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Will GOP Trade Jobless Benefits and START for Bush Tax Rates?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I heard this last night, I heard it this morning and I've run it by a couple people and I'm told that it's BS, and it better be BS. What I heard last night was that in these meetings that happened between the Republican leadership, the Democrat leadership, and Obama on the Bush tax rates, the deal is this. Remember this is what I've been told now is BS. The deal is that we would give Obama his unemployment extension, and we would give Obama whatever he wants on the START treaty in exchange for a two- to three-year temporary extension of the current tax rates for everybody, the so-called Bush tax cuts.

Now, I don't know what your reaction to that is when you first hear it, if this is the first time you're hearing it. I kind of went both ways on it. Why are we giving anything away? We won. And then, okay, were we gonna cave on unemployment extension anyway? What do you think? You think the Republicans at the end of the day would cave on that or would they plant the flag and say, "Nope, no more. No more unemployment extension benefits. We're not gonna do any more, we've done it enough." Will they risk being said to be cold-hearted and mean-spirited and anti-poor and all this? Or would they cave on that anyway? On the START treaty, are they gonna cave on that at the end of the day because they don't want to be accused of being pro-nuclear weapon or whatever the Democrats in the media would say? So is that a bad deal or is it not? What is the objective here? To get the current tax rates extended temporarily, permanently, what have you?

The GOP doesn't care about START. I don't know anybody that cares about START except Putin and Obama. It's a bad thing, nobody cares about it. But this deal, and I've been told, "Rush, you better be very careful on this," because people that I've talked to said this is BS, it's not the deal. Let's just put it this way. I won't be surprised if at the end of the day that is the deal. Give away START, they don't care about it, unemployment benefits, extensions, look, we know these guys and at this stage of the game I don't think they, at Christmastime, want to be accused of desiring people to be out of work and poor with no money. So we'll see.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: On this unemployment compensation benefits extension, let's be clear about this and let's remember: the Republican opposition to this has not been on the substance of it. The Republican opposition has been on "paying for it." You know, Bunning and these guys said, "Look, if you want to extend unemployment compensation benefits, pay for it. Don't raise the deficit. Use some unspent TARP money for it. Use some unspent stimulus money." Democrats don't want to go for any of that. They want brand-new debt to pay for this. They don't want to use existing allocated funds, already appropriated funds that have yet to be spent on anything. The Republicans are not saying, "We hate the unemployed, and we want 'em to suffer. We don't want 'em to have any more."

They've not said that. Now, that's been how it's been characterized and positioned. Now, I, as I said yesterday, don't need to get votes. I think it's about time somebody again stood up for the whole notion that at some point there better be a cutoff, because we're already getting interviews with people saying, "Yeah, it's much easier to take the 325 bucks a week unemployment rather than look for a job." We're already getting to that point. Look, folks, human nature is what it is. If somebody's going to give you 325 bucks to not do anything, let's face it: Out of a country with 300 million people you're gonna have a significant number of them who will take the deal, and this is just another illustration of my complaint about -- well, one of my several complaints about -- liberalism.

It destroys people. It dehumanizes them. It takes their dignity away, takes their humanity away. At some point the notion of giving somebody in a tough economy 325 bucks a week to not do anything is compassionate. "Rush, it really is. We're good people for doing it." At some point, though, you are destroying these people. You are relegating them to a lifetime of 300-bucks-a-week unless they choose to do something. (interruption) Don't give me this! What? "Headline: Limbaugh Urges Christmas Cutoff for the Unemployed -- No Toys for the Kids, Talk Host Says." Let 'em try that. Nobody can get that from what I just said here. (interruption) Well, they can try. (interruption) Okay. I don't care. Let 'em.

My only point is, as I said over and over again, liberalism hurts people. It destroys their lives and it destroys them. It takes away their dignity, and it takes away their humanity. And I'm telling you that at some point somebody's gonna have to stabbed up and say that repeatedly giving somebody 325 bucks a week to not do anything is gonna end up being detrimental because that's all they're gonna end up being worth. They're not gonna be able to go out and make any more of themselves than that because they're not going to have to. It's the old argument that continued unemployment benefits increases unemployment. I mean, there's no doubt about it. Logic is logic. It can't be refuted.

Not to mention that the employers' unemployment tax is gonna go through the roof during all of this to pay back these -- what is it? -- $300 billion a year that this is costing. Why would an employer hire anybody when they're gonna have to pay twice as much unemployment insurance for them? It's like water: People tend to find their own comfort level. Remember Merrill Lynch back in the late eighties, early nineties. In a job interview they'd ask you, "How much money do you want to make?" and if you gave them a figure you were disqualified. Now, you didn't know that, but if you gave 'em a figure, that was the end, even if it was a high figure. And the reason was that they figured, "Okay, that's the person's comfort level, and once they get there, they're gonna stop working." So they didn't want to hear a figure. They wanted to hear, "As much as I can!" That was the proper answer. You give 'em a number and you didn't know it (chuckles) but that was the last interview you got.

END TRANSCRIPT

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