Glenn calls for audience action in next phase of "Get TheBlaze" campaign

A few weeks ago we launched a campaign called get TheBlaze and we asked you to reach out to your cable and satellite providers and politely request TheBlaze TV, the television network onto the channel lineup. Based on the requests that you made, 30,000 phone calls, 80,000 e‑mails, tens of thousands of tweets and Facebook posts, it was overwhelming what we personally could track, what went through us. That's not counting everything else of all of the other people that did what, you know, they were doing on their own.

When we asked you to start tweeting "I want TheBlaze because" to your cable and satellite operators, that phrase was the number two trending topic in Twitter in all of America. One other stat that continues to blow me away is when I said "Could you make a phone call to your cable operator," I don't mean, you know, you dial up and press a number a couple of buttons and hang up. In the first two days, in the first two days you spent a total of 1700 hours talking with representatives of your cable operators and your satellite operators, just the ones that we could track because they came through our 1‑800‑996‑2529 number. Just those that went through, you ‑‑ that was the equivalent of watching 491 academy awards ceremonies. And all you had to say to them is "I want TheBlaze."

We put a tote board up here in the studio and we're going to have it finished later today, but it will ‑‑ it's tracking the response, and I appreciate everything that you've done so far. But in spite of the amazing response, the cable companies and DirecTV in particular don't seem to be taking you seriously at all. DirecTV's response has been staggering. I know because I ‑‑ look. I do this for a living. I know who ‑‑ where our listeners live, I know how our listeners watched me on Fox and watched me elsewhere. It was DISH and DirecTV and I think Comcast that our bulk of our audience came from, and DISH was the first to sign up and they were like, "Yes." DirecTV is ‑‑ they seem to believe that this was nothing more than a stunt and, quite honestly, I don't understand them, but that's okay. I don't think they understand that you are finally getting it, and we all are, and we all look at the money that we make and we want it to go to something that we believe in. And I'm sorry, but I will not pay another dime to fund Al‑Jazeera and MT ‑‑ and MSNBC and some Saudi Arabian channel. I will not go to help, to fund Russia Today and all of these channels that are taking our country apart. We are paying for that. It's not like you're paying for that access and it just happens to be on. You ‑‑ part of the money that you send in when you write a check goes to Al‑Jazeera every single month. Every month. So it's one thing to say, "Well, I don't watch Al‑Jazeera." It's one thing to say, "Well, my cable operator's having Al‑Jazeera." But once the American people understand you are personally funding Al‑Jazeera, then that leaves you with a couple of things: Do you boycott and say "I'm not going to..." because you won't have any cable provider. "I'm not going to fund Al‑Jazeera. I refuse to fund." That's one way to go. That's not the way we've ever gone. I believe in more voices, not fewer voices. Al‑Jazeera has a right to exist, but your only other choice at this point is Fox. That's it. And they think that's enough. And they think you're fine with it. I'm telling you right now when Twitter was the way that people in Cyprus found out what was going on because the media was in on it, when you see that ‑‑ when you see what's happening with our education system and what we've done in the last week just on Common Core that is shocking even to us and we're paying attention to it and you see that NewsCorp is part of the Common Core curriculum, they personally went out and helped design Common Core on parts of it, I'm sorry. There's got to be more than one answer. There has to be more than one answer or we don't survive as a republic.

I don't know if we're the answer, but we're trying and, boy, we need your help to get us seen by as many people as we possibly can be. You know that this is not about money. People will say that all the time, "It's about money." No, it's not. I do believe ‑‑ there's nothing wrong with money. I do believe we've worked hard for our money. But I also believe we're all going to be broke in the end, gang. I mean what I say. Our money is going to be worthless. Our freedom is worth everything. Everything. And in the end all we have is each other and all we have is the truth. And if you can't have access to the truth and have access to the truth quickly, you're not going to have access to the truth and you'll have nothing.

I told you at the outset this was going to be a long fight and it would test our resolve, but it is a fight we are going to win. This is one of those things that I know we will win. Today I'm asking you to get back on the phone and call your cable provider and just politely ask them. Last time we said, "Would you please carry TheBlaze." Now it's been five or six weeks. I'd like you to politely say, "Are you listening? Are you listening to me? Are you hearing me? Because I'm not going to pay for this anymore. All I'm asking is for balance. That's all I'm asking. I'm asking that your eight‑to‑one or whatever it is and your Russia Today and Al‑Jazeera and MSNBC and CNN and everything else, I'm sorry. It's not balanced by Fox. That's one. It's not balanced by two. You have to have a change of attitude here. And I'm not going to pay for it anymore." You don't have to go all ‑‑ just politely ask them, "Are you listening? Are you hearing what your paying customers are saying? Because we have other choices." Let them know you want TheBlaze television network and you intend on keep calling them until they make it happen. And you're going to call them until you have to make another decision. If you can't call them, send an e‑mail. And while you're at it, go to their Facebook page and post the message: "Are you listening? I want TheBlaze TV." To make your connections go to getTheBlaze.com. GetTheBlaze.com will connect you to your provider, or you can call 1‑800‑996‑2529. 800‑996‑2529. Are you listening? We want TheBlaze. Help us out. And I thank you for everything that you've done so far.

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.

RELATED: MEDIA BIGOTRY: The New Yorker hates on Chick-fil-A over 'pervasive Christian traditionalism'

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.

RELATED: Time to reverse course: America is being corrupted by its own power

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.

RELATED: Media's anti-Israel, pro-Islam bias sweeps THIS fact under the rug

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?