Bill O’Reilly used the news that the “barefoot” homeless man featured in a viral photo of a New York policeman giving him a pair of boots is not really homeless as an excuse to attack social welfare spending – which in O’Reilly’s mind is his taxes.
O’Reilly has previously railed against his tax money being “wasted” on undeserving poor people. And if you only got your news about the poor from O’Reilly and his one-percenter pals at Fox, you could easily think that all the poor are moochers sponging off the deserving “makers.” Hmmm, where have I heard that before?
In his Talking Points segment last night, called “Americans need to wise up and fast,” O’Reilly said about the “homeless” man, Jeffrey Hillman:
Here’s the sad truth. Mr. Hillman’s not homeless. He has an apartment, paid for by you and me. He’s on government assistance. He has enough resources to live his life in a dignified manner. Yet Mr. Hillman doesn’t do that. He prefers the street.
And the boots Officer DePrimo gave him have disappeared. Now, I’m not judging Hillman. Most cases like his involve substance abuse or mental illness. However, we must be honest. The government cannot provide a decent life for Hillman, no matter how much money it spends. We’re already giving the guy tens of thousands of dollars a year, and it is doing nothing. There are millions of Americans like Jeffrey Hillman, and we all need to understand that some people simply will not—will not—save themselves.
A CNN article about Hillman reveals the irony of O’Reilly’s gripe:
(Seth Diamond, commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services) described (Hillman’s) situation as being one that his agency deals with regularly with the city’s homeless population: “At times, he’s receptive and at times he’s more restive, and that is not atypical.”
And Diamond said he remains steadfast and vigilant in this case, as in others. “Mr. Hillman needs to be living a better and healthier life. We have incredibly dedicated people who do not take no for an answer,” Diamond says, “We just have to keep at it.”
In other words, it’s a situation requiring professional help, not merely a place to stay and a charitable handout when someone feels so moved. That is, presumably, what O'Reilly was suggesting should replace public services.
But rather than investigate Hillman’s situation further – or even call in an expert on the homeless to interview - O’Reilly leapt to the conclusion – and took all his viewers along for the ride – that Hillman is a lost cause who exemplifies all people receiving public assistance.
While failing to note, as Media Matters pointed out, that Hillman’s housing is paid for by veterans’ benefits, O’Reilly went on to show a large graphic called TAX BURDEN ON WEALTH PRODUCERS. He said, “87 million people in America are being subsidized by we the tax payers.”
Forgive me, Bill, but I can’t help but think you meant “me the tax payer.” Especially when you went on to say, “The country is headed (toward) taking from those who are productive and giving to those who are struggling or who are working for the massive government apparatus.”
Finally O’Reilly remembered that there’s more to the season than making sure you say “Christmas.” “During this Christmas season… we should try to help those in need. But that help may be futile.”
O’Reilly then issued his edict. “President Obama needs to invite Jeffrey Hillman to the White House. He needs to talk to the man with no shoes. He needs to see what is actually happening in this country.”
Apparently, Papa Bear O’Reilly already knows it all.
I don’t know Bill personally, but I believe he frequently claims to be a religious man. This certainly can’t be a principle learned from his faith.
As a V.N. Era Vet I have 2 words for you Bill. !!!!!!!!!!!Yuck Fou!!!!!!!!!!
I am so sick of these Throw Away people that the Right has no problem SENDING to fight idiotic Wars but than would rather they all just fall off the face of the earth when their service was completed. I’m sure Mr. Hillman would have rather taught school for 2 years to get out of answering his country’s call to duty (like someone I wont mention here BILL) but he answered the call and you owe him a HELL of a lot more than the disrespect you have shown.
P.S Little Billy, The King referenced in the above quote is NOT you.
But for millionaire Bildo, it’s all about saving a few bucks on his tax bill.
Instead, the government should continue to subsidize giant oil companies for hundreds of millions of dollars a year, or give the richest 1% huge tax breaks — that’s SOOOOO much more productive . . .
I hope for your Christmas that you are visited by the three ghosts of Christmas. Whether or not you are changed by that experience is up to you, but atleast you may have your eyes opened tp the want and ignorance that abound in the world, and your role in perpetuating them.