On Friday night, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly debated Demos (a left-leaning think tank) co-founder David Callahan over a progressive budget proposal that seeks to tax billionaires at 47 percent. O’Reilly’s argument stemmed from a simple question: Does any government have a right to take half your stuff?
The back-and-forth saw O’Reilly taking a “moral” position on the Congressional Progressive Caucus over the tax increase detailed above. Callahan rebutted that taxes on the rich were high during the Reagan years, and that the United States saw wealth and prosperity during the 50s and 60s for the same reasons.
O’Reilly dismissed Callahan’s Reagan reference, more pointedly asking if any government has a right to “take half your stuff.”
Again, Callahan pointed to Reagan, saying that the tax rate for the super rich was around 50 percent. O’Reilly countered that no one actually paid that much in taxes due to special deductions and tax shelters. He said once again that Reagan taxation was “not relevant” to their discussion, turning the discussion back to whether “the federal government in a free nation… [has] the right to take half your stuff, no matter how much money you earn.”
O’Reilly opined that if the CPC budget were actually implemented, it would “absolutely destroy the American economy,” while Callahan simply countered that it’s not reasonable for Donald Trump and his dermatologist to be paying the same tax rate.
O’Reilly ended by asking Callahan if he was a socialist, to which Callahan responded that he thinks anyone who has done “phenomenally well” should help us “get out of the hole we’re in.”
“I don’t know if that’s freedom,” concluded O’Reilly.
The Senate passed the Democratic budget in a slim victory early Saturday morning.
Watch the entire exchange below, via Mediaite. Let us know what you think. Should the super rich in this country be taxed at 49 percent? Sound off!