RUSH: Michele Bachmann is organizing opposition to the deal and is basically fighting the establishment once again. Her primary argument is that the payments to people who don't work and don't pay taxes are just staggering. There is a continuing redistribution of wealth that's taking place. Now, in one sense, Obama has experienced his first defeat here in his effort to make the country worse off. He wanted a tax increase, and he has failed to get that. Now, we've been taking it in the shorts for two years from this guy, and that has been stopped in this deal. And it happened in the lame duck. Republicans do not run the House; they don't run the Senate; they don't run the White House, so in that limited context it's a good deal. Also, Obama's left is just wildly opposed to this. They are just beside themselves. They think he has totally caved because the rich are not going to experience a tax increase. I mean, for ten years these guys have been talking about tax increases on the rich, it's a must, and now Obama is out there calling this a stimulus plan. That's just got them so upset. It's equivalent to the way we were when Bush 41 went ahead and raised taxes after promising not to. Only I think for the Bamster this one is even worse.
A lot of people that worked in the Reagan administration, Hugh Hewitt is one, on his blog, not happy at all with any of this and it's basically based on the fact that Republicans don't look like they're willing or able to fight on any key issue, didn't fight on anything here. We didn't get anything. In fact, we got more unemployment benefits. We got 13 months of it. How about five months? How about six months? But 13 months, which means next Christmas we're doing this all over again, which means they will be extended again. In that sense it's not good for the people getting the stuff; it's not good for us; it's not good for the country. This is not how great countries are made. We're not Europe. We don't want to become Europe. We don't want a 14% permanent underclass. And we don't want 14% of people rioting when the inevitable day comes that the money runs out for 'em because technically it already has. We don't have the money. But nevertheless, it's fun to look at the left on this.
Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post: "Obama: On the Way to a Failed Presidency?" The left is becoming unglued. On his way to a failed presidency? When Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel turns on you in the Washington Post, you know you are in trouble. She writes: "Ronald Reagan famously quipped that the Democratic Party left him before he left the party. Like many progressive supporters of Barack Obama, I'm beginning to have the same feeling about this president. Consider what we've seen since the shellacking Democrats took in the fall elections." They are beside themselves. Look, we're in Afghanistan with greater numbers, and Obama's created the impression he wants to win there. So that's a double whammy. The left does not want a military victory, and they don't want it in Afghanistan or Iraq to boot. They want out of Iraq, they want out of Afghanistan, we're in both places. They want Gitmo closed. It's still open! From the perverted positions of the far left, this guy is an utter disaster. He's a liar. He used 'em. He used their money, he used their votes, and he hasn't done diddly-squat. Now, to us, he is the uber-leftist who's destroying the country. For them, it's not happening fast enough.
"On the economy, the president has abandoned what Americans are focused on -- jobs -- to embrace what the Beltway elites care about," and she's one, she is the Beltway elite, multimillionaire heiress. She says the Beltway elites care about deficits. "His freeze of federal workers' pay --" Hey, Katrina, nobody's pay was frozen. That's a big game. "-- of more symbolic than deficit-reducing value, only reinforced right-wing tripe: that federal employees are overpaid; that overspending is our problem, as opposed to inane tax cuts for the top end; that we should impose austerity now, instead of working to get the economy going. Now the not-so-subtle retreats are turning into a rout. The president is touting a NAFTA-like corporate trade deal with South Korea," which she doesn't like. This, she says, "is political self-immolation. Blue-collar workers abandoned Democrats in large numbers in the fall; wait until they learn what the trade deal means for them. Seniors went south, probably because of Republican lies about cuts in Medicare --" Hey, there are cuts in Medicare! The doctors are getting out of the business! "-- wait until anyone over 40 who's lost their savings hears about Alan Simpson's plan to take it to the 'greedy geezers.' The $60 billion each year in Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans could pay for universal preschool for America's children, or tuition and board for half of America's college students.
"The stakes are much higher than the distant election. The president has suggested unconvincingly that he'd prefer to be a successful one-term president than a two-term president who didn't get anything done. But there are other alternatives. If the president continues on his current course, we're looking at a failed one-term presidency that the nation cannot afford." We're already there, Katrina. We're already there. In two years we cannot afford the guy. She writes: "This president has a historic mandate." From whom, Katrina, you? The ghost of Lenin? Who? "If he shirks it, he risks more than failing to get reelected. He risks a failed presidency."
This is a story from FoxNews.com: "Harry Reid 'Looked Like Someone Shot His Dog.'" He always looks like somebody shot his dog to me. "There really is no other way to say it: the Republicans won, the liberal Democrats lost, and the president sided with the Republicans. The subject, of course, is an agreement to extend all the Bust tax cuts. The president tonight announced a 'bipartisan framework' for agreement on, among other things, to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years. A Republican House aide tells me --" this is the Fox reporter "-- tonight it is 'a damn good deal.' And so it is, from the perspective of conservatives. As they've been demanding, all of the Bush tax cuts are extended for two years. The estate tax that was due to pop back up to a rate of 55 percent was retained, but with a $5 million exemption and at a rate of 35 percent (better than Republicans privately expected). For that huge concession, the president extracted... a 13 month extension in unemployment benefits.
"Now it's true that the deal includes a one-year payroll tax cut of 2 percent. Plus other tax credits -- the earned income credit, the child tax credit and the newly created college credit -- all remain in place. And businesses will be allowed to expense 100 percent of their purchases for equipment. Liberals and White House spinners will argue that the White House 'wanted' many of those tax credits and breaks, but in point of fact the Republicans didn't mind giving more tax breaks. ... So you can see why liberals are morose. A Capitol Hill aide described Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid's demeanor upon returning from the White House: 'He looked like someone shot his dog.'" So that's the Fox News interpretation. Slam dunk, big-time win, for conservatives.
My take is, taken by itself in its own universe, yeah, okay, pretty good. I like the fact the left hates Obama. I like the fact they're mad at him right now. I like the fact that nobody's taxes are going up. But placed in the context of the shellacking and of this huge election victory, it's not nearly what we coulda gotten. It's not nearly what we could have gotten. Damn straight, Snerdley, from Democrats in the House, damn straight. Damn right. We had a caller earlier that was right on the money. There was no way Obama is gonna sit there and let taxes go up for the middle-class and the so-called poor. No way he woulda done it. So there was leverage. Look, I'm just gonna be flat-out honest here. I think the people that are head over heels with this deal are head over heels -- what's the right way to put this? I keep talking about the way the table is set. This is all based on phony expectations. I think going forward we're actually in good shape, like repealing parts of health care, because, remember, now, there's not a budget. There isn't a budget. And there isn't gonna be a budget before we take over. We're gonna be writing the budget, and as such we can put anything in that budget we want. Well, we're gonna get rid of that portion of health care, we're gonna get rid of that portion. Make him veto it! Put it in the budget, not just separate legislation. Put it in the budget.
We got all kinds of potential. Certainly the situation's going to increase. What is really the intense period of time, four months, five months, the options have been ending the Bush tax rates or extending them. Those have been the two options. So obviously if keeping them rather than having them lapse within the context of the way the table was set, yeah, big deal. But that's a narrow, narrow, small table that was set, if you ask me, and it was set by Obama. It was Obama who set the table. (imitating Obama) "The Bush tax cuts are gonna expire, they're gonna expire." And so the debate began, okay, are they gonna expire or not? While the Democrats are out there talking about tax cuts there has never been a tax cut on the table. And we didn't put any tax cuts on the table; Obama did. This holiday on the payroll tax, that's his. It's his idea. And it's not new. He's had it out there I think since September. (interruption) Would government shut down, if it happens again? If Obama shuts down the government because we put some repeal legislation inside budget legislation, if he shuts down the government, I think we win this time on that. But I don't think that we'll have the guys on our side confident of that, so I don't think they'll do it. But I think we'd win.
I think the people of this country are very much ahead of where the elected officials they put into office are, in terms of knowing the mood of the country and assessing the strength. That November election, folks, that was significant. That was a shellacking from coast to coast and deep. States, local level, it was a nuclear bomb against the Democrats. They have got nothing. They have tried their way, it's been out in the open, and it was rejected big time. The spending rejected big time. And these unemployment extensions are not paid for, and if it's one thing that people in this country are fit to be tied over it's the spending. They are not paid for, and they are not productive to anybody. The people getting the benefits are in the end harmed. Their dignity, their potential is harmed. "But Rush, but, Rush, the economy is so bad where they gonna get work?" If we have that mind-set, the economy is so bad where they gonna get work it's always gonna be that bad if that's our mind-set. I know he's gonna get hurt again by extending the unemployment, he's guaranteeing a high unemployment rate. So from a political standpoint, fine, yeah, if it helps our chances in 2012 to keep people miserable, fine, I guess we'll go for it. And that's what the unemployed are: miserable.
I know in any group of people you're gonna have slackers who will take whatever they get as long as it doesn't cost 'em anything, and they'll make due with it. You're gonna have others who will be ashamed of it, you're gonna have others who will be inspired by it, you're gonna have some who will be the opposite of inspired by it. At the end of all of this, paying people for three years not to work in the United States of America is not something I'm proud of -- I don't even care about the political ramification -- as somebody who generally loves people, cares about people, knows what opportunities exist in this country and knows what everybody has the potential to do. Not everybody has the same amount of talent, some people have to work harder, some people have to identify what it is they want to do more than others do, but it's there for people who want to try. And this is a disincentive to the very people who need to be inspired and motivated. And that's where we come in, that's where our side comes in. That's what Reagan did. Reagan inspired and motivated people.
It took Reagan eight months to get his tax cuts, eight months of his first term, first year, and he had a Democrat House and a Democrat Senate. He didn't have anywhere near Republican numbers, and, look, he got major, major tax cuts, and he did it personally. He didn't have any favorable media. He didn't have talk radio; he didn't have blogs; he had none of it. He worked his butt off. This is why some of the Reaganites, like Hewitt, my buddy Levin, some of these others are not over the moon with this because they don't see any work expended here. It's tough to get what we want, but we won the election. Reagan won the election, and people have forgotten the opposition. It took him eight months and he got tax cuts of 25% through people like Tip O'Neill and Jim Jones and Jim Wright and George Miller and all these other guys, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, he did it. It can be done. But you have to try. And you have to have a commitment to it, which he did.
RUSH: I got people reminding me, "Hey, Rush, this deal doesn't get extended for people that have already got their 99 weeks." I'm the one who made that announcement this morning. When I led this program off in asking you for your opinion I said, "Remember, this does not extend the 99ers." I understand that. I get that. Don't misunderstand. Look, here's where the tax rates stay the same -- and I know, I know, this is not the Republicans that won the election. It's still the old guys. But it is the leadership, the same leadership. Tax rates stay the same. The estate tax increases for certain Americans (still an increase). You have "tax credits" for people that don't pay taxes, which were significantly increased in the stimulus. They stay.
Unemployment compensation is extended not a few weeks or months but for 13 months, so we gotta do this all over again this time next year. Payroll deduction for one year only. There's a one-year business deduction for certain investments, expenses. That's good, but Obama wanted that all along. The payroll thing, the business deduction, those are his tax cuts. So agreeing to that was a no-brainer. So the left is gonna go nuts, they are going nuts. The Republican leadership's gonna lobby for it and all that -- and within its own context, it's great. I love seeing the left mad at Obama. I love the fact I'm not gonna face a tax increase and nobody else is gonna face one.