GLENN: Good friend of the program, Jonah Goldberg. Hello, Jonah.
GOLDBERG: Hello, sir, how are you?
GLENN: Well, I'm pretty good. I'm pretty good. I'm -- as we talked yesterday or last night, I'm a little, I guess shocked how many people are trapped in this place of, "Okay, well, I guess I'll go down the socialist route just a little bit because I don't want something really, really bad to happen." And you are a guy who is -- I mean, you wrote one of my favorite books, Liberal Fascism, that somebody asked me just the other day, Glenn, I want to read about socialism, where do I start. And I said, only one place to start, Liberal Fascism.
GOLDBERG: See, now you are guilting me.
GLENN: I'm just playing the role of the administration or Nancy Pelosi. Just trying to guilt you into it. Yet you know that this is really bad for us. If this bill would have come through, you know this was really bad.
GOLDBERG: I agree the bill is really bad, I agree. I think there are all sorts of saner things that could be done. I'm not saying that we wouldn't need to spend some large amount of money in some way down the road, but this doesn't strike me as the way to do it. I guess my problem is I am just so frustrated with this entire mess. The rank hypocrisy and corruption all over the place that, you know -- and while my heart is entirely with the Mike Pences and free market guys and the House Republicans, you know, Republicans ran the congress for most of the last eight years and they let Barney Frank, they get Chris Dodd play the games that they played that got us into this mess. They didn't fight Bush on prescription drugs, they didn't fight Bush on all sorts of things and now with the place burning down around them, they've become purists about enforcing the fire codes and --
GLENN: Here's what I -- I mean, Jonah, here's -- I'm with you that I can't take the hypocrisy. I can't look at Barney Frank anymore. I can't, I can't take it.
GOLDBERG: I almost think the guy should be in jail.
GLENN: Oh, I do, too. I absolutely do. Honestly I think we should have at least, bare minimum we should have stockades in front of the capitol building. Some of these people are out and out criminal on what they have done. I had -- who was it yesterday -- Senator DeMint that said this -- this is a quote from a U.S. senator: This government has betrayed the American people. And nobody's going down that road. But here's my problem, Jonah, and how do you say, how do you give the same exact people $770 billion? They say they can fix it. They created it and they won't even admit to it.
GOLDBERG: They made this problem when they created Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those things have our implied -- I mean us taxpayers, the few of us who are left, we're going to be paying those taxes in chickens any day now. We gave our implied support for these things when we created those institutions. And in the 1990s and the early 2000s, those institutions went off the rails. And so the taxpayers are legitimately on the hook for it. I don't mind -- I mean, of course I mind, but I can stomach the spending of the money if I think it's going to work because essentially it was -- you know, the government created this problem. The taxpayers are on the hook for what the government does and the government has to honor its obligations.
GOLDBERG: The government made these obligations. I agree with you it's annoying to empower the same class that created these problems but the next class that's about to come in is even worse. I mean, the Pelosi, Reid, Obama guys are poised to take over and those guys are going to -- as we've talked about it a million times, they really do want a new New Deal. So when I agree with you, look, it's just -- you know, John Boehner said this bill was a crap sandwich but he was going to eat it. As far as I'm concerned, it's crap sandwiches for as far as the eye can see.
GLENN: It really, truly is crap sandwiches for as far as the eye can see. Let me ask you this: When was the last time you saw the President of the United States make this kind of effort, with a speech last Thursday, then a speech to Wall Street Friday morning, one yesterday morning, another one today with these dire, dire warnings and yet they're still saying, well, it would be a recession. How many recessions have we gone through, Jonah? We keep going through recessions. We don't have this.
GOLDBERG: Look, I think, you know, John McCain got a bad rap a couple of weeks ago when he said the fundamentals of this economy were strong. He probably shouldn't have said it politically, it was probably a dumb idea but once he said it, he should not have let Obama beat him up on it. Because in the middle of a panic, you are not supposed to spread panic. FDR, one of the few things he really did, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and all that kind of thing. And Obama took the juvenile position that the thing to do in the middle of a panic is to scream fire. So I don't fault Bush for, you know, trying to sort of skirt the line.
GLENN: I agree.
GOLDBERG: Between stability and scare mongering but it's a difficult line to cross.
GLENN: Right, and I'm not asking you, I'm not asking you about that because I don't think the President has a choice. But this is the fundamental problem that we have in the United States of America and no bailout of any size is going to correct this. When John McCain was talking about the fundamentals of the economy are strong, I believe what he means is the average person, the average person is the engine of the economy and I know that's -- I think that's what he said a couple of days later. But it's true, the entrepreneur is fine if you just get out of his way.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, productivity, the worker productivity which really is the fundamental engine of all prosperity is actually doing pretty good.
GLENN: Right. But the problem is, the fundamental problem is trust.
GLENN: The President no longer can say -- he can't say how bad it really is because he's the President. You can't scare the market. You can't scare people in that. But nobody believes anybody in congress. Nobody believes anybody in the White House. Nobody believes anybody in Wall Street. Nobody believes anything because we have been lied to over and over again. So Jonah, how do you get the word out when -- and this is a problem I've been facing now for two years. How do you get the problem out and really vocalize when no one is trustworthy?
GOLDBERG: Look, I agree it's an enormous problem. Look at John McCain, right? He suspends his campaign and comes to Washington because the Democratic leadership said we need John McCain here to get a deal worked out. John McCain suspends his campaign, comes to Washington and they ride him out on a rail, they ridicule it as a stunt and the press openly and without reservation flies into the bald Democratic lie that there was a deal already nailed down just so they can make it look like John McCain blew up the deal. Now, you disagree with the deal, but there was no deal and you disagree with McCain's position on this.
GOLDBERG: But McCain is the only guy in his entire political class, in the top tier political class that wants to treat this crisis like a crisis and the media and the Democrats joined forces to ridicule and belittle him as some sort of fool. It is an incredibly poisonous situation. You know, in the middle ages Harry Reid would have his stomach cut open and a half starved weasel thrown in for the kind of things he's doing.
GLENN: Got to blame it on living in the Dark Ages now. Okay, so help me out. Because I was watching TV early this morning. I turned on the TV and I'm getting ready for work and I see Nancy Pelosi give that speech and then I see Harry Reid say something and then Barney Frank said something and they are all blaming this on, "There was absolutely no standards here. They were trying to stop regulation." Well, there's no regulation on the hedge funds and nobody seems to have a problem with that one and that thing's going to come apart anytime. It was not a Republican stop regulation thing. It started as a Democrat, "We're going to call you a racist if you don't make these loans to people," and continued on with a Republican administration that did the same damn thing. How can you get that down to the average person so they can understand when the media is not reporting this at all.
GOLDBERG: No, look, I agree entirely on it. It is outrageous that Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank have been going around saying this is the failure of the free market. You know, Christopher Dodd said, "Oh, we didn't have enough oversight." He is the chairman of the banking committee! His job is to run oversight of the banking industry! It is amazing that these guys can say this stuff with a straight face. You would think the press pool would just dive for cover for fear of God's lightning bolts coming down to smite fees people for their effrontery. And yet it is par for the course. Everyone's talking about, you know, you tell a lot about people by how they sort of interpret facts that bolster their own ideological, you know, preconceptions, and that happens on the right and the left. But it is amazing that after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came up with all of these bizarre ways of slicing and dicing mortgages into ever more complicated schemes in order to personally enrich Franklin Raines nearly to the tune of $100 million that people are saying, oh, this has something to do with the inherent failures of the free enterprise system. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stuff that Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd and these guys champion, distorted the market. And yes, there were bad actors on Wall Street who did bad things who, you know, who took the lead of government and personally enriched themselves, and shame on them. But the market was screwed up by these guys who want to sort of rate banks not on the soundness of their loans but on their social conscience in terms of giving out money to groups like ACORN and historically, you know, aggrieved and disadvantaged groups, which is not the way proper business runs. And now we're living with this enormous mess and these guys want to use it as an excuse to turn the entire financial system into the Fannie Mae of their dreams. And it is a really scary situation.
GLENN: Jonah Goldberg, in your book Liberal Fascism, you talk about the -- you know, you talk about how all of this started, that the New Deal was started way before, just a different mindset and how America changed its mindset. There are two kinds of Americas now. There are the Americans that are the traditional Americans that are like, get the heck out of my way and I don't want a handout and I never ask you for a handout. And then there are those Americans who are saying, well, they're bailing them out; how come they won't bail me out. Now, I would say that as a, you know, to make a point, they are not coming to bail me out but I would never want them to bail me out. But a growing number of Americans want that bailout. A, do you think this is a slam dunk now for Barack Obama because the tide is moving towards, I want somebody to hold my hand and, you know, scratch my back and prop my feet up on a pillow and big government's the one to do it; and B, what do you think about the new New Deal? What is coming our way?
GOLDBERG: Well, I think you are right. History quickly. Woodrow Wilson creates more during World War I. FDR says we were onto something with socialism during World War I, let's do that to fight the Great Depression. The New Deal prolongs the Great Depression rather than fight the Great Depression. It extends the shelf life of the Depression by years. Europe's Depressions weren't great in the 1930s. Only America's was. What FDR's revolutionary tactic in American politics was to change citizens who had rights and freedoms that were independent of government, to clients of a government that would give them everything that they need. And now we've got a sizable number of Americans who think that the government is their mommy or daddy and that they should be the government's trust fund babies and get all sorts of stuff from the government. And I think that Obama fits entirely within that tradition, the way he talks about, you know, unity and how we all have to sort of, you know, be on the same page and if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem and, you know, how his wife talks about he is going to fix our broken souls and all these sorts of things. He comes explicitly from that same perspective and says that we're going to turn all Americans basically into clients of the state. Doesn't necessarily mean we're going to live in a Nazi dictatorship or anything like that but he no longer views -- you know, in his speech at the Democratic convention he very straightforwardly ridiculed the idea of the American dream -- or replaced the idea of the American dream with what he calls the idea of the American promise, and the American promise is a collectivist vision where everybody gets their payday from the government rather than the American dream where every individual gets to pursue happiness as they see fit.
GLENN: I'm sure you know this, Jonah, but he's going to be the first -- this is part of his deal. He is going to be the first person ever to, when you get -- if you didn't pay taxes, you're going to get a rebate check from the IRS, but you're going to have a letter that comes from President Obama that says, this is your check, this is your money, this is the American promise. He's going to be the first one that is actually issuing checks for those who, on a regular basis, that did not pay taxes.
GOLDBERG: No, that's right. I mean, Obama has half a point when he says the people do pay sales taxes and all the rest. But when he calls these things a tax cut, you know, it's an incredibly simplistic but brilliant marketing because basically what he's doing is just giving these people cash and saying, here, I've cut your taxes. I think the best single fundamental reform for our country would simply be no more paycheck withholding, no more sales tax. If you want to keep the income tax, fine, but once a year you write out your check to the federal government so it really distinction and on the back you'll vote for who you want for President in congress. And if people have to pay their taxes in one lump sum and vote on the same day, we would have limited government in this country.
GLENN: You ain't kidding. You are not kidding. Jonah, thanks very much. I appreciate it. We'll talk to you again.