RUSH: Okay, to the phones we go as promised. We go to Brooklyn and Vinny is back. Hey, Vinny.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Two If By Tea dittos.
RUSH: Thank you. Thanks very much, sir. I appreciate that a lot.
CALLER: Okay. I have two points. My first one is this on Bill Kristol. I've listened to him trying convince me that John McCain was such a great candidate for this country. Kristol is part of the Washington establishment, and so is his entire magazine. I don't trust him, and for him to come out and say this, I'm suspicious. That's number one.
RUSH: Well, why? I mean, not why. What do you think his objective is if you think he's being... What's he trying to accomplish?
CALLER: I don't know. Honestly I don't know, but I do know what Bill Kristol has sounded like all these many years that I've listened to him, and he's been no real friend of conservatism as you and I know conservatism, and that's my opinion. And when I hear him talk big and bad like this, I'm suspicious. I don't know where it's coming from.
RUSH: Well, it's... I've found it. It's out there.
CALLER: Well --
RUSH: Well, no. Not the extent of the cave, you're right. Maybe he's... Would you allow the possibility that he is playing his own psychological game here?
CALLER: Of course I would 'cause what do I know? I don't know any better what he's really up to. But I'm just telling you what I feel of what I do know about Bill Kristol.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: The second point -- and I need to defer to the leader of the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies -- I have heard the term bandied around "tax loopholes." Now, is a tax loophole the same as the tax stipend; or is that the same as the new, of course, "revenue gatherer" that we've heard the last couple of weeks? What is a tax loophole, and is that in fact a tax cut?
RUSH: That's actually, Vinny, an excellent question. (chuckles) It's an excellent question. A tax loophole is simply a legal tax law that people who disagree with it, who think it's unfair, call a loophole. You might say the mortgage interest deduction is a tax loophole. It is a specific tax cut written to allow people who are paying for a house on a mortgage to deduct the interest.
RUSH: That's a tax loophole. Now, the word "loophole" is made to sound like there are people cheating. But people who are exercising tax loopholes are simply following the law. Does that help?
CALLER: That cleared it up for me immensely. So henceforth if you get rid of a so-called tax loophole, you're raising taxes on people who benefit from it?
RUSH: You are correct. Yeah. Yes. If you get rid of a tax loophole, you are essentially raising taxes on people.
CALLER: Right and if you get rid of tax loopholes for businesses --
RUSH: But wait a second now. It's imperative that you remember that the occasion using the language "loophole" word attempt is to imply that these people are benefiting unfairly, that there may be cheating, that they have discovered a hole, that they have discovered an illegal way around the tax -- and they haven't. They're simply following the law, and people who disagree with that part of the tax code call it a loophole hoping to get the public to support them in changing it and to cast aspersions on the people who use that tax law as criminals.
CALLER: Well, I understand 100%, and I will say one more thing, that the Republicans have come out far too many times in the last month -- and if there's one sound bite, there is a hundred of them, with them implicitly --saying there will not be any tax rate increases. Now, if that's meant to include tax so-called loopholes, revenue, oil company subsidies --
CALLER: -- you know --
RUSH: A tax --
RUSH: A tax rate, when will they say that there will not be a tax rate increase, they're talking income tax rate. Tax loopholes are... What would you call them? You might also call them deductions. They're Schedule C. So their independent tax rate is what you pay on your net taxable income. The deductions that you are allowed by law allow you to deduct certain things that you're doing and spending money on or investing it in, like charitable contributions, at the tax rate you pay. For example, if you are on the upper bracket of 35%, and you donate a hundred grand to the Red Cross, you get to deduct $35,000 of it. That's called a "loophole," but that deduction of $35,000 means that your rate doesn't change. It just means your taxable income after getting that $35,000 deduction is changed. The Republicans are promising that the rate of 35% won't change. Whatever loopholes three are could be changed, deductions can be changed, various elements tax code could be changed. They could take away the mortgage interest deduction, for example, as a way of theoretically raising revenue with not bumping the rates.
CALLER: Okay, I understand that completely. So would you consider it, then, that they would be caving if they indeed allow some of these so-called tax loopholes? I understand the language differential, but if they allow some of these tax loopholes to change -- and let's just say that consumers, you know, did lose some deductions now -- would you consider that a cave?
RUSH: If -- if -- they are deductions that Obama wants to eliminate, and if there are no corresponding, huge budget cuts, then they're caving. Remember here, I think that they need to take all this talk about loopholes, revenue, whatever -- whatever constitutes revenue -- and stop. Don't raise taxes on any of it. You are raising taxes on people if you take away the mortgage interest deduction. You're raising taxes on people if you take away the charitable deduction. Stop talking about it! Don't mention it. Don't talk "revenue." Don't talk "user fees" for Jellystone Park. Don't talk about it. We are talking about cutting spending. We've got to. So, yeah, you can say that they've caved, if they do that.
CALLER: Yeah, because now I'm a little confused if they do any of that, because you just said that's raising taxes on people. Effectively.
RUSH: It does. It raises the taxes that they will pay -- and depending on who they are, it could have adverse impact on job creation. For example, this carried interest business. If they eliminate the whole concept of carried interest, the investment in commercial real estate is gonna come to a screeching halt. Now, the hedge fund and private equity boys can just pack up and move overseas and operate under foreign law and exempt themselves from the carried interest, but obviously commercial real estate guys in America can't just pack up and move.
CALLER: Well, Rush, I appreciate you taking so much time explaining it to me. I just wanted to see, A, where you were coming from; and, B, if I was my understanding the language and the meaning of these so-called tax loopholes, which are really just legal laws on tax code.
RUSH: They're just legal laws. They're just legal laws. They're just part of the tax code. How many of you people consider your mortgage interest deduction a "loophole"? I'll bet you don't. But yet you'll be made to believe that the investment tax credit the oil companies get is a tax loophole because they're Big Oil, and somehow they're smart enough to cheat! You've been told, "They go out and pay these tax lawyers all this money so they could find a way to cheat our precious government and our precious president!" They're not cheating anybody. The people who cheat are the people that don't file.
The people that cheat are those who don't report all their income. The people who cheat are those who lie about the amount of their deductions. So I'm glad you asked these questions, Vinny, because that loophole question is a good one, because that's classic. It's just like "tax break." You'll look in the coverage of all this today, and I don't care where you go in the Drive-By Media, you will never see the word "tax cuts" used. Nor will you see the word "increase." You'll see two words: "hikes" for increases or "breaks" for cuts. Now, what's the implication of a "tax break"? It means to the average consumer, the American paying scant attention, that somebody's not having to pay their taxes. "They're getting a "break" on that! They're not having to pay what you owe." That's what a tax break is supposed to apply. A tax break is a tax cut. A tax hike is a tax increase. Pure and simple. Liberals cannot live and function and win with real words.
RUSH: From the Rush Limbaugh Encyclopedia, a tax loophole is a legitimate deduction that the Democrats and the left can demagogue before an election. Tax break, tax loophole, these are all class warfare terms, my friends. They're used to suggest that a class of persons, usually the rich, have gotten favorable treatment, but in reality, who gets more tax breaks and loopholes than the so-called poor? When 47% of US households pay no income tax at all and get money back, that's one hell of a tax loophole. The biggest tax loophole in the world is enjoyed by 47% of the American people. They don't pay a dime in federal income tax point. Do we ever hear the earned income tax credit as a tax loophole? How about the child deduction? It's a tax loophole. It's a tax break.
RUSH: I got a note here from a former member of Congress. He doesn't give me permission to use his name, so I'm not going to. If somebody doesn't grant me permission to use their name, I won't do it. But he heard Vinny from Brooklyn call wanting to know what is a tax loophole. We got into a discussion of definitions, tax break, tax loophole. This guy's a Republican. He said, "Rush, Republicans always want to cut tax rates. The standard Democrat mantra is, 'Hey, I support tax cuts, but not this Republican tax cut. I support targeted tax cuts.' Now, a targeted tax cut equals a loophole. And then a few months later they scream about the loophole that they created." He said there's an example in the stimulus bill, the depreciation extension for aircraft from five to seven years. Not one Republican voted for it.
In the Porkulus bill they extended the depreciation for aircraft from five years to seven years. So now it's two years later, the Democrats are able to derail the discussion about cutting spending to closing loopholes for corporate aircraft, painting the Republicans as protecting their private airplane owning friends and killing poor people, but the Republicans had nothing to do with creating the loophole and they were blindsided six times in the president's press conference as seeking its continuance. Not one Republican voted for the stimulus so not one Republican voted for the increase in depreciation for private aircraft from five to seven years. Yet here's Obama running around yesterday saying the Republicans' big buddies are corporate jet owners and he was the author of it, or his Democrat buddies.
It's a public relations masterpiece and it's undermined only by me telling you about it. Targeted tax cut, by the way, usually means a tax break for Democrats. Don't forget, Teresa Heinz Kerry has a corporate jet. John Kerry flies in it. She owns it. A lot of Democrats have corporate jets. A lot of Democrats benefited from the extension in depreciation from five years to seven years. So it's classic, it's classic. They go destroy the economy, accuse the Republicans of it. They go create this tax break, this tax loophole, accuse the Republicans of doing the same thing.
RUSH: Fayetteville, North Carolina, hi Joe, great to have you on the EIB Network. Fort Bragg right down the street. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Thanks for having me on the air. I'm a Democrat, Obama supporter, and I wanted to talk about Republican candidates, but something else I'd like to mention real quick, you talking about tax loopholes. I think your definition is wrong. I don't think a tax loophole refers to just tax breaks and tax laws. I think when you say tax loophole, you're referring to exploits of tax breaks, tax code to reduce your tax liability. For example, if there's a provision in the tax code that says that if you get divorced and you can reduce your tax liability or a couple can go across the border to Mexico, file for divorce there like on the 31st of December, you know what I mean, come back to the US, get remarried on the 2nd --
RUSH: That's the age-old marriage penalty, and that's like the ARM. That just ensnares everybody. But, you know, you're wrong. You can sit there, and this is the problem with Democrats, you revel in being wrong. You've called here, and you are proud to be wrong. You've just told me that what I said a tax loophole is, isn't. And it is. I got no reason to lie to you. I've got no reason to be wrong about it. I defined a tax loophole, a tax break perfectly, flawlessly. The corporate jet break is a loophole. Yeah, it was a benefit to corporate jet owners in the depreciation schedule. Obama put it in the stimulus bill. It was written right into the stimulus bill, your stimulus bill, your shovel-ready jobs bill. A tax loophole is not exploiting the law. It is the law. A tax loophole is not an end-around. You're proving the point of how the language distortion has worked. You think you're right. You think you're a genius. You think you called here, you're gonna outsmart old El Rushbo, and you're proud to be wrong. It's stunning. I can't relate. I revel in being right. Some people revel in being wrong. I don't know how it does for you, but I can't relate to it.