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EIB Side-By-Side Comparison: Steve Jobs and Barack Obama

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to do a little side-by-side comparison here of Obama and Steve Jobs -- he's in the news recently with his health problems -- and what the news of the health problems he's encountering is causing to happen to the stock of his company, Apple, Incorporated. Now, the reason for this is the fear that we all have that the country is slowly becoming a majority slacker country, people who think that they are entitled to things because they're Americans, that America owes them something or that the American government owes them a life of no suffering, a life of no sacrifice, a life of ease, so to speak. That's their birthright and in large part, in some cases, you can't blame 'em because there's been an entire political party apparatus that's been convincing them of this, that life is unfair because of Republicans and conservatives who steal all the money and there's none left for the little people, and the little people's money is in effect being stolen so they end up angry all the time and whenever the rich are soaked or harmed -- the clients of Bernie Madoff that got wiped out, I guarantee you, a significant number of Americans are happy about it because the rich finally find out what it's like, they'll be one of us, blah, blah, blah. So this mentality is pervasive.

Before we get into the side-by-side, a couple of interesting things in terms of polling data. Two polls out yesterday that say Americans want tax cuts in the stimulus plan and that they don't trust the federal government. There's also a poll out that says just the opposite. One is a Rasmussen poll. The other is the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Now, the Rasmussen poll would indicate that Reaganism is not dead: tax cuts and a clear realization by Americans that government's the problem, not the solution. But is anybody in the Republican Party listening? Anybody that attended the fantastic Obama dinner on Tuesday night, any of them listening? To me, it's another fantastic wake-up call for Republicans, but they are so obsessed with not being seen as critical, that they're passing up what I think is a golden opportunity. For crying out loud, here you have the New Deal 2, call it what you want, collectivism, socialism, massive government, call it what you want. There is an opportunity for stark contrast here that is passing us by, at least at the elected level. It's not passing us by.

Let's see what's been handed for the Republicans on a silver platter in the recent past. The first bailouts, Americans by a large margin didn't think that bailout was the right thing to do, and we bailed out those banks, right, and we even had specific bailouts for some banks and the market's down today big time, and the bank stocks are one of the problems. We're back to where we were in October, when the banks were in big -- we're back there. We're in Groundhog Day! At least that movie ended. We're still in it! If you didn't know any better, this is the middle of October and the election's yet to happen. The bailout of the car companies, Americans didn't want that. They have rejected a current FDR spending spree proposal without tax cuts, according to polling data.

But then you go to the MSNBC poll, the MSNBC Wall Street Journal poll, "'Solid Support for Obama's Economic Plan.' -- A solid plurality of the American public supports the economic stimulus plan that President-elect Barack Obama has proposed, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. But the public also is concerned that the stimulus' price tag might be too expensive and would increase the U.S. deficit." Now, this makes my stomach turn. What are we to believe here? Two polls that say entirely different -- well, they're not all that different in the sense that the public is wary here, but at the same time in one poll they love Obama, they love the stimulus plan, but they're concerned it might be too expensive.

Democrat pollster Peter Hart said, "[American's] want to do something and want to see it done. But what they're warning [Obama] collectively is -- be careful." Now, according to the poll, 43% believe a stimulus is a good idea, compared to 27% who think it's a bad idea, and 24% who don't have an opinion. So let's add the 24 to 27, the people that don't like it and the people that have no opinion. That to me is 41% who do not solidly support the plan, and yet, the headline of this story: "Solid Support for Obama's Economic Plan." Popular details in the stimulus are more popular than the whole program. Individual parts of the stimulus are much more popular than the whole concept. Well, of course that makes sense because you divvy up where the stimulus is going to go, and the people in those groups are going to say, "Hell, yes, show me the money."

I want to take you back to CBS Market Snapshot, November 21st, 2008: "'Stocks Surge on Geithner Pick.' -- Indexes erased Thursday's steep declines after Obama's choice for the crucial job of Treasury Secretary was revealed. U.S. stocks surged Friday after word leaked that President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate New York Federal Reserve President Timothy J. Geithner as his nominee for U.S. Treasury Secretary." That's November 21st, 2008. Let us now go to Wednesday, January 14th: "Stocks Plunge on Banks, Retail Sales." It's FoxBusiness.com, the article below is a summary of a report card. I mean, this is how I would look at it, a report card of the market's performance for yesterday and the past few months. I would call this the Obama stock market. If the stocks are going to surge in November in the Drive-By Media because of Timothy Geithner being chosen, then by God the stocks plummeting for whatever reason after that is also due to Obama. The Drive-Bys cannot have it both ways. So, to me, this is the Obama report card. It's entirely fair to call this Obama's stock market because it's reacting to what Obama's plans are for the economy. It's not reacting to Bush. Bush isn't on anybody's mind here.

Financial markets are a rough predictor of future economic performance, and based upon what the markets know of Obama's plans, it's giving him a failing grade. I'm not being political. The markets deal in bottom lines. It takes the pulse of millions of investors, both in this country and abroad, to report the results, unfiltered. Keynesians can spin this all day long, but the people with skin in the game aren't buying, they're selling. They don't like massive budget deficits; they don't like the omission of tax rate cuts from Obama's plan. Slashing government spending and tax rates would provide a jolt. Like I said yesterday, he could rip the markets up 500 points tomorrow without doing a thing, just say he's considering massive tax cuts. Just considering it. And you watch the difference. That's precisely why he won't do it. So markets are selling off. It's Obama's stock market. His decisions are not inspiring the country's economic activists. They have chosen to sit on the sidelines until they feel it's safe to invest again.

How many people do you know that are going into cash? How many people do you know that are going into gold? How many people do you know buying krugerrands, and they actually want it delivered, they don't want it kept in some vault someplace, they want it in their possession? And then how many people do you know who have cash at certain banks who are worried about whether or not the bank is going to be there? So the market, back in November, interpreted Obama's future plans as a way out, a quick fix, a man wearing a white hat had arrived, stocks soared. That was Geithner. As of that moment it became Obama's stock market. It's still Obama's stock market, and it isn't inspired. Now, let's build on the claim that news or appointments can and do influence markets, and let's look at the impact Steve Jobs has had over the years on his company, Apple, Incorporated. We're talking about a single individual. But unlike Barack Obama, or Timothy Geithner, Steve Jobs has been an individual who actually created things, invented new technology that millions of people wanted. He has been a producer. He's been an economic activist. He's been an original thinker. He has built wealth. He has helped improve people's lives around the world.

I know he's a big lib, but forget that for a second. The market has reacted negatively to Steve Jobs' health issues, because this has been a man who can actually influence the future performance of his company. His presence alone reported as healthy is all the market needs to hear to have Apple Computer continue to rise. His presence with questionable health gives the market pause. His departure from the company, five-month leave of absence, with uncertain health aspects in the future, is causing real problems. Steve Jobs is rightly perceived as the key man driving the Apple bus. Wall Street has rightfully looked Jobs and the performance of his company for reasons to invest. And that's how it ought to be, folks. Wall Street should look at individual companies as opposed to a few bureaucrats in Washington to determine how and when they should invest. The private sector should not be dependent on the public sector for their future well-being.

It makes perfect sense for the market to look at Apple, based on Steve Jobs' health, his presence, and so forth. But I'm telling you, it is a crying shame when the simple naming of a Treasury secretary can cause an upward spike in the market. The government ought not have this much influence on what people in the private sector do, but unfortunately, government's so big that it does, and that's why this is Obama's market, and this market's plunging. Because the people, the entrepreneurs, the people in the market who create, produce things, they're worried about the climate that they're about to step into. They're selling. They're not investing. Go look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average if you don't believe me. Take a look what's happening at Citibank. They got a bailout and look at what's happening to them. Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner, unfortunately, are looked to for future performance of the American economy the way Steve Jobs appropriately has been looked to for the future performance of Apple, Incorporated. I think there's an important lesson in looking at the impact of Obama and Geithner as leaders of the public sector and Steve Jobs on his private sector company.

See, what we need in the United States economy is more Steve Jobs. We don't need more Barack Obamas. And we don't need more Timothy Geithners; we don't need more Eric Holders; we don't need more Hillary Clintons; we don't need more Bill Clintons; we don't need more Bill Richardsons; we don't need more John Kerrys; we don't need more Rahm Emanuels. We need more Steve Jobs. The Obama administration is trying to act like a CEO for every American company. They are absorbing industry after industry. Instead, what the government ought to be doing is making life easier for Steve Jobs and future Steve Jobses. This is what Reagan understood. He understood that government needs to go get out of the way. Do you know why Reagan was optimistic? I mean Reagan inherited a malaise, an economic malaise from Jimmy Carter that was far worse even than we're going through now. Double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates. Do you know the difference between Reagan and Obama? Obama is about to assume office on a mantle of pessimism. It's bad and it's going to get worse. Did Reagan ever do that?

Reagan was this epitome of optimism, can-do, he believed in the goodness of the American people. You know why Reagan was optimistic? 'Cause he knew David Packard of Hewlett Packard; he knew that there were people like Steve Jobs out there. He knew that Steven Bechtel was out there at Bechtel, Incorporated. He knew the Halliburton people were out there. He knew of the greatness of the people in the private sector, who, if turned loose and unshackled, would bring us out of the malaise of Jimmy Carter. He had confidence; he had optimism in America and in the American people. This current bunch that's going to be inaugurated immaculately on Tuesday doesn't. They're pessimists. It's gonna get worse. We are all going to have to sacrifice. There's not one word from the Obama camp about how we are going to prosper. We are going to sacrifice, we are going to suffer, and we're going to suffer equally. We're all going to have skin in the game. You wonder why Reagan won 49 states twice? You wonder why he was so beloved, he was of good cheer, he was happy, he was enjoying life? It took two years for Reagan's plans to kick in. They tried to destroy him after his tax cuts were enacted, 'cause it wasn't immediate. It's a giant economy. You can't fix it with bailouts, but the trillion dollars, $750 billion, you can't do it.

They tried to destroy Reagan's recovery even before it began. Today they still rewrite the history of the success of the Reagan years because contrasting conservatives and liberals is as easy as contrasting a smile with a frown. Optimism, pessimism. I don't understand why the American people are so eager to embrace misery. Well, I guess I do. We learned it. If they think everybody else is miserable, they're happy. Remember that story? People would rather earn $50,000 than $100,000 if everybody was earning 50, remember that? Something's happened, but people seem to be enmeshed in the misery. They seem to me willing to invest in this messianic figure of hope, change, survival, salvation, what have you. Reagan knew all that came from individuals with freedom, being entrepreneurial with as few shackles around their ankles as possible. The stock market's been in a downward spiral ever since it figured out that bailouts, TARP, and FDR inspired deficit spending were to be the primary fixes for the economic turn down. Obama has owned these financial markets for several months now, and it's time he turned them loose, gave them back to the American people and people like Steve Jobs.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right, I really blew out the programming format in that last segment. We've got one minute 'til the next break, and I'm going to use it here. Why do you think the bailouts, the 350, the 700, why is it not working? 'Cause there's no plan with it, folks, they're just throwing money up against the wall, and they're hoping some of it sticks. They're hoping that it works. Interestingly, Michael Kranish in the Boston Globe today: "Amid Echoes of FDR, Debate Rekindles Over New Deal." And he quotes Jonathan Alter, who wrote The Defining Moment, a book on Roosevelt's first 100 days in office. Listen to this. "Roosevelt 'threw a lot of things against the wall to see what stuck. Many of them not only stuck, but remain mainstays of American life, such as Social Security and public aid to poor families.'" So we're doing FDR all over. There is no plan, just throw it up against the wall, all this bailout money, and see if it sticks. And in the meantime, we're amassing trillion-dollar deficits amidst pessimism.

END TRANSCRIPT

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