STEWART: What is wrong with this country is not that we face problems that we have not faced before. We face a deficiency in our problem-solving mechanism. A good portion of this country has created an alternate universe in which the issues that we face revolve around a woman from Georgetown who wanted birth control, which is a health issue for women, covered on her health insurance in the same way that Viagara is covered.
O’REILLY: Income redistribution. Do you believe in it?
STEWART: Do you?
O’REILLY: I asked first.
STEWART: Do you believe in social security?
O’REILLY: Yes, absolutely.
STEWART: So we’re both socialists. Social Security is income redistribution.
O’REILLY: No it’s not.
STEWART (responding to O’REILLY on funding PBS): But the reason we invest in things like public television is that it brings educational programs to communities that wouldn’t have them, it’s one of the best investments we ever made in this country. Second of all, the investment in public television is $130 million, and I am sorry that you don’t want to spend your hard-earned tax money on that $130 million but let me say this to you: welcome to the _________ club. Give me my money back the $800 billion from the Iraq War and children’s television is on the house… This notion that we are a society that when you pay your taxes [that] you must agree with every single expenditure that is given is ridiculous.
O’REILLY: You want educational program, watch your program. At $16 trillion, we have to start the cut.
STEWART: So Bill O’Reilly has identified the $130 million from NPR because NPR should be able to compete on its own. Let me ask you this: should Exxon be able to compete on its own, because we give Exxon and other companies like it $260 billion every year?
O’REILLY: I actually agree with you.
O’REILLY: It doesn’t matter what Bush did. The job of the President now is to get the debt under control and you’ve got to cut stuff.
STEWART: Here’s what I don’t understand: you believe that because this other president is out of office that the Republican Party sprang like Athena out of Zeus’ head, newborn when Barack Obama was inaugurated. Here’s why it matters about our debt and our deficit under Bush: what he created was a society of entitlement that we could have two wars that cost $800 billion and cut taxes at the same time.
STEWART: We’re an entitlement nation. We were born that way. We’re a country that come to another country with people on it and said, “Yeah, I think we’ll have that. That’ll be nice”. Have you ever seen Oprah’s Favorite Things Episode? We are people that want free things. The point of this is, has this President fundamentally changed the relationship between entitlements and the government? And that is why it’s important to look at his predecessors and what has gone before it. Barack Obama hasn’t increased and expanded your ability to get welfare and food stamps by broadening the pool. More people have fallen into the social safety net that exists there because $2.5 trillion went out of our economy in the bank crisis in 2 weeks. We can all talk about how the government is spending too much money and the free market has to take us out of it but nobody talks about the flip-side of the free market, which is the bust. And we have to start understanding how they can no longer privatize their profits and socialize their losses.
More quotes to come…