Glenn Beck: Can Our Leaders Make Tough Choices?





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I had dinner last night with one of the richest men in the world. Yeah, that's how I roll. Not really, but I just like to say that. It mortifies my children when I try to be cool.

If you think I'm a gloom and doom kind of guy, then the conversation we had last night made me look like the poster child for Pollyanna syndrome.

This guy is a very well-respected man in the business world. I think he could even be the Rockefeller of our day and he had practically thrown his hands up in the air in defeat, because he just doesn't see a leader out there willing to do the tough things.

And quite frankly, I don't know that he's wrong.

I mean, when have you ever seen a politician do the "tough" thing and do what's right in favor of what's politically expedient? Not often.

But not only are they not doing the tough thing, they aren't even asking what the "tough" thing is.

I have asked and here they are:

• Cut taxes: How many times do we need to see evidence that it works? We saw it in the Roaring '20s with Harding and Coolidge. We saw it with Reagan in the '80s. And we saw it in 2003 with the Bush tax cuts.

Did you know that after the Bush tax cuts, we had 46 straight months of growth? Of course you didn't. Progressives don't want you to know that and conservatives have failed miserably at explaining it to America.

• Share the burden: Not everyone wants to hear this, but low earners who don't pay anything now will have to pay. But forget trying to convince those people, how about those who are getting money from the government? They've been convinced by our politicians they have a right to someone else's money.

The world is a competitive place. It's why Texas is thriving and New Jersey has lost $70 billion in wealth: people move. If the government doesn't make us competitive for companies, they will do the same and go somewhere like Singapore or China. We're not competitive anymore.

• Cut spending: And I don't just mean the bridges to nowhere and the turtle tunnels. Yes, cut those too, but I am talking dramatic spending cuts. This is something even Reagan couldn't do. You have to go back to Coolidge and Harding to find the kind of reduction in government services I'm talking about.

We're not talking about "freezing" a tiny slice of the budget that President Obama did — that sounds good for politics, but it's not going to get us anywhere. Roughly 17 percent of the federal budget is included in that spending freeze; that leaves about 83 percent to balloon out of control. All of those "non-frozen" areas are going to increase.

And what about that $787 billion we borrowed for the stimulus? The interest in our debt alone will send us in a tailspin. According to government estimates, for 2011, the net interest on our federal debt is roughly $250 billion; by 2016 it's $627 billion — more than 13 percent of our total budget.

I wrote this in "Common Sense" last year: "By 2019, annual interest payments on the national debt will balloon to a projected $806 billion! Why? Because, as you might know from your own credit cards, interest compounds quickly. Making only the minimum payments will result in the unpaid interest being added to our outstanding debt. It's a cycle that's almost impossible to pull out of and the damage to our country will almost certainly be irreversible. That $806 billion is more than what it cost us last year to fund the entire Department of Defense ($583 billion), Veterans affairs ($86.6 billion), the Department of Transportation ($68.7 billion), and the State Department ($18.9 billion)... combined."

Someone has to tell you the truth.

Medicare is out of control. Social Security is out of money. There is no lockbox. When Social Security started, age expectancy for men was 58 and 62 for women. It was designed for the lucky few who actually lived beyond expectancy. If the system worked today — like FDR designed it — you wouldn't get your benefits until you were 75 for a man or 80 for a woman.

Now who in Washington has the stones to step forward and say no Social Security benefits until you are eighty? No one.

They want minimum wage to be slave to inflation. How about making Social Security slave to lifespan of Americans? Don't worry, if health care passes that life expectancy should start dropping very quickly.

Does anyone have the stones to convince the country that is addicted to government "free stuff" and we've got to break the habit? Of course, the first step to solving the problem is admitting that we have a problem. And we haven't really done that yet:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We can see clearly now that the steps my administration is taking are making a difference, blunting the worst of this recession and helping to bring about its conclusion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

No, it's not behind us. We're not past the worst.

What you need right now, is not someone to sugarcoat things. You need someone who's going to give you the truth, the hard truth. What's coming our way is not good. What's coming our way is currently unfolding in Greece and Spain. But you watch: We're on the list, America.

By the end of the term of this president, America will clearly understand our financial future. You'll feel it firsthand. And you don't want to wait for that moment.

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

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

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For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


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Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.

Candace Owens, BLEXIT founder and author of the upcoming book, "Blackout," joined Glenn Beck on Friday's GlennTV for an exclusive interview. available only to BlazeTV subscribers.

Candace dropped a few truth-bombs about the progressive movement and what's happening to the Democratic Party. She said people are practically running away from the left due to their incessant push to dig up dirt on anybody who disagrees with their radical ideology. She explained how -- like China and its "social credit score" -- the left is shaping America into its own nightmarish episode of "Black Mirror."

"This game of making sure that everyone is politically correct is a societal atom bomb. There are no survivors. There's no one that is perfect," Candace said. "The idea that humanity can be perfect is Godless. If you accept that there is something greater than us, then you accept that we a flawed. To be human is to be flawed."

Enjoy this clip from the full episode below:

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BlazeTV subscribers can watch the full interview on BlazeTV.com. Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of your subscription.

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.