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Neil Cavuto Interrupts Paul O'Neill 24 Times!

Reported by Melanie - March 9, 2005

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was a guest today (March 9, 2005) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. O'Neill was fired by Dick Cheney in March, 2003 for, "disagreeing too many times with the president's policy on tax cuts." Here is Paul O'Neill's bio, which I found on the United States Department of the Treasury website. According to that site, Paul O'Neill is still the U.S. Treasury Secretary! (Ah yes, George runs a tight ship, doesn't he?)

Together with Don Suskind, O'Neill wrote The Price of Loyalty. In Loyalty, O'Neill told of his White House tenure, Bush's tax cutting, and the plan to remove Saddam Hussein. O'Neill said removing Hussein was a plan hatched years and years ago and had nothing to do with September 11th. The White House and its supporters were enraged.

O'Neill was Cavuto's guest to talk (supposedly) about Social Security. Cavuto introduced O'Neill with, "Paul O'Neill, who no longer gets Christmas cards from the White House." (I knew then that Cavuto would come at O'Neill from the perspective of a White House supporter. Surprise, surprise.) O'Neill said that yes, he does still get Christmas cards from the White House. Undeterred, Cavuto said, "But, you're not invited back to the White House?" O'Neill conceded that he has not been.

At any rate, O'Neill has a plan. He thinks we as a society should decide what meaning "we give to the notion of financial security for people over 65." He said we should create a system so people have a substantial amount of money by the time they reach 65 years of age, and O'Neill thinks $l million per person should be our goal. O'Neill suggested putting $2,000 into an interest-bearing account the year a person is born. He suggested continuing with yearly $2,000 deposits until the age of 18 years of age. At 6% interest, someone 18 years of age would have $65,000. The government would stop making deposits at that point and the person would not have access to the account. The $65,000 would accumulate interest and, again, assuming an interest rate of 6%, the $65,000 would grow to $l million by the time a person reached age 65.

Comment: Unfortunately, that's about all I know, which I'm sure was precisely Cavuto's plan. Bush hasn't articulated the details of his Social Security plan and I'm sure Cavuto didn't want O'Neill to look more competent and thoughtful than Bush. The interview continued for four or five more minutes but I don't think O'Neill was able to complete a thought beyond the one above. Cavuto interrupted him 24 times - got that? - 24 times before the end of the interview.

Fox pretends to be "fair and balanced," and from a look at its guest list you might think it actually features a diversity of opinion. Problem is, voices with diverse opinions can be silenced even if they show up on the guest list.

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