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Why Does the Deficit Matter?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We're going to start in Howell, Michigan. This is Terry and it's great to have you here. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: Hey, there's a couple things that I told Bo, and we gotta do both. Number one, I don't think the vast majority of people understand the difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion. They hear it and it's just a bunch of "illons." So if I, for instance, were to say, "Oh, no, I spent a thousand dollars, what am I gonna do, I gotta cut back, I'll cut back by a dollar." See the difference? I mean from a trillion to a billion is like a thousand to one. And I don't think most people understand when we talk about a trillion dollars of deficit or a billion-dollar deficit, it all sounds the same.

RUSH: I understand your point here, but when I look at polls and when I look at the cross-tabs in the polls, I think people get it. I think one of the primary reasons he's below 50% is because where people might not understand trillion, billion, whatever, they do understand we don't have it, and that their kids and grandkids are going to be paying for it as well as themselves and their standard of living is gonna be heading downward very fast. People do understand. They know this is irresponsible. They know we don't have the money. All these bailouts and all this stimulus money with no results from it, with no results, zero, stimulus money to recreate jobs and grow the economy, it isn't happening. So I think people clearly get this. By the way, you said million, billion, trillion. There's a term that we're going to have to use, we're going to have to start popularizing here because it's going to be a factor very soon. Okay, we got a million.

CALLER: Huh-uh.

RUSH: Then a billion, then a trillion. What's the next term?

CALLER: I don't know, gazillion?

RUSH: Quadrillion.

CALLER: Quadrillion, you're right.

RUSH: Quadrillion. And we're going to be forced into using that term as a legitimate way to explain -- in fact, I might start using it now just to try to make the point that you want me to make. What's quadrillion? Oh, it's more than a trillion.

CALLER: Well, that's right. That brings me to my other thing. Now, this is a bigger thing. Now, you talk and you've got the microphone, and so you can explain this, and I think you need to explain it in terms that are day-to-day reality for people. What does a huge deficit mean to me? Frankly a year ago, milk cost the same, eggs cost the same, my clothes cost the same, my mortgage was the same, everything's the same for me. I don't feel a difference, and yet I know intellectually that the deficit is a terrible thing and that it's going to get worse, but I think people need to be told how it's going to affect them day to day, because we don't feel any difference now than we did a year ago and yet the deficit's terrible.

RUSH: Have you figured out why it matters on your own?

CALLER: I have figured out how it's going to affect my children, like we've talked about.

RUSH: Hm-hmm.

CALLER: I've figured out the dollar is not worth as much. But from a day-to-day standpoint, my life hasn't changed. And it will. I know it will. And I think it's important for people understand to that.

RUSH: Your life has changed. Those things and prices are going up. If you have kids it's tougher for them to get a job. If your husband's out of work he's going to have a much tougher time finding a job. And the deficit is part and parcel. One of the best things you can explain to people about the deficit is for the government, a deficit is spending money you don't have. They have to borrow it from someplace, and they borrow money that takes it out of the private sector. There's less money in the private sector to invest in the expansion of business or the creation of new ones, to hire people, because the government's hoarding all the money, spending money that they don't yet have, spending money that they're printing. Countries like China and others are not totally financing it. They still have to borrow it from various places that you and I would borrow --

CALLER: A lot of the countries they are borrowing from are countries that don't like us, and that's a terrible thing.

RUSH: That's exactly right, making us vulnerable to them. Okay, well, I'll work on that. Deficits and national debt, sometimes people get confused on the two terms, but overall I think greater number than ever is fully aware that something major is not right. If they weren't, Obama would be sailing through here, 'cause we were told people love government spending. In fact, listen to this. David Brooks yesterday on Meet the Press. He's a moderate Republican. And this question's two pages long. Basically he's talking about what people want. And this is just a core argument now in the Republican Party. Listen to this.

BROOKS: The only thing I'd caution Republicans about is distrust of government is not anti-government. People want government to work, they just don't believe in it, so I think Republicans are doing what Democrats have done and what Republicans have done before, which is over-reading the ideological mandate. They think the people distrust government, therefore they want big slashing -- they can get away with just saying we want big tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. We can (sic) go back to that old song. That's not true.

RUSH: So here's David Brooks, basically the era of Reagan is over, people still want big government, they want big government that works. This is why he's got an audience of 20. This is absurd. This is obstinace. His ideas have been rejected, and he just can't believe it, so you're too stupid to understand his brilliance, he's going to stick with it.

END TRANSCRIPT

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