Sunday, December 18, 2011

This Week with Christiane Amanpour - December 18, 2011

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
Robert Reich
George Will

Amanpour: Today we debate the defining
issue of our time: Should Government get its
damn hands off our Medicare?

Audience: how fascinating

Amanpour: Has government gotten too
government big - and who was really right?
Alexander Hamilton or Thomas Jefferson?

Audience: the white guy or the other white guy

Karl: just because of the darn Depression we
got the New Deal and all those meat inspectors

Audience: I like bacteria-free meat but I hate taxes

Amanpour: Today we have the most brilliant
minds in Washington DC by which I mean
four middle-aged white guys

Ryan: Government is like sugar, fat or
reality television - more of it is always bad

Amanpour: good point Paul

Ryan: the left says we are Hobbesian and
cruel and mean - but Obama’s crony capitalism
proved government doesn’t work!

Frank: we need government to fight wars and
build bridges and clean the environment but
we needs less government telling people not
to have sex the way conservatives want them to

Amanpour: Isn’t government just always bad?

Reich: thank for your loaded question and
this debate which is obviously designed to
bash government

Amanpour: Thank you Bob

Reich: People don’t trust a government that
harasses brown people or big Wall Street
that steals from people

Amanpour: Didn’t the New Deal put people to work?

Will: Government didn’t create any jobs until
a tiny government launched World War Two

Amanpour: how amazing

Will: Obama’s stimulus created jobs but not enough

Frank: Obama rescued the American automobile
industry oh and by the way Republicans
thanks for the recent depression

Amanpour: Paul you voted for the Wall Street
and auto bailouts

Ryan: yes but in my defense I was wrong

Amanpour: did the stimulus fail or did it prevent
a worse depression?

Ryan: that involves facts and so it impossible to say

Reich: we should have put strings on
the Bush bailout

Ryan: true

Frank: oh thanks Republicans for the
no-strings bailout

Audience: can we prevent another bailout?

Frank: we passed a law saying no
government bailouts again

Will: We should break up the banks!

Frank: yes but which ones George?

Will: the big ones!

Ryan: liberals wants bureaucrats to run America

Frank: we want the government to pick and
choose who to bail out

Ryan: we should not bail anyone out until its
an emergency when we can’t think about it!

Amanpour: Why do the top 1% have as much
as the bottom 40%?

Ryan: because liberals punish rich people and
poor people say why should I bother becoming
rich the government will just take it away

Will: Government always responds to
bad rich people

Amanpour: very bold of you to say George

Will: also the elderly are too rich and powerful

Amanpour: ok

Reich: yes rich people and corporations have
to much influence over government - but the
answer is not to shrink government but to get
money out of politics

Will: harrumph

Reich: the top tax rate under Eisenhower
was under 90%

Will: I don’t hate the elderly but they are
Greedy, selfish and destructive

Frank: ok George if you’re so concerned about
bad rich people let’s raise taxes on the wealthy
and spend it on poor people

Amanpour: most people don’t pay taxes

Frank: Christiane that’s right-wing bullshit

Audience: how do you stop special interests
from buying government influence?

Ryan: by reducing government obviously

Reich: that’s fine but government won’t be
reduced until we get money out of politics

Ryan: well we enacted McCain-Feingold so
everything should be fine

Reich: god you really are an insufferable little twit

Will: just leave everything to the free market

Reich: that’s great until we all get killed in
the name of profit

Will: some of us think all problems in the
world are caused by government

Audience: don’t we need red-light cameras?

Amanpour: of course we do

Will: Personal liberty!

Frank: so remove criminal penalties on marijuana
and internet gambling, gay marriage and all the
other right-wing expansions of government

Reich: we can unite the left and right to
defend freedom until we demagogue
each other on terror

Ryan: the left is the true Big Brother

Amanpour: what about social issues?

Ryan: that’s a totally different debate where
big government is awesome

Frank: the military is part of the problem

Ryan: our soldiers are rebuilding Afghanistan
to defend our freedom which we are giving away

Audience: I am an evangelical minister and 48%
of people in America are poor and yet most
people don’t know that

Ryan: Inequality is actually a good thing because
it means more people are getting rich

Frank: meanwhile real people are suffering
from mindless budget-cutting

Reich: government enacted laws requiring
racial equality and that was a good thing

Frank: what about pot?

Will: we need to do more research on marijuana
but until then it should be illegal

Frank: yes that makes sense

Amanpour: should government spend money
on poor people?

Ryan: calling people “poor” makes it seems like
they are “stuck in a class” - I prefer to call
poor people the “potentially rich” and I offer them
“future tax cuts” which they will be deeply grateful
for in a “hypothetical future.”

Amanpour: that’s highly imaginative

Ryan: We should get rid of crony capitalism
by which I mean we should means testing Medicare

Will: Government harms freedom and equality
by allowing rich people to influence government
and the answer is for government to not exist
except for roads and bridges and defense and
the mail and drugs and gays

Reich: yes - big businesses do influence government
- how do we solve that problem because we
can’t get rid of all government

Amanpour: thanks for coming everyone

1 comment: said...

Best political show of the year because it dealt with the heart of the nations delema; too much money calling the shots, too much government doing things it should not be doing, and the fact that our representatives fail when it comes to the separation of church and state. Unless we take money out of politics, return our government to its proper and smaller role, and convince some people and institutions that its wrong to try to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us via law, this experiment in democracy is doomed to fail.