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Chris Christie Hits the Entitlement Mentality Right Between the Eyes

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Last night in Trenton, New Jersey, Chris Christie appeared on the radio, Ask the Governor show, and he spoke with a caller Penny in Blackwood. She said, "I would like to know why you want to take at least 13% out of state employees' pay for health care. Between what my husband and I make, you're talking about $600 a month out of our money which is gonna cut into our food and our other bills. How do you expect us to live, governor?"

CHRISTIE: How I expect you to live, Penny, is you're gonna have to pick a different health plan that's not nearly as rich as the one you're getting now. That's how.

PENNY: Either that or you're force us to not have any health care.

CHRISTIE: No, I'm not gonna force you to not have any health care. I don't think that means forcing you to go without health care. But what it means is we can no longer afford to pay 90 plus percent of the cost of your health care. Public workers are getting their health insurance paid for out of your property taxes, and state workers are getting their health insurance paid for out of your income taxes. If I'm $67 billion in debt and you don't want me to take any more money out of your paycheck, how am I supposed to pay for it? Am I supposed to just raise taxes? Because if I raise taxes you're gonna pay more taxes, and if your property taxes go up, you're going to pay more taxes. I mean the money's gotta come from somewhere. We can't print it.

RUSH: You're gonna make me pay for my health care, how dare you, how are my husband and I gonna live? They've got their hands in there. They've got their hands on the state Treasury. They feel entitled to it. So Penny said, "I realize that, but it seems like it's always coming from the poor and not the rich to make up for these shortfalls."

CHRISTIE: Penny, the top 1% of taxpayers in this state pay 41% of the total income tax. The top 1% pay 41% of the income tax. So to say that the rich don't pay is just not true. How much do you want them to pay? There comes a point where you cannot have everything that you want. And as much as I would like to be able to say to you, "You know what, Penny, you're right, I don't want you to have to pay another nickel for your health insurance," I can't pay for it, and we already have the highest taxes in America. I gotta tell you the truth, your neighbor who works in the private sector pays a heck of a lot more for his or her health insurance than you do. And on the top of it they're paying the taxes to pay for your health insurance. And so I've got a problem to fix here. We're broke and I gotta fix this problem.

RUSH: So this is what angers these people. Here's Governor Christie, he hit this woman right between the eyes. Your neighbors are paying for it! They can't afford it anymore. You are paying less for your health care than they are paying for theirs and they're paying you more than they earn, and we're broke, and I can't raise their taxes anymore because they're paying most of the taxes. Nobody has probably talked to this woman like this before. But this is where we are with this.

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RUSH: We had a couple Chris Christie sound bites. He was on Ask the Governor show on the radio last night. He took it to a caller named Penny who didn't understand why she was gonna have to pay for some of her health care with the state being in debt. A story here from the Asbury Park Press: "New Jersey's burgeoning numbers of poor and nearly poor show the need for government to 'provide more help, more care and more protection' to its suffering residents, according to a report on poverty issued Tuesday. The report, made public by the Poverty Research Institute of Legal Services of New Jersey, says that nearly 2 million residents -- more than the combined populations of Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh -- are either in poverty or hovering on the edge of the federal threshold for poverty."

So what they're saying is that we have three whole cities' worth of poor people in New Jersey, in one state. I'm struck here. Who do you think is hardest hit here? That's right, children, women -- he-he-he -- the elderly, African-Americans, Hispanics, and single mothers. The coalition of the screwed. These are the people that are constantly suffering the most in America, the coalition of the screwed: women, children, the elderly, African-Americans, Hispanics, and single mothers. Now, just stop for a second and think about a culture that embraces, supports, and encourages strong families with a father and mother and see if you find them in the midst of the coalition of the screwed. I mean I hate to be so blunt about it. Now, Asbury Park, New Jersey, is the home of the Barack H. Obama school that is being closed due to lack of students. Oh, you didn't hear about that? Asbury Park, New Jersey, the Barack H. Obama school, they're shutting it down, lack of students. It was just announced last week. It's an elementary school.

Anyway, if you believe these numbers, "The poverty level, as defined by the federal government is $10,400 for a single person, $14,000 for a couple, $17,600 for a family of three and $21,200 for a family of four." That's the poverty level. If there are nearly two million people in New Jersey living near poverty, what more can be done the way we're doing it? I mean this bunch is demanding more government. "New Jersey's burgeoning numbers of poor and nearly poor show the need for government to 'provide more help, more care and more protection' to its suffering residents." What in the world has the war on poverty been? We're in debt helping people. We're $14 trillion in debt helping people. New Jersey, $76 billion in debt helping people. What have we not done? What's the transfer of wealth that's already taken place? Gonna be $8 trillion since the Great Society. What more could we do? At what point does a person's lot in life become their responsibility? At what point?

Here you have, and isn't it interesting, while all this is happening these reports come out as Christie, in a lot of people's minds, is just kicking butt out there. Every time he opens his mouth he's scoring points. Republican presidential wannabes are apparently flying into New Jersey to talk to him, almost as though getting his stamp of approval. He's saying he's not ready to run yet but nobody's really quite sure whether he means it or not, but clearly there's a lot of interest in him. He is scoring a lot of points with people and now all of a sudden he's presiding over a state that doesn't care about people, according to this report. "New Jersey's burgeoning numbers of poor and nearly poor show the need for government to 'provide more help, more care --"

How can there be any more care? How can there be any more help? At what point does a person's lot in life become their responsibility? Not supposed to ask that question, folks. We are not supposed to ask that. But this coalition of the screwed: children, women, elderly, African-Americans, Hispanics, single mothers. How many of the families that are strong, father and mother, are in this coalition of the screwed? I think there might be some cultural reasons here, folks, rather than the fact that government doesn't care enough.

Here's another story on New Jersey. This is from the Newark Star-Ledger: "Christie's Budget Cuts Left N.J. Schools Unable to Provide 'Thorough and Efficient' Education, Judge Rules -- Gov. Chris Christie's deep cuts to state school aid last year left New Jersey's schools unable to provide a 'thorough and efficient' education to the state's nearly 1.4 million school children, a Superior Court judge found today. Judge Peter Doyne, who was appointed as special master in the long-running Abbott vs. Burke school funding case, today issued an opinion that also found the reductions 'fell more heavily upon our high risk districts and the children educated within those districts. Despite spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008, our 'at risk' children are now moving further from proficiency,' he said."

So what is he saying here? The story says Christie's budget cuts left schools unable to provide thorough and efficient education. By the way, what's that? What is a thorough and efficient education? Judge gets to define that, I guess. But the story says it's budget cuts. The judge's ruling, "despite spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008, our 'at risk' children are now moving further from proficiency." Well, what are we to do? Doesn't sound like there are budget cuts. It sounds like spending more than ever before. We're spending more than every state in the country. Education is not thorough, not efficient because of Christie's budget cuts? There are 591 school districts in New Jersey, not 592, and not 590, 591. Two thousand four hundred schools in the state of New Jersey. Might that be a problem, or at least contributory to the problem? But regardless, the long knives are out for Governor Christie on this. I mean this is nonsensical. We're spending more than we ever have, exceed virtually every state in the country, spending levels, significant increase 2000 to 2008, and yet the headline: "Budget Cuts Left N.J. Schools Unable to Provide 'Thorough and Efficient' Education."

Again, at what point is someone's education their responsibility? At what point do we rename the coalition of the screwed the coalition of the willingly screwed? At what point? You feel sorry for these people and we've been feeling sorry for 'em for 40 or 50 years now, and what's that accomplished? One of the things I always ask myself during periods like this, story after story after story of endless poverty, endless suffering, and yet down the street there isn't any. On that part of town and many, many other parts of the town, there isn't any. What is the reason for the disparity? Oh, don't give me this life's lottery is unfair business. That's what the Democrats want you believe. That's, of course, the underpinning theory behind redistribution. Many factors involved: entitlement, I am expected that this should be given me, what have you. Lack of properly motivated people, inspired people, educated people, understanding the difference, misunderstanding the difference between empathy and sympathy. The war on poverty is sympathy. The Great Society is sympathy. Helping people help themselves is empathy. You know, the old teaching a man to fish. That is empathy. But we have a sympathy based foreign policy. We just feel sorry for everybody. We feel sorry for 'em and then come up with policies to make ourselves feel better but not change the outcome of anybody's life in a serious way, because we don't teach them to help themselves. We'd rather blame their plight on political opponents.

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RUSH: Here's John in Crofton, Maryland. Great to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush.

RUSH: Hey.

CALLER: Diamond dittos to you. I haven't seen you -- I guess I saw you in Washington, DC, a little over four years ago at the Warner Theatre but --

RUSH: Oh, yes, I remember that.

CALLER: -- the reason I called is I'm originally from New Jersey and, by the way, I can't hear a thing you're saying, so now I have empathy for your hearing loss.

RUSH: Why can't you hear anything I'm saying? Is he deaf or is our phone system -- (crosstalk)

CALLER: I can barely hear Bo Snerdley and I just heard Crofton, Maryland, so I guess I'm talking on the air. But I went to public schools for all 12 years in inner city Newark back in the forties and fifties, graduated in '58, got accepted at Dartmouth, graduated from there. I don't think I could do this today. I don't think I'd even live through 12 years of school in Newark right now. It's really a darn shame what's happened there, and these teachers that I think are overpaid, Penny was on the phone with the governor and she was complaining that she would have to pay $600 to cover herself and her husband on some kind of a Cadillac health care program. My question to Penny is, how much union dues do you pay? And also, since it costs about 50 or $60,000 a year to go to an Ivy League school today, why can't the academics take a pay cut so that people don't have to take out all these student loans? But you never hear about that.

RUSH: That is one of the fascinating things about tuition and college. The one area that keeps going up, but you never hear the university system gouged or ripped like Big Oil is, or Walmart or big anything else. We just have to give the student loan program more money. We just have to loan more money. It's about 40 grand to go to an Ivy League school nowadays. He's right about that. You may not have been listening and heard what he was referring to. Grab audio sound bite number 25 out there, Ed. This is what he's talking about. It was Chris Christie on the radio in New Jersey last night, Ask the Governor radio show, Penny in Blackwood called. She was upset, said, "I want to know why you want to take at least 13% out of state employees' pay for health care. I mean that's gonna cost my husband and me $600 a month of our money to pay for our health care. That's gonna cut into our food and other bills. How do you expect us to live?"

Now, here's a woman, state employee, state's paying it all, state's broke, Christie says, "You're gonna have to pay a little bit more for your health care." "How am I gonna live? How am I gonna live? That's gonna cut into our food and other bills." And this is what Governor Christie said to her.

CHRISTIE: How I expect you to live, Penny, is you're gonna have to pick a different health plan that's not nearly as rich as the one you're getting now. That's how.

PENNY: Either that or you're force us to not have any health care.

CHRISTIE: No, I'm not gonna force you to not have any health care. I don't think that means forcing you to go without health care. But what it means is we can no longer afford to pay 90 plus percent of the cost of your health care. Public workers are getting their health insurance paid for out of your property taxes, and state workers are getting their health insurance paid for out of your income taxes. If I'm $67 billion in debt and you don't want me to take any more money out of your paycheck, how am I supposed to pay for it? Am I supposed to just raise taxes? Because if I raise taxes you're gonna pay more taxes, and if your property taxes go up, you're going to pay more taxes. I mean the money's gotta come from somewhere. We can't print it.

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There's Governor Christie telling her, "The money's gotta come from somewhere. We can't print it." What he's basically saying is, time has come, you're going to have to pay for some of this yourself, taxes are already too high. Your neighbors can't afford it anymore. But you can see, she thinks that this is an entitlement. She works for the state. Her health care should be paid for. The idea she's gonna have to pay for this is just foreign. She's gonna starve now. She's gonna starve.

You know, I have to tell you, you've heard me say this before, I'm a broken record on it and I probably ought to shut up about it. But I am appalled. I'm really wondering where I screwed up in life. 'Cause I think I'm one of the few people who actually pays for everything I have, want, or need. I missed the memo. I missed the instruction on how to get other people to pay for you. And, by the way, this runs at every income level. I have been just as incredulous when I see a big-time corporate CEO retire and get a $700 million package and use of the corporate plane whenever he wants even though he's not there anymore, and the company is buying his apartment and his tickets to sports events. I look and I say, "Well, what's the $700 million for?" Other people say, "Look, that was the deal. He got the deal. Why are you griping about the deal?" No, I understand, but I wouldn't ask for that. You know, give me the money, if I want an apartment, I'll pay for it. Anyway, it all blew up because the ex-wife found out about it and blew the whistle on the deal and he had to give some of it back. Nobody knew about it, except the board. So the ex-wife blew the whistle or the disgruntled wife before -- anyway, that's just one example. I'm just telling you it happens at every income level. I just missed the memo on it. I'm under this obviously mistaken belief that if you want a health care plan, you pay for it. I would love to get a lobotomy and have a brain transplant where I didn't think that anymore. Figure out how to game the system.

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RUSH: Bruce in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, you're next on the Rush Limbaugh program.

CALLER: Well, good afternoon and thanks for taking my call, Rush.

RUSH: Yes, sir. You bet.

CALLER: You were talking about maybe two million people or so in the cities around the Northeast that were poor?

RUSH: New Jersey!

CALLER: New Jersey.

RUSH: New Jersey. There are more poor people in New Jersey than in Boston and a couple or three other cities combined.

CALLER: And my question is: When are we gonna finally redefine what "poor" is, what the poverty level is in America? Do you know how we even come up with that?

RUSH: I don't know how we come up with it. I'm having a mental block now even though I just read what department does it. Commerce?

CALLER: The reason I ask is because I just don't see "poor" everywhere in America. I don't see anyone starving to death in the streets.

RUSH: Oh, there's a lot of "food insecurity" out there. You can see it standing in line at McDonald's: "Are they gonna have McNuggets or not?" That's out there. Food insecurity, in Port St. Lucie, has resulted in 911 phone calls.

CALLER: But I think that's just exactly what we need to do in America is redefine what truly poor is and who the ones that really need the help are, because I think we're all willing to help out.

RUSH: I did this once. Let me tell you, I did this once. There's a guy at Heritage (speaking of Heritage) and his name is Robert Rector (R-e-c-t-o-r) and he has done exactly what you suggest. He has compared what we call "poverty" to what is poverty in other countries, and you'd be amazed. You'd be amazed at the number of people we say "live in poverty" who have air-conditioned homes and cars, for example. He's got all these numbers, all these stats. I happened to make it public back in the early nineties, and I got creamed for it as somebody just lying and just making stuff up. So it's one of those areas the left doesn't want you to go there, but I went there. Robert Rector at Heritage has every answer you want on your question.

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