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Senate Bailout Bill Full of Pork

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay, so the Senate bill that passed last night is the size of a novel, 451 pages. You would not believe the pork in this thing. You probably heard about the wooden arrows, and you probably heard about the expansion of bicycle benefits. Oh, yes, you'll hear about it, bicycle benefits to help people get to work, bicycle storage, tax breaks for businesses that encourage people to ride bikes to work and so forth. There's also a provision, as we talked about yesterday, that now includes mental health in company-sponsored health care packages and benefit packages, which is going to up premiums and it's going to make it even more difficult for people to go out and afford and buy their own medical insurance if they want to. (interruption) Well, what's it got to do with it? You tell me, where the hell is this crisis? We've had how many days now that we're going to have Armageddon if this thing hasn't passed -- it still hasn't passed anything. It just got through the Senate. All these things are called sweeteners in order to get votes from Democrats or Republicans in the House. It's a pork bill! It is a pork bill.

Now, John McCain has the perfect opportunity to dramatically make a point about his abhorrence of pork, which he spent 30 minutes on last Friday night in the debate. To get this bailout through the Senate and the House they've added pork -- surprise, surprise. So why not, after this debate performance of his on Friday night, why not go out there and make that point, say here's the point and here's whose vote was changed by it. He said he was going to name names. If he's president, he's gonna name names when a pork barrel bill comes before his office as president. I mean, "because of the crisis I'm forced to support this, but I can't stomach the way it was passed. As a senator, I'm one of a hundred, but as president, I would have told Congress to take names and just get it out of there, take out the pork or I'll veto it. See if they want to take the heat." He refuses to name names here when it comes to the bailout problem, who caused it and so forth. And everybody is asking me, "Why won't he do it? Why won't he name the names?" It's very simple why he won't name the names. He would have to kick ass against Democrats. He would have to name Democrats if he's going to name names as to who got us in this position, and that would be partisan, in his view, to attack Democrats. Attacking Republicans is not partisan, but attacking Democrats would be partisan, so he wants to stay above the fray of all of this and that's where he's going to end up if something doesn't happen here.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So a $700 billion bailout bill becomes $850 billion dollars in the Senate. This is going to end up being a trillion dollars before it's all said and done, and I want to ask you all to help me out with something here. Greetings. Rush Limbaugh. The Excellence in Broadcasting Network, the fastest three hours in media. Would somebody tell me, 'cause we've been trying to go back to the recent past, we've been trying to figure out what was the trigger for this crisis. For example, it wasn't Lehman Brothers. Lehman Brothers going south. It wasn't AIG. They bailed 'em out. It wasn't Washington Mutual. Somebody took 'em over. It wasn't Wachovia, Citibank, Citigroup going to take them over. They had $300 billion poured into the system in the summertime, we had a $152 billion stimulus package and little checks to the American people. What's the trigger for this crisis that cannot possibly wait to be dealt with? The crisis in the credit markets. Ford Motor says, "Our sales are down here domestically because customers can't get credit to buy a car." BS. You got good credit, you can go buy a car, for crying out loud. I wish I could divulge personal experience to prove this, but my judgment says don't do it. But you can get credit if you need to.

If there is a holdup in credit -- I'm going to tell you the answer -- the answer is that the credit markets are waiting to see what they're gonna get out of this bill. They're waiting to see what these worthless assets they're holding are going to be valued at. The answer is the government is standing in the way of the market functioning. If you're in the credit markets or you own a bunch of these subprime mortgages and the government's talking about buying them from you, aren't you going to wait around to see what the price you're going to get is? It's exactly what's happening here. This has been a crisis that has to be solved today for two weeks. I'll be damned I can't find the trigger for this. What one thing -- "Well, Rush, it wasn't just one thing, it was cumulative." Cumulative what? We bailed out everything that went wrong before this except for Lehman Brothers. Maybe I'm being shortsighted here, but here we are in October, and I think we've got our little October Surprise here. We have a Democrat Treasury secretary who went in and convinced the president that this was desperate times, that we can't wait, we gotta do this.

Last night when I saw Dingy Harry and Chris Dodd and these guys, these senators come out after they had voted, and I saw how happy Dingy Harry was and I saw him praising the work of Chris Dodd, this would be like Mayor Daley praising the work of Al Capone in cleaning up Chicago. I'm staring at this in suspended belief. I'm saying to myself, these little squirrels got exactly what they wanted. They got the most profound psychological economic crisis in my lifetime. They got it five weeks before an election. They had set it up so that they, the Democrats, fixed this. Eight years of Bush policy caused this. McCain will not name names of the people who actually caused this because they're Democrats, and to him, criticizing Democrats is partisan. In his debate on Friday night, he went on and on and on about how he would, as president, every bill that came to his office laden with pork, he would name the names of the people who wanted the pork. We got a pork bill here, and he won't name the names. I don't even think he made a floor speech.

Now, let me give you a little wish list here. It will never happen, but it's going to come up tonight at the vice presidential debate. Both Biden and Sarah Palin are going to be asked about the bailout. Palin is constrained by following the lead of McCain, who is the presidential candidate. But, boy, wouldn't you just love to hear her say the truth about this? "If I were president, this would never see the light of day." It will never happen, but if she wanted to ignite this country, if she wanted to turn everything around, that's one way that she could do it. But it's not realistic. It just isn't realistic to expect it because she has to mirror McCain on this and he voted for it. He could very easily have said, "Hey, look, here's the pork and here's whose vote was changed by it. Because of this crisis I'm forced to support this, but I can't stomach the way this happened. I'm just one of a hundred as a senator, but I promise you when I am president this will not happen." He didn't say that, and she can't say it because he didn't say it. So what's the tipping point? Today, the Senate is gloating about this, adding $150 billion of pork. I'll go through some of the pork that's in this. We got the House not voting on it 'til tomorrow night. What's the urgency, what's the crisis? "Well, Rush, the credit market's are not lending." Yeah, well, I've just dealt with that. Something stinks here, folks, and it has always stunk. My instincts on this I fear are exactly right.

Now, Snerdley said he didn't know about the bicycle bill. When I read this, ladies and gentlemen, I said, "Maybe I'm too quick to criticize this." Maybe they did put a crucial provision -- I mean, we couldn't survive as a country without this provision. Isn't this what this bill's about, the nation's financial survival? Isn't it? Is that not what we've been told? Section 211: "Transportation Fringe Benefit to Bicycle Commuters." That's the title. "The term 'qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement' means, with respect to any calendar year, any employer reimbursement during the 15-month period beginning with the first day of such calendar year for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during such calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee's residence and place of employment."

Number two. "The term 'applicable annual limitation' means, with respect to any employee for any calendar year, the product of $20 multiplied by the number of qualified bicycle commuting months during such year. The term 'qualified bicycle commuting month' means, with respect to any employee, any month during which such employee regularly uses the bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between the employee's residence and place of employment." This is in section 211, "Transportation Fringe Benefit to Bicycle Commuters." What this adds up to, it's a tax break for employers who reimburse their employees for buying a bicycle to ride to work and for bicycle improvements and repair and bicycle storage while at work. It's worth $300 per employee to the business who reimburses them. Well, thank God. Now that this is in here, we are ensured that commerce will continue.

We know people can't buy cars anymore, so this will allow employees to once again get to work. Had this tax break not been included in this emergency crisis-right-now bailout bill, work would have stopped across the country by Monday, but not now because the bicycle commuters are going to come to the rescue. So we're nationalizing the home mortgage industry, but at least we have a tax deduction for businesses with employees who like to ride their bicycles. And, by the way, don't think this is just happenstance in there. What do you bet the odds are that some wacko environmentalist lobbyist got to some senator to put this in there? The real purpose is to get people out of their cars down the road. This is step number one. So, yes, ladies and gentlemen, in your emergency bailout bill, can't wait another day for this or we are going to just succumb to abject failure, there's a tax deduction for businesses for $300 bucks who encourage their employees to buy and ride bicycles to and from work.

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