RUSH: To the phones we go, Kathy, Williamsville, New York. Glad you waited. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How you doing?
RUSH: Fine. Thanks much.
CALLER: My husband was having a bowl of cereal this morning, and he commented to me that, you know, we had to start socking away more for our retirement. And I said, "No, we're not going to do that," and he stopped eating, and he looked up and he said, "What do you mean?" I said, "If we do that, by the time we are ready to retire, they will take it because we will be people that have 'enough,' and they will confiscate that retirement." I said, "We're going to enjoy it today, because I am not hopeful." And he said, "Well, then maybe it's time I cut back a little bit and earn less," because, Rush, he has worked so many hours a day providing for his family that he's missed 95% of all the kids' basketball games, and soccer games, everything. I'm there alone; he's working. I said, "You know, maybe it is time. Maybe it's time that you stop working so hard and spend more time with your family." So that's what we've decided to do because we're in New York State. Governor Paterson is coming after his income and now the feds are coming after his income. He is not going to work so hard, because it's a lot of sacrifice. Within an hour of that conversation, the Republican National Committee called me looking for a donation.
CALLER: I said, "Don't ever call this house again!"
CALLER: I said, "When we had power, you all acted like Democrats. The only time we act like Republicans is when we have no power! So don't ever call me again." So we are going to earn less. I am not contributing any more because they say one thing and they do another, and I really feel it's too late for our country.
RUSH: May I ask a personal question?
CALLER: Yes. Go ahead.
RUSH: Oh. Does your husband, your family income, exceed right now $250,000?
CALLER: Yes, it does. It's not going to. We're going to fix that. We are going to fix it.
RUSH: Well, I hate to tell you. (sigh) Your day is already bad enough. You're in a state of shock. I mean, you live in the United States of America -- and you had this conversation with your husband this morning?
CALLER: Yes, this morning.
RUSH: Over cereal.
CALLER: Over cereal.
RUSH: Look, I know how you feel. You live in the United States of America, and you have decided that in order to be secure you gotta work less and earn less, so that you can hide from the revenuers, right?
CALLER: Well, there's so... I mean, he works 12- and 14- and 15-hour days and it's because he wants to provide nice things for his family.
CALLER: And if working all of those hours and missing all of that stuff --
CALLER: -- is not going to allow him --
RUSH: I hear you.
CALLER: -- to do that, there's no reason to do that.
RUSH: I understand it. I know exactly how you feel. I know what you're saying. You are engaging in Atlas Shrugged kind of activity. But let me just tell you that it is a misnomer if you think your taxes are not going to go up if he earns less than 250.
CALLER: I know. I know. I know. And we're the people that pay for everything. We get no breaks. We don't get tuition assistance.
RUSH: You ought to be thanked.
CALLER: We don't get anything.
RUSH: The people who are paying, they ought to be thanked. They ought to be wined and dined. Instead people like you are impugned. You are attacked; you are targeted. It makes me livid. I understand exactly how you feel. Let me just tell you a little story.
RUSH: I told this on the air the other day. I met with my financial advisor and he's running through all the numbers.
"You got this over here; you got this over here."
I said, "No, no, no. You're looking at it the wrong way."
"Why? What do you mean?"
"I don't have any of it. I want you to understand that my attitude now is that if I ever do retire, that money isn't going to be there. I'm counting on the fact that this administration is going to find a way to come get it, just like you think."
CALLER: Well, they will. They absolutely will, because the country will be in such a bad shape that it will be totally reasonable in everybody's mind, "Well, we need that money, and it's just sitting there and we've gotta get out of the crisis." That's the way New York State is talking right now. "We need to have the baseline be the tax rate right now, but it has to be 'progressive.' Those who can give more should give more, just 'til we're out of the crisis." I don't think we're going to... The last week has made me so upset because they keep pulling hundreds-of-billions-of-dollars figures out of the air and they're just spending, spending, spending. How are we going to get out of that? I don't get it. I just don't get it.
RUSH: They don't intend to and they don't intend to actually pay for it. But I tell you: I really do feel for you. You are like millions of other Americans. On top of it all, after all of this over cereal at breakfast, the RNC calls you begging for money. That would drive me over the edge, too. I'm sorry.
RUSH: On Morning Joe, Scarborough's show on MSNBC this morning, Steny Hoyer, lieutenant to Nancy Pelosi, is the guest. Joe Scarborough said, "Somebody said that the House, this $410 billion omnibus spending bill, has 9,000 earmarks. That's insane. What's wrong with these people? Are there really 9,000 earmarks in that bill?"
BRZEZINSKI: Tell me that's not true!
HOYER: Well, not -- I -- I -- I think that's two-and-a-half times what -- about -- about 4,000 earmarks, for all the members, and for 435 districts around the country.
BRZEZINSKI: That's kind of a lot, isn't it?
HOYER: It is a lot, but it's -- it's -- it's --
HOYER: But it's been very substantially reduced, uh, cut in half over the last two years.
RUSH: Well, but wait, President Obama said NO earmarks. So we got 4,000 earmarks. It's been significantly reduced. It was 9,000, but we've really, really cut it back. We really cut it back." Four thousand earmarks, and he's out there defending it. David "Rodham" Gergen on CNN last night asked the following question about Anderson Cooper: "The amount of money we're talking about is just staggering. If confidence is an important thing to have in the system, does this help build confidence, or does it make people just more worried?" They're talking about the earmarks.
GERGEN: Eight thousand five hundred earmarks in this bill that Congress just passed? You know, that just leaves him wide open -- if the president signs onto that -- for hypocrisy. I don't believe Barack Obama believes in those 8,500 earmarks. The question is going to be, "Is he going to stand up to it in some way?" and I think that's going to be a test for him.
RUSH: Come on, David! He doesn't believe in it? This is... (sigh) Mr. Gergen, they're in there. It's the way Congress does business. Obama loves them being in there. It's additional spending! You think he...? (sigh)You people, you can listen to him say, "I don't want any earmarks," while there's a 9,000-earmark bill that he knows is coming his way. He's not going to get the earmarks taken out of there. He loves them being in there, Mr. Gergen. It's more spending! And it's not even the way to look at it. How can you spend it when you don't even have the money? It's just more control. Anyway, here's what's-his-name, John Podesta. He's from some liberal think tank. He's a former chief of staff for Slick Willie, and he headed up Obama's transition. He was on Charlie Rose last night. Charlie said, "Tell me if you believe sort of the relationship of government to the economy. Is it going through a sea change that will not be temporary, that we're really looking at the evolution of a new model in America?"
PODESTA: I think we're going to see more activism to create a fair market and a fair playing field that is really now global in nature, to align their own regulatory schemes so that there can be global growth and fair growth across the globe so that middle classes can rise across the planet.
RUSH: There you have it. He admits it; I don't even have to speculate anymore. We're not talking about just a reordering of American society and culture and economics. No! It's the world. We are going to spread fairness across the world. "Fairness," which he's defining here as a rising middle class. Marilyn in parts of the West Coast. It's great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I'll get right to the point. You know, you were asked a question: "Who is going to medical school these days?" and I can tell you. Not very many Americans are going, and it's going to be a big problem for all of us. But my husband and I, we've just discovered that we are now the new rich, just like Bernard Goldberg described doctors in his book Bias -- which is ironic, because every time he refers to doctors he calls them "rich doctors," (laughs). But I have to give you some perspective from a medical family. My husband is a heart surgeon. He is one of the top surgeons in our nation. He is in the top 10% ranking within our whole country, and he serves an underserved community. He trained for 19 years, has an Ivy League education, and during that time of training, he made at the most $35,000. He had a medical degree, and he was doing open-heart surgery on 32-ounce babies that you could hold in the palm of your hand. We took on a $200,000 debt for the privilege of working a minimum of 80 hours a week. This year he made $420,000.
RUSH: That's not fair!
CALLER: Okay, now, these are facts. I want to give you facts. We paid over $140,000 in taxes, and we don't have investments because... Well, our income is, of course, taxed at a higher rate because we invested all our money in education. We gave $35,000 to charity -- you know, church, Salvation Army, our hospital foundation, the local schools and local theater.
CALLER: We have a special-needs child who, thank God, we actually have the money to send him to the private school that helps him. We do have other children, but can't afford private schools for them. And, you know, for us, medicine has already been socialized, and when my husband -- I was up at four o'clock with him this morning. Usually I don't get up with him when he goes to work, but he was so distraught because he read the Obama plan. And I think what's happening is, you know, physicians don't have any more teeth left to get kicked in. Obama is not only talking about cutting Medicare payments but, you know, we will also be taxed even more. And you've got to understand, I know everybody thinks, "Oh, a heart surgeon, they make a million dollars." He's one of the top heart surgeons in our country, and he gets paid... His reimbursement from Medicare has been cut every year. This year, one of his highest reimbursements for one of his procedures -- and please understand, this is not for his surgery. This is for 90 days of care. That means this reimbursement number covers all your preoperative visitors; the actual surgery, in which the heart surgeon holds 100% accountability; all post-op care, which is in the ICU, and depending on the patient and the level of care that is needed; up to 90 days of care and all post-op patients.
RUSH: Okay. I want to move this along. I get the picture.
CALLER: Twenty-five hundred dollars. That's his reimbursement, Rush, $2,500, and we just had the discussion. We're cutting our charity giving. And we realize, once charities go under, if we are -- We're not the only ones. Everyone else will. Once charities go under, everyone will be dependent, and that's the plan. The plan is for everyone to be dependent, and it's so frightening that people don't even see it. What's going to happen?
RUSH: Well, here's what I think. I just want to share with you what my interpretation of this. Let's say we had an audience of liberals listening to your call just now. What they heard made 'em happy. Here you are making 400 grand and your husband is a heart doctor, and you are whining and you're complaining. They're happy that Obama's finally getting even with you. They're happy your taxes are going up. And they think that you're really mean and selfish for cutting back on your charity. That's where the liberal bloc of voters in this country is. There is no sympathy for people in your circumstance who make $400,000 a year among people who make 50 or 60 or 70, whatever it is. Even those that aspire to it.
There's such a rabid get-even-with-'em-ism out there in our society and culture today on the part of the left that if you're looking for sympathy and understanding so that others might understand what's headed their way if they succeed as you and your husband have, they don't look at it that way. They're just happy that you're miserable or happy that this is happening to you, even though it doesn't mean one more dime to them. The Democrat Party has built up such a resentment for success, a resentment for achievement among people who don't... You just heard Podesta. "We want to reorder. We want to make things fair. We want a new playing field where the middle class rises, where everything's fair."
Those people are the ones that are going to sit around and wait for this magic to happen, and they think the way it's going to happen is for money to be taken away from you -- and when they hear you call here and describe how money is being taken away, they're happy and then they think you're selfish because you say you're gonna cut back your charity. That's what we're all up against here. It used to be that people in that circumstance would aspire to be you and would have sympathy for what's happening 'cause they wouldn't want it to happen to them when they got to where you are. But we've had a number of years here where the Democrat Party has taken these poor people out there in the middle class and they've gotten to enough of them, where all they do is have envy and jealousy and resentment. So they hear your story and they (rubbing hands together). These are the people, by the way, that think they have all the compassion, concern, and caring in our culture and they're happy to hear you're unhappy.
CALLER: It's not sustainable.
RUSH: Pardon me?
CALLER: It's not sustainable. I mean what would happen if physicians said, "Okay, we believe in equality, for equal effort. So we'll cut back to 40-hour work week." What would happen?
RUSH: No, you're absolutely right. I'm not arguing with you.I'm telling you what we're up against.
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: When you say, "But it's not sustainable," they're not going to know that 'til it happens.
CALLER: It is happening.
RUSH: And let me ask you this. How many Democrat Party constituencies already live barely above the poverty line; have lived there all their lives; and are still, after 20 or 30 years, waiting for the Democrats to make things better; and their lives are not better; and they still vote Democrat? So some of them are never going to get the whole notion is not sustainable. So what's going to ultimately make 'em happy is when you and your husband live a life that is closer to their existence. There's no desire on the part of Obama or anybody in his party to lift those people up and lift up the whole economy, to lift up our culture, to lift up as many families as possible in the game of prosperity.
They want to slice people at the top down to size, and so you've called here and explained how it's happening to you, and it really is a sad thing. I don't know how many it is, but a lot of people hearing you, if they're Obama voters, are happy about it. But hang in. I understand you're not paying. Look, you don't have investments. Your investment was your education. I know it's tough to be in the midst of this, after working as hard as you have, to see right in front of your eyes the restructuring and the reordering of the culture that's coming. I appreciate the phone call, Marilyn. Thank you very much.
RUSH: Ted in Las Vegas, great to have you here. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, sir. Longtime listener, first-time caller. My dad, my brother, are so envious right now. Listen, you said earlier something about the rich not being able to -- or they can only deduct 28% of their charity giving. Isn't that an attack on conservatives since conservatives give like four times as much in charity as liberals?
RUSH: Yeah, that's a good point. You could look at it as an attack on conservatives and Republicans because they do make far more charitable donations than liberal Democrats do. But actually, it's much more than that. Our previous caller had it right. You know, if 28 cents of every dollar is all you can deduct, some people will make donations because they care about the cause. Others will cut back. Hey, they're not going to have as much disposable income to donate, and donating is not that big a tax deduction, so a lot of charities are going to end up with a lot less, and the more charities that are having less, and therefore do less, the more the role the government will have to be in picking up the slack of the falling assistance from charities. So it's a hidden way of expanding the scope of government into everybody's lives again. That's what it's about.
RUSH: I realize, ladies and gentlemen, the stories that you are hearing on this program today from real Americans are depressing. I hate to say this, but get used to it. This is what's ahead of us. It's happening.