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The California Ballot Initiatives, Federalism and Colin Powell's GOP

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right, a quick question, folks. Be honest with yourselves. How many of you are genuinely thrilled, genuinely excited about the California election results from last night? I know a lot of people are. I got e-mails from all over the country today: "Rush, you see what California did? Wow, this is great, this is fabulous, California said no to all of this." I have another take. I mean they did say that, that's correct. Greetings. Great to have you with us. Rush Limbaugh on hump day, the middle of the week is Wednesday, get this day behind you and if you are one who works a five-day week, then you're over the hump. Only two days to go. Great to have you here. Telephone number, 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

So, retired General Colin Powell said that the American people want bigger government. Retired General Colin Powell said the American people want to pay more taxes. We look at California last night, a bunch of ballot provisions, propositions, six of them went down to defeat, and Proposition 1A, which would have extended certain tax increases, did not win a single county in California. Proposition 1A did not win any counties. It failed to win a majority in any county in the state. The closest it came to 50% was San Francisco County with 46.8%. Think about that. Nancy Pelosi's district voted against a tax increase, and so a lot of people have said to me today, "Hey, Rush, you know what that means? It means they gotta do budget cuts." Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. This is where you are going to be wrong. They will not do budget cuts. The first thing they will do in California is say, "Okay, well, we gotta cut the budget, good-bye education and good-bye police." And then people say, "No, no, no, you don't cut our kids' education, and, no, no, no, you don't cut the police." And then the state's going to say, "Well, what do we have to do?" Let me tell you what I think is going to happen here. I'll give you an example.

Snerdley, do you think people know what the definition of federalism is? Not anymore. Let me explain to you what federalism is. Federalism is the opposite of Central Planning. It's the simplest way to understand it. In federalism you have a central government, the federal government and then the states, constituent governments, and their separations of powers as defined, delineated by the Constitution. The states have their own powers, and the federal government has its. However, federalism is in its dying days with somebody like Obama in the White House. The states look at these governors who say that they're not going to accept the stimulus money. What's being threatened to them from the federal government? The federal government is assuming powers not theirs. The federal government is taking over as much power; Obama is taking over as much power as he can throughout the country.

Now, in setting this up, I want to read to you from page 52 in Mark Levin's book Liberty and Tyranny. There's a whole chapter in there on federalism, but this will set up my point on what's going to happen as a result of the California vote. By the way, I will admit, before I get into the cold-water portion of this, what we saw in California last night is indeed a building reaction to Obama. No question it is a building reaction to a growing government wherever it is -- state, federal. Schwarzenegger and the assembly there, this is a building reaction and opposition to Schwarzenegger and the California assembly. When you look at the results of the polls in California, the election last night, you have to conclude that the polls about Obama's popularity are meaningless. This last night in California, all day yesterday, this boots-on-the-ground reality, the people of California say, "No, no, no, no, no," six times to higher taxes. Well, five times to higher taxes. They also said yes to freezing state legislators' salaries during bad economic times.

So all these polls on Obama are meaningless. He has no challenger. Obama has complete dominance over the public square. He uses it to his advantage. He's unchallenged in what he says and in how he operates, but his policies are by no means popular. People do not want any more taxes, General Powell. And when they find out what he's doing to their health care, they're gonna react to that, too, and it's not going to be pretty. I had e-mails from people today, "Oh, wow, Rush, this is great, look at what the Republican Party has just been handed. This is a great, great issue in the campaign." Ah, ah, ah, ladies and gentlemen, you must understand something. The Republican Party today is not the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. The Republican Party today is led by people who think tax cuts are a bygone issue, who think tax cuts are no big deal anymore, just like they think Reagan is no big deal anymore. The people running the Republican Party are going to look at the results in California and see a problem. They are not happy with these results, and let's just see what the Republican Party does with these results, see if I'm not right about this.

Let's see if the Republican Party ignores this or makes hay out of it. My guess is that people running -- and we're gonna have some conservatives, Republicans make hay, don't misunderstand -- but the people running the party or those who want to run the party are gonna ignore this. This is not what they want. They want growing government, too. They just want to be power players in it. This vote from California last night, that brings Ronald Reagan back to life, and that's the last thing that the Republican Party, the people running it today, want. I'm not making this up. These people are saying so. You got all kinds of people out there, "The era of Reagan is over. The era of tax cuts, Reagan policies, that's old-fashioned. Tax cuts are not a winning thing; they're not a big deal anymore." People don't want to be defined by that, so we get these rituals last night, and rather than learn from it, the people running the Republican Party are going to be a little upset and angry and trying to figure out how to overcome this.
Now, back to federalism because federalism is on its last legs, hopefully temporarily what with the Obama administration in power, and I want to read to you from page 52 of Levin's book about federalism and mobility in helping to explain the point I've got coming up about the California results. "Mobility is perhaps the most important aspect of federalism. If the individual concludes he is hopelessly bound by what he considers to be a harmful decision by state or local authorities, he may, in the end, choose to live elsewhere -- where the economic, cultural, or social conditions are more to his liking, and throughout American history individuals of all races, ages, income levels have moved from one state to another, either because they are escaping adverse conditions or because they're seeking greener pastures. Federalism promotes decentralized government." Federalism confuses people because when you say the word federalism they think, "Ooh, federal power, federal omnipotence." It's the opposite. Federalism promotes decentralized government. That empowers the individual.

The less the federal government is empowered the more power the individual, the more freedom the individual has to choose whether to stay in one place, try to include the state in local decision making or to take up residence in a another state or locality. Now, if your state is raising taxes out the wazoo and you don't want to pay 'em and they're limiting your freedom and they're making a mess of everything, you can leave, you can leave the state. I left New York for this reason. Thomas Golisano has written an op-ed today in the New York Post about why he's leaving New York, and I have a warning for him later on in the program. It's not going to be as easy to get out of there as he thinks. However, folks, there is no escaping the reach of the federal government. When the federal government grows its power and takes over the car companies and demands that in ten years you drive around in a car that's gonna make your life riskier, the life of your kids will be at greater risk. When the federal government takes over banks, credit card companies and so forth and starts dictating you can't move, you have to leave the country for other shores, you have to renounce your citizenship if you want to escape the reach of the federal government.

This takes us back to California. On the surface, it appears that Californians told Arnold Schwarzenegger to go pound dirt and the California assembly to go pound sand. "We're not paying taxes anymore. Our state is bankrupt. We're not going to help you out of this situation anymore. It's your job to fix it." Well, in this era of Obama, what do you think is going to happen? The feds are going to bail out California. Do you think they're going to allow California to go bankrupt? Do you think Obama is going to allow a friendly ally like Schwarzenegger to actually end up in pain over this? It's the same thing with Obama. California is too big to fail. So, what Obama will do is simply bail out California, and all of the debt and all of the overspending, all of the problems will be absorbed by all of us in the other 50 states or other 49 states. I have no doubt that this is what's going to happen, with Obama reaching out from Washington with his tentacles to be as involved in every facet of American life as he can be, and with nobody to stop him, and with California populated with majority Obama voters.

Now, you might say, okay, well, why would, say, a senator and members of Congress in your state willingly accept their share of the California debt? By the way, when I say that the debt will be absorbed by the states, the feds are just going to bail 'em out with your money. The deficit's going to get bigger. Your federal taxes are going to go up because California is bankrupt. California is not going to be made to pay for this. The citizens of California voted how they did, as they did but their taxes are still going to go up on the federal side. There's no escaping. All the mobility in the world does not let you escape the reach of the federal government, especially in an era like this when federalism is imperiled. So you might say, okay, well, why would somebody in my state, why would a governor or a senator or a member of Congress of my state want to absorb -- by the way, New York's next. They've got the exact, identical situation as California, and following that's going to be New Jersey. The states, no matter what you voters in those states do, with a guy like Obama in the White House, those states are not going to -- put simply, California, New York, New Jersey, whatever, they are not at the end of the day going to be forced to deal with the problems they've made; they're going to be bailed out by us, by all the taxpayers in every state.

Your elected officials in your state, why would they absorb all of these other debts from all these other states? Because if they're liberal Democrats they're wired that way. They want, with a Democrat in Washington, a bigger federal government taking over more of the burden that they can then shield themselves from with their local voters. They also figure out that you're not going to know any different. You'll be none the wiser. California gets bailed out, I mean, we're already $11 trillion in debt. What's another two? What's another 15 billion to fix California, 27 billion, whatever it is. So while this is great news on the surface, and while the people of California told a massively out-of-control, nondisciplined government to pound sand, the simple matter of the fact is that without a Republican Party willing to speak up and carry this forward to voters, without a Republican Party willing to take this vote, recognize it for what it is, and start building a coalition of people to oppose this kind of thing, then the Federalists are going to get their way in making sure that whatever the vote of the people in California and upcoming in New York is, that the state governments are not going to suffer.

If you can buy an auto company, if you can buy a bunch of banks, if you can put legitimately owned businesses out of business, like Chrysler dealers, then it's easy as hell to simply absorb the debt of the state and pass the burden around to federal taxpayers, US taxpayers all over the country. You might disagree with me on my assessment of the Republican Party today, but I'm telling you, I watch the Republican Party so-called strategists on all the cable TV networks. I watch 'em and they don't want anybody speaking for the party that has any tinge of Reaganism. They don't want Cheney speaking for the party; they don't want me speaking for the party; they don't want talk radio speaking for the party; they don't want anybody with any ties to Reagan speaking for the party. They have said tax cuts, it's an old idea. That can't win anymore. And they're very obstinate. They're going to look at these results in California, most likely, the people running the Republican Party now, and they're going to say, oh, jeez how do we overcome this? Rather than get on this bandwagon.

Colin Powell was in Boston. He made a speech. I have it here from a blog at the Boston Globe. "Colin Powell issued a sharp rebuke Tuesday night to Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney for trying to exclude him from the backbiting Republican Party. Before some 1,500 business leaders in Boston, as well as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen, the retired general and former secretary of state spoke openly of the dispute roiling the Grand Old Party after election setbacks and polls putting its popularity at roughly one of five Americans. 'Rush Limbaugh says, "Get out of the Republican Party." Dick Cheney says, "He's already out." I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there's another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again,' Powell told the crowd." There you have it. The version of the party that he's waiting to emerge is not the Reagan wing of the party.

Does Powell have the pulse of the Republican Party, folks? He's for more spending; he's for higher taxes' he's against raising the social issues; he's for affirmative action; he's for amnesty for illegals; he endorsed Obama, and now there's an agenda, an emerging agenda that he's waiting for, for the Republican Party? The only thing emerging here is Colin Powell's ego. Colin Powell represents the stale, the old, the worn out GOP that never won anything. The party of Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Bill Scranton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and those types of people. Has anybody heard Colin Powell say a single word against Obama's radicalism or Pelosi or Reid, for that matter? Maybe he has, but his fawning media sure hasn't reported it if he has said it. He supports massive debt, I guess. He supports slashing the military budget, I suppose. He supports federal funding of abortion, I guess. He supports activist judicial nominees. He supports rationalizing private industries, nationalizing them, he supports all kinds of things even so-called moderate Republicans like him used to oppose, but he's voted for Obama, endorsed him. I just told you what Obama's policies are. He doesn't speak out against them yet he's waiting for a GOP to emerge that will include him? They don't like what happened to California. Mark my words.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me give you another example, folks, a couple more examples of how this vote in California will end up being meaningless as the voters of California intended. Do you remember back last fall when the first TARP bailout was voted down by the -- or, wait. The bailout of General Motors? What was it? It was TARP money or something was bailed out. The Congress, the Republican Congress voted against it. Yeah. Congress refused to bail out the auto industry, last fall. Remember when Congress refused to bail out the auto industry? What did President Bush do? He raided TARP money to do it.

That ended up being the bridge to Obama's even more massive nationalization of the automobile industry. So the representatives of the people voted "no" to bailing out the auto industry; the federal government did it anyway. There is a story here I have. This is from AP. We had yesterday the credit card story. The people who pay their credit card bills on time are going to end up being punished for doing so in order to subsidize those who don't pay on time. The people of the country, therefore, the same way of thinking, are going to be made to pay for the irresponsibility of the California Assembly and governor. Another example from AP.

The taxpayer subsidy of mortgages has been expanded to this: "[E]ven if you have intentionally defaulted on a mortgage you can still have the taxpayer pay for a large part of your mortgage. As long as you pay insurance." This passed yesterday 367-54. So we have people paying their mortgages will now subsidize even more people who are not paying their mortgages. This is the same thing that's going to happen in California. California's elected officials took the state into insolvency. It doesn't matter! The people who have been behaving responsibly, paying their taxes on time -- i.e., the people of this country -- are going to be hit with the financial prospect of keeping California solvent.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So back to California and the vote last night. So the people of California vote, no, no, no, five times to new taxes -- and on the surface this is wonderful. "Oh, this is great. Look, at where the American people are," and I agree. That's fine and dandy. The American people, once faced with it, are saying, "No! We're not funding you irresponsible government people anymore." Then along comes the federal government to say, "We can't let California go down the tubes. We can't let insolvency or bankruptcy or even the status quo continue." So the federal government is going to bail out California somehow in ways that you may not even see. But what's going to happen is the debt in California, and as I say New York is next, is going to be spread out over all of 50 states, or some states, so that even Californians who voted no to paying higher state income taxes yesterday are going to end up buying higher federal taxes to make up the difference because federalism is on its last legs.

And where was the media in all of this? I'm looking, and the New York Times is fit to be tied over what people in California did yesterday. The Los Angeles Times is fit to be tied. NBC, NBC, CBS mad as hell over what the voters did. These are news organizations that are losing viewers and losing readers and their readers have spoken with their feet via their vote, and the media is out ripping them to shreds today. A little chart was put together here by Matt Welch at Reason, and it tabulates how California newspapers endorsed the various ballot initiatives in California yesterday. San Francisco Chronicle, yes on every one of them.

Los Angeles Daily News, yes on every one. Los Angeles Times, yes on every one but one of them. Sacramento Bee, yes on every one but one of them. Fresno Bee, yes on every one but one of them. Santa Rosa Press Democrat, yes on every one but one of them. San Jose Mercury News, five out of the six. Only voted two, one of them Riverside Press-Enterprise endorsed yes three out of five props. I'm sorry. Four out of six. Contra Costa... Anyway, go through the whole list here, it isn't until you get down to Orange County and San Diego, the Orange County Register, San Diego Union-Tribune, those two papers editorialized "no."

They urged "no" on all six state propositions. So all of the media in California -- the major newspapers and I'm sure the television stations, too -- encouraged the people of California to continue to allow elected officials to govern in an irresponsible and shabby way. It's just like 1994. After the people of this country elected the Republicans to run the House of Representatives, Peter Jennings spoke to the entire media when said the people had "a temper tantrum" at the polls yesterday. So the media and the governing political class are on the same page. You people in California are idiots; the voters throughout the country are idiots if they vote for no tax increases. This is going to further speed up the erosion of audience that these newspapers and television networks and cable networks have.

According to the Los Angeles Times, quote: "Schwarzenegger has called for cuts that would hit every corner of the state. He announced plans to lay off 5,000 of the state's 235,000 workers and has proposed slashing education by up to $5 billion, selling state properties, borrowing $2 billion from local governments and potentially reducing eligibility for healthcare programs. Los Angeles Mayor ... predicted that the city's budget could take a hit -- but he vowed a fight: 'I'm going to do everything I can to protect the city coffers.' Worst-case scenarios also call for the release from state prisons of up to 19,000 illegal immigrants, who would face deportation..." You notice here that the way the media is predicting the future, it is utter anarchy for the state of California.

Five thousand of the 235,000 state workers laid off. So what! If they're not affordable, get rid of them. Nobody else is immune from getting canned. Why should government hacks be immune from getting canned? If the government can't afford them, if the taxpayers are stretched as thin as they can and they still can't pay 'em all, then fire 'em! If it's perfectly fine for Rick Wagoner to know what it feels like to walk out the doors of General Motors fired, then it's perfectly fine for state workers in a state that's bankrupt to know what it feels like to walk out the door fired. And then education! We'll slash education $5 billion. That's designed to scare parents. "Oh, no, no, no. We don't want education cut," and then "reducing health care eligibility."

Do you notice that the media, nor the state governments, ever focus on where the real bloat is in state governments or in federal government? It's in redundancy of programs; it's in people hired to police programs that are not necessary. And they always come at you by telling you they're going to cut the things necessary for your kids' safety, your safety, and your health, as a way to get you to acquiesce. So we'll see how this all turns out. But I have to tell you again: the people I see on cable TV who claim to be strategists for the Republican Party, who are out there saying, "Dick Cheney is the wrong messenger. Don't listen to talk radio. That's putting the party in a bad place." They don't like what happened in California yesterday. Tax cuts equals Reagan, that era is over. If you don't have an opposition party that's willing to take up the movement started by the people in California... Look, Prop 13 back in the seventies, Reagan picked it up, ran with it, and look what we got. If the Republican Party is not willing to pick this up and run with it, it may as well have not happened.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Try this headline in the Los Angeles Times today: "California Voters Exercise Their Power -- and that's the Problem." The subhead is: "Residents relish their role in the lawmaking process, but they share the blame for the state's severe dysfunction." You know what? Some of the voters might but not all of them. Need I remind you, what was it, Prop 187 out there when the people of California voted: "We're not paying health care benefits or education benefits for the children of illegal immigrants. We're not doing it." Federal judge came along and said it's unconstitutional. The voters of California have tried over the years to rein in -- some of the voters have -- out-of-control spending, and somebody, somewhere along the line, from the federal government or the state government's came along and said, "No, that vote's illegal," or "That vote's unconstitutional." So -- (laughing) -- California voters exercise their power, and that's the problem. See, in a statist, centralized society, it's the people who are the problem. You can't let people be free. The people will do the wrong thing every time. People are stupid, people are ignorant, and we can't leave their lives up to them. That's the thing that animates people like Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.

In the midst of all this, again, I remind you, Colin Powell in Boston, 1,500 business leaders yesterday, in the audience Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen it says here. Frankly I'm more interested in what Gisele Bundchen says than Colin Powell but we'll take that up another time. "Powell issued a sharp rebuke to Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney. 'Rush Limbaugh says, "Get out of the Republican Party." Dick Cheney says, "He's already out." I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there's another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again.'" What version is that, and how does it differ from the party Powell supports today? I don't know what party he's talking about. If he's talking about the blue-blood Rockefeller bunch, that's a stale, worn-out GOP, a party that never won anything nationally. Nelson Rockefeller, Bill Scranton, Schwarzenegger.

Meanwhile, all Powell's words rip Republicans. I don't hear him ripping Obama, his radicalism, or Pelosi, or Reid for that matter. If he is ripping him, his media buddies are shielding his words from the public. So Powell, what? He voted for Obama, endorsed Obama. That means Powell supports big time debt, the end of federalism, expansion of the federal government, slashing the military, federal funding of abortion, funding of abortion around the world, activist judicial nominees, nationalizing private industries -- he hasn't criticized any of this. He supports all kinds of things even some moderate Republicans like him used to oppose. So what party is he waiting to emerge? He's certainly not leading anybody to one, is he?

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We'll get to Reno, Nevada. Jim great to have you. Thank you very much for your patience.

CALLER: Yes, Rush. It's an honor to speak with you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I was listening, watching CNN News this morning, Michael Rothfeld of the LA Times whining about the people of California turning down the tax proposals --

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: -- and --

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: -- they're part of the problem in our society, in the whole society. That just really bothers me. By definition, I guess, of the homeland security, I'm a right-wing extremist, because for 40 years I've felt that the media has been a serious problem in our society.

RUSH: Well, for 40 years you have been right that the media is a serious problem. The LA Times headline he's referring to: "California Voters Exercise Their Power, and That's the Problem." California voters exercise their power, and that's the problem! Let's take a look at the Sacramento Bee. The Sacramento Bee is very snarky. "So, now that you've put those irksome politicians in their place, maybe it's time to think about this." This is an editorial to the voters. "Since you're in charge, exactly what do you intend to do about that pesky $25 billion hole in the budget?" Oh, these people, they're just so fit to be tied because you people didn't pay attention to their recommendation and their editorials!

You ignored them, the smartest people around, along with the Democrats. You ignored the media. The fact of the matter is, the people already did have an idea about what to do when they were in charge, and I mentioned it in the last hour. Proposition 187. California's debt is $25 billion. According to a 2004 study -- five years ago, so you know it's higher than that today -- illegal immigrants cost California $10.5 billion a year. This was a study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. It examined the cost of education, health care, and incarceration of illegals; and it concluded that the cost to California is $10.5 billion a year. The people of California, Mr. Sacramento Bee, did try to something about this. It was called Proposition 187. The problem is that a judge overturned it, saying their vote was unconstitutional.

They could lose their budget deficit in less than two and a half years -- assuming the costs of illegals in the system have increased -- if they just enforced the will of the people and do what any other country would do: No benefits if you're here illegally. "But that's not a compassionate position, Mr. Limbaugh. We can't do that. These people would be suffering." I understand all that. I understand all that. But the point is that the Sacramento Bee was very snarky: So what are you going to do now, now that you're in charge? The people in California have tried over the years, numerous times, to rein in the irresponsible spending of their elected leaders. The biggest mistake the people of California make is the people they keep electing. That's the biggest mistake. 'Cause then they have to put forth these ballot initiatives to try to stop the people they elect. That's the mistake they're making. If you want to focus on anything they're doing wrong in California, Mr. Sacramento Bee, focus on who they are electing.

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