Time to Quarantine Corruption




Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

It's Saturday, September 12th. Friday was the eighth anniversary commemorating September 11, 2001. In the spirit of 9/12, the day after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history — when even French newspapers proclaimed: "We're all Americans" — we were united.

It was said by so many: "America has changed forever." But so many were wrong.

We changed for a brief time and then slipped right back into bickering, partisan, factions. What happened? How did we lose that 9/12 feeling so quickly?

Well, for one thing, we don't trust each other any more. It's always Republicans against Democrats, Democrats against Republicans and independents against them both.

Then we have the media continually beating that partisan drum. Let me ask you a question: Who, in everyday life, ever worries about political party affiliation? When was the last time you asked someone at a barbeque, "Hey, are you a Republican or a Democrat?"

When you've had an accident or you're sick and you're in the emergency room filling out insurance forms, how many times have you been asked what political party you most associate with?

When you die and you're standing at the gates of heaven, will the proverbial St. Peter, who proverbially stands at the gates, have you check Republican or Democrat before entering? No! It's ludicrous! Who cares?

It's this back-and-forth battle — constantly at each other's throats — that stops us from talking about the things that do matter.

This is the country that built the Empire State Building in just over 400 days. Think of that. The tallest building in the world at the time (and all the way up until the World Trade Center was finished) was built in a little more than a year. That was in the early 1930s.

The Twin Towers were destroyed eight years ago. And what's replaced them? Nothing. Really? We can't quickly, efficiently, industriously rebuild what was there — only better? We can't put up the Freedom Center and call it that unabashedly, unashamedly and unafraid? In, let's say two years or three — four tops?

We can't fix our energy situation, build better cars than anyone on planet Earth or make health care the best the world has ever known without becoming something we're not? Of course we can. Or, we could.

But instead, we bicker, battle and fight amongst ourselves. Our arguments come to: "Oh, you hate! You're racist! You're a warmonger! You want to poison people and starve children."

I don't know a single person who would like to do any of those things.

So, who is it that's teaching us to behave this way? Our politicians.

One of the issues we have is the spreading sentiment that capitalism is evil. That redistribution of wealth is a good thing. Any time you mention the words Marxism or communism, the left paints you as some sort of nutjob, a McCarthyite.

First of all, that's just ridiculous. I'm not a U.S. senator. I have no power to subpoena witnesses, launch investigations or accept huge contributions from George Soros or GE.

Second, with any of these radicals in the Obama-sphere, we've just used their words and asked questions about them:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. MAXINE WATTERS, D-CALIF.: This liberal will be all about socializing — basically, taking over and the government running all of your companies.

VAN JONES: No more broken treaties. No more broken treaties. Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth!

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JOHN P. HOLDREN: I think ultimately the rate of growth of material consumption is going to have to come down and there's going to have to be a degree of redistribution of how much we consume, in terms of energy and material resources, in order to leave room for people who are poor to become more prosperous.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: When the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's going to be good for everybody.

I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

OBAMA: The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth…. The tragedies of the civil rights movement was — because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change."

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Nationalizing our companies and redistributing our wealth and resources — we hear that stuff everyday now, right? So we're mixing in a little Karl Marx with our Founding Fathers — so what?

But as big as I think that problem is, it isn't even the biggest we face. What is the biggest problem we face today? Is it health care? No, as bad as it is, it's still, the best in the world. The economy? Nope. As bad as that is, we still have millions of people from all over the world struggling to get here. Is it global warming? Please. We just experienced the 34th coolest summer in U.S. history.

No, our biggest problem in this country is: corruption.

Corruption is the sickness that infests our nation.

Charlie Rangel refusing to answer tax problem questions? Chris Dodd on the Countrywide thing? Barney Frank and Fannie Mae scandals? William Jefferson bribes? Duke Cunningham and other GOPers?

Our government is preparing for a potential crisis that we've been hearing about a lot: swine flu. How would we respond to an outbreak of swine flu? Well, you know that if it was your family that had an outbreak of H1N1, you can bet that health officials would keep you in your house. You would be quarantined. If it spread through your neighborhood, that would be quarantined.

The same way that flu spreads, so does the plague of corruption.

How do we stop it? Can we stop it by turning to special interests or unions? ACORN? SEIU? We all know it can't be. In this plague, Washington, D.C., is Patient Zero.

We need to quarantine Washington: Nothing in; nothing out.

We've all seen great people head off, newly elected to D.C., and what happens? They change. After a few months or a couple years, you start to think: "What happened to them?" They were infected with the disease of corruption.

No one in and no legislation comes out — infected legislation spreads across our country like… well, a plague.

So what do we do? We stop spreading the disease. It's time to reconnect with our founding principles. Fifty-six men signed the original documents that every American patriot still believes in with all their heart over 200 years later. Fifty-six men changed the world forever. We currently have 535 people in the United States Congress. You can't tell me that we don't have 56 committed patriots there who understand that there's an illness in D.C. and would like to do something about it, but just don't know how or what to do.

Let's offer them the way out.

First of all, we all demand daily to our representatives that they pass nothing until the corruption is stopped.

Second, we let them know that we all make mistakes and we offer them the chance for redemption. If they've been part of the problem, come forward, let us know about it and we'll be forgiving. Now, if you've broken the law, obviously, you'll have to pay for that. But if it's something that has dishonored you, your office or your family, then confess it, deal with it and we will stand behind you if you help us clean up this mess.

We need to offer a way out to members of Congress. Now we know that some of these people are like Typhoid Mary, just spreading corruption wherever they can. Others, can and will find redemption and feel good about themselves and their country again. Still others have maybe not yet been fully infected.

I had this idea the other night, while reading Thomas Jefferson. Let's begin the search for the 56 men and women who help us re-found America: Patriots, "refounders" willing to put their nation ahead of themselves and their party affiliation. Stop identifying yourselves as Republicans and Democrats; start identifying yourselves as Americans.

Republicans should begin the cleanup of the GOP and the Democrats clean out the corruption in the Democratic Party. We all know it's there — so, admit it: Clean up the mess and let's move on.

So, we stop talking about any policies or legislation passing — a total quarantine. We get Democrats to focus on fixing the Democratic Party and Republicans to focus on the Republican Party. Come out, find a microphone and purge the disease. Come out to CNN, if you're more comfortable there — it doesn't matter, just do it and restore your own party.

As for what you can do: You need to apply the pressure on Congress that enforces the quarantine. And, reach out to your neighbor with facts — not with emotion, not with anger, with facts. Don't worry about the game players — those stuck in the right vs. left rut — forget them and move on. Talk to the reasonable ones.

We can't seem to agree on anything anymore in this nation. But the one thing on which all reasonable Americans can agree is that we don't want corruption in our government. In nearly every poll taken for the past several years, it is the No. 2 concern on the minds of the people.

Let's stop thinking about it and do something about it.

• Is Beck right? Click here to SOUND OFF

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

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.

RELATED: MEDIA BIGOTRY: The New Yorker hates on Chick-fil-A over 'pervasive Christian traditionalism'

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.

RELATED: Time to reverse course: America is being corrupted by its own power

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.

RELATED: Media's anti-Israel, pro-Islam bias sweeps THIS fact under the rug

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?