Glenn Beck: Progressives Want to Bring Europe to America





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During this health care reform debate, how many times have you heard that health care is a right? That's been one of the main selling points — that we're the greatest country in the world, and the only one where every citizen isn't entitled to health care?

How can that be? Well, I'll tell you how that can be: It's simply because we are the greatest nation on Earth that we haven't succumbed to socialized medicine.

Our Founders knew that the people would need health care; the need hasn't changed over the years, only the quality of the care and they didn't put it in the Constitution.

I'll tell you something else, the progressives know it's not constitutional. Here's President Obama talking about the trouble with the Constitution:

(BEGIN 2001 AUDIO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA: Generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you, it says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Yes, that's the way the Founders designed it. This is an old progressive argument, but one that was first brought to the forefront when FDR campaigned for a Second Bill of Rights:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: We have accepted, so to speak, a Second Bill of Rights ... the right to a useful and remunerative job in the industry ... the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; the right of farmers to raise and sell their products at a return which will give them and their families a decent living; the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies ... the right of every family to a decent home; the right to adequate medical care ... the right to adequate protection from the economic fears ... and finally, the right to a good education.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Why would they need a Second Bill of Rights, if it was already included in our initial Bill of Rights? The right to a job, a certain pay, a home and yes, medical care.

If government provides everyone jobs, pay, a home and medical care, how would that work? Simple: communism. All the money goes to the government, who then redistributes it equally: equal pay, equal homes, equal medical care — equally bad. We saw how the system worked for the Soviet Union and China, that's why the Second Bill of Rights ended up on the scrap heap of history.

Oh, but our neo-progressives have pulled it off that heap, dusted it off, shined it up and put a fresh coat of lipstick on that same, old, disgusting pig.

Cass Sunstein, Obama's recently confirmed regulatory "czar," wrote an entire book about it called, "The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than Ever":

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASS SUNSTEIN, REGULATORY 'CZAR': Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights has turned out to be lost in the United States, but the Second Bill of Rights has turned out to be one of the best American exports. So in Europe, and even in Iraq now, the constitutional understandings often include a right to a decent chance at economic well being.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

It's turned out to be one of the "best American exports"? How's that export working out for Europe and Iraq? One of our best exports? That just shows you the sorry state of what we export in this country.

What is this fascination, this progressive love affair with socialist Europe? Europe is your standard of excellence? In France, they're experienced a record economic downturn this year, which has led to strikes and riots. CMA DataVision gives Ireland a 24.6 percent chance of going bankrupt within five years. Greece was just downgraded to a triple-B credit rating — good luck with those interest rates now. And Iraq? Are you seriously going to try to hold up Iraq as a beacon of stability, who has created a lasting constitution?

In more than 200 years since ratification, we've had one Constitution and one government in the United States. France has had fifteen. Russia had six constitutions in the last 100 years. Spain, Great Britain, Poland, Italy — does anyone remember Yugoslavia? I think we all envy those accomplishments. Need we even mention, Germany?

All of Europe has undergone massive and repeated upheavals in their forms of government. Why do progressives so dearly covet the European example of chaos, tyranny and instability? America is the only nation on Earth with the kind of stability, longevity, prosperity and freedom we've enjoyed for over two centuries. And we've accomplished it all with just the original Bill of Rights in our original Constitution.

Michael Moore "discovered" FDR's fireside chat on the second Bill of Rights in his anti-free market movie, "Capitalism" and acted as if he'd found the Holy Grail of Socialism. I expect that from him, from Hollywood. But I expect better, more logical thinking, with maybe a grasp of historical perspective from our elected officials. Well, at least I used to.

I mean, think about it: Guaranteed jobs and the right to earn enough to provide adequate food, clothing and recreation? What's "adequate" food? Enough to keep me from starving to death or to help me get to 500 pounds? "Adequate" clothing: K-Mart or Armani? And adequate recreation? Is that a movie once a month or three yearly trips to socialist Europe? How would you determine that? Who decides? Obviously, government. Farmers have a right to produce and sell their products at a return that gives them and their families a "decent" living? Decent? Who decides? The government. Does the right of the farmer to set his decent living price conflict with my right to adequate food? The right to a decent home. How big? How decent? Does someone else get a better home than I do?

With all these guaranteed necessities, what happens to incentive? An all-powerful government would decide everything for us. By the way, if this sounds somewhat familiar, maybe you've read the old Soviet Constitution:

Article 40: Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society.

Article 41: Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure... the length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.

Article 42: Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection

Remember the Soviet Union's decent housing, decent jobs and who could forget the easy access to quality food?

But I'm only talking to you about the right of health care.

They haven't yet passed the second Bill of Rights that FDR, Cass Sunstein, Michael Moore and others advocate, but they are desperate to lay the foundation and install the infrastructure. That's why they're willing to pass this health care bill at virtually any cost.

Public option a no-go? No problem, we'll just do Medicare expansion? No? Drop that? Fine. Just pass it anyway or we'll destroy you.

Why? Understand that if this passes it will be the first time in American history that you will be required to purchase something from a private company just to be a legal citizen. That does not work constitutionally.

Could the plan be to have this unconstitutional reform pass, then brought up in court and thrown out because it is unconstitutional? Then, with the health care framework already in place, there'd be nothing else to do — we're already collecting taxes for health care and we can't force anyone to purchase it. So we'll just have to put in the public option now because it is constitutional to tax Americans and have the government provide health care.

So far though, that pesky Constitution doesn't seem to be getting in the way of the politicians in Washington. This has been the typical response from health care reform supporters:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CNSNEWS.COM REPORTER: Madame Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: Are you serious? Are you serious?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Nah, don't even worry about it, Nancy!

The White House is considering working out a deal in Copenhagen without involving Congress. But, as Newt Gingrich pointed out Wednesday, President Obama cannot bind the American people to job-killing international agreements on climate change without the advice and consent of the United States Senate. In fact, he'll need two-thirds of the Senate. The EPA is taking matters into their own hands, circumventing Congress, by declaring your every exhale hazardous to the planet.

These leaders don't care about the Constitution. And the few decent ones that do, don't see Cass Sunstein licking his chops right now. They can't think out of the box. You must think like a European socialist to understand. They want their socialist utopian society and the Constitution is nothing more than a speed bump to that end.

One way or another, through regulation, nudging, extortion or trickery, they will get it done. Because that's the way Washington works now. I have never thought that way until recently. I've always wanted to believe the best about the motivations of our leaders. That's why I was initially in favor of TARP. I thought — for about three days — they had good intentions. I now know better. You have to stop taking these people at face value and look at these things with a skeptical eye. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

I for one am sick and tired of American leaders trying to bring Europe to the United States. We left that continent for a reason. If they want Europe so badly, I say go. You have a right to move to move to Europe. There are hundreds of flights departing daily, bound for your European utopia.

But it is high time that this country charts a course back to the Republic called the United States of America.

— 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.

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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.

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.

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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?