Thursday, March 7, 2013
This is One of the Reasons
I haven't watched Bill O'Reilly in a very long time because I don't take him very seriously. What's disappointing about a blowhard like him is that he has a very popular show which draws 2 million nightly viewers and it dwarfs its competition by a lot. Sure,it's mainly 71 year old conservatives but they vote. Bill O'Reilly's audience prefers bellicose over substance and he provides plenty of that but that leaves very little room for substance.
The Bill O'Reilly's show ratings have dropped since the election (but he's still number 1 for cable TV) and so his recent outrages may be his way of boosting his ratings. That's fine from an entertainment point of view, but his viewers take him seriously and that's one of the reasons for the gridlock. His viewers will put pressure on members of Congress to refrain from any kind of compromise.
Watch the video so you can understand what the other side is watching and drawing their conclusions from. For example, the president has stated that he's willing to put entitlement reforms on the table for a grand bargain type of deal but O'Reilly wants specifics like the names of the drug companies, Medicare will negotiate with..O'Reilly praised Paul Ryan for naming a specific Medicare eligibility age that he wants in his plan but in reality, the GOP is negotiating with itself. The House of Representatives has the numbers to pass anything they want, but so far they have not passed anything that is negotiable. Representative Ryan's first budget wouldn't begin to balance the budget for 40 years, and his second one didn't cut one dime from the defense budget making the students, the elderly, and the poor take the brunt of his cuts.
Specifics cuts and revenues will be given when the interesting parties are ready to negotiate and even then the numbers and items will change each time CBO calculates the result. Paul Ryan will have lunch with President Obama today to see if there is working room for a bargain without naming specifics. President Obama might want a little leeway to see if the Affordable Care Act can bring down costs before striking a deal that he doesn't have to. The president's luncheon (which he paid out of his own personal funds) with non leadership Senate Republicans last night may have laid the groundwork for future luncheons, where they can talk personally instead of grandstanding for the television cameras.The parties came away with renewed optimism but it didn't keep the GOP senators from blocking the president's judicial nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bill O'Reilly hates taxes as a lot of greedy rich old men do, but he's pushing for lowering the corporate rate to make American companies more competitive. If Bill ever bothered to read any financial charts or just look at the recent stock market news then he would have seen that the corporations are doing really well. On that note, I saw a couple of my old conservative friends who were pretty pleased with their stock portfolios.That left the door open for me to tell them that President Obama has got to be the worst socialist ever, since the stock market is a reflection of our capitalist economy. I saw that silly little grin on their face, which told me that they knew what I was talking about.
I think we are through raising tax rates for the rest of Obama's term but trimming the fat can come from eliminating several tax loopholes, making hedge fund managers pay taxes at ordinary rates instead of the much lower capital gains' rate, and we could impose some modest stock transaction fees, so to say spending cuts is the only way to balance the budget is pretty short-sided.
Bill O'Reilly knows he can badger Alan Colmes and Kristen Powers because he can fluster them into submission and besides neither are economists.The are what the Washington Generals are to the Harlem Globetrotters. Bill O'Reilly is just a shallow man with a big mouth, and he caters to an audience who gobbles that stuff up.