Glenn Beck: Congrats!


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GLENN: We just bought on insurance firm. Yea! Oh, I feel so successful today, don't you? We all own the world's largest insurance firm now.

Stu, what are we going to do with all the money? I feel so good today.

STU: Well, not only all the money we're going to have from all the profits we're going to see from it but also all of our insurance is going to be free. We're the owners!

GLENN: Worried about health insurance and everything, we're the owners of the biggest insurance firm in the world now.

STU: When you own a convenience store, you don't pay for the soda.

GLENN: Hello. Why do you think I want to own a convenience store. Twinkie, mine (laughing).

STU: This is great.

GLENN: This is fantastic. I love it. No, I mean let's see. We own 50% of every home in America now. Oh, oh, have you heard Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would like to set up an institution here. I'm just trying to remember what it is. What's it called? Congress, new agency, have they named this agency yet? I thought they did. Well, anyway, it's a new agency that they're trying to make and what we'll do as a nation is we'll look at these hobbled companies and this new agency, we'll just buy the bad investments from them. That will be fantastic. We could just skip the whole bankruptcy thing. Wouldn't it be great if we just didn't have the bankruptcy thing going anymore? It would just be like, bankrupt, bankrupt, big deal; I'm just going to give it to the government. They'll buy it from me.

STU: These companies are so stupid, they could go bankrupt but instead they are giving the companies to us.

GLENN: They are selling them to us and we'll have them! So when those bad investments turn around, you know, we'll be in the money.

STU: Seriously we're going to be like, what is it, like Kuwait that, like, all their people get, like, thousands and thousands of dollars from oil?

GLENN: It will be great.

STU: We're going to do the same thing with insurance.

GLENN: Oh, oh, yesterday Pelosi and the house, they passed this kick butt oil plan. It is fan this is fantastic. Have you heard, Stu?

STU: I mean, it's got to be kick butt if our government did it.

GLENN: No, no, it's fantastic. This is great, okay? What they've done is because Pelosi and the Democrats, they have been all for this drilling thing.

STU: Oh, they have been for it, yes.

GLENN: They have been saying drill now, drill yesterday.

STU: They have been saying that from the beginning.

GLENN: Drill the day before yesterday. We are big drill bits.

STU: Right, they just wanted the oil company to drill in places where there wasn't oil.

GLENN: Did you see how the Democrats, they all came into the House yesterday wearing those cool foam drill hats, that makes them look like their head's the end of a drill bit? It was so clever. Anyway, so they're all for drilling, and what they've done is because they know America's for drilling, they have decided to pass a big oil bill.

STU: That's what I want. I wanted them to drill.

GLENN: That's exactly what they wanted. They finally hear. Let's see. Eleven days before the ban on offshore drilling just naturally expires, they are going to pass a new drilling bill. It's great. They passed it yesterday. What it is is you can go in, you can go offshore

STU: Oh, my gosh, that's perfect, that's exactly what.

GLENN: You go offshore any place you want. Now, you can't go offshore within 50 miles, but after 50 miles you can go in. You can go in wherever you want well, you also have to have the state's approval, but here's the good thing. The state doesn't get any money for it. So all of their assets, ExxonMobil can just pump away and take them without the state. All the money will go right to the federal government. Screw the state. Right to the federal government. Who in Virginia's not for that?

STU: Yeah, Virginia's going to love that because they won't have to deal with all of that work. It's like a vacation for all of Virginia.

GLENN: Virginia, California, you know what that means if you get royalties? It means you are going to go to the bank more, you are going to have to have you are going to have to buy blue ink or black ink instead of just red ink. I mean, what are you going to do? Do you know how much of a headache that's going to be?

STU: Not to mention you'd probably have to invest that money and we've seen this economy. We've seen these companies.

GLENN: You think what you know what the Republicans want to do? California, Texas, Virginia, Florida, you know what they want you to do? They are trying to give you money so you can invest. The same people that were involved in this collapse on Wall Street would present you with an option where you could invest your money into Wall Street. Where would you be if you had all that royalty money and it was invested in Wall Street? I'll tell you where. Broke. That's where you'd be. That's why Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are looking out for you. They are not going to give you that option to invest. They're gonna take it, okay?

Now here's the best part. You can drill right off the coast of Maine. Boom, you're in, okay? You can drill off the coast of off the coast of Virginia. Boom, you're in. They would like you to know, however, the eastern part of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, that's out, can't drill there.

STU: Well, that's one little thing. That's it. One little exception.

GLENN: One little part. And also the other thing that, you know, you might we should probably point out is all the studies show that the majority, 80% of the resources that we're looking for are within 50 miles of shore. So but anything outside of 50 miles, outside of 50 miles, you got it. 80% is 50 miles in. But after that, you got it. And also, also there's some more taxes and part of this bill is the new oil companies are going to be penalized and everything else, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Drilling. And Stu, did I mention we also now own the largest insurance group in the world.

STU: So we have everything we could ever want on drilling and we've got a new company.

GLENN: Dan, this is just and I'm sorry to do this. This is just the way I roll. Dan, do you have any Kool and the Gang and Celebration? Because I don't think, I don't think this news warrants anything less than Kool and the Gang. It's that good of news.

STU: Yeah. Because, you know, Glenn, when I bought my house and again I just bought my house. I don't even own my whole house. I just bought a mortgage. We moved into the house and we went out and we celebrated with a dinner.

GLENN: Yeah.

STU: We just bought the biggest insurance company.

GLENN: In the world.

STU: In the world.

GLENN: What should we buy? What should we buy for ourselves?

STU: I feel like we need a present.

GLENN: You know what, everybody in America should be given a free card today, seriously. Everybody, we closed a huge deal! Yeah! We're number one.

STU: We should get a commission.

GLENN: Go ahead, Dan. Oh, see, now, this is the appropriate music. This is the appropriate music. This is the appropriate band. When you listen to this band, you think to yourself, yeah! Have you noticed that the insurance company has three letters? United States of America also has three letters? We were made for this deal.

STU: I tell you, the first thing I'm going to do, Glenn, is I'm just going to start insuring things for whatever I want. We own the company. We can I want to insure my dog for a million dollars today. That's what I'm going to do because I can do whatever I want.

GLENN: Call up the Senate. Let's call AIG because we own it, let's call them up today. We want to insure your dog for a million dollars. I don't think you know who you're talking to here, AIG, Mr. Owner on the phone. Hello. Oh, this is going to be great. And if we could just seal that deal where we can create a new federal agency, where we've just not the good investments. Not the good debt.

STU: Oh, no.

GLENN: Just buy the bad debt. Has anybody noticed that there is a strange little thing going on right now where our government seems to hate corporations. Have you noticed that, hate those corporations, hate them, while they're successful. But as soon as they're not successful, they're too large to fail. They're too important to allow them to fail, but every time there's a big successful one, they suck and we should do everything we can to run them out of business. You know, oil companies, not too big to fail. They should we should do everything we can to put those people out of business. That evil Wal Mart, oh, I hate those guys. They're too big. Lehman Brothers, AIG? Too big to fail, too important, we can't allow them to fail; we've got to go bail them out. Have you ever noticed that? How do they do that? I want to be more like a politician.

STU: Why are you calling it a bailout? We bought it.

GLENN: I'm sorry. AIG wasn't a bailout. That was I actually heard this. I actually heard people say, this is a really good deal for the United States. Oh, is it?

STU: Always is, Glenn, always is.

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?