Will 2014 be the year America says enough is enough?

TheBlaze's national security editor Buck Sexton opened Monday's Glenn Beck Program with a simple question: Will 2014 be the year America says enough is enough? As Buck explained, the United States has been teetering on the edge of big government progressivism for quite some time now, and soon the weight of a bloated government and overregulation will prove to be too much for this country to bear. With the midterm elections just around the corner, 2014 provides the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate the current state of this country. Will Americans finally be ready say enough is enough?

Full transcript of the monologue below:

Now, Barack Obama promised Dmitry Medvedev that he’d have more flexibility after the 2012 election. You remember that. And they turned out to be truer words than I think even any of us could have imagined.

It was quite a harbinger for 2013. I mean, I thought Mr. Fundamental Transformation couldn’t get much worse after round one which brought us, let’s just take a little joyride through the wreckage, shall we? ObamaCare, we know how that’s been, QE ad infinitum, the QE, the easing that can never stop, Solyndra and the never-ending parade of green investment fails because it’s not their money, so why do they care? It’s your money.

Benghazi, we know that Hillary Clinton says it doesn’t make much difference, right? What difference does it make at this point that Benghazi happened? A lot, Hillary, a lot, we’re going to remind you of that in 2016. That’s what we’ve had to deal with over the past year, these issues, including Fast and Furious and others like them. I mean, this is right here, if you will, this is the pinnacle you would think of the problems this administration could possibly offer for us. But he was actually just getting warmed up.

Tonight, we take a look back at 2013, but more importantly, we’re going to look ahead to 2014 as well. And here’s my question, is this the year? Will 2014 be the year the pendulum finally swings back away from Progressives? Can Conservatives finally retake the high ground? It should be the year. Look, how many more big government failures and scandals does one need before they realize it ain’t working?

I bet you’ve forgotten more Obama scandals and debacles than most administrations ever have. In 2013, we saw tremendous amounts of scandals. Now, of course there was the IRS targeting scandal, right? The Associated phone records scandal, that was the thing that Eric Holder, by the way, said he had no idea, right? But he did have an idea, just like he said he learned about Fast and Furious through press reports, but I thought he knew about it before that – hmm, silly me. Oh, there was the ObamaCare rollout, after the NSA spying. NSA spying of course, there we go, and NSA spying, we know that that’s now something that the administration says they’re going to do something about.

What are they going to do about it though? They’re contesting it in court. They say okay, maybe we went too far. And the ObamaCare rollout, wow, even the staunchest Marxist left wing I-don’t-even-think-America-should-be-pretending-to-be-capitalist kind of guy knows that the ObamaCare rollout was a disaster, the round two of the Obama administration, the round two.

Now, if Conservatives cannot turn this disaster that we’ve talked to you about here into a winning message, if we can’t transform it into some kind of story for the American people that makes them trust Conservatives with government power so that they can limit government power and restore some semblance of liberty, we deserve our fate. We’re toast.

So something needs to change fast, because the other side is relentless. They’re pushing for more bills. They’re pushing for more huge comprehensive bills on immigration, for example, on climate change, also known as amnesty, and yet another redistribution of wealth scheme. There’s tons of those going around.

So 2014 is going to be a fight. It’s going to be a fight against the Marxist administration that we see now increasingly trying to take money from some people and give it to others. But the biggest fight for 2014 isn’t against Obama per se, there is also going to be a fight, because this is a midterm election, between the establishment increasingly progressive GOP with the Ted Cruzes of the world, the conservative members of Congress.

We have a choice that we’re going to have to face on our side, go with the moderate establishment Republican who can win or go with the candidate who stands on Tea Party conservative principles. Will we go with the Ted Cruz type even if the outcome doesn’t look all that great? I remember when Ted Cruz’s outcome didn’t look all that great. He had to win the primary against Dewhurst during Texas.

See, we’ve seen the lesser of these two evils approaches before. We know where it’s gotten us. And not only now are we in a dire fiscal situation, we’re approaching dangerous territory when it comes to centralized power in general. I mean, everybody should be appalled at how the president has been haphazardly ad hoc tinkering with the Affordable Care Act law.

Look, like it or not, it’s a law. As they have said so many times when there was the government shutdown and the fights over it, it’s the law. Well, they know that for Conservatives, for constitutionalists, that has meaning that it’s the law. When we read the words on the page that are supposed to be the law that Congress has passed, we care about those.

We find ourselves increasingly in a place where there is not a moral necessarily issue with what’s going on. We don’t feel like we have to give into this because the government is doing good. We have to give in because the government has force, can make us do these things.

So the president can go in and change a law as he pleases, it seems. Those are the sorts of things that maybe a Hugo Chavez or a Robert Mugabe may do. Now, last week President Obama changed the healthcare law again, this time extending the deadline for people to choose plans and relaxing the rules for those who had their plans canceled.

The press is so hyperfocused on making this stupid law work that they’re overlooking the fact that the administration thinks nothing of just changing laws without Congress or any process whatsoever. Remember all that talk in the first term about being tempted to do it on my own? President Obama said it over and over again, he’s going to do it on his own. I’m going to do it on my own, all this gridlock in Congress.

It looks like Obama has given himself over to his temptations. By the way, he was also tempted to enroll at least as sort of an act of good faith in his own ObamaCare law. By the way, he chose a bronze plan. Oh yeah, I don’t think he’s going to get that level of care. Now to be fair, the White House said that the military is still going to give the commander-in-chief his medical care, but that really tells us a lot, doesn’t it?

The president thinks that it’s an act of solidarity to pretend to sign up under the healthcare law that he’s making millions of Americans sign up for after getting millions of their plans canceled. He thinks that’s solidarity. He thinks that should make us feel better, even though it will never touch him or his family or anybody that he knows. It will never be a problem for them.

Oh, but it’s all about political theatre then. It’s all about the president saying I picked my bronze plan. He picked a bronze plan. Let’s be serious for a second. This is the President of the United States. It was all ridiculous, but it shows you how out of touch they are with your problems, with your healthcare concerns. Because this president can’t resist the flexibility offered to him in his second term. He just can’t.

Now look, Bill Clinton, he was maybe a little powerless against the sexual advances he received from a zoftig intern. This president apparently is tempted whenever a chance to override Congress walks by in something low-cut and lacey. You know Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would be going all oh, the Constitution, the separation of powers, the prerogative of the legislature, if it was a Republican in the White House.

If the next conservative president announced that he was going to alter income tax rates to 10% or let’s make it 1%, hey, across-the-board 1% to help people in a tough economy…hang on a second. I want to take a moment to reflect on a 1% tax. As Glenn would say, that’s some good old-fashioned conservative red meat right there. It shouldn’t matter if you agree or disagree with the changes made. Everyone should be alarmed when a president goes around Congress.

A 1% flat tax, if President Obama can change the ObamaCare law all the time willy-nilly as he sees fit, why can’t all of a sudden we just have a president declare that the IRS is only going to enforce a 1% tax rate? Well, there’s no good reason, and in fact, this might actually be a really good idea. This could help people. I would love to pay a 1% tax per year.

But you see, changing laws without any accountability, changing laws without even consulting the representatives of the people, changing laws that absolutely blur any sense of separation of power into government, that’s what dictators do. So back to the original question if I can for a moment, is this the year?

Is 2014 the year people drop their allegiance to party? Is this the year even those on the left realize that government has grown too dangerous and unprecedented levels of control? Is this the year people say enough is enough? I sure hope so, because there’s only so much big government Progressivism this country can withstand, and we are teetering close to the edge.

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?