I've never been a huge Sean Hannity fan but there are parts about him that I do like. Increasingly, the conservative opinion spectrum is dominated by the same sort of privileged snots that dominate the left. You have upper middle class kids who had college paid for by Daddy and Mommy and who have never held a job that requires manual labor. That cultural disconnect and class disdain bleeds over into their opinions and it has never been more evident than this year. Hannity, at least, has experience in living from paycheck to paycheck and I have a huge respect for his persistence and work ethic if not for his insights.
The class war going on the GOP this cycle though has turned Hannity is something of a shill for Donald Trump. In fact, there have been days when I dearly hoped that Trump had a glass panel installed in his navel, because Hannity's head was so far up Trump's ass that was the only way Hannity would ever see daylight again.
On Friday, Hannity made the mistake of inviting Ted Cruz onto his road show to talk about Hannity's pet subjects, the flat tax and the "penny plan." Ted Cruz, however, wanted to talk about Donald Trump. It is long, it is fun to watch just to watch Hannity's expression. If you don't want to invest the time, a transcript is provided.
HANNITY: I want to go back because you talked about a flat tax. I have asked every candidate in every interview, 95 million Americans out of work, we have 40 million Americans on food stamps, 50 million in poverty, median income down in the last eight years under Obama, he will leave office having accumulated more debt than every other president before him combined. That, to me, is an insurmoutable amount of money that we're talking about. News came out today that we took in more federal revenues, $1.25 trillion in the last five months, but still have a $353 billion budget deficit for that period of time. The government spends too much.
CRUZ: And our problem, we don't have a debt because we're undertaxed. We have a debt because Washington is spending money it doesn't have and digging us into a hole.
HANNITY: How do you get Washington to spend less. I've always liked the "penny plan." Because it's simple. You cut one cent of of each dollar for six years and you get to a balanced budget. But that's part of it. What would you do?
CRUZ: The only way you can do it with, one, strong conservative leadership in the White House backed up by the people. You know, one of the striking things last night, in the entire course of the debate it became very evident that Donald Trump has no solutions to any of these problems.
HANNITY: [unintelligible] But I think the question most Americans want to know is how do you get to a balanced budget. But...eliminate baseline budgeting...
CRUZ: All of that matters but the most import piece, if you want to turn around the deficit and the debt, is economic growth. If we stay at 1 and 2 percent economic growth...
HANNITY: ...can't do it...
CRUZ: ...the math doesn't work. You can't cut enough and Donald, at the end of the day, doesn't understand where growth comes from. Because Donld, he's said a lot of times, you know, nobody knows the system better than he does. And he may well be right. Because Donald is the system, he is Washington, and notice his perspective, Donald's perspective is government is the answer to everything. That whatever the problem is, we need more government. And to every issue he doesn't really disagree with Hillary and Obama on substance, he just says they're not doing a good enough job, he'll negotiate a better deal with socialize health care and ObamaCare. And here's the key, if you want economic growth you know two words that never come out of Donald's mouth: small business. Because to Donald's perspective the economy is about giant corporations, New York billionaires, sitting down with politicians, whether it's Hillary Clinton or John Boehner and suckling off government and getting rich at the expense of the working men and women. Listen, to heck with big business. The focus of growth has got to be small business.
HANNITY: There seems to be a two prong approach we need. That is, one, I think government needs to spend a lot less...
HANNITY: I would cut a lot of government, maybe not the military, our military has deteriorated, and then the other part is the growth factor. Energy independence would add to that...
HANNITY: Corporate inversion, allowing corporations to repatriate... there are trillions of dollars overseas, those are solutions to me. And that's part of your economic plan. Explain how the flat tax gets people out of poverty and back to work.
CRUZ: Okay. So let's start with spending because that was the first part of your question. I've laid out a very, very detailed spending plan. $500 billion in specific spending cuts. Did you notice last night in the entire debate Donald was not willing to list a single thing he'd cut. He wouldn't list an agency, he wouldn't list a program. I asked him "when have you ever stood up to a Washington lobbyist on anything?" He couldn't point to a single instance. Donald and Hillary are the flip side of the same coin. They are Washington. They are power. They are big business. They are corruption. And instead... listen, why do other candidates not do what I've done which is specify exactly what I'd cut? Because you tick off all the lobbyists. All the people getting the money are real unhappy when you say "I'm cutting your money." And they don't want to get attacked. And if we're going to turn Washington around you've got to demonstrate the courage to take on Washington. It's not being an insurgent simply to yell a lot and curse and insult people. That doesn't make you an insurgent. That just makes you ill-mannered.
HANNITY: I want to focus as much as I can today on solutions. You've brought up Donald Trump a lot. When he says he's going to build the wall, when he tells me he's going to make America energy independent and he supports the "penny plan", do you just not believe him? Do you think he's... do you not believe... for example, you don't think he'd build the wall, you think that is all talk?
CRUZ: Well, it's interesting. I mean it's been reported that Donald told the New York Times editorial board that he wasn't going to build the wall. That he wasn't going to deport everyone. That he said he went to Mahattan just a couple of months ago and he told the New York Times, "listen, guys..."
HANNITY: He said he's flexible...
CRUZ: No, no, no. That's what he claims he said but he hasn't released the tape. What was reported is that he told them, "listen, I don't believe this language I'm using about immigration, I'm just saying it because it scares people and makes them vote for me. But I don't intend to do it." And he's since claimed that all he's said is he's flexible. But if he releases the tape, we can all see. The fact he won't release the tape... Donald is telling us he's lying to us. And here's the difference. As president, Donald said he'll be a completely different person the day after he's elected. He'll be the most politically correct person on earth. Sean, I will be the exact same person the day after I'm elected that I am today.
There wasn't anything I didn't like about this interview though the most fun was putting Sean Hannity in the position of being on stage and on air with an actual conservative, so he couldn't carry Trump's water, and had to sit silently while he was told the guy he has been boosting is a fraud and indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton.