There are new rules that are proposed by the transportation safety administration, part of homeland security, that would treat private business aviation identically to commercial aviation. One of the results of this could be that if the rules are adopted treating private aviation the same as commercial aviation, Tiger Woods, nor any other professional golfer, nor any or golfer could carry their golf clubs on their airplane because the baggage compartment in the private jet is accessible from the passenger cabin and the clubs could theoretically be used as weapons even though they never have been. So Tiger Woods, he's gotta deal with NetJets. He flies around on G4s and G550s wherever he goes. If this rule is adopted down the road, he won't be able to take his golf clubs. Certain destinations he'll be required to take an air marshal. Every one of his passengers will have to go through a background check. Their privacy will be lost. Air marshals will be required on certain routes based on destinations. Once you have submitted your passenger manifest, there will be no changes allowed 90 minutes before departure.
In commercial aviation it's very simple to understand. Hundreds of people get on airplanes and nobody knows who they are. In private aviation, pretty much everybody getting on an airplane is known, the crew knows them, the owner knows them, they don't get on unless they're known by somebody, unless it's a charter, and then of course you can understand restrictions, perhaps, on charters. But if they're owned and operated --- or in the case of Tiger Woods, he's gotta deal with NetJets, he's a quasi-owner/operator. Friday is the last day for public comment on this and I've talked to a lot of people who have called their senators in Georgia and in Florida and other places, and they say, "Sorry, this is national security, national security, national security." There is obviously no sympathy for this. Nobody's got any sympathy for anybody that flies around on a business jet these days. But it's just one more example of the encroaching loss of freedom and government control over everything. Wall Street now is totally, totally dependent on central planners and what they say. Bernanke came out today and said the recession might end this year, 2010 we might get some recovery. At the time the market was up two. It jumped up to 81. Now it's up five.
The market's not responding to the market. Meaning, the free market is waiting to see what is said every day by some political official in Washington, DC, before they decide to make a move. Entrepreneurs in this country are scared to death because of all the lawyers waiting to sue them if something goes wrong when they take a risk. So entrepreneurism is sort of in check here. I have a lot of friends in the hospitality business. Northern Trust is a Chicago bank which holds the mortgage on Barack Obama's mansion that was arranged for him by Tony Rezko. Northern Trust had a big blowout party last week at the LA Open, and they invited a bunch of people and guests and customers of the bank to come out and have a good time. They threw parties with Sheryl Crow headlining one night, Chicago, the group, headlining another night. They got $1.6 billion in bailout money. They didn't request it. They didn't want it. They are being ripped over the coals. Even Fox News ripped 'em over the coals today for throwing a big party and having a good time while all this is going on, when what Northern Trust is doing is simply doing business with its customer base.
I told you the story about a friend of mine at a huge resort, Merrill Lynch is the name of the firm. Merrill Lynch was due in there to have an annual seminar on hedge funds in the markets. They make money because they charge the people who show up X-amount of dollars. There was a $1 million cancellation fee that the resort negotiated, and Merrill Lynch cancelled, and they happily paid the $1 million cancellation fee. They thought it was worth the money to oppose the bad PR of having a financial seminar at a resort at this point in time since they got so much heat for $1.2 million one year ago redecorating an executive suite. So to protect us, they're going to let terrorists out of Club Gitmo, they're going to turn as many terrorists away from Club Gitmo as Obama can, he wants to give them constitutional rights in the US court system, but he's going to stop Tiger Woods from taking his golf clubs aboard his airplane, and that's Tiger's job. Those golf clubs are Tiger's business tools.
Now, in 1989, the airlines banned golf clubs in the overhead, obviously. They were damaging the overhead. You can take golf clubs on a commercial flight 'cause you can't get to the baggage compartment from the passenger compartment. But since you can in a private jet or a business jet, can't take the golf clubs. In some cases, knives and forks are going to be banned so that you will not be able to dine while aloft. (interruption) It's difficult to say, Snerdley, that there is one idiot that came up with this. This is the result of bureaucratic-think, but it started last November. This is the kind of thing that happens with the leadership that you've got in the Obama administration, authoritarian, central planning, limit freedom, class envy, punish the achievers, it's all rolled into one. It's the old unintended consequences. Were Chris Dodd and Barney Frank trying to kill the mortgage business? No. They were too stupid to know what they were doing and now they're in charge of running the banks. We're putting people in charge of markets that have never run any business in their lives. I don't think they intended to destroy the mortgage business and the home business.
RUSH: I want to take one phone call and complete discussion on this subject, 'cause I know that nobody, including most of you in this audience, are going to care about this, and you're not going to have any sympathy, and I can totally understand it, but you're wrong, you need to be worried about everybody's loss of freedom, but I expect the prevailing mood in the country not among most of you, but the prevailing mood in the country when they hear things like this, "Fine, fine, fine, you found out what it's like for the rest of us to fly then, Tiger. You find out, you find out how tough it is waiting in lines and being probed." That's exactly what Obama wants. He wants an angry middle class, lower class. He wants them feeling like they're getting even with everybody else. This is right what he's ordered. Here is Scott in Chicago, works for the FAA, great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
CALLER: You missed the best part of that large aircraft security program, though. Not only do you have to present your passenger manifest and go through TSA security and all that, but you also have to have your name bounced off the national no-fly list.
RUSH: I know. I didn't want to go too deep into this, Scott, because I know people really don't care about this.
CALLER: Oh, yeah, it's just such an ungodly invasion of freedom to have to be able to go through and see if you're allowed by the government to operate your aircraft.
RUSH: Exactly. I know. I know. See, it's understandable when you've got an airplane with a hundred or 200 or maybe more people getting on board and you have no idea who they are and you gotta check. Those are the airplanes that have been hijacked and flown into buildings and so forth.
CALLER: Not just guys in business aviation like you, I mean people like Commemorative Air Force, the EAA, people that operate ex-military aircraft, anything that weighs over 12,500 pounds are going to be subject to these rules.
RUSH: Give us an example, 12,500 pounds, you're not talking much of an airplane there.
CALLER: Ford Tri-Motor. It's 13,000 pounds, absolutely, B-17's over that, all of your Gulfstreams --
RUSH: Well, the Gulfstreams are 90,000 pounds, depending on fuel load and so forth, but the --
RUSH: It's eventually going to spread to all aircraft.
CALLER: Oh, yeah, and I think that's the key, because they've done it on the low end with new regulations, now they're doing it on the high end with business aviation or anything that weighs over twelve-five. Now it's the guys in the middle that are going to start feeling the squeeze.
RUSH: Well, it's a privacy invasion. By the way, there are costs associated with this that are going to affect the business aviation market. There are companies of contract pilots that sit out there, not everybody that owns an airplane, the pilot, sometimes they take vacations, sometimes they get sick, you gotta contract a pilot out when you need to go someplace. We don't know what it's going to cost to vet each of the pilots through the background check themselves. They're going to have to make sure that they don't have anything in their background that's gonna get them disqualified to fly. It's a total, total invasion, and like you said, the owner/operator who is known by everybody is on a no-fly list, is going to be a suspect. Meanwhile, we're letting guys out of Club Gitmo.
CALLER: Exactly, but you know what the next step is here, do we have to vet you before you drive your truck? You know. It's ridiculous. But the problem here, Rush, this isn't Obama, this all started under Bush, you know, as much as we hate to say there's a Republican behind this --
RUSH: Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter. There's no hope of getting it turned back with this administration. What it indicates is, see, I don't care -- so did a lot of the spending start with Bush. The problem is we've got too much government growing too fast by people who want these kinds of regulations on people. It's a direct assault on freedom, and I don't care who started it, I don't care where it came from, the fact is these kinds of things have to be opposed and stopped.
CALLER: You're right, and so your audience, you need to call your senator, call your congressman, tell 'em what's going on --
RUSH: The audience doesn't care about this. I feel very, very nervous even bringing the subject up because I don't expect anybody in America to call a senator and start whining and moaning for Tiger Woods. I just don't think it's going to happen, or even me, but I can tell you, you know there are groups that have been convening all over the country to oppose this, and you know, Scott, that there are people who have called their senators. Bill Nelson in Florida will not return a phone call. He'll not take a phone call; he will not return an e-mail. Mel Martinez in Florida, "That's national security." I mean, everybody is cowed by the whole national security thing. So Snerdley, no more calls on this 'cause I can tell you, there's no sympathy for this out there. This is how freedom's lost or how taxes are raised. (interruption) No. I am not. What is my job, Snerdley? My job is to attract the largest audience I can, hold it for as long as I can to charge confiscatory advertising rates, and I'm telling you, in order to do that you have to have empathy, and I have it, and I understand that people do not want to hear about a bunch of rich guys having to cancel their golf tournament, having to cancel their financial seminar or not being able to take their golf clubs on a jet.
We are so out of whack, we are so distorted now that people, while all this is going on, we're giving $900 million to Hamas in Gaza, supposedly going to the people. We're giving $900 million to a terrorist organization. Thank you, Obama. We've got Iran nuking up. We're worried about executive pay; we're worried about golf clubs on jets; we're worried about all these extraneous, worthless things, while Iran is nuking up and we're hoping, just like we hope that Bush would veto McCain-Feingold, we're hoping that Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israelis will take out the nuke plants in Iran, while we're concerned about silly social class divisions in the United States. Too many people in this nation have become a nation of wusses, of punks, with no morality whatsoever to define right and wrong, and we are catering to those people, because they're the victims; they're the minority; their feelings hurt all the damn time. Gotta make sure their feelings aren't hurt, especially now during down economic times.
So we're gonna raise taxes on $250,000 or greater. We're going to give the money to people earning $40,000 or less, and Obama openly says, "Yeah, it's about fairness." Not about economic growth, it's about fairness.