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O'Reilly: I Could Sort Out Debt Crisis 'In a Day'

By Martin Gould   |   Friday, 22 Jul 2011 01:04 PM

The tea party has to slow down in its bid to revolutionize America’s political landscape or it could make itself look too extreme, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said today.

O’Reilly was speaking after President Barack Obama cited him in an Op-ed in USA Today as someone who agrees that revenues must be included in a deal to reduce the deficit.

“A balanced deficit deal that includes some new revenues isn't just a Democratic position,” Obama wrote. “It's a position that has been taken by everyone from Warren Buffett to Bill O’Reilly.

“It’s a position that was taken this week by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, who worked together on a promising plan of their own. And it's been the position of every Democratic and Republican leader who has worked to reduce the deficit in their time, from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton.”

O’Reilly did not dispute the president’s words specifically when he appeared on “America’s Newsroom” with Bill Hemmer this morning. “It’s not accurate in the sense that I’m advocating any tax rate hikes, and he didn’t say that,” he told Hemmer.

O’Reilly said he wants to see a 1 percent national sales tax introduced and income tax loopholes plugged at the same time that federal income tax rates are brought down.

“People would wind up with more money in their pockets,” he said. “The government would get more money because they would be taxing people more efficiently.

“The underground economy in this country is a $1 trillion concern and that’s cash off the books — illegal alien payments, that kind of thing. If you lower the income tax rates and put in a national sales tax of 1 percent or so, your debt goes away.”

O’Reilly, who claimed he could sort out the whole debt crisis “in a day,” said he had told Obama that. “It’s just so frustrating to sit on the sidelines and watch this,” he said, adding that people on the left are “killing themselves” by wanting a western European-style welfare state.

But he said the tea party hasn’t got it right, either, and needs to slow down. “I warned the tea party last night ‘If you’re looked upon by Americans as being extremists like the far left is, you’re going to evaporate too. You’ve got to be reasonable here.’”

He said he wants the tea party to succeed, saying it is “absolutely necessary for this country,” but added, “If the tea party is deemed to be unreasonable and independent-minded Americans say, ‘you know what, we’re scared of them,’ then the whole thing may collapse.”

O’Reilly said he believes the debt crisis is real and politicians on both sides have to work out a deal on the debt ceiling.

“People have got to stop and step back, because what we’re talking about here is a massive economic hit if these people continue to botch it in Washington.

“Some people don’t believe that — but some people didn’t believe the tsunami was coming.”

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