Washington needs us more than we need them and we have to put that ‑‑ we have to put that situation back into play."

"When we moved here, I started listening to you every day, and you changed my perspective. You changed my life. You've made me a more committed citizen and every day think of how can I help somebody, what can I do to have an impact," Mary said to Glenn. "And if everybody's in the know knew that there's so many people out there that think like that. Just knowing that there are more of us, as you say, and all the news that you do bring to us -- that's a huge ‑‑ that's a calling.  Nobody else can do it.  Nobody's been determined enough to do it."

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?