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Glenn Beck

What`s Coming Next?; Connection Between Obama and `60s Radical Explored; Richard Paul Evans Talks About New Book; Kelsey Grammer Interview

Aired October 09, 2008 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight it was just over a year ago that the Dow hit an all-time high. Since then, we have lost $7.5 trillion in investments. Is there a chance socialist policies will help ease the pain? Oh, I hope so, it worked so well for the former Soviet Union.

Plus, the real deal on Obama`s relationship with Pentagon bomber William Ayers. What is it? Well, I`ll let the gold standard in journalism spell it out for you. No, not the evil people at FOX. How about CNN? What does their report say? Watch and be amazed.

And one of Hollywood`s few conservative mega stars, Kelsey Grammer, joins me to talk the economy, politics, his latest film, and life in an insane world called Hollywood.

All this and more, coming up.


BECK: Well, hello, America, and happy anniversary. Did you forget? It was a year ago, it was a year ago today that the Dow closed at its record high. Bankers got millions in bonuses, and the mortgage industry floated high on a bubble that they thought would never burst. Oh, the memories!

This morning, the Dow opened under 35 percent lower. That means in the last 12 months, investors, you and me, people who have money in a 401(k) or anyplace else, have lost $7.5 trillion. Excuse me? That is more than half of last year`s GDP, everything that we bought, sold, and made. So, here`s "The Point" tonight.

This dive bomb in the economy really wasn`t a surprise to everyone.


BECK: If you listen to the experts, nothing to be afraid of, nothing to see here, people, move on, go buy some more stock. You know, I know this kind of nonsense appeals to the "let`s get rich quick" side of us, but that`s exactly why you should ignore it and use some common sense.

Lasting wealth isn`t made when everybody is talking about Dow 15,000. It`s made when everybody is running from the market. Ask yourself, does that make sense?

Aaron Task, the editor at large at

I`m not an expert. You, sir, are, and I know you disagree with me.

AARON TASK, EDITOR AT LARGE, THESTREET.COM: I do disagree with you, Glenn. I think the market is very strong fundamentally, and it`s a lot different than it was in 1999 and 2000.


BECK: That was over a year ago.

Now, unless we open our eyes to the new threats facing our finances and our freedoms, you don`t have to be a genius to see what`s coming. Where are we going to be a year from today? And here`s how I got there.

The treasury secretary is now considering taking direct ownership of the banks. Oh, I hope they make it like the DMV. The bailout Bill is -- is allowing our government to write checks that you and I have to actually sign for. They`re going to cash them. The balances and the checks are out the window. There are no checks and balances anymore.

John McCain, the Republican candidate for president, wants to spend billions having Uncle Sam buy bad mortgages. Excuse me?

Tonight, America, here is what you need to know. It doesn`t seem anymore like socialism is something that we need to worry about preventing, because I believe it is already here, and it ain`t going to be stopped any time soon.

Jonah Goldberg is the editor for "The National Review" online and author of "Liberal Fascism."

Jonah, I want to take you a couple places. I want to talk a little bit about our recent history, and then I would like to go back to what you talk about, historically speaking, what you think we`re in for.

First of all, our government now -- I`ve said this, I don`t know, about a year ago -- they`re going to start with the financial market. Then they`re going to go to transportation, our airplanes and everything else. Then they`re going to go to our energy sector. There`s really no way of slowing this thing down at this point, is there? This bailout Bill opened the door for all of this crap.

JONAH GOLDBERG, AUTHOR, "LIBERAL FASCISM`: I think, or at least fear, that you`re right. I mean, everyone keeps talking about the moral hazard on Wall Street. Moral hazard basically just means Wall Street is going to start thinking that it will always get bailed out, that it will always be rescued by the government. And I understand that fear.

But look, there`s been real lessons learned on Wall Street. There are no major investment banks left. All these companies are going belly up. No one is saying -- no one`s high-fiving anyone on Wall Street, saying, "Hey, great job."

Meanwhile, the real moral hazard is the political moral hazard that the government, and particularly, the Democratic Party, is going to take away from this episode, that there is no longer any principled or intellectual reason for the government not to intervene everywhere and anywhere it can, whether the auto industry, the airline industry, wherever.

The lesson of this is somehow that the government is always right. The government is the adult and needs to tell these kids who got out of hand how to get in line.

BECK: But Jonah, you and I know it wasn`t the kids on Wall Street alone. They were absolutely pushed into this direction.

GOLDBERG: No, I agree entirely. The failures that we`ve seen here haven`t been failures so much of the free market, but the failure to have markets in the first place.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these sorts of things grotesquely distorted how the market was supposed to operate. The various, you know, Barney Frank-led improvements took the normal standards of accounting that require sound loans and threw those out the window.

The markets have been horribly distorted, and yes, a lot of greedy actors took advantage of these distortions, but these weren`t failures of the markets or failures of deregulation. These were failures of bad regulation.

BECK: OK. As a student of history and writer of one of the best books on this particular kind of what could be coming, fascism in America, let me just pick your brain and go over a couple of scenarios.


BECK: I think -- I think we need to, as Americans, look for the patterns of what is coming, the next danger signs. One of them is going to be -- they`re going to find a story that America connects to. It`s going to be -- I don`t know, maybe, you know, a mom and her children that lost their house or they couldn`t afford the heat and they froze to death. And you know, the big, bad oil company and the big corporations, yada, yada, yada. And it will push us into another gigantic step into a new New Deal.

That sounds crazy to a lot of people, but isn`t that exactly what happened in the Great Depression? Didn`t they find a story, the media, marry into that, and then just move the next big wave of progressivism our way?

GOLDBERG: Yes, well, they found lots of stories like that. They would go and they would do profiles of, you know, this farmer or that farmer, this out-of-work, you know, factory worker. FDR`s entire appeal was to what he called the forgotten man, these guys who were left behind in the switches of industrial capitalism and all the rest.

And I think you`re probably right. We are going -- they are desperately looking for the Matthew Shepard...

BECK: Yes.

GOLDBERG: ... of this moment.

BECK: I mean, how many -- how many kids were kidnapped and lost, et cetera, et cetera, before we hit amber for the Amber alert?


BECK: I mean, there`s always one story that connects, and then everything changes. And quite frankly, I`m afraid of what that change might be, because we have see -- and most Americans don`t know this yet -- we have seen systematic, colossal changes in the last seven days. We`re now talking about buying banks.

We`re now talking -- I mean, the next president, Jonah, FDR wanted to pack the court, because he wanted people who saw the world his way. Well, the next president, whether it`s a Republican or a Democrat, it doesn`t matter. The next president doesn`t need to pack the court. He needs to change one, maybe two, and he can change the world on that.

GOLDBERG: The way I look at it is, the Great Depression was this thing that progressives in America were waiting for. They had been talking about how they wanted to revive what they did under Woodrow Wilson for -- throughout the 1920s, but the 1920s were prosperous and no one wanted to hand over the entire country, let alone the economy to a bunch of sort of pinhead social planners.

And then you had the Great Depression, and all of a sudden the progressives said, "Aha! This is our moment." And we`ve been seeing something similar over the last decade or so, where we`ve seen after Katrina all these intellectuals of the left start saying, "This proves it`s time for a new New Deal."

After 9/11, people like Bill Moyers said, "This is time for a new New Deal." I think Chuck Schumer actually has a macro on his keyboard, just hits F-10 after any event, and it says, "This is the moment for a new New Deal."

BECK: Right.

GOLDBERG: And so they`re looking at this, even though the new New Deal prolonged the Great Depression; it did not end the Great Depression...

BECK: World War II ended it.

GOLDBERG: Right. FDR`s policies made the depression longer and deeper. Everywhere else in the world, they had the depression. In America, FDR made the depression great.

BECK: Great, yes. OK. So here`s the thing that Americans should be concerned -- and I would honestly be saying this -- I mean, look, I don`t trust John McCain, either. I have no idea what this guy`s going to do with the economy.

What concerns me is that, if -- if this were a Republican and you had a Republican Congress that didn`t have any ability by the Democrats to filibuster and stop something, it would scare the living daylights out of me.

Here we have a guy who is a Marxist in Barack Obama. We have not the Democratic Party. We have the socialist party of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. I mean, way off the deep end to the left. And the possibility of losing the ability for anyone to stop them through filibuster.

And we`ve seen how much Congress listens to the will of the American people. They don`t listen to us anymore.

If that happens, we could see things that we haven`t seen since the Great Depression. And could you remind people -- it wasn`t the Republicans after FDR died that said, "Hey, we`ve got to make sure that, you know, that doesn`t happen again and somebody has that much power for that long and concentrated." It was actually his own party.

GOLDBERG: That`s right. I mean, there was a bipartisan consensus that, you know, sort of like Roy Scheider in "Jaws II," as God is my witness, I`m not going to go through that hell again. And that`s why we have a two-term presidency now. FDR was essentially a president for life.

You know, the problem is, as you know from reading my book and the discussions we`ve had about it, the word "fascist" is such a bloody shirt and enrages people so much...

BECK: Yes.

GOLDBERG: ... that they can`t think straight about this, so, but the economic philosophy of fascism was something called corporatism, which is not what RFK Jr. and these banner-snatchers think it means, but basically what it was is that the government should have a guiding hand in every institution: schools, corporations, businesses, trade associations, everywhere. The government should have a seat at the table and help direct things along. And what happened was, you had profits could be private, but losses were socialized.

BECK: Sounds familiar, doesn`t it?

GOLDBERG: And what we have today is a situation where we are moving towards corporatism, where the government is going to have guys holding the tiller at all these corporations that aren`t technically in the market`s sense going to be socialized. The government isn`t going to own all of these places. It`s merely going to have the guy in the room, the auditor with the clipboard, who`s going to say, "This is how you should do things if you want to be right with the government."

BECK: Holy cow.

GOLDBERG: And so it`s sort of socialism by proxy in a way.

BECK: All right.

GOLDBERG: And the hope is that this is just temporary, but you know, I wouldn`t...

BECK: All right. Yes, yes, and some of the other things of the New Deal were temporary, as well. Jonah, thank you very much.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

BECK: Now, coming up, an in-depth look at the true relationship between Barack Obama and domestic terrorist William Ayers. I know, everybody`s tired of this story, and you know what? I have a surprising report. The report`s not surprising. The source is. Don`t miss it. It`s next.

Plus, Hollywood conservative Kelsey Grammer stops by to discuss his role in new movie "American Carol," plus, his thoughts on everything from presidential politics to knee-jerk liberalism of Hollywood, coming up.


BECK: For 20 years, you watched him on television as Dr. Frasier Crane, the legendary comedies "Cheers," "Frasier." His latest star turn is in the movie, "An American Carol." It`s conservative and funny? I didn`t think those two went together. Kelsey Grammer and I will talk about that and a whole lot more a bit later in the program.

But first, Barack Obama has been whining lately. The last few days, that his opponents have reminded America about his past relationship with domestic terrorist William Ayers.

Ayers was the leader in the Weather Underground, an organization that claimed responsibility for a dozen bombings between 1970 and 1974. In his memoir, Ayers confessed to participating in the Pentagon bombing. Not the 9/11 one, the one in 1972.

Obama likes to point out, which is true, he was only 8 back then. Nobody`s tying Obama to those bombings. But what you are tying him to is William Ayers, a man, who on September 11, in "The New York Times," he reflected on his own extremist past and told "The New York Times," quote, "I don`t regret setting the bombs. In fact, I don`t feel we did enough."

Back in 1995 -- Barack Obama was 34 at the time, didn`t know William Ayers, but he got to know him in the short years after. William Ayers went as far to describe himself as a communist with a small "C." You know what? I really, I don`t have a lot of communist friends, do you?

Obama would love to have you believe that the vilification of William Ayers is a smear campaign by some crazy conservative fringe group. Not so much. I want you to take a look at this expose originally aired on one of the least conservative fringe organizations I can think of, CNN, and our own Anderson Cooper 360.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn in the 1960s and `70s were radicals, members of the Weather Underground, an anti-Vietnam war group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon.

On the run for years, the case against them was thrown out due to illegal wire-taps and prosecutor misconduct. Ayers has never repented and has said as late as 2001 he wished he had done more to stop the war.

Barack Obama confirmed during a primary debate that he knew Ayers, and when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers` support of violence. But the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said.

ANITA DUNN, OBAMA SENIOR ADVISOR: What they are arguing is that somehow, the fact that these two people who served -- both educational reformers in Chicago, both of whom did have their paths cross professionally, as well as neighbors occasionally, that somehow, this association is a problem for Barack Obama because of Bill Ayers`s past and things that happened in the 1960s when Barack Obama was 7 years old. And that`s just wrong, and frankly, it`s quite unfair.

GRIFFIN: One place their paths repeatedly crossed, according to a CNN review of board minutes and other records, was Chicago`s Annenberg Challenge Projects, where a $50 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation matched locally raised funds to improve schools.

According to participants and project records, Bill Ayers fought to bring the Annenberg grant to Chicago. Barack Obama was recruited as its chair. For seven years, Bill Ayers and Obama, among many others, worked on funding for education projects, including some experiments supported by Ayers.

Stanley Kurtz, a conservative researcher for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has also been reviewing the recently-released records of Chicago`s Annenberg Challenge.

STANLEY KURTZ, "NATIONAL REVIEW" ONLINE: Instead of giving money directly to schools, they gave money to what they called external partners, and these external partners were often pretty radical community organizer groups.

GRIFFIN: And the board gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Ayers` small schools project, promoting alternative education, like the Peace School with a curriculum centered around a United Nations theme, and another school where the focus was African-American studies.

(on camera) And this was directly funded by Annenberg?

KURTZ: Oh, yes...

GRIFFIN: Under Obama`s chairmanship?

KURTZ: Oh, yes, and the specific job of the board of directors was to give out the money.

GRIFF (voice-over): While continuing work on the Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers also served together on a second charitable foundation, the Woods Fund. Among its recipients, Jeremiah Wright`s Trinity United Church, where Obama attended, and a children and family justice center where Ayers` wife worked.

Ayers has strong defenders in Chicago. Among them, Richard Daley, the mayor, who called Ayers a valued member of the Chicago community. The city gave Ayers its citizen of the year award in 1997 for his work on the Annenberg Project.

For Obama, the chairmanship of the $100 million Annenberg board helped vault him from South Side Chicago lawyer to political player, and that, too, has another connection to Bill Ayers.

In 1995, months after the little-known Barack Obama became Annenberg project chair, state Senator Alice Palmer introduced the young Obama as her political heir apparent. Where was that introduction made? At the home of the `60s radicals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

The Obama campaign, again, says it is just a coincidence.

DUNN: A Democratic state senator organizes a meeting of her supporters at the house of another one of her supporters. What is the problem here, Drew? It is the worst kind of inference and the worst kind of politics to say that somehow that says something about Barack Obama.


BECK: That was CNN`s Drew Griffin reporting. And gosh, don`t you just hate all those evil conservatives over at CNN?

Back in a minute.


BECK: You know, gloom and doom seems to be kind of my middle name, gloom and doom, although that`s not the message that I want to bring you every night. It`s really not. I bring it because I think that nobody else is really giving you any perspective on it. They`re just telling you facts and figures.

The message I want to bring you every night is hope, is the message that we`re going to make it; we`re going to be fine. There are going to be a lot of tough roads to hoe, and we`ve got a lot of work to do, and we have to stick together. But we`re going to make it, and we`re going to be fine.

Well, one of my friends, Richard Paul Evans, is a guy who wrote a new book called "Grace." This is the author of "The Christmas Box" and "The Gift" and some of the -- just some of the best books written.

Richard, we had you on last night. Welcome back, by the way.


BECK: We had you on last night, and here we are in a position to where people are worried about losing all of their money. They`re worried about protecting their wealth, et cetera, et cetera. And yet, you`re a guy that, I believe your first book went to auction, and what was it...

EVANS: Four -- four and a quarter million.

BECK: Four and a quarter million dollars that you sold it for. And when you brought that check home, you said to your wife, "Look at this, baby!"

And she actually said, "We`ve got to give it away."

EVANS: She said, "Let`s give it back." Yes.

BECK: Let`s give it back.

EVANS: Let`s give it back, yes.

BECK: Yes, yes.

EVANS: And I said, wait a minute!

Yes, doesn`t sound like a good idea. And then what? You actually, your philosophy, and so many successful people, their philosophy is to give back -- not to give it back, but to give back. And you have, through "The Christmas Box" and continued efforts now, you actually have started shelters around, right?

EVANS: We`ve built emergency shelters for abused children. We`ve housed more than 20,000 abused children since we`ve started.

BECK: How amazing is that? Do you find -- because I have this theory that the more you hold on to your money, the more you fight to protect it, the less you`ll get. The more you freely give, that will come.

EVANS: You know when I started a decade ago writing on it, most of the authors are gone who I started with. I`ve seen them come and go, and I don`t know. My book sales are actually increasing. I mean, they`re doing great. And I think it`s because I do give back. I think the muses continue to send me blessings.

BECK: Yes. The thing that I was struck by your book, and we talked a little bit about this on the radio show -- the thing that we`re missing in the country right now are values and honesty.

And in trying to describe the book today to the radio audience, I thought, you know what I think I connected with? It wasn`t just the -- it wasn`t just the little clubhouse that I built as a kid and is in the main character of the book, is you know, to build a clubhouse. It is the sweetness of the time that, you know, we grew up in and the honesty and the values and the do-the-right-thing kind of a motif.

EVANS: Right.

BECK: Do you think -- do you think that`s lost or do you think that`s just hiding someplace?

EVANS: I think it`s hiding. I think it`s out there. I`ve become more optimistic. I`ve met tens of thousands of people, and maybe because my book attracts the salt of the earth, and at my book signings, these people come; they`re wonderful, but I hear these wonderful stories. They`re still around us.

BECK: If you would like to have a moment of real hope and grace, pick up the new book, "Grace." It`s tremendous. The hope will be with you for quite a few days. It was with me.

We`ll be back in just a minute with Kelsey Grammer. Don`t go anywhere.


BECK: Well, hello, America. Welcome back to the program. As you see, I took my tie off, because...

GLENN BECK, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Well, hello America and welcome back to the program.

As you see, I took my tie off, because, ooh, good heavens, it`s been a tough week, and I thought we`d get some laughs. I thought we would just have an honest conversation.

The guy I`m a big fan of and somebody that, you know, honestly, I have watched for a very, very long time, and you have, too, and laughed with him for 20 years.

It seems like hope and laughter is in short supply. Well, you know what? Let`s get some perspective on life with Kelsey Grammer. Hello, Kelsey, welcome to the program.


BECK: I`m very good. First of all, how are you feeling?

GRAMMER: I`m feeling great, thanks. Thanks. I`m, what, four months out from my heart attack. I had a couple of little echoes of damage that I had to deal with in New York this summer, and things are going pretty well. They tell me it`s a full year, though, before I can actually responsibly say I`m recovered, so, I`m being careful about it.

BECK: What`d you learn about the whole thing?

GRAMMER: What`d I learn in?

BECK: Yes.

GRAMMER: Well, you never know when, you know, they may come up and tap you on the back and say it`s time to go.

BECK: Yes.


BECK: Did you have that kind of moment, Kelsey, where --

GRAMMER: Oh, clearly, yes. Yes, I clearly did. But I asked when I was down, I asked, please, I have things I have to do still. I have to take care of my children. And it was more important even now, but I was allowed to stay.

And for whatever reason that took place and for whatever group of angels came along and said, ok, Kelsey, you can stay, I am deeply thankful for them.

BECK: It`s amazing. I think it was about a year ago, I went to the hospital and thought I was having a heart attack, and turned out, I had a little sausage.

GRAMMER: Indigestion? Yes, that`s the other one.

BECK: But it`s amazing how on that drive to the hospital, all those trite little things, oh, nobody ever said we wished we worked more. It`s true. On the drive to the hospital, you think to yourself, my gosh, where are my children? I just want them next to me.

GRAMMER: Yes, and your family, yes. My bride. There`s so many things left to do.

BECK: Depends on who you`re married to, you know?

GRAMMER: Well, that`s true. In this case, I`m pretty happy.

BECK: Ok. Let`s talk a little bit about the movie, and then I want to get into politics and what`s going on.


BECK: I just want to casually spend some time with you here.

GRAMMER: All right.

BECK: I saw the movie, "An American Carol." What surprised me was -- well, A, I mean a lot of the movies, you sit and you go, I can`t believe they put this on film because it`s conservative, and it`s in a movie theater. But, what`s surprising also is how unbelievably politically incorrect it is. Did you at all worry about that?

GRAMMER: Well, you know, we`re under the cover of a David Zucker movie, which, frankly, he`s -- look, I love the guy. He`s going to kill me for saying this, but he`s never made a great movie. He basically makes awful movies. I mean, let`s face it.

BECK: You`re right. He loves this.

GRAMMER: You know, they`re just awful, but they`re wonderful because they make you laugh. They make fun of everything. They give you an opportunity to see how really ridiculous most of the things we stand for are.

And in this case, what is surprising is that through this veneer of foolishness emerges a sense of love of this country and a resolve that we hope is carried by most Americans to the point that we have to do this thing right. And we have to stand up for our military and we have to stand up for what happened on 9/11, and it hasn`t gone away.

It`s shifting, it`s fluid, it changes, but we have a very resolute enemy and that we must remain as resolute.

BECK: I`m concerned. You know, you and I talked, what was it, two weeks ago? We spoke, and I was glad to hear that you`re of the same mind here. You`re concerned that our parties have just become grotesque, that they`re too small for this country. We`re tearing each other apart instead of looking out across the line and saying, look, I disagree with you on some of these things, but we`ve got to work together because country comes first.

GRAMMER: Yes. I hope that`s how most people grow up in this country. I know that`s the way I was raised. In my childhood, the two most important days were Christmas and the Fourth of July. That was it. Those are the days my family celebrated.

My granddad was a veteran who had served as a Colonel in Guadalcanal; he was three years gone in the Pacific theater. He lived his patriotism. He wanted his family to be safe. He wanted his country to do the right thing for its people. But he also wanted its people to do the right thing for their country.

BECK: Right.

GRAMMER: And I mean, this is where it comes back to what David always says in terms of the film, that he`s a Kennedy Democrat. Well, you know, ask not what you can do for your country -- I mean what your country can do for you, what you can do for your country, and that`s really important.

And I think that`s the way I grew up, and I do believe that, well, when Senator Biden says things like, you know, we`re going to ask you to do your patriotic duty, and you know what I`ve been working for 30 years and for 30 years I`ve taken home less money than I gave my government.

I think I`ve been patriotic. I think I`ve done a hell of a job of it. And now we`re in a situation that was caused by government frankly and we`re going to have to pay again.

BECK: I know, but don`t you think that maybe they should do their patriotic duty and stop spending? I mean now they`re talking about nationalizing the banks. Into whose great mind are we thinking that the government is going to be good at business?

GRAMMER: It`s not going to be good for us.

BECK: Yes.

GRAMMER: I mean business is actually much better qualified to run business than the government is. The government is responsible for a few things, you know, levying taxes and fighting war and also promoting commerce.

Now, see, I`m a firm believer in redistribution of wealth, and I call that commerce. I believe that we trade for money, we trade for goods or for services, and arrive at a kind of mutual well-being, at least financially, that has to do with our relationship of give and take.

BECK: What do you think our biggest deficit is in our country? I`m beginning to think that it -- it`s honesty, that maybe this problem started when we all decided that character doesn`t matter, that it just doesn`t matter. But it does. Our biggest deficit is nobody trusts anybody anymore.

GRAMMER: I think one of our biggest deficits is that we are much more tied up in immediate gratification and in how it looks instead of how it is. And we are often impressed with what shines the most.

But very few people have respect for people that work for 30 or 40 years to get to something. Most people have respect for the flash in the pants or the person that got there fast, the person that put together some sort of a scam. Well, if you`re scamming somebody, somebody`s going to get awfully hurt.

And I think we`ve praised that too much. Conspicuous consumption comes to mind, but I do think that`s a flaw in our society. What we`ve really missed is -- it came up in the debate the other night, about is health care a right or a responsibility?

BECK: A privilege.

GRAMMER: And I think -- well, McCain said it was a responsibility. Now, I liked that. I`m not sure it`s a privilege. I think it`s a responsibility. It may come under a subset of rights, which would be under the heading of the pursuit of happiness, but the action of pursuing happiness is your job, and you can pursue to buy a motorcycle or get health care insurance.

BECK: You see, ok, all right, I was thinking that -- I was thinking, oh, boy, you`ve lost me here, but I think we agree. I mean, just -- it`s up to the individual to make the choice. Look, I have no problem --

GRAMMER: It`s your job.

BECK: Yes. I have no problem helping people out. I mean, the unemployment, you bet. You come to me and you say, hey, Glenn, I`m unemployed, I need help, blah, blah, blah, I`ll help you.

But the first thing I ask you is show me your high school diploma. If you don`t have a high school diploma, no more free stuff for you. I bust my ass every day to be able to provide a free education for you. It shows you have no appreciation for the things you already have received.

GRAMMER: Yes. That`s a good point. Look, my whole gripe with the mortgage crisis is that so many people decided they deserved to have a home without having the ability to pay for it. I think that`s shocking. I know that both sides of that relationship are responsible for this ridiculous situation we find ourselves in.

BECK: Have you heard any leader at all in Washington say what you just said and mean it and specifically make the case, you know, and say, look, I`m a conservative, you`re a conservative, George Bush was involved. When George Bush said go out and spend and we can have more people in. He was involved. But Barney Frank was, too. All of them were.

GRAMMER: Oh, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd ought to be going to jail instead of going back to Congress.

BECK: They should.

GRAMMER: Honestly, this is ridiculous. I mean it`s documented. We have it historically documented that these guys were constantly saying let`s not regulate this. I mean, nothing`s sticking to the Democrats at this point in terms of that position.

But they actively campaigned to make sure that people who couldn`t buy homes were in homes, which means they were actively campaigning to make sure I was buying them a home.

BECK: Right. Universal housing is already here. Do you think that --

GRAMMER: It`s here.

BECK: Do you think that any -- do you think -- because I thought I love this, I laughed out loud when I heard it -- Congressional hearings are beginning now, and I thought, you`ve got to be kidding me. That`s the police looking into the police. That`s the crooks saying, well --

GRAMMER: Yes, about ethics reform, I thought, boy, Nancy Pelosi damn well better have some investigations, and it better be, you know, in their own home. Clean house. These guys have got to go. There`s no question about it.

BECK: I`ve got to tell you, I want General Petraeus to do the investigations, quite honestly. I do. I do. We`ll be back. We`ll take a quick break with Kelsey Grammer in a minute.


BECK: We`re back with actor Kelsey Grammer, whose new movie "American Carol" is out in theaters now.

Kelsey, a couple of things; first of all, you wanted to be President of the United States when you were a kid, did you not?

GRAMMER: A little boy, yes, I did, just like Senator Obama, you know.

BECK: For some reason, I think that there was a slam in there someplace. I can`t really --

GRAMMER: No, there is none.

BECK: No, ok.

GRAMMER: No, listen, I think every little boy should grow up believing that he could be the President of the United States, and I believe that every girl should as well because that is what America is. I love dreaming big, and if you dream big, this is the only place you can get there.

This is the only country that basically has no foundation of class structure that will keep you in that place. This is the only country that encourages anybody to do anything they can think of as long as they don`t hurt other people while they do it.

BECK: Do you think we`re still there, though? It seems to me we`re criminalizing success.

GRAMMER: I think we`re on a backward track. I think success has been criminalized by the notion that you can legislate how much success is appropriate.

It goes way back to 1935, the antitrust laws. Oliver Wendell Holmes actually said, he said he abstained to vote with the Supreme Court about passing these laws because he said, this law is saying it`s okay to compete, but it`s not saying it`s ok to win.

And it started a long time ago. And I think it`s a notion that is government of the government by the government and for the government, and that makes me really confused and very unsettled.

BECK: Kelsey, I don`t know how -- where do we go from here? How do we -- the average person is, ok, I want to do something, I want to be involved, but they don`t listen to me. I keep voting, and nothing changes. It just changes parties. They say they`re going to do this when they get in and they don`t do that, or they say they`re going to stop it and they don`t.


BECK: How does this end without scenes that we just don`t want to see in America?

GRAMMER: I`m not sure, because you know I think we discussed this previously. I mean, we are in a sort of civil war right now. It`s not the haves against the have-nots, it`s the idea that staggers us between complete government dependence or reliance on ourselves.

I read that Senator Obama`s favorite book, or one of them, was Ralph Waldo Emerson "Self Reliance," and I`m wondering what leap he must have taken to arrive at these positions that he`s advocating. I mean, the idea of a tax cut that he talks about, by rolling back the Bush tax cuts, which was a tax cut for everyone, and then eliminating that tax and then saying we`re going to now give $1,000 to somebody, it doesn`t make up for the loss of the original tax cut in the first place.

BECK: No, but he always talks about fairness, and I have to tell you, I don`t know -- I have yet to see the reporters that are pounding this. That tax cut, 45 percent of Americans that pay no income tax, zero, no income tax, are going to get a check for $1,000. How is that fair? How is that fair?

GRAMMER: I`m not sure fairness is in that equation at all.

The whole thing that`s happening right now, the meltdown that`s taking place is basically going to be remedied by doing what is unfair to the people that played the game straight. And they have every right to be mad about it. They have every right to be upset about it.

Obviously, our government is going to do something, and there is no happy solution, and I will be forced to do my patriotic duty and lose more of my money.

BECK: But you know what --

GRAMMER: So that other people can be ok.

I`m willing to do it this time, but I want the government to get smaller. I want them to get out of my life. I want them to leave me alone, take care of the things they know how to do, and one of them is not taking care of my health care.

BECK: All right, so what I want to know is, do you believe that the average American is still there? Or are they -- I mean you said earlier about the John F. Kennedy line, ask not what your country can do for you -- that is what we`re doing now.

If you listen to those debates and the whole thing was, this is what I`ll do for you, this is what I`ll do. I`ll buy this, I`ll buy that, I`ll help you here, I`ll help you there. Instead, it should be flipped around the other way.

But the only time it`s flipped around the other way is, you know what? You can help other people because I`m going to take this from you and give it to these other people. That`s the only thing that we`re asked to do is give them money so they can help other people. Does that even exist anymore in enough Americans to turn the tide? Self-reliance.

GRAMMER: I hope that it exists, but I know that it`s not part of our education system anymore. And I do regret the nanny state becoming such a prevalent occurrence in our kind of common thinking, that, well, if it`s our fault, it doesn`t matter. Our government should take care of it, because they`re supposed to take care of us.

Well, you know, that`s not the way it works and that`s certainly not what they fought the revolution for.

BECK: So, you wanted to be president, and I read something -- I don`t know if this is true -- that you have decided that there`s no way you could run for public office because it`s too brutal. True or false?

GRAMMER: Yes, well, I have given it some thought. My wife and I have talked about it. It`s certainly too brutal for us at this point in our lives. A little bit further down the road maybe there`ll be something I can find to do. Maybe I`ll be a community organizer and figure out a way for 100 or 200 people in my town to get together and buy health insurance for themselves. I mean, I think that`s the work of a good community and I think it`s a worthy cause.

There`s a lot of other things we can devote ourselves to, but mostly, I think America is drawn by virtue of the fact that you come to America not expecting it to give you everything. But you come to give America a better America, to make the process of being an American partially devoted to the fact that what you do with your life enhances the lives of those around you and that`s -- that`s the prerequisite, I guess and maybe that`s the common thread that would keep the idea that we can still serve our country.

BECK: Back in a minute with Kelsey Grammer. Stick around.


BECK: We`re wrapping things up now with actor and fellow conservative Kelsey Grammer. Is it wrong for me to say you`re a conservative? I mean, I want you to eat, Kelsey.

GRAMMER: No, thank you. Well, it`s right that all politics is local. It`s -- I live in probably the moderate framework dressed to the right, you know what I`m saying? Like a tailor ad.

BECK: Right, ok.

GRAMMER: I am certainly conservative on a lot of things. I am a pro- choice conservative, but I believe in advancing other alternatives. I think an abortion is the last choice that should be made. I don`t think people should have a get out of jail free card which I think is but --

BECK: Do you know how much damage are you doing to your career on this show? Do you know how much damage you`re doing to your career on this show? Yes, I mean you`re going to be working for $10 and a sandwich in a minute.

GRAMMER: I`m already doing that.

BECK: I don`t know if you know this, but you and I have worked together before. We have actually been on the stage together.

GRAMMER: What did we do?

BECK: Seriously?


BECK: Show him picture number one. There it is "Cheers" me. See? That`s me.

GRAMMER: Oh, my God. That guy there. There`s more we`re in scenes together. Go ahead. There`s a scene with the two of us. There. I`m right there! See the arrow?

GRAMMER: How about that?

BECK: Yes.

GRAMMER: That was the motorcycle guy.

BECK: Yes.


BECK: I`m running with the scissors. Yes.


BECK: America probably remembers my performance there, I did this.

GRAMMER: Nice. As most Americans did during that time.

BECK: Yes, we want to have you back. There I am again.

We`d love to have you back, Kelsey and next time I promise what I`d like to do is just so I can get one of my producers off my back, one of my producers said you have the most intriguing feet of any man alive.

It took about 20 minutes for me to wonder if I wanted the answer from my producer how he knew you had the most interesting feet of any man alive.

GRAMMER: He probably saw them on David Letterman. I actually revealed my feet on national television. They are definitely a -- certainly not a handicap, but they are a challenge.

BECK: Well, next time you`re in New York we`d like you to come here and reveal your feet us to.

GRAMMER: Thanks Glenn, go see the movie.

BECK: You got it. Thanks a lot Kelsey, I actually I already have enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

From New York, good night America.