Smoking disclaimer - If your children are learning anything from Glenn Beck, you are a terrible parent.
LENN: I don't think we need -- let's just move past it.
STU: I think we need to get the truth out.
GLENN: I think we all know the truth and I think we can move past it. This is not making my own life any better. Ben?
STEIN: Well, I feel wound to say that it was my idea to eat the cheeseburgers but I don't think it was my idea for you to smoke.
GLENN: I believe it was.
STEIN: I don't think it was, with all due respect.
GLENN: With all due respect, how old are you?
STEIN: 63. Well, wait a minute. What possible relevance does that have to --
GLENN: I'm not saying -- look, I'm not saying that you are starting to slip a little but I'm not not saying it, either.
STEIN: So you think maybe I suggested it to you, then I forgot.
GLENN: I think you said to me, Glenn, it would be funny to smoke. And I said, Ben, but I don't smoke. Better yet, we don't smoke, as my wife pointed out. And you said, Glenn, do it or I walk.
STEIN: I don't think that was exactly how it went, Glenn. I don't think that was exactly how it went.
GLENN: I'm worried about your health.
STEIN: No, I don't think that was exactly how it went at all, but I admire your -- you should be running for office. I admire your imagination very, very much. Now, that was not my idea at all. Sorry.
GLENN: That's what I heard.
STEIN: Well, that's scary if that's what you heard because I shudder to think what else you heard.
GLENN: Let me ask you, what kind of profits are you making now, Mr. Stein, on the -- all of the ventures that you're involved in? I'm just using the politician thing.
STEIN: Well, I mean, I make a living. It's a very small living compared to yours. It's tiny compared to yours. I barely am able to get by, but I get by a little bit.
GLENN: You barely get by?
STEIN: Yes, really.
GLENN: With your like 1400 houses? Every time I talk to you, you're like in a different city. You're like, yeah --
STEIN: That's because I'm traveling around giving speeches trying to earn my living. I don't have a giant, enormous super radio show like some people do.
GLENN: I have to go around and give speeches, too.
STEIN: No, you don't. You do it so you can get money for your cigarettes. You do it so you can get money to buy the world's most exotic cigarettes, some special brand you have made only for you in North Carolina.
GLENN: Called Marlboro.
STEIN: Well, that's the label you have put on them but they're specially made for you with the highest quality vintage tobacco.
GLENN: You know, Ben, you had you were on. We were talking a little bit about oil at the beginning of the TV program. Did you actually go back and watch the testimony? Did you see it?
STEIN: I saw a little tiny bit of it. You know, I have a simple theory about it. People hate those upon whom they are dependent. They hate -- teenagers hate their parents, students hate their teachers, patients hate their doctors. People hate those upon whom they are dependent.
GLENN: Well, then why don't we hate the people in the Middle East?
STEIN: Well, because we're scared of them and they are not close to us. We hate those upon whom we're dependent and we are also close to. We're also terrified, certain parts of the political spectrum are terrified of the terrorists and don't dare challenge anybody in the Middle East except Israel, of course, and they are ready to kick around anytime.
GLENN: Stu just said what do you mean we don't hate the people in the Middle East? When it comes to people in congress, everybody just wants to get in bed with Saudi Arabia.
STEIN: Yeah, that's true.
GLENN: It's crazy.
STEIN: Saudi Arabia, that's one thing. Everyone wants to get in bed with Syria and they're dangerous, dangerous, dangerous, dangerous people. Dangerous people, really, really scary, really, really scary. Very terrifying people. And I just see in today's news that they are now getting new nuclear facilities.
GLENN: Yeah, isn't that great?
STEIN: Yeah, that's great. They are really great.
GLENN: So Ben, you are an optimist.
STEIN: Well, I'm sort of an -- I'm an optimist in America, yeah.
GLENN: Yeah. Well, what else is there? Really?
STEIN: Well, there's Israel and there's Canada.
GLENN: Okay, all right. I'm an optimist on Israel and Canada.
STEIN: Good, good, good. God bless you. God bless you.
GLENN: So here's the question. How do you see us getting out of -- I mean, did you see that oil was up at, like, $135 today?
STEIN: It was up and then it pulled back. Maybe it's just barely $133. It's got to be abominable. I want to tell you something. I was at dinner last night with a group of energy traders in Houston.
GLENN: Hmmm. You mean like Enron people?
STEIN: Well, there are several of them, not all of them, were ex-Enron guys and they were very smart, sharp guys and they denied they were purposely driving the price up for speculative profits which is like I say a waterfall denying that it flows down. But it's very clear to me that this is, in fact, a speculative bubble. They said to me, "Well, look," they said. We're doing this based -- the price is going up based on the new idea that nobody's ever had before that we're running out of oil. I said, we've been saying we're running out of oil for at least 40 years, maybe 100 years. So that's not a new idea. Maybe it's truer now or closer to true. No, what's new now is a wild speculative mania by the speculators. You're right: In the long run we're going to be in a terrible crisis.
GLENN: So how do we -- when does that bubble burst?
STEIN: Well, I don't know. You never know when bubbles burst. But the Internet bubble lasted about four years and everybody said it's a bubble, it's a bubble, it's a bubble. Then when people said, well, maybe it's not a bubble, that was when it burst. It's got to be a bubble. Nothing has happened to move it. It has moved 25% in 30 days. That's unheard of except for a bubble.
GLENN: Wouldn't the fastest way to burst a bubble to get serious on getting our own oil? Wouldn't the -- they say -- Schumer said yesterday --
STEIN: It wouldn't be the fastest way. It would be a sure way but it wouldn't be the fastest way.
GLENN: What's the fast way?
STEIN: There is no fast way. It can't be done. It just can't be done.
GLENN: Maybe my way would be the fastest way.
STEIN: No. I'm just saying I don't know of any fast way. I don't --
GLENN: You are saying you don't know -- do you know a faster way than my way?
STEIN: Yeah. A faster way than your way would be for the energy information agency to come out and say, with all due respect, we don't think we're at peak oil. If some responsible agency of the government, which may be a conflict in terms. If some responsible agency of the government came out and said we are absolutely unequivocally not peak oil, that would probably do it.
GLENN: You are right. You know, a faster way than that is when space aliens come out of the sky and say, here, WD-40, we've made it into a miracle energy drink.
STEIN: I know, but it is quite possible. Look, let me back up. Today there was a UN-based energy organization that came out with a very scary forecast about oil supplies.
STEIN: I think if it's a UN agency, in all likelihood somebody's bribing them to say it. If it's a French-based UN agency, I would guess -- this is just a guess -- that some energy trader is bribing some economist or statistician there to come out with that report. If somebody at the energy information agency is in the United States said we totally don't believe that; we think that we are not even close to peak oil, that would have a huge impact on the price.
GLENN: Let me just ask you total non sequitur here. Your dad is a guy who came down with, was it trickle down economics?
STEIN: No, he's no longer living. But his phrase was supply side economics. The trickle down has been around forever. His idea was supply side, that mainly if you lower taxes, you will increase supplies and that will effect inflation because at that time the big crisis was inflation and the supply siders were saying that by cutting taxes, we would lower inflation, which was a totally new idea and turned out not to work. But it was a totally new idea.
GLENN: All right. Thank you so much, Ben.
STEIN: God bless you. And next time corned beef and pan Russian dressing.
GLENN: And I will not listen to you about smoking or putting poison --
STEIN: No, inhale a cigar.
GLENN: See, that's exactly what he did to me yesterday. That same kind of voodoo that he does.