Glenn Beck: Obama sends $3.6 trillion budget



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GLENN: There's a couple of things, you know, I just thought I'd let you know that there's a new study out on diets. Which kind of diet should you go on? Which kind of diet actually works? Should it be the low fat, the low carb diet, the low -- the high protein diet, the all fish diet, the no fish diet? Well, there's a new report out that now says eating less is the best kind of diet. All right. New research has found that the key to losing weight is eating less. Hmmm. They also went on and said if you want to put more calories in, then you should burn more calories off with exercise. My gosh, I just, I am so glad that we have returned science into her rightful place, you know? I am so glad. I am so glad we've done that. So let's see, here is the budget that has been submitted now. In 1996 we had a $1.6 trillion budget. In 1999 we had a $1.8, 2000 with President Clinton was $1.9. Then the first budget of Bush was $2.0, then $2.2, then $2.3, then $2.4, then $2.7, then $2.77, then $2.9. We are now, we are now looking at $3.6 trillion, $3.6 trillion and that's just what's in the budget. $3.6. Isn't this going on -- aren't the numbers supposed to get smaller? Maybe we should have elected Tiger Woods. Ends smaller number wins. And let me just, let me give you some facts from the Wall Street Journal today. Remember we're going to pay for all of this stuff. We're going to pay for, how much is it here? It's $634 billion as a down payment to cover the cost of universal healthcare coverage. We don't have universal healthcare. We don't have it. What do you mean a down payment on universal healthcare? We don't have it. So why are we saving up for it? And it is a reserve fund for healthcare. This guy is so arrogant that he's just going to start saving up the money now for universal healthcare. You know what? In a time when you're telling us we should go spend our m oney, you are going to take my money and put it in a bank account? Is that what you're having me believe? Because I know you are not going to put it in a bank account. You are going to spend it just like we do everything else. When we go to the bank, we'll just go, where's that $634 billion? And you'll say, "Oh, I had to use that on some other stuff, but there's an IOU in there." A reserve fund for a program that we haven't even approved. We haven't even really discussed yet. $634 billion reserve fund. They are taking your money and holding onto it. At a time when you need your money, they are taking your money and holding onto it.

Now, why don't people care? Well, people don't care because 40% of this nation, over 40% doesn't pay any income tax. They get money. And remember this is all going to be paid for, this almost $4 trillion budget is going to be paid for with just the wealthiest 2% of Americans. That's who's going to pay for it. I mean, they're living high on the hog. Uh-huh. Sure they are. Madison Avenue, one of my producers lives here in New York and goes down Madison Avenue all the time and she said, "Have you been down Madison?" I said, "No, I don't shop on Madison Avenue." She said store after store closed. Big huge names that you know, closed. Fifth Avenue. Stores are dropping out on Fifth Avenue. Neiman Marcus, in financial trouble. Bergdorf Goodman, in financial trouble. These might not be names that you necessarily know because they're not in your local community, these are the stores of the rich and the famous. Why are they in financial trouble? People aren't shopping? Why aren't they shopping? Because many of the rich are no longer rich. So now the top 2% -- because they got plenty of money. Just take it from them. Okay, well, let's look at that. People -- he said nobody is going to pay a dime, nobody will pay a dime more under $250,000. Okay. So let's look at that. Roughly 3.8 million people filed for income tax that make over $200,000. Now, they don't break it down at $250,000. So the closest number we could get to is $200,000. These people paid $522 billion in income tax. Roughly 62% of everything paid in the United States came from the top 2%. 62% paid for by the top 2, okay? But they haven't paid enough. They paid $522 billion in income tax. The richest 1% paid $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax. Now the top marginal rate currently is 35%. So far Barack Obama is saying he's going to raise it to 39.6% plus another 2 percentage points hidden in deduction phaseouts. So no, it's only -- uh-uh, it's only 39.6. But it's n ever what he says it is. You always have to watch the other hand as well, and the other hand is taking two additional. So you are now at 41.6% of your income. 41.6% of your income goes to the federal government. That's not including all of the other taxes these people pay. Oh, that sounds fair. No, it seriously does.

Okay. So are you going to be able to pay for this? Not only can you not pay for it at 42% of your income if you just do the top 2%, let's not stop at 42. I mean, 42%, big deal. Look how much they made. What about 70%? What about 80%? No, can't pay for it. What about 90%? No, can't pay for it. "These rich people, they caused this. We should take all of their income." 100% of their income, let's take 100% of their income. Hmmm, that would be $1.3 trillion in extra revenue. Less than half of the 2006 federal budget of $2.7. Gee, we take all of the top 2% income, all of it and we get $1.3 trillion. Somehow or another, I don't know, even if we reverse the 1 and the 3, it still doesn't equal almost 4. If you take every taxable dime of everyone from everybody earning anything over $75,000, you don't make it to $4 trillion. Everyone over 75, take every taxable dollar, everything that they make over $75,000, you still don't make it to $4 trillion.

Now let me ask you this. With businesses going out, with recession, these numbers are from 2006. Remember those good days? With all of the money that was flowing and all of the money that was happening and everybody was rich and making money and you had houses that were worth, you just keep taking and taking and taking and taking, do you think that their income is going to be the same next year as it was in 2006? The point is you cannot cover it. You can't cover it. What we are doing is we are asking our children -- no, we're not even asking them. We're not even consulting them. We're not even talking about them. We're just now to the point to where we don't even care.

Thomas Jefferson said it is a crime to do this, to take from the next generation. Think of your child going in and just getting a tax lien. What we're saying is we want healthcare, we want this stuff, we want to bail out people's mortgages and so when your kid turns 20 or 24, they get out of college, 22 and they're just, now they're getting their feet on the ground, let's just hold off until they're 30 and they got their feet on the ground and they're just starting to really start to save up to buy a house and everything else, your bill, my bill now comes knocking at their door and there is a tax lien. We're just taking it out of their paycheck. It's reprehensible and it won't work.

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?