RUSH: A story from CNBC. This really bothers me. It bothers me. It tugs at my heart. It bothers me I can't tell you how much. "Handouts..." This headline alone: "Government Handouts," welfare, whatever you want to call it, "Make Up One-Third of US Wages." One-third! Of course we're really not talking "wages," but I understand the use of the word in this story and in the headline. One-third of us don't earn anything. One-third of us live totally on handouts. One-third of our great country lives on handouts -- and even this story, at the end, says it really isn't that bad. It could be worse. It could be like Europe.
This is rotten. This stinks.
RUSH: "Government payouts -- including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance -- make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn't taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement." Now, we had that chart, we put it up on the website last week, and we showed the three biggest entitlements in this country. We all know Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, but unemployment compensation? The payment of unemployment benefits is almost as high as Social Security in this country. Folks, we are not going to survive as a nation, not the way we've been founded, with this kind of sloth and laziness and feeding at the public trough.
It just cannot happen. And to even call this "wages" -- I'm actually kinda glad they did because it points out how ludicrous this is and how dangerous it is. "Handouts," handouts, the redistribution of wealth "makes up one-third of U.S. wages." Social welfare spending has increased three and a half times since 1960. We declared war on poverty, and it's given us this. We declared war on poverty, and what do we have? Thirty-five percent of our people living on the dole! Thirty-five percent of American citizens living on "handouts," and where are the handouts coming from? Their fellow citizens. That's what's never talked about here. It's all, "Oh, it comes from the government, Mr. Limbaugh."
It comes from their neighbors! It comes from fellow citizens! This is intolerable. How did we ever survive before? How did this nation get along? How did the people in this country get by before the great War on Poverty declared by Lyndon Johnson? How did it happen? How come we're always told we can't afford any war -- we can't afford Vietnam, we can't afford Iraq, we can't afford Afghanistan -- but we always have plenty of money for the War on Poverty? And look what it has done to us! "Even as the economy has recovered, social welfare benefits make up 35 percent of wages and salaries this year, up from 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960, according to TrimTabs Investment Research using Bureau of Economic Analysis data."
In other words, social welfare spending has increased 3-1/2 times since 1960. Unsustainable. How did we ever get by before all this? How did anybody ever survive? "'The U.S. economy has become alarmingly dependent on government stimulus,' said Madeline Schnapp, director of Macroeconomic Research at TrimTabs, in a note to clients." Government economy? Thirty-five percent of the American public "has become alarmingly dependent on" its neighbors! "'Consumption supported by wages and salaries is a much stronger foundation for economic growth than consumption based on social welfare benefits.'" No kidding! But not according to Nancy Pelosi and Austan Goolsbee.
Pelosi and Goolsbee say that this unemployment compensation generates a buck and a half return for every dollar-of-benefits. It's an out-and-out lie. (interruption) No! This makes me so mad because we're destroying people's lives. Snerdley, that's why it makes me mad! One-third of the people of this country are being denied their full opportunity to reach their own potential -- and this is on purpose. This is a direct result of liberalism, the Democrat Party: Create as much dependence as possible. And it's increasing. Cloward-Piven, I don't care what you want to call it: Put so much stress on the system, the system eventually implodes because it's not capable. Thirty-five percent.
What happens if the payments stop? (interruption) Riots happen. Exactly right. Riots happen if the payments stop. Riots and who knows whatever the hell else happens (with the full support, by the way, of the Democrat Party and the American left who are responsible for this boondoggle). So, "The economist" here, Madeline Schnapp, "gives the country two stark choices. In order to get welfare back to its pre-recession ratio of 26 percent of pay, 'either wages and salaries would have to increase $2.3 trillion, or 35 percent, to $8.8 trillion, or social welfare benefits would have to decline $500 billion, or 23 percent, to $1.7 trillion,' she said. ...
"Social welfare benefits have increased by $514 billion over the last two years, according to TrimTabs figures, in part because of measures implemented to fight the financial crisis," and measures implemented to buy votes, frankly. But then there's this, and this is the kicker -- and this is from, again, Madeleine Schnapp: "At the very least, we can take solace in the fact that we're not quite at the state welfare levels of Europe. In the U.K., social welfare benefits make up 44 percent of wages and salaries, according to TrimTabs' Schnapp," and that's right where we're headed, by design, and the big secret is that Europe's going the other way.
They've reached the point of tipping. They cannot sustain it. They are cutting back benefits. They're cutting back tuitions. They're getting the riots! We're getting mini-versions of riots in Wisconsin. They're coming to Ohio. They're coming to Indiana. Europe is going the opposite direction. They have realized they can't sustain it anymore. Europe is trying to get rid of its version of Obamacare, but we have Obamacare yet to fully implement. All the other goodies that Obama is handing out from his "stash," that number is gonna hit 44% before you can say "social justice!" (interruption) Yes, it infuriates me. It infuriates me for these people. (interruption)
No, I'm not so much mad at them. I mean, that's a waste of time getting mad at them. Sure, some of the 35% are general born freeloaders (every society is gonna have some of those), but a lot of these people have been manufactured. They've been created. A lot of people think this is what they are due as Americans, that this is their entitlement. They haven't been taught the founding. They haven't been taught industriousness. They haven't been taught self-reliance. All that stuff's sneered at. They haven't been taught the beauty of work and achievement, accomplishment, and self-esteem that way. Folks, this is a crime. There's not very much could make me cry but this could. This to me is totally unacceptable.
I saw this yesterday and I said, "I just..." I mean it's something that you instinctively know. We all know there's a lot of welfare. We all know that Democrat Party is promoting it. We all know that, but to see one-third -- one-third! -- of what we would all consider salaries, "wages," is welfare checks? I don't care what you call it, "unemployment compensation," I don't care. It's welfare checks! It's the redistribution of wealth, pure and simple. The idea that this is desired and being done on purpose by an entire political party in this country?
Then you realize the Democrats want more people dependent on government, dependent on them so they can keep their phony baloney jobs. Now the... the... (interruption) Yeah, the preferred politically correct term is "income transfers." BS! It's welfare. My friends, I'm just gonna tell you here: When you have, in the budget pie on the expenditure side, "unemployment compensation" as an entitlement? It's there. It's listed as an entitlement, and it costs as much as Social Security. (snorts) Whoa! At least with Social Security there is the ruse, there is the illusion that people have contributed to some of it. You gonna pay people 99 weeks not to work or longer, guess what? They're not gonna work. Pure and simple.
I gotta take a break. We'll do that, we'll get back in a jiffy before you know it.
RUSH: Well, yeah, I know it's depressing, folks. I mean some people are so lazy that they will only be unemployed if they're paid to be unemployed. I mean that's where we're headed. They're only gonna be unemployed if they're paid to be, and they're gonna expect some kind of entitlement. Yeah, the worse you tell 'em the economy is the more evidence they think they have for not even trying to find a job, but they still have to eat and live and it's somebody's responsibility, it's not theirs. It's the Wall Street guys, it's the rich, it's Big Oil. I mean this is the result of what the Democrat rhetoric has been all these years. You know, if unemployment checks would stop, some people, not all, would be so incensed at being expected to sit around the house for nothing they'd probably do something about it, either protest like in Greece or Wisconsin or maybe they'd even go get a job.
RUSH: Here's Bob in Glenwood, Illinois. Bob, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hello, Mr. Limbaugh. How are you, sir?
RUSH: Fine, sir. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Long-time listener. And I just want to say it's an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Appreciate that, sir.
CALLER: I have a question for you. You know, I'm kind of caught between a rock and a hard place. I've been a conservative all my life.
CALLER: I don't agree with the welfare state --
CALLER: -- of our country.
RUSH: That's right.
CALLER: I ran into a little bit of an issue a few years ago when I got some severe cancer and battled it for a couple years. I'm cancer free right now, but unfortunately I cannot work and I had to go on disability.
CALLER: And I was just wondering, you know, like I say I'm kinda in conflict with myself because --
RUSH: No, you're not. You're in conflict with me and what I just said. Let me ask you a question.
CALLER: Well, no, sir, I've always been told that, you know, tax money and this and that goes to, in case anything like this comes up --
RUSH: Look, you have a disability, right?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: You can't work, right?
CALLER: No, sir.
RUSH: Okay. Do you think I actually think you ought to be denied stuff?
CALLER: No, sir.
RUSH: Okay. I don't think that. I'm not talking about people like you, but there are people who fudge this disability business. I had a story not long ago about a bunch of drunks --
CALLER: Sir, that's what I mean, that's what I mean. I agree.
RUSH: -- in jail getting disability payments because they were alcoholics.
CALLER: No, sir, I agree with that, sir. But, you know, I want our country to survive, and, you know, I just don't know where we can get --
RUSH: Well, we are a compassionate country. There is not a person in this country that does not want somebody who cannot provide for themselves to go empty. There's not a person in the world who wants that. You don't fall under the headline definition freeloader or what have you. And if you're bothered by it, it's life. A lot of things affect a lot of people. But we're not talking about you. And you are not the majority of that 35% on the dole anyway. You're a small percentage of it. You're not the problem we're talking about.
RUSH: The share of US population receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits is rising, and it is rising rapidly, but it's got a long way to go to get to 35%. Details are coming up plus the other two hours. Who knows what they hold.
RUSH: Here you go from the National Bureau of Economic Research, and this is a bunch of leftists who decide when it is recessions begin and when they end. Keep in mind that these are the clowns that told us the recession actually started back during the Bush years when it didn't. Anyway, according to this bunch of leftists, the share of the US population receiving Social Security disability insurance -- SSDI -- has risen rapidly over the past 20 years from 2.2% of adults, 25-64, that was in 1985, 4.1% of adults, 25-64, in 2005. Disabled workers make up more than 15% of those receiving Social Security. That's the bottom-line figure. The most important factor is the liberalization of the disability screening process, and this occurred due to a 1984 law. This law directed the Social Security Administration to place more weight on applicants' reported pain and discomfort, relax their screening of mental illness, consider applicants with multiple non-severe ailments and give more credence to medical evidence provided by the applicant's doctor.
So there is, we must say, there is a working system. There's a system for people to get on disability insurance, Social Security. There's a pathway. It's been spelled out, sort of like the Americans with Disability Act itself which has allowed a lot of people to jump on the dole. Sorry to say it, folks, but that's the case. And it just irritates me, and again, the reason why this irritates me is above and beyond the fact that it's not sustainable. Remember when I defined conservatism during my CPAC speech? I said we conservatives love everybody. We want everybody to be great. We want everybody to be happy and content. We want everybody to have a shot. We want everybody to have unfettered opportunity at their version of the American dream. We don't define the American dream as welfare. We want people to be productive; to experience all that life can offer.
And I'll tell you, it just grates on me that we are in a war with a political party that does not share that view of people, and furthermore, that that party somehow has been able to claim the mantle of compassion. They're the ones that everybody thinks care about everybody. And it's the exact opposite. They're dooming people to lives of abject misery, all for their own benefit, the politicians' benefit. It just really grates on me. This is not in any way a foundation for a great country. This is building a foundation for tearing down a great country, tearing it apart, pure and simple. This waste of humanity, this utter waste of human potential in the freest country ever to exist, it just makes me sick. It just does. We sit here and talk about nothing's real. One-third, 35%, one-third -- (interruption) what is being done to them is a waste. I didn't call 'em waste. Their lives are being wasted. It's a damn shame.
We all only get one life. We get one life. We conservatives want people to maximize it. It's just one. There's only one and you don't get yesterday back. Whatever happened yesterday happened. You don't get do-overs. And they all add up. One day your life is over. And look what we have consigned one-third of our people to, basically a life of servitude, indentured or otherwise. Now, this is not how it's supposed to be. We have more opportunity for human achievement, accomplishment, greatness in this country than anywhere the world has ever known. And we have a political system which has relegated 35% of our population to circumstances where they will likely never know what awaits them, what they've been cheated out of or what they're going to miss or what have you. So it's just a shame. I'm sorry. I take it personally. This stuff does grate on me.
If I were a presidential candidate, this would be issue number one. National security, of course, but if you really care about people, if you really want the best for 'em, you cannot look at this statistic and be tolerable of it. And to know that there are people who are not only tolerant of it but are encouraging it and are attempting to feed off of it, benefit from it themselves, it makes me even angrier.
RUSH: Mark in Marshall, Texas, as we go back to the phones. Great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Glad to talk to you.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I guess I had one point I wanted clarification on and then I had a quick question. You were talking earlier -- and I don't care, I don't know what you call Social Security. You were kind of lumping people that were drawing Social Security that had worked all their life paying into Social Security into the same group of people who were drawing unemployment and other, uh, free handouts, and I just kind of took offense to that a little bit --
RUSH: No, that's not what I said.
CALLER: -- because I worked all my life since I was 13 years old.
RUSH: No, that's not what I said. What I said the unemployment compensation, the cost of paying it --
RUSH: -- is almost as much as Social Security.
RUSH: Now, Social --
CALLER: You know, I've worked all my life, and I worked for a government -- in fact, a local government; and, knock on wood, we've had a balanced budget for 21 years that I've been there. I wish the Feds could say that.
RUSH: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
CALLER: But I guess my question was -- and this is total different than what we were just talking about; I guess I just misunderstood what you were saying earlier about Social Security, because I feel like it is an "entitlement" in a sense because I feel like I am "entitled" to it.
RUSH: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
CALLER: I paid into it all these years. Unfortunately --
RUSH: Well, that's not what the definition of an entitlement is --
RUSH: -- from the budget-writers' standpoint.
RUSH: But you're saying it's yours. You paid into it.
RUSH: Yeah, I understand that.
CALLER: And don't... I hate the way the government... I mean, I'm as conservative as they come. I feel like, "You don't work, you don't eat," you know? Or you eat dirt or whatever, you know? But if you can't -- you know, like the guy earlier that was disabled -- I feel like it's our obligation, almost, to take care of people like that. But my question, I guess, was on the unemployment issue. Whenever they figure the unemployment, do they actually get the number of people who have exceeded it, even though it's now 99 weeks? I mean, I know there's people out there that have drawn unemployment for 99 weeks (I can't believe that, but they do) and they go past that point, are they still counted in those numbers, in the unemployment rate?
RUSH: It depends. After a certain passage of time people are simply "dropped "from the category of unemployed, and there's a category "unemployed but not looking for work anymore," and that number is the U-6 figure. The monthly unemployment number that we get from the federal categorization is called the U-3 (U dash 3) number. Right now that number is 8.9%; and that number does not include the numbers of people who have simply given up trying to find a job after who knows how long. We assume it's 99 weeks, but we don't know. We can't find out. We do not know how they know who has stopped looking for work.
They don't tell us this. They just assume that after unemployment benefits have run out, people stop looking for work, I guess. So we really don't know. But the U-6 unemployment number that includes people who are out of work and no longer looking is about 17 or 18%, not 8.9%. Now, I want to go back to this "entitlement" versus unemployed, Social Security, and so forth and so on. I know there's a lot of sensitivity about this. I know that the way I talk about this, no politician ever could (which I think is emblematic of one of the things wrong with politics). From a budget-writer standpoint, an entitlement is something they can't touch. Social Security is an entitlement. That means it's written into law: There cannot be any cuts to it. You can't pare it down.
It's just there. It's like it's etched in stone like the Ten Commandments. (That's what they mean by an "entitlement.") To other people an entitlement is something a bunch of lazy people think is theirs simply because they were born in America, and that, as Americans, they are entitled to their country giving them enough for these to live on. There are two distinct definitions here. What I'm talking about is the overall number. I don't care what the subdivisions are: 35% of the American people are living on something produced by somebody else, not themselves. Now, contrary to the knee-jerk reaction that people have when I say this, I am not first condemning those people.
I could, and I would eventually get to it in my priority list, but that's not my concern.
My concern is for the country at large. Thirty-five percent of people who have money coming in are not earning it! I don't want to hear the sob stories. You know, we got Social Security disability and I understand that there are people that can't work, and nobody is saying, "Don't take care of them." Nobody with common sense. I don't even want to have to waste time defending that. I'm talking about the United States of America as a structured system whereby a population manages its affairs, whereby a nation maintains itself as a superpower, whereas a nation maintains a manufacturing base, whereas a nation maintains itself as an economic power.
I'm simply saying that 35% (and growing, by the way) of the American people receiving money that they are not earning is not a way to sustain anything that anybody thinks is great about this country. Not possible. And in this story we're told: Well, it could be worse. I mean Europe, 44%! Yeah, and look at Europe. Are they a world power, a leader in anything? They have lost their countries. They've lost their borders. They're losing their cultures. They have all these cradle-to-grave programs. They've got 14% unemployment. They've got rampant poverty. They've got people that cannot get treated for months in line for simple medical procedures. So to the point: They are reversing direction. They're trying to cut back on some of these programs they can no longer afford.
We, on the other hand, are headed in the direction they are now trying to reverse. If we were 35% and falling, let's throw a party. We're 35% and growing, and we're growing fast. And I am terribly sorry if the knee-jerk reaction to this is somebody taking it so personally they're thinking I'm insulting them. I am not. But I could if you want. When I get to my list of things on the priority list that bother me about this, at some point there's a group of people out there could very well be working and are not, and we all know it -- and I don't think that it somehow violates some contract to mention it. Even Snerdley is looking at me, "I can't believe you're saying this!" Why? You don't think that there are people out there capable of working who aren't, scamming the system?
Okay. Well, they are. But the aggregate of this, the aggregate... Maybe I'm personalizing this too much. I will acknowledge that. I don't know how I can avoid doing it, though, but I think we all personalize things like this. I'll just tell you, and I mentioned this before: I can't stand gifts. I don't like the obligation of having somebody give me something. Birthday, Christmas is a different thing, but you know what I'm talking about. I don't like it. I just don't like the obligation. (sigh) That's why I can never run for office. You gotta ask people for money, and they're gonna want to be paid back somehow. (interruption) Well... (interruption) Oh, now Snerdley says that I'm different because I always have to be on the lookout for people trying to bribe or scam or use me or what have you.
Well, that's true, but I've had this attitude long before that aspect of my life became paramount. I know I'm weird. (interruption) Well, not only... (interruption) Well, whatever it is, I know it's strange -- and I also realize how really fortunate I've been. I realize not everybody can live their way the way I've sought to and have succeeded in doing. I'm not suggesting that I'm any kind of a model to live by. I'm saying from the standpoint of a country -- and also making it personal, I do look at my own life. I've been broke couple times, and I've been stretched thin. I've had my house payment and my MasterCard bill due in the same two-week period of the month and I could not pay 'em both no matter what I did.
So I'm not speaking from a silver spoon standpoint such as the Kennedys might or some such thing. I just genuinely do, because of the great fortune that I have had happen to me because I am an American -- because I live here -- I would love nothing more than for as many millions of people as possible to experience it themselves. And in the process of that happening, the greatness of this country would be undoubted, it would be unquestioned, and it would be prospering. We would be continuing to grow. The opportunity for prosperity, the greatest amount of freedom any human beings have ever had since the beginning of time, is the United States of America.
And to see it squandered by a political party promoting it because this is how they get votes and maintain not just power, but control over people? I guess that's it: I don't desire to have any control over anybody. I don't. I have no desire to have power over a single human being. I really am, "I'll take care of myself and you take care of yourself, and whatever happens, happens." I'm not in any way, shape, manner, or form into manipulation, domination, or any of that. But I know I'm also odd in that regard, too. I can't tell you number of people that are into that kind of thing: Power, manipulation, domination, or what have you. I have no interest in that whatsoever. I'm speaking purely and simply as a small little speck of a citizen here who has fortunately experienced all the great opportunities this country has to offer.
When I see 35% and growing! I've said for 23 years, we talk about, what? We talk about the things that are posing threats to this country's existence, be it Obama, be it liberalism, be it what have you. Here we're dealt with a slap upside the head: 35% and growing the American people are living off of somebody else. Okay, we want to be Greece? Go for it! But we don't, do we? Do we want to be France, do we want to be the UK, do we want to be the EU? Sadly, some of our leaders want to do head in that direction. "What's wrong with those countries, Mr. Limbaugh?" Nothing's wrong with those countries, but the free people of the world can't depend on 'em and the free people of those countries can't depend on their own governments.
They have to depend on us. The whole freedom aspect as part of this recipe is crucial as well. So for all of you taking this personally and thinking that I, El Rushbo, sitting behind my Golden EIB Microphone am personally insulting you and calling you a freeloader: Well, if it fits, fine. Wear it. But that's not my point here. I'm looking beyond individuals here. As far as my perspective is concerned, I'm looking at this as an American. If I'm failing to communicate what about this really bothers me then it's my problem and I'll continue to work at it to the point that nobody has any confusion about what I'm saying. In the meantime, you freeloaders know who you are. If your loafers fit, wear 'em.
RUSH: One more time, to me 35% -- and to have some of this called wages, folks, we're losing -- 35% of American adults on the dole, to me, is the single reason why I have been doing this show since I started in Sacramento, hoping that number would never be more than 20, 25%. It's the single reason. That number, 35%, everything you want to know about what's wrong with American politics is in that number. Everything you want to know that's wrong with the Democrat Party and liberalism is in that number. Everything you want to know about what's wrong with the way this country is managing its affairs is to be found in that number. Everything you want to know about whether or not we have a military that can defend this country is found in this number.
Everything you want to know about whether or not we're gonna continue to win medals, gold medals at the Olympics can be found in that number. Everything you want to know about what's wrong and the future of American education can be found in that number. Everything you want to know to explain why so many manufacturing jobs have left America can be found in that number. Everything you want to know to explain how in the world did we ever get to the point where our government was demanding that banks loan money to buy houses people would never be able to repay can be found in that number. It's Tocqueville. Once it has been established that that many people figure out that they can get whatever they get for nothing, then America as we've known it is severely threatened and in peril. It's that simple.
RUSH: Jim DeMint on the floor yesterday afternoon of the US Senate.
DEMINT: Other countries even today are looking at us and wanting to be free, as violence erupts around the world to try to overthrow authoritarian regimes, so people can live in freedom. But at the same time other countries strive to be like America, America seems to be determined, at least at the political level, to push our way towards a Third World country that's so in debt and so dependent that we no longer can determine our own destiny. 'Cause today America is literally on its knees to China and other countries for the credit we need to run our economy. We're also on our knees to the Middle East, which is very unstable right now, for the energy we need to run our country, to even take our food to market, the essentials here at home.
RUSH: He went on and on and on. The whole theme of the thing here was America on its knees. I'm telling you, go back, this number, 35% of our population living off of what others earn. The answer to so many problems can be found right in that number, the explanation. How many of you, when you first heard about the subprime mortgage crisis -- I'll admit to being naive, "You mean to tell me we had a program where people who demonstrably could not pay the money back were ordered to be lent money? We had a government program requiring banks to loan money to those people? And we knew they would never be able to pay it back?" Well, when I first heard about that I ran it through my filter. Okay, liberalism on the march here, Barney Frank, affordable housing, this is how you equalize the unfairness of some people having houses and money and some people not having it. But it's a death knell.
So if you look at that, 35% of the people living off somebody else, what's the difference in getting a loan you never have to pay back? It's all there. America on its knees to the ChiComs, to the Saudis, I don't know about you, folks, there might be some people you wouldn't mind being on your knees for, but I can't see it here, the ChiComs or the Saudis. But that's just me.