On last night’s The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly and Marc Lamont Hill sparred over a proposed “wealth tax.”

At the top of the segment, O’Reilly explained that there’s a growing movement throughout the world to tax wealth – not income or dividends, but what a person actually possesses. Some nations, including Norway, Spain and France, are already imposing such a tax.

O’Reilly contends that in order to do so, you’d have to send inspectors into people’s homes in order to calculate what they have – which he classifies as “off-the-chart unconstitutional.”


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Marc Lamont Hill argued that if such a tax were properly imposed in the United States, “it could actually make this country even more democratic and fair.” Hill said the tax would allow the government to “take people who may not have a ton of income, but do have substantial wealth and make them pay a greater share than people who have the opposite.” He pointed out that doing so would probably make the tax burden of the majority of Americans lower. O’Reilly asserted, “You would have to have a government agency to go in and examine the books...”

Hill fired back, laughing, “I love the Orwellian picture you paint. Why would you do that?” “This is beyond anything George Orwell ever imagined. This is into ‘Brave New World’ stuff now,” charged O’Reilly. The two then sparred over whether there was any way for the government to calculate your wealth without sending someone into your home or without you declaring all of your possessions and purchases. They then tackled the constitutional issue at play with O’Reilly arguing, “Here in America you can’t seize private property, and this is a private property seizure.”

Hill then asked, “How are you defining seizure? I am not sure I understand why you say seizure.” O’Reilly explained, “OK, well if I pay taxes on my stuff, and I’m good with the IRS on income and dividends and all that, all the rest is mine to keep, to buy my furniture and my cars and whatever. You’re taxing my private property. You’re seizing a portion of it and taking it away. You get it, doc?” Hill charged, “It wasn’t a failure to comprehend. I was just making sure that you were using seizure properly … you tend to misuse words.”

He continued, “The answer to your question is that is a legitimate concern and most experts in wealth tax say the biggest problem is the double tax effect, but there is a way to adjust it. And what most experts say is that the way to adjust it is to lower the tax rate even more to account …” O’Reilly interrupted accusing Hill of dodging the question, saying that you have to seize private property to have a wealth tax, which is unconstitutional. Hill accused O’Reilly of trying to play on a technicality, to which O’Reilly retorted, “Unless you think the Constitution is a technicality, I’m not doing that.”