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Glenn Beck

How Can America Beat Oil Crisis?; Bears or Oil?; Louisiana Governor Weighs in on Gun Rights

Aired May 12, 2008 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, gas and oil continues to soar to record highs. I just can`t figure out, when it comes to finding oil in our own backyard, how come we keep drilling with one hand tied behind our back? The answer`s going to make blood shoot right out of your eyes.

Plus, we`ll take off our weeklong series "Second Amendment Under Fire." We`ll speak with the governor of Louisiana about his move to protect gun rights in New Orleans.

And what would it be like if you could remember everything, the good and the bad? I`m going to introduce you tonight to a woman with total recall. Find out if it`s a blessing or a curse.

All this and more, tonight.


BECK: Well, hello, America.

Every time you go to fill up your tank, you know that we`re facing an energy crisis in this country that we haven`t seen since the 1970s. Back when Jimmy Carter days. Oh, I loved him. You know, when he was bundling our foreign policy and OPEC nations were to blame.

This time around, we can`t really point our fingers at the Middle East, because it`s us. It`s our own government and the special interest groups that pull their strings that are to blame. So here`s "The Point" tonight.

You know, I don`t know about you, but I never saw our country as a collection of whiners and losers. We`ll never get out of this mess with the Congress and a president that is tying our hands behind our back. And here`s how I got there.

Jeff Bingaman, he is the Democratic chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee. He said that to get out of the rising gas prices, we`re not going to drill our way out of this problem! Really? He, of course, is a politician, so we can rest assured he`s wrong.

I know it`s really popular these days to hate the oil companies, but if we don`t really start to drill our way out of this problem, oh, we`re pretty screwed to the wall.

In order to fully understand our energy crisis, you have to see -- and this is where everybody -- "Oh, Glenn wants to drill in my living room?" No, no, no. See, the solution to this puzzle. It`s more than just one piece. No one piece is more important than the other. Some pieces may be bigger, but if we`re going to achieve true energy independence, we`d better start looking at the really big picture in the entire puzzle.

We`re not suddenly going to, you know, have our oil dependence magically disappear. It`s the life blood of our way on earth as humans, not just America, but everywhere. We don`t have anything in the pipeline to replace it right now, and demand for oil is only getting higher as China and India are coming online. China, in fact, has already doubled its thirst for oil in just the last ten years. Can you imagine what the next ten years are going to be like?

Congress needs to encourage the development of coal-to-oil technology. There`s one. We have to take a look at nuclear energy. Release us to let us do nuclear energy. We should embrace sensible alternative energies. Ethanol doesn`t really fit into that category. After all, it does burn up the food supply.

And we also have to give into the hard fact that right now, I`m sorry, America runs on oil. If our economy is expected to thrive and even survive in the next few years, short and long -- short and midterm, we can`t ignore oil.

According to AAA, gas prices have risen six days in a row. You`re now paying 21 percent more for gas than you did last summer, like I have to tell you that.

We have to ramp up domestic offshore drilling, even off the coast of billionaire vacation spots like South Florida, California, and my favorite, Cape Cod.

Energy companies should be encouraged to look for oil everywhere: in your backyard, my backyard, everybody`s backyard, if that`s where it is. We don`t have to destroy the planet to find it. We just have to find it.

And we, unfortunately, need to start drilling in ANWR, even under that little patch of ice where the cutest little polar bear in Alaska lives. When it comes to a choice between saving the western civilization way of life or keeping Snowball the polar bear happy, I think I`m leaning towards the west.

So tonight, America, here`s what you need to know. Until we get a president and Congress with vision -- or really, I`ll just settle for one with a clue -- we need temporary energy solutions, and aggressive drilling in the United States is one of them.

I`m going to stay on this story all week. We`re going to look at some of the possibilities, but the No. 1 priority has got to be shedding our dependence on foreign oil. Until we learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it.

Byron King is the analyst and editor of "Outstanding Investments."

OK, Byron, let`s say we go into ANWR, because this is what people were yelling at me over the weekend. I actually went someplace and they`re like, "You`re the guy who says we should start drilling in the ANWR." Well, yes, that`s one possibility.

How much oil can we get from ANWR or off our coast? Does it make any difference at all?

BYRON KING, EDITOR, "OUTSTANDING INVESTMENTS": It sure does make a lot of difference, Glenn, certainly in the medium-term. In the short-term, if we decided to drill in ANWR tomorrow, it would probably take us four years before we saw the first barrel even begin to come out.

So we`re making a 5-, 10-, 20-year commitment just for the drilling and the development, and then it`s a 100-year oil stream, Glenn. I mean, we`ve been producing oil at the North Slope for over 40 years, pipelining it for 30 years through the Great Alaska Pipeline, and there`s still 50 years left to go, so...

BECK: So how -- what is the percentage of oil -- how much can we reduce our foreign dependence on oil if we went after the known reserves that we had off our coastlines, in the gulf, in the ANWR, et cetera, et cetera? How much could we reduce our dependence on foreign oil?

KING: Well, if we were producing oil from ANWR, say today, which we`re not, but if we were, ANWR could produce -- and this is according to the U.S. Department of the interior, who knows something about it -- we could produce as much from ANWR as is produced in all of the state of Texas.

As far as offshore, on the East and West Coast, the best geological estimates are that we have about five times of the oil reserves that we have onshore right now are offshore off the East and West Coast, although, again, that`s a 15 and 20-year project to find and develop it.

BECK: But then, you know what, everybody says, "Oh, Glenn, but we need help at the gas pump right now." If I`m not mistake, again, if I want to look at history and try to learn from history, we said we were going to start making synthetic oil out of coal -- we`re the Saudi Arabia of coal -- we said this in the `80s, and the price of oil the Saudis and OPEC dropped it from, like, $36 a barrel to $8 a barrel.

We would see an immediate price decrease at the pump if the -- if Russia and OPEC actually thought we were serious, would we not?

KING: Oh, I believe so very definitely. I think that Mr. Chavez of Venezuela and Ahmadinejad of Iran, their worst nightmare is that the United States would get its energy act together with a long-term policy to exploit our own North American resources.

It`s not going to happen tomorrow, but over the medium and long-term as a nation, we have to do this. It`s a national security issue of the first priority.

BECK: So if you were -- if you were -- well, you were President King, or king of the president -- if you were the president right now and I came to you and I said, "Mr. King, what do we do first thing?" What is the first thing that we should be doing?"

KING: The first thing is having a long-term energy policy for the country, which includes, I have to say, Glenn, a stable dollar. If we keep killing the dollar long-term, you know, there`s just -- all bets are off the table.


KING: Stabilize the value of the dollar and adopt a long-term energy policy that exploits North American resources that are here that we know are here, and that we simply must have going forward in the future.

BECK: Byron, thank you very much.

You know what, America? I know, you`re so sick of hearing these problems every night because you know the solutions. They`re not that hard, you know? We may not know exactly what needs to happen first, but we know how to get them done. Common sense goes a long way, and America`s full of common sense, except from the boobs that you see on your television from Washington.

When it comes to environmental issues, oh, my gosh, the global warming hysteria is causing common sense to be tossed right out of the window. This Thursday is a very important date in America. It could change everything. It is when a California court has told Washington that it must make up its mind about polar bears. Do they go on the endangered species list or not?

Now, I have no problem with the polar bears. They`re cute; they`re cuddly. They do eat people, but hey, to each his own.

While you kick this around in your head, I want you to think about this. In 1972 there were 5,000 polar bears. Now we`re considering putting them on the endangered species list. There are now 25,000 polar bears. That doesn`t sound like a species in danger to me, but that`s because this isn`t about saving the polar bear; it`s about stopping oil exploration.

Ben Lieberman is the senior policy analyst for energy and the environment at the Heritage Foundation.

Ben, the ice shelf, we have just found out, is at the highest level since 1979. In fact, if I`m not mistaken, it`s the second highest level of ice shelf since they started measuring the ice shelf. That`s where the polar bears live. It has gone from 5,000 to 25,000. This isn`t about polar bears at all.

What are we trying to do in court by putting the polar bears on the Endangered Species Act?

BEN LIEBERMAN, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, this is all about global warming. The global warming activists are really trying to take every bite at the apple.

Right now, legislation to deal with global warming is stalling in Congress because a lot of congressmen are realizing just how expensive this is going to be. So these activists are using existing laws and regulations to try to sneak global warming legislation in through the back door, and one way to do that is through the Endangered Species Act.

BECK: OK, because this not only -- if the polar bears, if their ice shelf is being melted, which now NOAA says it not happening -- it`s the biggest ice shelf that we`ve had -- if that`s not happening -- or if they say this is happening because of global warming, it means not only can you not drill there, but it also means you must cut down CO2, right? Because anything that harms the polar bear should be against the law.

LIEBERMAN: Well, that`s the scary part of the Endangered Species Act. It`s very open-ended. It essentially says the federal government can do anything that it thinks will help a species, once that species is listed. So this would really deal a blow to oil and natural gas production in Alaska, both onshore and offshore, ANWR, and other promising parts of Alaska.

It could even mean interference with energy use in the rest of the United States, any power plant or factory or even a road or bridge that encourages automobile use. All these things emit fossil fuels. And if the argument is that emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels leads to global warming, which leads to erosion of the ice, theoretically, all this stuff could be held up.

BECK: Right. So you could even go after -- environmentalists could say "You`re killing the polar bear, GM," and they could go after GM or Ford or Toyota or anybody else.

LIEBERMAN: Yes. And the Endangered Species Act writes very, very friendly lawsuit provisions to make these kind of lawsuits very easy.

BECK: Good. Just what we need, more lawsuits in America. Thanks, Ben.

Now, coming up, why some courts are acting like the right to bear arms is not constitutionally protected. And it`s a politician who`s taking a stand for that right that`s on the program tonight. It`s part of our weeklong series, "Second Amendment Under Fire." Grab your guns!

Plus, if you`re like me, you have a tough stuff remembering simple stuff like what you ate for breakfast or where you put your keys. I`m going to talk to a woman here in a few minutes who never has that problem. She remembers absolutely everything. Jill Price, the woman who cannot forget. I believe that`s got to be hell. Coming up next.


BECK: Coming up in just a bit, a state and local sneak attack. Governments are becoming extraordinarily creative when it comes to separating you from your money. Hold onto your wallet. I`ll tell you why you`re going to get hit for things like video game taxes, coming up in "The Real Story."

But first, perhaps the only American value more under siege than capitalism right now is the Second Amendment to our Constitution. That`s the right to bear arms.

From a Supreme Court case that would redefine how we interpret the amendment to a handgun case here in New York city where -- I`m not kidding you -- lawyers for Mayor Bloomberg have asked the judge to ban any reference to the term "Second Amendment," a right endowed on us by our creator, and it is under fire like never before.

This Saturday, I am honored to be given the keynote address at the NRA`s annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. And as we lead up to that, I`ll be having a friend Second Amendment advocate on every single night. I`m not sure if I`m allowed to say "Second Amendment advocate" anymore, but we`ll have one all week long, and their perspective on guns in America. Tonight I`m pleased to welcome Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Governor, you were actually the guy that led the campaign in Congress to make sure that no one could ever seize your gun, which people who say, "Oh, please, you people in the NRA, you need to relax." It actually happened in your state.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: That`s exactly right, Glenn. Thank you for having me on. And by the way, I think the First Amendment protects your right to talk about the Second Amendment.

BECK: Yes.

JINDAL: So hopefully, we won`t get in trouble for talking about this very important American right.

People are shocked. Even some Second Amendment supporters couldn`t believe what happened in New Orleans after Katrina in 2005. Over 1,000 guns were confiscated from law-abiding, legal gun owners. Now, think about that. Wayne LaPierre said it best. He came down here and said it was the first time in America`s history the government, through the use of force, confiscated guns from law-abiding citizens. Never happened before in the history of our country.

BECK: Governor, I have to tell you. You know what is amazing to me is that the media never covered this. This was -- this was buried. Everybody always says, "Oh, please, no one`s coming for your gun." They did! And at a time when the citizens needed them more than ever.

JINDAL: That`s exactly right. It happened over 1,000 times. Our first responders did a great job. They couldn`t be on every block at every house at every moment.

Now, think about it. You`re in your home. It is hot. Your windows are open. You don`t have electricity. You don`t have air. There are rumors or reports of strangers and people going around looting. People literally put up signs, saying, "If you loot, we`ll shoot."

And then all of a sudden, the people that are supposed to be defending you, helping you, many of these actually turn out to come and take away your legally owned guns.

There were stories. A man protecting his generator. He had his grandchild with him. People came at him with a machete. He used his gun to scare them away.

You had another report, a business owner had his legally-owned gun taken away from him. He had protected his business successfully after the storms. After the gun was gone, he couldn`t protect his business anymore.

BECK: I tell you, Governor, I wonder, because I`ve wondered this myself. I wondered if the cops would ever do that. You know in my town, I thought you know what? I like all these police officers, and I can`t imagine that they would -- they know the Constitution. I`ve wondered that.

And this clearly answers that question, that yes, they would do that. And I`ve also wondered how many people would stand on their porch and say, "Out of my cold, dead hands." You didn`t have either of those scenarios play out in the way you would think they would in America.

JINDAL: Well, NRA`s got some very shocking video. You can see literally a grandmother forced to the ground before a gun was taken away from her. You can see that on their Web site.

I will say this. I was very pleased. I did sponsor a bill in Congress. The Fraternal Order of Police endorsed our legislation to say never again, that you don`t lose your Second Amendment rights just because there`s been a storm.

Like you said, then more than ever, when you don`t have the ability to call 911. The normal rules aren`t being enforced just because of all the chaos and the disruption. Then more than ever, you need to be able to defend yourself, your property, your family, your business.

I was very proud the law enforcement agencies have endorsed this. They said this is an appropriate thing. You had a lot of naysayers on the House floor come up with just bizarre scenarios that didn`t happen in real life. The police organization said, "No, this makes sense." They endorsed it.

We also passed a bill like this at the state level, as well.

COOPER: I have only about 20 seconds. What happened after they took the guns? Did crime get better or worse after they took the guns out of the hands of the citizens?

JINDAL: Examples after examples of people who successfully defending themselves, then were victims of looters. And I will say this, they had to fight long and hard to get those 1,000 guns back. They didn`t just immediately give them back once the storm was done.

BECK: Governor, thank you very much.

JINDAL: Thank you.

BECK: Now, a special part of our "Second Amendment" series, we`ll have commentary from some different gun rights advocates every day in my free e-mail newsletter. You can sign up right now at You get the commentary tomorrow from Wayne LaPierre. He`s the chief executive officer for the NRA. That and more all this week in my free e-mail newsletter. You can sign up now at

Coming up next, what if you could remember every single moment of your life? Would that be a gift or a burden? I`ll talk to one woman who has that incredible ability. She is the only documented case that we have with this ability. We talk to her next.


BECK: I can`t tell you how many times I`ve said, "Oh, I wish I had a photographic memory," but I don`t really mean that. Because at the same time, I really truly believe that hell will be having a perfection recollection of everything that I`ve ever done wrong.

My next guest suffers from something I`ve never heard of before: hyperthymestic syndrome. It`s a condition where she remembers absolutely everything. Her new book is called "The Woman Who Can`t Forget." Jill Price.

Hi, Jill.


BECK: Thank you for being on. I know you`ve -- you`re not doing interviews, and it`s because -- I`ve got to believe that some people would think that this is kind of a cool little parlor trick; this is a neat thing. I can`t get past the fact that your life must be hell, having -- you have absolute perfect recollection?

PRICE: I can tell you pretty much every day since I was 14, but I could tell you my whole life since I was in the crib.

BECK: OK, but what does that mean, that you can tell your whole life, you can...

PRICE: Well, on a moment-to-moment basis, I have a split-screen in my head. Like right now I`m sitting and talking to you, but I have a whole loop of memories that are just free flowing through my head.

BECK: So when I say a date, can you...

PRICE: I go right to it.

BECK: You go right...

PRICE: I see it, I feel it, I remember it.

BECK: So that must be...

PRICE: And it depends on what you`re...

BECK: The day.

PRICE: ... asking me about, too.

BECK: Right. That is where I would think the hell would come in.

PRICE: Mm-hmm.

BECK: Because you remember -- you know, they say time heals all?

PRICE: Not for me.

BECK: Agh! What is that like?

PRICE: It is kind of like a hell in a way. I mean, there are -- there`s a flip side to it, that I can remember things. I can go far, far back into my memory and remember things from my childhood that bring me comfort. But the flip side of that is that I walk around with my whole life next to me, and a lot of it is hell.

BECK: So your family and friends, they didn`t even really know this.

PRICE: They did to an extent, but they did not know the torment that I was going through, because they didn`t understand.

BECK: And they didn`t understand -- did they understand the depth, that you could...


BECK: Because you could walk by a restaurant and you could say, oh, 20 years ago, I was there, I had this. I was wearing this. The person...

PRICE: And I was with this, and yes. In that respect, you know, I have friends who all call and say, do you remember 11 years ago, this is what we did. And so what they say to me is that I`m making their memories stronger. But for myself, like deep inside, it`s tormenting me. And that`s why I reached out to the doctors.

BECK: Because you...

PRICE: I wanted to know what was going on.

BECK: Is there a possibility -- has the doctor said anything about -- I mean, you have -- I`m sorry for being such a simpleton on this, but you have like the opposite of Alzheimer`s.

PRICE: Mm-hmm.

BECK: Is it possible that -- are they looking into -- is there something going on here that maybe we could...

PRICE: That`s what I hope. That`s why I came forward, because I`m a really private person, and I had to really think about coming forward. And that took a couple months a couple years ago when the paper was published. And I realized that this was bigger than me and it was science, and what I would love to do is be able to help other people with this.

BECK: And the reason you wrote the book?

PRICE: For that reason. So that maybe other people who have this could come forward.

BECK: How many people have this?

PRICE: We don`t know. I`m the only documented case.

BECK: That`s absolutely unbelievable. When did you realize you had it?

PRICE: At the end of this month, it will be 30 years.

BECK: God bless you. God bless you. Jill, thank you very much.

PRICE: You`re very welcome.

BECK: Coming up, "The Real Story" on a plan to tax university endowments. I`ll explain why this really isn`t a good idea, coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We interrupt tonight`s regularly scheduled "Real Story" segment to bring you a special message from...

BECK: Comrades, tonight I bring you a mixed report from the western front. First, good news. All the western front, the believers there, have decided that the oil companies are making too much money. They want the government to set up a reasonable profits board to decide how much these companies can earn.

Yes, yes, a government board. Legislate profits. Oh, I`m serious.

But comrades, I do have some bad news as well. It`s not just the oil companies that the state wants to tax, it`s colleges as well. Yes, some now on the western front may finally have figured out that we`ve been using their institutions to spread our propaganda and indoctrinate their youth for about 100 years now.

Oh, comrades, the next thing you know, these crazy people will reintroduce antiquated ideas like competition and free choice, and then all of our plans will go right down the crapper.

Stop the music! What has happened to our country? Are we living in the old Soviet Union?

We`ve already heard about the redistribution of profits ideas in terms of oil companies, but "The Real Story" is that some politicians would now like a redistribution of not-for-profits, as well. Massachusetts is quickly finding out that setting up sanctuary cities where residents get to use state services without paying any taxes really doesn`t work so well. So, they`ve decided to raise more money.

They`ve proposed the novel idea of taxing the rich. Only, in this case, the rich isn`t a group of people, it`s a group of schools.

There are nine colleges and universities in Massachusetts that have endowments over the billion-dollar threshold that politicians have deemed to be reasonable taxing those excess windfall endowments at the proposed 2.2 percent rate, and it could yield the state about $1.4 billion a year. So what does Harvard think about this? Oh, this is one of my favorite quotes of all time.

Their $35 billion endowment will be taxed, and here`s the response -- and I`m not kidding you. This is a quote from one of their associate vice presidents.

Now, picture this. I mean, he`s in an oak-paneled room, you know, really, really elitist, liberal university, outraged sort of accent.

He says, you can`t do that. "You`d be taxing success here! Over time, this would put us at a real competitive disadvantage, which would drastically hurt the commonwealth."

Oh, gosh, it`s not like I`ve said that a thousand times on business.

No, no, Kevin. May I? Let me use your old argument.

Well, you`re looking at this the wrong way. We`re not trying to hurt you. We`d never want to hurt Harvard. We love you. We`re just trying to level the playing field.

Greater Shrewsbury liberal arts community technical college -- you know, down the road, they`re struggling. They can`t feed their poor students, and here you are making billions of dollars a year just in interest alone.

If you would just pay your fair share, we could take that money from you and give it right to Greater Schrewsbury. It would be win-win for everybody. Besides Harvard, you`re part of the wealthiest one percent of colleges. Isn`t it time you helped those who are less fortunate than you, really?

Massachusetts State Representative Paul Kujawski is the main proponent of the endowment windfall tax.

Paul, what gave you this idea?

PAUL KUJAWSKI, MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE: Well, it`s -- first of all, Glenn, thank you for having me. I appreciate you having me on.

BECK: Sure.

KUJAWSKI: When sitting on the Committee of Ways and Means in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, we, the commonwealth, are facing a $1.3 billion structural deficit, and you`re always looking for some type of revenue stream. And I did some research on the 2006 congressional hearings that had to do with the higher ed endowment funds, and they were led by Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa. And you could see an exorbitant amount of wealth.

And in Harvard`s case in particular, they have accumulated well over $35 billion in their endowment fund, and certainly, I did find out through my research that nine of the schools in our higher ed -- nine of the higher ed institutions in Massachusetts have exceeded over $1 billion in their endowment funds. So I felt that holding the first billion harmless and trying to put a 2.5 percent excise on the other would certainly generate a substantial amount of wealth that would assist in -- you do the math. You know, $1.3 billion, $1.4 billion, so...

BECK: Here`s the thing. I`d like to be consistent here. I`m not for taxing the rich. I`m also not for taxing the endowment as well.

I think this is -- you know, Harvard responded, and they won`t accept this. These liberal pinhead professors won`t accept this from business, but we keep trying to make the case, if you do this in one state, you`re just going to move to Texas. And here`s what Harvard`s response was -- fine, if the state`s going to do that, then we`ll just start Harvard South. And if they don`t get off of our endowment, we`ll shut down Harvard North and become Harvard South and move our assets.

That`s exactly what business has been saying. These people are pinhead hypocrites that think it`s OK with their billions of dollars, but not -- it`s OK to take it away from oil, but of course not from them.

KUJAWSKI: Well, you know, in Harvard`s case, it`s a 350-year-old proud institution, and we`re very proud to have them in Massachusetts. And I don`t think they`re going to pack up and leave at a pittance of 2.5 percent on the amount of $35 billion, and I say that with all due respect.

They have the best and brightest minds on earth, and the investment minds on earth that manage their endowment funds. I would consider it for them a challenge to take that 2.5 percent and allow that fund to continue to grow at the current rate. Steve Bailey from "The Boston Globe" business page said in 10 years it will exceed $120 billion.

BECK: Oh, yes. No, we did the math on it. They make about $8 billion a year on that if they keep up the current rate.

They give very little -- one of the universities -- it`s over $1 billion in your community -- only gave $100,000 to the community and made that look like, oh, my gosh, we`re so charitable. I mean, the deal is, the government should stop giving them money. They should start putting people to school and lower their own prices. They make enough money.

Paul, I`ve got to run. Thank you. We`re going to pick this story up tomorrow.

Taxing endowments is going to be just the tip of the iceberg. And these cities -- these city budges, these states, they keep falling apart the way they are right now on the budget.

For example, California is facing a budget deficit maybe as high as $20 billion. That`s just over half of greedy Harvard`s whole tax-free endowment fund.

But politicians can`t exactly propose to close that gap through higher income or property taxes. You know, at a time when record numbers of people are being foreclosed on.

Heaven forbid they actually look at spending cuts. I mean, that`s crazy talk. Instead, let`s get creative. Who can we take that money from?

Here`s "The Real Story" for you. It`s when the voters will no longer let you increase sin taxes anymore. All you have to do is increase the number of things that are sins.

For example, New Hampshire is now looking at raising taxes on cigarettes and wine. You know, the standard sin tax stuff. But they also want to expand the bingo tax to include things like Texas Hold `em Poker.

Wisconsin`s state senator has proposed a new video game tax. So the kids -- it`s going to help the kids. They`ll go out and play.

A new group in Mexico wants to tax TV sets. New York wants to make sure that all Amazon Internet sales are taxed. And our good friends in California who aren`t -- are naturally leading the way. They want new taxes and fees on everything from strip clubs to iTunes downloads, sex toys.

You can get those tax-free?

Porno magazines, six-packs of beer, cars that get poor gas mileage, cars that pump out too much CO2, and of course plastic grocery bags. Oh, and there`s more.

The answer is, by the way, no. No. No one in California seems to be worried at all that, you know, anyone would flee their state if they just start pouring all of this stuff on. It will never happen, because California, relax, we love the televised freeway chases and $4 gas way too much to do anything like that.

Mike Villines, he is the California state assembly Republican leader.

Mike, I`m looking at all of these proposed taxes. I`ve got two pages of them. I mean, they`re talking about raising income taxes. In California they`re talking about taking away the mortgage tax or the benefit -- the child benefit.

What is going on in that state?

MIKE VILLINES, CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY: I mean, I was listening to your last segment and I was thinking to myself, you know, Massachusetts is where they had the Boston Tea Party, and they should be thinking about it there. I mean, California, we`ve got to really be thinking about it.

We have proposed -- the majority of Democrats have proposed billions of dollars in tax increases at a time when people are struggling. Gas is up. You know, mortgages are up, values of their homes are down, milk is up. People are worried about their jobs.

And on top of all of that, they`re going to turn around and say we`re going to put more taxes on your back. I mean, not only is it wrong to do, but people are going to get frustrated and really mad, and they should.

BECK: Is anybody talking about cutting spending?

VILLINES: Yes, we are. And I`ll tell you, it`s a crazy concept, right?

Maybe we should just live within our means. That`s the first thing. I mean...

BECK: I don`t even know what that means. You`re a politician, aren`t you?

VILLINES: Yes, right. Right. Well, I haven`t drank enough of the Kool-Aid.

BECK: Yes.

VILLINES: I mean, the bottom line is people in this state really are struggling, and they have to live within their means. And they`re cutting corners, and they expect government to do the same thing.

We could stop -- there`s still growth in cola (ph) in this budget. That has got to go away. We can privatize things like the state lottery and lease it out and still keep the asset and still make money. And we can make cuts in places that are not essential services.

So you can take care of seniors, kids, wards of the state, and then you have to look at everything else. This can all be done without tax increases. And tax increases, by the way, were tried before in the early `90s. They only stretched out the recession in California.

BECK: Oh, yes.

VILLINES: And that would happen again.

BECK: You know what? I`ve been telling this audience to read -- oh, what is the name of it? About the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes...


BECK: ... for a while now. And everything that they tried to do during the Great Depression we`re doing again, and it`s only going to make things worse.

I mean, you were talking about also putting a new tax of $3 billion to $7 billion, a tax increase, on businesses in California.


BECK: What do you think -- how are they going to pay for that? What are the people that are sitting across the aisle -- how do they explain how these businesses are going to be able to survive?

VILLINES: Well, they can`t. I mean, manufacturing used to be the base in California. It left. It left because of onerous taxes and regulation.

Now we`re taking professional services, the Silicon Valley, high tech, and we`re driving them to create new facilities in other states because of our tax code. These are jobs, plain and simple. People need jobs.

They want to be able to put their kids in a good school, find a home they can afford, and live in a community they feel safe in. We need jobs like that, not driving them out. But when you have the arrogance of a majority that`s been around so long, they think they can just keep raising taxes and people say OK.

BECK: Yes.

VILLINES: People revolted 1978 in this state at Prop 13. They will do it again.

BECK: Yes. And you`re going to -- unfortunately, you`re going to lose a lot of business. I mean, you`ve got another one with new health taxes for another $8 billion on businesses.


BECK: I mean, it`s crazy -- it`s crazy stuff.


BECK: Mike, thank you so much for being on the program.

That is "The Real Story" tonight. Back in just a second.


BECK: You know, it used to be that parties were fun. But then politics got involved, and I think the Democrats and the Republicans suck.

You`re fed up. I`m fed up. And I don`t think we`re alone. Even some in Washington have finally had enough.

Insiders are calling it party fatigue. You know, because, it seems to be things that need to be done in this country, and it`s becoming very clear that nobody in Washington has any intention of actually fixing them, at least not through a two-party system.

So today, former congressman Bob Barr, who left the Republican Party in 2006 to become a Libertarian, announced that he`ll be running for president. Barr says he wants to raise issues from what he calls a genuinely conservative perspective.

Amen, Brother Barr.

When a Republican like John McCain takes a classically liberal stance on issues like immigration and the environment, you know it`s time for a change.

Bob Barr is the Libertarian candidate now for president.

Hello, sir. How are you?

BOB BARR, FMR. CONGRESSMAN: Glenn, I`m doing fine, thank you. Great to be with you.

BECK: Thank you, sir.

You know what? I want to hold out hope that maybe you`re the guy, because I haven`t seen the guy appear yet that we actually can vote for, but Libertarians -- I`m more Libertarian than anything else, but we always go to crazy town, hell in a hand basket when it comes to war or hookers. And I know life is more than war and hookers, but you know what I mean?

BARR: Well, I`ll leave the hookers up to Eliot Spitzer.

BECK: Right.

BARR: I`ll tackle the war issue. I don`t mind tackling that one at all.

BECK: Right. No, I mean, it`s just that -- you know, there is a line where you can`t say, OK, everybody can have free drugs and, you know, whatever.

BARR: Absolutely. And, you know, this is not your father`s Libertarian Party. This is a party that`s serious about winning elections and moving the liberty agenda forward, and I and other Libertarians have come to recognize that you can`t, you know, change the country in one fell swoop.

You can`t go from a strong, pervasive government one day to no government the next. It`s incremental, and we need to at least begin the process of getting power out of Washington and back to the states and back to the people of this country.

BECK: OK. So where, Bob, do you stand on the war? What do you do on the war?

BARR: What we do on the war is we recognize, first of all, that there is absolutely no incentive whatsoever for the Iraqi government to take responsibility for its own economy, its own political affairs, and its own security, so long as the American taxpayers are footing the bill for al three of the above. We need to start immediately reducing the footprint, reducing the security blanket that the U.S. taxpayers are paying for schools and infrastructure and politics and all sorts of stuff over in Iraq, and start bringing those troops home. And returning that money to the American taxpayer so they can use it to build the infrastructure in their community, educating their children rather than schoolgirls in Iraq.

BECK: OK. So does that mean that even if things start to fall apart, you, know, you pull the guys out?

BARR: What I do believe is that, yes, we do need to start pulling them out. Now, I`m not wedded to any artificial time frame, and I certainly don`t believe in telegraphing or signaling to our adversaries when and on what timetable we`re going to do it. But unless we start that process, and start it in earnest, I`m afraid we`re going to fall into the McCain syndrome of just staying there forever and ever.

BECK: OK. Tell me your energy policy.

BARR: The energy policy is to start freeing up companies to explore doing everything we can to open up ANWR, to open up offshore drilling, all those things that McCain is dead set against. Start providing true economic incentives for companies to start rebuilding and increasing refining capacity, which heaven knows we haven`t done in this country for over 30 years, Glenn. It`s absolutely ridiculous.

BECK: Yes. Would you -- because David Needleman is a friend of mine, and he used to run JetBlue. And he tried -- he got -- I think it was GE and a lot of other companies that said, look, we`ll build the coal-to-oil plants, but if OPEC drops the price -- I think at the time it was, like, under $30 a barrel -- we need some sort of cushion from the United States government to say we`ll help you under $30 a barrel, just to hold things together until you get your feet back on the ground.

Do you believe that the government has any role in helping provide incentive or some guarantees for companies to do something as extravagant as coal-to-oil?

BARR: Of course. Ultimately, what we want to do is just get the government out of the energy business.

BECK: Sure.

BARR: But in the short term, absolutely, yes. There are things that we could be doing that are much more productive than taxing and prohibiting companies from exploring and from building refining capacity.

I think also, Glenn, that if we have a more rational policy in the Middle East, for example, and in some other countries, we can actually exert a lot more influence to get the price of oil reduced.

BECK: I would love to have you back and spend some real time with you.

We`ll be back in just a second.


BECK: Well, I have to tell you, this is quite possibly one of my favorite newspaper pages of all time. It is from today`s "New York Sun," and it serves as a microcosm of what is wrong with us today.

Here`s the first article, if we can get it here. The first article is "Policy May Rot the Fruit on New York State Trees." And here`s a little picture of a migrant worker picking cherries.

What`s the problem? Well, what`s going to make the poor little cherries rot on the tree? Governor Paterson.

In between admitting, you know, affairs and dodging police surveillance, he apparently has made it more difficult to import migrant workers to tend to the crops. He`s instead trying to promote using domestic workers instead. What a crazy idea that is.

Well, some farms are upset with the policy. Normally, they import laborers from Mexico and Jamaica to work on the farms, but now the government wants them to start using domestic workers.

The policy supposedly is backfiring because the farms can`t find anybody to do the jobs of picking the little cherries. That`s the question, where are the domestic workers? We can`t find them. Well, let me open it up again.

Let me look at the story right directly next to this article. There`s the guy picking cherries. Here, this article right here.

"With Summer Jobs Scarce, Council Seeks Federal Help." Apparently, there are so many teenagers that can`t find summer jobs that some are calling for $1 billion to be awarded in grant money for summer jobs programs.

So let me se if I have this one straight here. There`s nobody that can find some -- there`s nobody to pick the cherries, yet teenagers can`t find jobs.

Hmm. Well, I`m no employment expert, but I am a thinker, and I`m a guy who worked on my grandfather`s farm every summer of my life and in my father`s bakery when growing up.

What this all brings me back to is the arrogant idea that we are teaching our kids that there are some jobs that Americans just won`t do, or more honestly, jobs that Americans are just too good to do. When did we turn into a country that believes that?

You know what? My grandfather would have slapped me upside the head if I ever said such a thing, and I would have deserved it.

Today, go ahead. Try going into a store that`s staffed by teenagers 20 minutes before closing. You will be lucky if they haven`t closed up the shop early and gone home.

We have to instill a work ethic in our kids that our parents taught us, and the only way to do that is to actually have them work. Picking fruit isn`t immigrant work, it`s honest work.

Don`t forget, Second Amendment newsletter, it`s free at

From New York, goodnight, America.