On his Tuesday broadcast, Fox News Channel “The O’Reilly Factor” host entertained former Clinton adviser and recently let-go CNN analyst James Carville, who blamed the nation’s current economic woes on historic issues.
“Well, I think the biggest problem is a long-range problem,” Carville said. “Since the 70’s, we have not been able to grow incomes in this country. And so between the end of World War II and say, 1973 and 1975, everybody in America got a pretty consistent raise. Since around 1975 or so till now, there’s basically not been a raise for 65-70 percent of the people in the country, and we’re just having a very, very hard time to figure out how to deal with this. Right now currently the biggest problem we have had too many people unemployed for too long a time, and this is a human tragedy of first order. You know, we need to be looking at very closely to see what we need to do about this.”
O’Reilly challenged Carville how to rectify the income question, suggesting that the involvement of policymakers would take away from the power of the free market. According to Carville, who maintained that the free market is not in danger, the push to cut entitlements might ultimately harm the economy.
“First, I think we have a vibrant free market in this country,” Carville replied. “Second, I tell what not to do — let’s don’t cut Social Security. Let’s don’t cut unemployment compensation. Let’s don’t cut these kinds of things … or Medicare, which is keeping people to the extent they can stay in the middle class. These are the kinds of things they are depending on.”
Towards the end of the segment, the two had a back-and-forth over the current President Barack Obama’s economic vision.
O’REILLY: Now let’s get back to the vision that President Obama has as compared to your former boss Bill Clinton. Clinton had a very responsible fiscal policy. In fact he ran a surplus in some of the years he was president. He didn’t attempt to micromanage the private sector and he a couple economic bumps in the road, whereas President Obama is biggest spending president in history by far … ‘I don’t care much about the debt,’ whereas Clinton kind of did or am I wrong?
CARVILLE: First of all, when President Clinton took office, the economy was growing, starting to grow. When President Obama was took office, the economy was shrinking. You have to be fair. You are a fair guy, we have got to be fair, OK? That is one thing about you — you’re a fair guy. So, let’s be fair here. I am a Clinton person.
Secondly, you know, I think that some of them both of them raised taxes on the wealthy. Both of them tried to deal with healthcare. Obama, much to my chagrin, was more successful than President Clinton was. Both signed free-trade agreements, which a lot of people dispute whether that helps or hurts.
O’REILLY: So, you don’t see a big difference between the two on an economic basis?
CARVILLE: Not so much. I see a difference in them in terms of style. I think President Clinton is much more outgoing guy.
O’REILLY: That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about economic philosophy. I’m firmly convinced that President Obama wants to create a Western European-style nanny state? I didn’t see that with Clinton.
CARVILLE: I disagree with you on that, but I do think that he believes in aggressive government during a downturn and a lot of other people do. I mean, look at the auto industry situation. I think he was right, but he was pretty aggressive there.