Watch Stephen Colbert Challenge Bill O'Reilly For Supporting Spending On War But Not Anti-Poverty Programs
Colbert: The Humanities, Education And The Social Safety Net Are "Vital Aspects Of Our Culture"
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From the February 8 edition of CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:
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BILL O'REILLY: Ronald Reagan was a very very good politician. He was an excellent politician. He did what he had to do. But ultimately, he did two things that benefited the country. Turned the economy around. In the Carter years, it was desperate. You remember the gas lines? You had to wait on line to get gasoline in America, it was horrible.
STEPHEN COLBERT (HOST): Reagan ran up huge deficits though.
O'REILLY: He did but it was in the pursuit of bringing down the Soviet Union which was accomplished. So you bring down your major enemy and you have to do it by spending money --
COLBERT: Huge deficits that can be justified by military expenditure but you're saying huge deficits cannot be justified by the humanities, by educating people, by the social safety net? What's the difference to those things? They're both vital aspects of our culture. What is the difference between those two? Why is one justified and not the other?
O'REILLY: All right, this is a classic liberal position.
COLBERT: It's just a question. It's not a position. It's a question, Bill.
O'REILLY: You have to spend money to defend yourself from an enemy who is bent on either conquering you or killing you. That's why we're in this war on terror now. On the arts and educational, we have to get away from this fantasy that the government can solve all the problems by kicking money in, and we can't be promising everybody everything as these pinhead politicians do constantly. Reagan didn't do that by the way.