Return to Transcripts main page

Glenn Beck

Headed for Recession?; Hillary, Obama Clash Over Race; Giuliani Advisor Speaks about Campaign

Aired January 14, 2008 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight what`s the top issue for you as a voter? Is it Iraq? Barack? Hillary`s pantsuits? No, it`s the economy, stupid, and it`s in trouble.

Plus, with the race card now being on the table for the Democrats, just how ugly will this election get? Hillary and Obama going toe to toe with the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. caught in the middle?

And imagine the man controlling the temperature in your home. Well, that could be the next spooky reality coming out of California.

All this and more tonight.


BECK: Hello, America. It`s back to the grind.

About four months ago "Washington Post" asked voters what is the most important thing; what is the one thing that is really going to be the determining factor in your choice for president of the United States? Well, far and away a few months ago, No. 1 response was the war in Iraq. No. 2 was health care.

Oh, how things have changed. The No. 1 issue right now, the economy, and it`s not even close.

So here`s "The Point" tonight. Thank God almighty. I believe Americans are much smarter than anybody in the media or Washington ever give them credit for. That`s why they`ve stopped listening to the so- called experts, and they`ve started listening and trusting their own gut instead. Our economy is in trouble, and here`s how I got there.

For months now I`ve been talking about my deep concerns about what I believe our economy is facing. Every time I talk about it, I get hammered. I get hammered by viewers. I get hammered by radio listeners, who told me I`m not in touch with reality. I get hammered by business owners, who say, "You`re going to hurt the economy by telling people to spend within their means." I know. When a crazy concept that is.

And I get hammered by financial experts, who are literally lining up to make me look like an idiot while, off the air, they`ll stand in this hallway, and they`ll tell me keep fighting the fight, brother, because you`re right on the mark, and somebody has to say it. Thank you.

You know what? I`ve done it, because I don`t mind looking like an idiot. I mean, last week everybody in America seemed to be talking about my butt surgery. What self-respect do I have left?

People are now starting to see the economic runway lights lining up in front of them, and America, it`s about time.

First of all, you have American Express, which has the most affluent client base of any credit card issuer. Recently, they said they are setting aside over $400 million to cover slower spending and higher delinquencies.

Then you have Citigroup, which has already written off billions in bad debt. Each time, they claim, "Oh, this is going to be the last time. We don`t need any more money." Right now they`re reportedly set to write down another $24 billion and lay off up to 24,000 employees when they announce their earnings tomorrow.

Now, I know that people hate these comparisons, but, oh, well. According to an NYU finance professor, this is now the very first time since the Great Depression that banks have lost this much money.

So what does it all mean? Well, beginning in 2007 fewer than a third of the economists thought a recession was likely. Now most say the odds are at least 50 percent. Me? I say recession would be a dream come true, because it would mean a soft landing for our economy.

So tonight here`s what you need to know. While there are plenty of experts out there that have plenty of studies and stats to back up their rosy outlooks, most of them also have something else, an agenda. On the other hand, my agenda is to tell you the truth as I understand it, and the truth to me is very simple.

We have spent far too much money in our own homes and for far too long, and we`ve done the same thing in Washington, and soon we are going to have to pay the price. Buckle up, gang.

I know that some people believe that that`s just not true. They say, "Oh, we`re immune from disaster because our economy is too -- too large and far too complex for people like Glenn Beck to understand."

Bull crap. Those people are forgetting one important thing. It only takes a small hole to sink a big ship, and right now this ship is springing leaks everywhere.

David Tice is the portfolio manager for the Prudent Bear Fund, and, David, I come to you as an expert, but I have to be quite honest with you. You also have a lot to gain if what I said is right. Do you not?

DAVID TICE, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, PRUDENT BEAR FUND: That`s correct, Glenn. And I told your producer I`m oftentimes criticized for this. However, I don`t -- I`m not on the program to get people to put money in our fund.

I`m here because I believe that -- I started my fund because I believe this, exactly what you said. Americans eat too much, drink too much, and spend too much, and we`re doing it with the world`s excess savings.

BECK: You are the first guy that I think I have had on this program that will actually use the "D" word. You believe that we`re not only headed for a recession. You believe we could head for a depression.

TICE: That`s right, Glenn, and it scares me to death to think about it, but as you said, Americans should have known better. Our policymakers should have known better.

And essentially, what it comes down to is our economists and our policymakers perpetuated this bubble in order to prevent a mini-recession. We should have had recessions along the way, and instead, we tried to be Good Time Charlie as Federal Reserve chairman and tried to keep the economy going.

BECK: I mean, correct me if I`m wrong, but as I understand it -- and I`m a simpleton here. I`m not a guy who`s an expert on the economy. I`m just a thinker.

And as I see it, what we`ve done is to prevent the crash of the tech bubble, we created the housing bubble, and now the housing bubble is much worse than the tech bubble would have been, so what are we going to do? The Fed is going to open up everything else and create yet another bubble.

We`ve at some point -- we have got to take our medicine. Do we not?

TICE: That is so true, Glenn, and really, you said you were simple. Actually, Americans that are simple are better of than these high-fluting economists that try to act as if there`s -- you don`t ever have a price it pay. It really comes down to paying a price.

And we did have a burst into the tech bubble. However, it did not lead to a recession. Greenspan, Bush came on TV, told people to go take a vacation. Go buy a new car, et cetera. We created the biggest mortgage finance bubble of all time.

And now we`re trying to cut rates again. We`re trying to prevent any pain and suffering. We hate pain and suffering, too, but it`s just like disciplining a child. You have to discipline your child to cure excesses and imbalances, and that`s what`s called for; or, otherwise, you end up in bigger trouble.

BECK: OK. We`ll talk to you again, David. Thank you very much.

Now, if a recession is on the way, what should the government do? What should happen? Should we cut rates? Should we get tax rebates? Bail-out for the homeowners who are in over their head? I mean, they made the loans. They took it out. How about the banks? Should we save them?

And more importantly, is it already too late to come to this party?

Stephen Moore, senior economic writer for "The Wall Street Journal" and former president of the Club for Growth.

Stephen, let me -- let me start here, with something that I thought of this weekend. My grandfather said -- and I was talking to my uncle about it. We were talking about the economy this weekend, and he said, "Glenn, I remember what Grandpa used to say."

What grandpa used to say was always learn how to grow your own food. Never forget how to grow your own food. Never not be able to repair your own car or tractor. Be able to do that.

Well, that was my family advice. If I extrapolated that and made my family the United States of America, we grow our own food, but the average American doesn`t know how to do it. We can`t do the things. All we are, are consumers. Seventy percent of our economy is on consumption. What happens to it if we`re not consuming? How do we restart?

STEPHEN MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMIC WRITER, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, you know, I reject this idea that so many politicians are talking about in Washington, that the problem with the American economy is that we`re not spending enough, because, as you`ve been talking about for the last ten minutes, al Americans do these days is spend. The last thing we need is more incentives to take out our credit card and go to the shopping mall.

And so you got all these plans in Washington right now, Glenn, that are oriented towards "let`s get the consumer spending again." But that`s what the problem with the economy is. The problem is that we`re not producing enough. We need more incentives to produce.

And by the way, the person who wants the biggest give-away right now is your friend and my friend, Hillary Clinton, who wants $110 billion, quote, "fiscal stimulus," $110 billion.

Why is it that every time that one of the Clintons feels our pain, it has to cost taxpayers so much?

BECK: Stephen, I have to tell you, I`m so concerned because I`ve read -- have you read Amity Shales` book, "The Forgotten Man?"

MOORE: On the Depression. Great book.

BECK: Great book. Stephen, are we not going down the same path?

MOORE: No. We`re not going to have -- I`m more optimistic than you are, Glenn.

BECK: No, no, but I`m saying with the politicians?

MOORE: Well, the politicians...

BECK: The politicians are doing exactly the same things that they did during the Depression.

MOORE: And, actually, I think the analysis is more like what we had in the 1970s. Remember, Glenn, in the 1970s, we had run-away inflation and high unemployment, and that`s exactly what we`re going to have if we continue with this policy of trying to have the government spend and spend and spend so much money and then having the Federal Reserve board continue to cut interest rates.

My goodness, Glenn, the dollar is falling like a rock. We don`t need to keep cutting interest rates or you`re not going to be able to buy anything with your dollar anymore.

BECK: Right. So tell me about that, because that`s -- Bernanke came out and said he`s going to open up the valve. I have people who will talk to me in the hallway but not on air, and they say, "Good God Almighty, if they open up those valves any more, they could put the dollar into a freefall, and then you are in Depression."

What -- what is -- what should the Fed do?

MOORE: Well, the problem is that Washington is sort of out of policy levers to deal with this crisis, because you can`t say, you know, the problem with the economy is the government isn`t spending enough money. The federal budget this year is $3 trillion, Glenn.

How could anybody, whether it`s Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama or even some Republicans, say, "You know what we need to do? We need to have Washington spend more money on the hot credit cards that they`ve already got." I mean, it just makes no senses.

BECK: OK. Stephen, you`re going to stick around for later on in the program.


BECK: Because we`re going to go to Michigan and talk politics here later on in the program, and I want to see, is there a single conservative out there that gets this and can help fix it?

Coming up in just a little while, also race has now become a predominant issue in the Democratic run for the White House. I mean, that`s what everybody is talking about, huh? Let`s point out that they`re a different color, a different gender.

Hillary Clinton, who finds herself now in the smack -- right in the middle of it. Just another sign that this election season is getting ugly and not going to talk about the issues.

And the gloves are off, and they are about to get really ugly in Michigan for the Republicans. Can McCain cement himself as the frontrunner? Or will Mitt Romney finally win the gold, as he would say? Find out in just a minute.


BECK: OK. California, we need to talk. All right. I`m sick and tired of it. Really, I love you and everything, but this whole environmentalism thing is going too far. No plastic bags. No water bottles. OK, fine. Now you want the government to control the thermostat in your house?

Don`t miss tonight`s "Real Story," coming up in a second.

But first, I have a dream. I have a dream that one day, presidential candidates can stop bickering amongst themselves and focus on issues that actually matter to you and me. Unfortunately, I don`t think that`s going to happen any time soon.

Hillary Clinton came under fire last week when she said that it took a president, Lyndon Johnson, to accomplish Martin Luther King Jr.`s dream of a civil rights -- dream of civil rights by passing the civil rights legislation.

Well, then there was outrage from the African-American community, followed by -- followed by everybody else yelling at each other on television. Democratic candidate Barack Obama now saw the opening, and he took it this weekend, saying that it was views like Clinton that made people tired of game-playing in Washington and all the politicians.

He hammered her for diminishing King`s role in the battle for civil rights. And this forced Clinton to go on NBC`s "Meet the Press" yesterday to defend her comments and take Obama to task. Here`s what happened.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Clearly we know from media reports that the Obama campaign is deliberately distorting this. And you know, I think we -- we should just take a step out here for a minute. This is the most exciting election we`ve had in such a long time. Because you have an African-American, an extraordinary man, a person of tremendous talents and abilities, running to become our president.

You have a woman, running to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling. I don`t think any of us want to inject race or gender in this campaign.


BECK: Didn`t she just inject -- I mean, is it just me?

Jamal Simmons is a Democratic strategist, and Chris Wilson is a Republican strategist, CEO of Wilson Research Strategies.

Let me start with you, Jamal. Let`s start -- let`s start with the Martin Luther King thing. Is she wrong? Didn`t -- I mean, didn`t -- I mean, here`s the woman who says it takes a village. Doesn`t it take a village, a whole bunch of people, including the president and Congress, to pass Martin Luther King`s dream?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Of course it does, and I don`t think anybody would argue that Lyndon Johnson didn`t do a yeoman`s effort by getting that bill passed. The issue is just where was the major force? Was it because the president signed legislation, or was it all the people which Hillary Clinton herself said, you know, went out marched, bled, fought, got bitten by dogs and all that?

BECK: Does it matter? Does it matter at this point? These two bickering about it -- I mean, jeez. For the love of Pete, our country is burning down to the ground, and California is going into your bedroom to adjust your thermostat. Does it matter?

SIMMONS: Well, if you look at the whole host of issues that these campaigns are talking about, they both have put out economic plans this week. They both have been talking about what to do about health care and the environment.

But the media does seem to get focused on these hot-button issues, even though the candidates spend 90 percent of their time talking about issues that really affect you and I.

BECK: OK, Chris, let me ask you this. You`re a GOP strategist. If you were -- if you -- let`s say Barack Obama goes the distance and he`s the Democratic candidate, and Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani, anybody is the Republican candidate, and he said these things.

Do you think that it would be as kind to a Republican to -- in response or they would just immediately just start hammering people for being racist?

CHRIS WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: They would be eviscerated. I mean, this is almost -- you listen to her comments, and you kept waiting for her to say clean and articulate. It`s bizarre in terms of the way she`s approached this.

And if you look at her numbers with African-Americans right now, she`s losing African-Americans 66 to 16 for Obama. In states like South Carolina, that is huge.

BECK: Jamal, help me out. You`re the Democratic strategist. How has this turned, because for a while I heard that -- what was it they were saying? -- Barack Obama isn`t black enough. He`s not black enough. I didn`t even understand what that even meant at the time.

But now he is -- the African-American vote is going all to Barack Obama. What has changed?

SIMMONS: Well, what`s changed is I think a lot of African-Americans are concerned about Senator Obama`s ability to actually be able to win in America, and, by winning in Iowa, he sort of proved the case that he can get a general election audience, white people, to vote for him.

And so African-Americans have said, OK, this guy might actually have a serious chances. How are we going to silt on the sidelines and not be supportive of him? So you`re seeing a wholesale movement of African- Americans, even though the Clintons do have a long track record and people still feel very positively about them, as long as they don`t get too carried away, with all this racial politics stuff.

BECK: OK, good. So what I was thinking here is I thought it was racist when people said, "Oh, the African-American people, they just don`t think he`s black enough." I thought that was racist. I mean, what? I don`t look for somebody who`s white enough for me to vote for. That`s ridiculous.

SIMMONS: African-Americans are discerning voters just like everybody else, and they`ve got to make their decision.

BECK: It`s not racist. What some people are saying now is, well, now race is playing a role. No, it`s not. They just see that this is a guy who they believe in and he can win, and so they`re voting. It`s not based on race is what you`re saying?

SIMMONS: I don`t think it`s based on race at all.

BECK: Good.

SIMMONS: I think it`s based on issues, and it`s based on finding a candidate they think will actually go to Washington and shake things up, even though Senator Clinton does have a record of breaking a glass ceiling if she gets elected also.

BECK: I think, Chris, if you`re a strategist on the other side and my spider senses went off when she said he is an amazing man. What a lovely man. I just love -- I would love to grab him by the cheeks and just do this.

You know, it was almost -- what I was hearing, translation, bull crap to English, what I was hearing is and I really believe that he will be my vice presidential candidate.

SIMMONS: I don`t know at this point that there`s any chance of that happening, but I agree with Jamal. I don`t think this is racial on the part of voters, but I do think the Clinton campaign is really skirting the line there. You know, for a while they talked about him being unelectable because of experience and they just kind dropped the experience line. And you just wonder if there isn`t some undertones behind what they`re saying, and the whole approach to it.

BECK: You`ve got the -- I`m being told we`re out of time. We`ll have to come back and talk about the head of BET started throwing out the drug use stuff. I mean...

WILSON: Most African-Americans voters aren`t billionaires. You know? There`s a little bit of difference between the head of BET and the average African-American voter in South Carolina, with all due respect.

BECK: All right. Thanks a lot. Jamal, Chris, we`ll talk to you again.

Coming up, having not finished better than fourth in any of the caucuses or the primaries, Rudy Giuliani`s campaign may be in trouble, according to some. Now some senior staffers are working for free. Can the White House dream of Rudy Giuliani make it to Super Tuesday?

And did liberal billionaire George Soros try to influence America`s thinking on the war in Iraq? No. And did the media help him achieve the goal? Again, no. Tonight`s "Real Story," coming up.


BECK: Running for any office, especially the presidency, takes two thing: an unwavering commitment of a dedicated staff and a ton of cash. Seems these days, Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani has more of one than the other.

This is according to a statement from the Giuliani campaign. Quote, "Some other members of our senior staff were asked on a voluntary basis for forego their paycheck for a month or so, so all of our resources could be targeted towards Florida. That said, our campaign is not and never has been living hand-to-mouth."

Really? I think it`s a bad sign when you start asking your staff to work for free when the election is still 10 months away. I`m just saying. Maybe that`s just me.

Hey, Jody, you want to work the camera for free for a while? But this show is not in trouble. I`ll tell you that right now.

David Frum is the senior foreign affairs advisor to the Giuliani campaign and author of "Comeback: Conservatives That Can Win Again."


FRUM: I am working for free. I always work for politicians for free. That`s one of my rules of life.

BECK: OK. And that`s not a sign of trouble?

FRUM: I think it means that you get to speak your mind when you`re -- when you are offering the advice that you want to offer and not taking a paycheck.

BECK: OK. All right. Every time Giuliani has lost -- I mean, the strategy, I think, is going to end up being either brilliant or the dumbest strategy ever. I`m betting towards brilliant, actually, at this point. I was on the dumb bandwagon for a while, but I think he`s actually brilliant.

Everybody is going to fight it out and nobody is going to win anything, and then you`re going to hit Super Tuesday. And all of a sudden, people are going to go, "I can`t vote for John McCain" or whoever, and he`ll pop up to the top. You still feel pretty confident about this?

FRUM: Well, I hope you`re right. That`s not my part of the political world. I`m not an expert on campaigns and elections. I think that the important thing in politics is to get the ideas right, to get the message right, to connect with people. If you do that, then you have to let the campaign take care of itself.

BECK: Everybody -- everybody is talking about the economy. Last week he really went after taxes, and, I mean, in an erotic sort of way. For me as a conservative, I mean, I was, like, oh, yes, Rudy, talk to me some more.

But I haven`t heard the cutting part. Is he -- is he also as dedicated to cutting spending? And can he get it done?

FRUM: Look, I really -- I`m not a spokesman for the campaign, and I can`t tell you what he`s going to think or what his economic policy is. When they have those kinds of things, they`ll roll them out. I can only speak for myself.

BECK: Well, then what is it going to take for him to win? What is the strategy that you talk about in your book that...

FRUM: Well, this -- the thing have you to do, and this is where I worry a little bit about his tax plan, is you have to connect with middle income voters who`ve had a pretty rough time over the past six years. The economy as a whole has done well, but the people in the middle have not done so well. They`ve been squeezed by health care costs. You need a strategy on that.

BECK: How do you as a conservative -- how do you say we`re going to fix health care? I mean, everybody is talking about health care. We can`t afford to get involved as a government with health care.

FRUM: Well, the United States government already spends about $1 trillion a year on health care. When you add up Medicare, Medicaid as a value of the health-care tax exemption, it`s about $1 trillion.

Another way to think about it, you add up -- never mind the tax exemption -- but just the cash, the United States government, state and federal, together spend more per American on health care than the Canadian government spends per Canadian.

So there`s a lot of government money already being spent. Any illusion that this is a free market system or a basically private system, well, that`s just that. It`s an illusion.

BECK: David, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

Coming up, California takes one more step to becoming a full-fledged nanny state. What the heck is happening with our country? The crazy hippies, hey, California. We`ll smoke some dope together next in "The Real Story."


BECK: Well, presidential candidates are set to square of in Michigan tomorrow, but who`s got the best economic plan to get industrial cities like Detroit back on their feet and, you know, out of the literal fire? We`ll take a look at some of the candidates` plans coming up in just a bit. And more on that tomorrow as that election up in Michigan actually takes place.

But first, tonight, welcome to the "Real Story."

If you have seen the cover of my "New York Times" number one best- selling book, "An Inconvenient Book," available wherever fine books are sold, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with California. I mean, I love the people of California. They`re the nicest people I have ever met, but I swear to God I think you guys must be the dumbest group of people I have ever met.

I mean, what is wrong with you? The policies in your state are totally and completely, certifiably insane.

Case in point, California -- and I`ll talk slowly here in case you didn`t -- in case you can`t keep up -- it`s just been announced that your state, the state regulators, want to have the emergency power to control the home thermostat in your house, sending temperatures up or down through radio-controlled devices in order to manage electricity shortages. Good God almighty, when did we stop being the United States of America?

The "Real Story" is this is the brave new world theory of the nanny state, coupled with an episode of I think "The Outer Limits." Wasn`t that the show in the 1960s where they used to start by saying, We have taken control of your TV set. We control the vertical and the horizontal?

California legislators must be big fans of that show because they want to take control of your water heater and take control of your air- conditioner. You know, it`s hard to imagine a more Orwellian move than to try to tell citizens how warm or cold they get to be in their own frickin` homes.

You know what? I believe it`s my divine right to fire up the old air- conditioner full blast in the dead of August, and then open every window in the house if I want to. It`s my house.

I know it`s wasteful. Going to be bad for the economy. It will be bad for energy. It will be bad for, you know, the trees and the little seals that are crying, but it`s my money and my house.

Mind your own damn business. It`s none of your business. It`s none of Arnold Schwarzenegger`s business. It`s time to take our country back, America.

More and more politicians want to play nanny to the American people. Well, I don`t want a frickin` nanny. Take that "Father Knows Best" approach and shove it where the sun doesn`t shine.

It is interesting that liberals are always the first to say, there`s big brother. Look how evil Dick Cheney is. Get Dick Cheney out of my bedroom. But you don`t mind as long as Dick Cheney is there just to put his hand on the thermostat watching away.

David Harsanyi is the author of "The Nanny State." He has also written an exclusive article for my magazine, "Fusion," about the government taking control of our lives. By the way, you can get "Fusion" magazine online right now at

David, I mean, is there a better case of the nanny state than this one?

DAVID HARSANYI, "DENVER POST": It`s pretty bad. It`s not the worst. In California, in some cities, they`ve banned smoking in your own home, so they`ve got in there already. This is just sort of an expansion of that, I guess.

BECK: How could it be possibly be constitutional to tell me I can`t smoke in my own home?

HARSANYI: Well, perhaps the Constitution -- and they couldn`t foresee that people would actually want to be nannies on this level, a microlevel, in almost everything we want to do, from eating, to the things we say, to the temperature we leave our air-conditioners on.

BECK: I -- the blood shoots out of my eyes when I hear this stuff. We are -- we are entering a state where both left and right want to haul us into fascism, want to -- with a smiley face, they want to, oh, look what`s good for you. They want to tell us every step of the way what we can and cannot do because it`s good for us.

You know what? I have a right to die from emphysema. I don`t have a right to drain everybody`s coffers because I want government assistance for emphysema, but I have a right to die in my home alone with emphysema. Get off my back.

Am I wrong on this?

HARSANYI: I think you`re right. Clearly, I wrote a book about it. But I think what`s happening is it happens incrementally, and people aren`t even aware of it.

They see -- you know, they see the tags banned in -- you know, a Colorado school, and then they laugh at it, but when you bring it all together, as you just did, you realize it`s a movement. And it`s undermining the Constitution, undermining our freedoms, and it`s also creating a ton of dependency where we believe that government is there to help us, when it`s not supposed to be there.

BECK: Correct me if I`m wrong, but this is exactly the road that Mussolini went down at the beginning. It was all good stuff. It was all, gosh, we can all pull together and we can all be good for each other.

Am I wrong?

HARSANYI: Yes, but it`s all -- yes. Yes, and it`s subjective, though. What may be -- you know, if I smoke occasionally, it`s not even bad for me, and we punish everyone collectively for these things. Sin taxes on what we eat.

BECK: So how do we possibly turn it around? Because you just said it. The founding fathers never saw a society as lazy as us on our own rights, and just give them away, hand them away. Enslave me, please. Politicians, enslave me.

They never saw it. So, with a society that says, yes, go ahead, enslave me, how do you turn it around?

HARSANYI: It`s tough because there aren`t any politicians who are brave enough to stand up four the smoker or stand up for the guy who goes to the strip club all the time or the guy who drinks too much. The real argument is personal responsibility and freedom, but they`re too scared to make it.

You know, you listen to them now, all the candidates, it`s always health care and, you know, the environment. All those things are fine, but they hardly ever mention freedom or individual responsibility or choice anymore.

BECK: I mean, but, see, here`s the thing. Look, urge me, keep your - - keep your thermostat down. Keep it down. I`ll do it.

I lived in Florida with a drought. They said don`t water your lawn. I didn`t.

My lawn, everything in my flowerbed died. I was a responsible citizen. That`s OK.

Ask me to do it, and I will do it. Force me to do it, and you know what? I`m starting to look for my rights in the Constitution. I believe it`s the Second Amendment.

David, thanks a lot.

HARSANYI: Thank you.

BECK: Like I said, you know, you have a right to spend your money any way you like, especially when it comes to supporting political causes, studies, candidates. Anything you want. You`ve got that right. But you`ve got to be up front about it.

That`s the one little wrinkle that I find. Just to keep everybody honest, I think we should have this thing called full disclosure as way of exposing any potential self-interest.

I am sick and tired of everybody saying, oh, yes, we`re fair and balanced. Yes, that`s me. That`s bull crap.

I`ll tell you right on the front, I am not a journalist. I`m a commentator. I am not somebody who hasn`t made up my mind. I`m passionate about the things I believe in.

I am a conservative. I am fair, but biased. I look at the things through the prism that I just explained to you, and it`s time that we all started to admit to each other where we`re coming from.

Which brings me to a study that was put out in 2006 by the Lancet medical journal. It is -- it claimed that 650,000 people were killed as a result of the invasion of Iraq.

Do you remember this? I couldn`t believe it. It was a fact that was beat into the ground by everybody from Rosie O`Donnell to Osama bin Laden.

The "Real Story" is the study was partially funded by liberal antiwar billionaire George Soros. Oops. It looks like we do have agendas and specific points of view.

I confess mine all the time. When will somebody else start to do it?

The study came out. It shocked a lot of people because the claim was reportedly 10 times higher than most of the consensus estimates of the number of Iraqi war dead.

The degree of the discrepancy suggested to some, including me at the time, it had to be flawed or it had to be biased. Something was wrong.

Well, after a bit of digging, it`s now been discovered that Soros provided almost half of the study`s funding, $50,000 of the $100,000. Let me stop right here.

Any liberal that says to me, oh, well, that`s no big deal, then talk to me about the energy companies financing anti-global warming studies. It`s bad science and it`s intellectual dishonesty.

It would be one thing if Soros funded a variety of projects from across the ideological spectrum, but Soros and his Open Society Institute, his campaign for Progressive Future, Democracy Alliance, Media Matters,, Center for American Progress and Democracy Now, just to name a few, are all 100 percent liberal or -- no, I`m sorry, progressive, in their agenda.

A noted economics professor from the University of London said that for many, Soros` funding would have been a disqualifying factor in terms of publishing the research. Perhaps he only meant those with integrity.

Neil Monroe is with the National Journal."

I`m all fired up, Neil.


BECK: I just -- I mean, this thing was quoted by our enemy, Osama bin Laden. It was drummed into the minds of the American people by the media. Rosie O`Donnell, she`s actually said it was more than 650,000. And now it is true to so many people all around the world, and it was clearly an agenda.

MUNRO: People do choose to believe what they want, and the study was partially funded by George Soros. That`s all true, and if you scratch away deeper into the study, you`ll discover it has actually real scientific problems.

BECK: OK. Wait, hang on. Before we get to the scientific problems, you say that it was partially funded by George Soros, but there were also two other people that we don`t even know who funded, right?

MUNRO: Yes. I asked the guy who commissioned the study, "Who else funded it? And he said one donor who preferred to remain unidentified and one donor he does not know the name of.

BECK: OK. So, tell me the other scientific problems with this study.

MUNRO: OK. When you do a good scientific study, you show people what you collected and how you collected it, and your people, the collectors, are good and reliable. This study -- the guys in this study have not shown the forms and the date and the sheets collected by the surveyors who worked for an Iraqi without U.S. supervision. This particular Iraqi was once employed by Saddam Hussein, where he produced crummy scientific papers as part of Saddam`s effort to lift economic sanctions in the 1990s.

Now, I cannot say that this guy is wrong or biased or his figures are wrong. All I can do is show you problems, and it`s up to you guys to decide whether you can trust this study or not.

BECK: That`s -- you know, and that`s the only point. Look, you can think I`m full of bull crap, but at least I will tell you that I`m a conservative, that that`s the way I`m viewing it. That I do have an agenda. It is a conservative agenda.

There`s all you need to know. And then you, as a viewer, can take what I say and say, well, that`s full of crap, or maybe not. That`s what you need. But there is nothing in this.

Now, Soros` people have come out today and said, oh, now, wait a minute, he may have contributed money, but it`s not like that. And we`re only keeping things secret on why or who this doctor is, not letting him talk to anybody because of his life being in danger.

Do you buy any of that?

MUNRO: Well, I can`t refute it. Iraq can be a dangerous people for political participants and for nonpartisan scientists, but I would like to know more. I would like to be able to talk to him.

BECK: OK. He doesn`t -- he also says that they`ve never tried to influence the election, but don`t you -- didn`t you say that they -- as part of the condition of giving this study to this organization, that it had to be published before the election?

MUNRO: Yes. They made it clear they wanted this study published before the election. However, they have not said they wanted to change the election results. But one of the authors on the results was running for the Democratic Party seat in that year.

BECK: Yes. OK. Neil, thanks a lot.

That is the "Real Story" tonight.

If you would like to read more about this or if you`ve found a real story on your own that you would like to tell us about, please, please visit and click on the "Real Story" button.

Coming up next, John McCain and Mitt Romney, they are all set to go head to head in Motor City. But who is winning and who has the winning economic plan?

We`ll find out next.


BECK: All right. All the polls now show the economy is the number one issue in the country if you are going to vote for president, and nowhere is that more prevalent than in Michigan, where they have already lost over 300,000 jobs in the last seven years, mostly in the manufacturing sector.

The two candidates have different ideas about what to do about the loss of jobs. Those are the two major Republican candidates.

You have got Mr. "Straight Talk," John McCain, who seems to lose that straight talk skill when it comes to talking about tax cuts and immigration reform. He says that people need to face reality -- the jobs are gone for good, get over it. While Mitt Romney says, not so fast, jobs can be brought back with major investments and energy research and fuel technology.

So, who is right? And are these really the issues that they should be talking about when it comes to the economy?

Stephen Moore is back this half hour with more. He is the senior economic writer for "The Wall Street Journal" and a good friend of the program.

Stephen, who is right here? When you talk about the two top candidates, which one has a better handle on the economy up in Michigan?

STEPHEN MOORE, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, you know, Glenn, I was in Michigan this weekend, and I heard both of the major Republican candidates, Romney and McCain, square off. And I really believe that John McCain is mostly right when he says to these auto workers, look, don`t sit around and wait until your auto job comes back because it probably isn`t going to come back. Some of those jobs that have been lost are never coming back to Michigan.

This is a state that in 2007 was the only state in the country that was in recession in 2007. For every two families that have moved out of Michigan in the last two years, only one family has moved in, and so you have got an out (ph) migration.

A lot of the problems in Michigan, in my opinion, Glenn, are self- inflicted wounds by the government there. Michigan is one of the few states that is not right to work, that forces people to join unions. Michigan has very high taxes. That doesn`t invite businesses to come into the state, and they just raised taxes last year.

BECK: Michigan and Wisconsin really are...


BECK: Wisconsin is doing now to themselves. I mean...

MOORE: You know what`s sad about this, Glenn?

BECK: ... they`re a prototype for what we`re going to do to ourselves.

MOORE: Well, when he was a kid -- I grew up in Chicago -- we used to actually take trips to Michigan in the `60s and early `70s. And, you know, it was the symbol of America`s economic industrial might.

BECK: Right.

MOORE: You know, you`d go to those steel companies and you`d go to the auto firms and see them churning out these products. And it`s sort of sad to see what`s happened to this great state, that it`s in -- I think Michigan is in a depression right now.

BECK: Oh, I think -- I think Detroit is -- Detroit looks like Baghdad. It really does. There are parts of it -- I mean, I was up at the top of the General Motors building having dinner, I don`t know, a few months back, and I look out, and there are fuel refineries out there. My first thought was Detroit is on fire.

MOORE: Yes. But, you know, the interesting thing about the auto industry is, you know, in the last 10 years or so, we`ve actually been gaining auto jobs in other states outside of Michigan.

BECK: Yes.

MOORE: I mean, it`s not like all the auto jobs have left the United States. They`ve just gone to places like Texas and Tennessee and Alabama that are more worker-friendly and more business-friendly.

BECK: OK. So, help me out, because you say John McCain gets this, but I don`t hear that from you.

First of all, Michigan...

MOORE: Well...

BECK: Hang on.


BECK: The bumper sticker for Michigan, your license plate, says, boy, did we screw this state up. And the second part of it is McCain talks about kind of that the Bush tax cuts were a good thing, but he wouldn`t have voted for them...

MOORE: Right.

BECK: ... given what he knows now. So he doesn`t understand how taxes actually help -- cutting taxes actually help. But then have you heard him yet start talking about stop spending?


BECK: Stop spending.

MOORE: Well, McCain is actually very good on controlling spending, but on taxes, you`re right, he voted against the two Bush tax cuts. If you want to get more investment and more business expansion in this country, you need to cut taxes on business, and McCain -- Mitt Romney is actually talking more about that.

Look, I`m not saying, Glenn, that Michigan can`t come back. I`m just saying that a lot of these policies -- I mean, how are you going to get businesses to come back in the state, Glenn...

BECK: You can`t.

MOORE: ... if the governor is raising taxes on businesses? I mean, you don`t get more businesses by raising their taxes.

BECK: No. We have friends who live in Michigan, and it`s a great state. It`s a beautiful state. Not going to live there because of taxes.

I would never move my business. It took me -- for me to move my business into New York City, automatic increase of 12 percent of city income tax -- or is it 10 percent? All the extra money and everything, it took an act of God to get me here.

Only New York City can get away with it because it`s New York City. Everywhere else, why would I go to a cold northern state and pay high taxes and all kinds of regulations when I can go to Florida, when I can go to Texas?

MOORE: Yes. And that`s precisely what`s happened to Michigan. You asked, where are those people going? They`re going south. Not just because it`s warmer, but because the cost of doing business is so much lower there.

BECK: But the same thing can be said -- correct me if I`m wrong, yes or no, Stephen -- the same thing could be said for the United States. Why not go to India?

MOORE: Well, we`re still creating jobs in this country. I mean, I still think we have a competitive economy.

BECK: We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world.


MOORE: Well, I am with you on that.

BECK: All right.

MOORE: We`ve got to bring our taxes down, and quickly. And raising them, as Hillary and Obama are talking about, is a prescription for economic disaster.

BECK: Stephen, as always, good to have you on the program.

MOORE: See you soon.

BECK: Now, obviously the economy is not affecting just the voters in Michigan. It is affecting people everywhere.

And on tomorrow`s program I`m going to telling you about two new trends that show you how bad things have gotten in the areas of the housing market. One of them is called taking the inside of the house with you.

It involves foreclosed homeowners trying to get even with the bank by destroying their own home so they`re almost worthless. Wait until I show you the pictures of the home and the pigs.

That`s tomorrow night.

Coming up, who knew that you could get a dose of common sense and a dash of patriotism all from a Disney movie?


BECK: Well, in between my periods of sobbing over economic doom, I went to see the movie "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" over the weekend. It stars Nicolas Cage and great actor Jon Voight.

And yes, I realize I`m late on this. It`s already made $187 million. I`m sorry. I`ve been busy lying on my stomach writhing in pain.

I liked the first movie, "National Treasure," but I think I actually liked the second one more. I mean, basically, it is a modern day "Indiana Jones" set in America. And if you are looking for anything deeper than that, you are going to the wrong movie, Jack. But here`s what I liked about it.

They didn`t feel the need to throw in all sorts of offensive material. I never saw anybody naked, I never saw anybody doing anything really bad. Or the good guys doing it. I didn`t feel uncomfortable sitting next to my family and my children.

I didn`t -- I didn`t have to do that walkout thing that so many parents have to do now. You know, as you walk out of a movie and you have to undo any damage. "You know, kids, we wouldn`t really act like that in real life."

It was just a fun weekend movie that was entertaining, and it didn`t make anybody in the theater feel like they had to get in the car and drive directly to the closest confessional or go campaign for or against some candidate. It was a movie.

But there was one part in particular that I loved. The Nicolas Cage character says to the president -- and I know I`m paraphrasing -- he said, I believe that the president is an honorable man. And when push comes to shove, the president of the United States will always do the right thing for the American people.

The president then looked at the Nicolas Cage character and said, nobody believes in that stuff anymore. Nicolas Cage responded, "Sir, everybody wants to believe."

I think that is something that everybody in our government needs to know is true. Even though when it comes from a stupid Nicolas Cage movie, we want to believe. And that is the thing that I think Barack Obama has captured when he talks about hope and change.

Now, I don`t believe any of his ideas for change are what we need, but he is giving so many Americans the same feeling that we had with Ronald Reagan, that we are not the people we seem to have allowed ourselves to become. We are a great people with a shining city that sits on a hill, and it`s in our future.

We all want to believe. And whatever candidate can tap into that feeling with honesty and substance will be the one that deserves to be in the White House next year.

Don`t forget, if you want to know what`s on tomorrow`s television show, or if you would like to get an advanced preview of all the politics that we`re going to talk about on the radio program, sign up for my free email newsletter. It`s daily on the completely newly redesigned

From New York, good night.