Jon Stewart vs. O’Reilly

This past week, Fox News viewers were given the opportunity to watch Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly go at it.  I couldn’t bring myself to watch the entire episode, as it wasn’t more than five minutes into it that I was already fed up with both of them.  I was, shall we say, dismayed with Jon for making ridiculous claims, and with Bill for saying nothing to correct him.

When discussing the topic of compromise, Jon lambasted the Republicans for not appreciating Obama’s efforts when it came to tax cuts.  First he brought up the president’s stimulus plan, and how a third of it was in tax cuts.  He then went on to say he had expected the Republicans to applaud during the State of the Union when Obama mentioned that he had cut taxes for 95% of Americans.  He clearly assumes that they stayed seated because it was Obama up there, never mind if he was cutting taxes.  The fact is, he may be right.  I believe many of them would have stood up had it been John McCain announcing the same.  Either way, it’s ridiculous to think that anyone should have stood up to clap for these so-called “tax cuts”.

What many realized back in 2008 was that Obama’s claim that he would be cutting taxes for almost all Americans was just another way of saying “I’m going to spend, spend, spend”.  As this Wall Street Journal article points out, some have a different idea of what a tax cut is.  The way they see it, “…a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase “tax credit.””  I mean, how on earth can anyone say they are cutting taxes for 95% of Americans, when there aren’t even that many who pay taxes?  An article by CBS News brings up a study which finds only 43% of individuals pay taxes.  So if taxes are “cut” for 95%, what does that mean? Could it be that the so-called tax “cuts” are actually subsidies to those who don’t pay taxes?

No, Jon.  The Republicans should not have stood up and applauded Barack, nor should they have applauded if it was McCain doing something similar.  Rather than changing the subject, Bill should have discussed this issue further, and made sure it was understood by the audience (which most likely was made up of a good number of Democrats supporting Jon) that these so-called “tax cuts” were nothing of the sort.