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In CBS Commentary, Sci-Fi's McGibney Attacks Ben Stein as 'Greedy,' 'Doesn't Care About' Poor

On CBS's Sunday Morning show, a week after conservative actor and economist Ben Stein's commentary in which he criticized the drive to increase taxes on the already overtaxed wealthy, a liberal response from Sci-Fi Channel producer Linda McGibney was shown in which she personally attacked Stein and other wealthy people as "greedy," and suggested that he "just doesn't care about" the poor. McGibney: "I suppose he thinks he's beyond sharing his good fortune with the rest of Americans who are suffering financially or he just doesn't care about them. ... I have always understood that the have's are greedy. This is the first time I've heard one of them express it out loud so openly."

She even mocked Stein's reference to his family's many pet cats and dogs as if he were counting that as part of his charitable contributions. McGibney: "Now it's time to help the rest of America. And I don't care how many dogs and cats you adopt, how many people you give a paycheck to or how many dollars you make. If Ben Stein believes this tax increase is a punishment, then he's out of touch with the average person."

As she did not address the issue of wasteful spending by government, she asserted that it is "patriotic that I am taxed in this way. I want to help my country," and claimed that it would be "grownup" to accept a tax increase. McGibney: "This is about being a grownup and accepting the fact that we made money during the bogus uptick in the economy."

In his commentary last week, after informing viewers that he only gets to keep 35 percent of his income after taxes, Stein argued that no major economic theory advises that taxes be raised during time of recession and suggested that the only motivation for raising his taxes must come from a desire to punish him. Stein: "There is no known economic theory under which raising my taxes in the midst of a severe recession will help the economy recover. It isn't part of any well-known monetarist or Keynesian theory. So if it does no good to raise our taxes, I assume we're being punished."

Stein went on to list some of the good that his income does for others, including paychecks for employees as well as charitable contributions. As McGibney attacked him, even though she admitted that Stein probably gives more to charities than she does she still suggested that he "doesn't care about" those who are suffering. McGibney: "And I'm not talking about charity. This isn't charity. We both give to charity of our own choosing. Stein probably gives more than me. This is about being a grownup and accepting the fact that we made money during the bogus uptick in the economy"

Below is a complete transcript of McGibney's commentary from the September 26 Sunday Morning on CBS, followed by the complete transcript of Stein's commentary from the September 19 show:

#From the September 26 Sunday Morning:

CHARLES OSGOOD: A number of you have contacted us in response to what Ben Stein had to say last week about the prospect of higher taxes. Including Linda McGibney, a producer and writer for a show on the Sci-Fi Channel. She had some things of her own to say about these words from Ben Stein.

BEN STEIN, FROM THE SEPTEMBER 19 SUNDAY MORNING ON CBS: Maybe when the economy recovers, raising my taxes makes sense. But for now it's just punishment, and I can't figure out what for.

LINDA MCGIBNEY: All I have to say is Ben Stein is wrong. I am an American. I am in the highest tax bracket. I also work in entertainment, which is what Mr. Stein does as well. I'm fine with a tax increase. I think it patriotic that I am taxed in this way. I want to help my country. I believe the fact that I can have a job this year and hopefully every year to come is a privilege. Mr. Stein, there are Americans who qualify for this tax increase under the proposed plan who don't feel punished by it. We feel it is our duty in hard times to help the rest of America.

And I'm not talking about charity. This isn't charity. We both give to charity of our own choosing. Stein probably gives more than me. This is about being a grownup and accepting the fact that we made money during the bogus uptick in the economy. We prospered. So did others in our ranks. A lot. Now it's time to help the rest of America. And I don't care how many dogs and cats you adopt, how many people you give a paycheck to or how many dollars you make. If Ben Stein believes this tax increase is a punishment, then he's out of touch with the average person. I suppose he thinks he's beyond sharing his good fortune with the rest of Americans who are suffering financially or he just doesn't care about them.

Being an American is understanding you're lucky to be so. And you and I, Mr. Stein, are extremely lucky to be paid for a subjective asset, our talent. I have always understood that the have's are greedy. This is the first time I've heard one of them express it out loud so openly. I am a have. And I'm willing to pay this tax increase. I'm not going to whine about it. I won't feel punished. I will understand it's the cost of doing business. It is worth sacrificing because our country needs some of us to sacrifice - the some of us who can. And we, Mr. Stein, we are not suffering.

#From the September 19 Sunday Morning:

CHARLES OSGOOD: The debate is heating up over whether the Bush-era tax cuts should be continued, but only for individual incomes under $200,000 and family incomes under $250,000. Our contributor Ben Stein joins the fray.

BEN STEIN: Confession time: I am a fairly upper-income taxpayer. Not even remotely close to sports stars or movie stars or financial big shots - not even close - but I am above the level Mr. Obama says makes me rich. So in the midst of a severe recession, I am to have my taxes raised dramatically. I'm not quite sure why. I worked for almost every dime I have, I inherited a little bit from my parents. I didn't get a bailout or any part of a stimulus program, except for traffic jams as the roads in Beverly Hills got worked on for the tenth time in the last ten years or so it seems.

I pay my income taxes, and after them and the commissions I pay my agent, I am left with about 35 cents for every dollar I earn. I own a little real estate. Naturally, I pay property tax, supposedly mostly to educate local children. My wife and I have no children in public school, and only did for about 18 months long ago. I still pay that school tax every year. Believe me, I'm not asking for any tears. I live a great life, have a fabulous wife, lovely son and daughter-in-law, and four fabulous furry dogs and six questionable cats, all rescued.

I have more than enough to eat, but what I don't get is this: There is no known economic theory under which raising my taxes in the midst of a severe recession will help the economy recover. It isn't part of any well-known monetarist or Keynesian theory. So if it does no good to raise our taxes, I assume we're being punished. But what am I being punished for? I employ a lot of people full- and part-time, mostly part-time, and they're all happy with their pay. When charity calls, I almost always write out a check. I don't have a yacht or ponies or a plane. My wife doesn't wear a tiara. I don't gamble.

What did I do wrong? Yes, I often get very angry at my wife's cats, but that's not a crime, not yet. I tried to be successful, which is what I thought I was supposed to do. When did it turn out that was a crime to be punished? Maybe when the economy recovers, raising my taxes makes sense. But for now, it's just punishment, and I can't figure out what for.

-Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.