RUSH: Scott in Ellijay, Georgia, welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you for taking my call, Rush. I wanted to point something out as far as the proposed debt committee. I'm in retail, I've been in retail for a while, and it just blew my mind when I realized that the decisions that they make and the decisions that they come up with are supposedly to be done November 23rd or 24th, which is three or four days before Thanksgiving, which begins the biggest retail season in the country with -- and then of course they don't vote on it until I think two days before Christmas. As a retailer and someone whose livelihood depends on retail, that atmosphere completely sucks all the buying desire out of people, and it will absolutely affect the retailers across this nation.
RUSH: You know, I hadn't thought about that. You have a point. Is it December 23rd when they wrap up or the 27th? Probably 23rd. I think you're right.
CALLER: Either way, the entire conversation for everybody, their entire focus is gonna be on debt reduction, cut spending, all that. It's not the greatest atmosphere in the world for people who want to go buy stuff.
RUSH: Yeah, or will there be tax increases. Will there be tax increases?
RUSH: Will the country go to hell in a handbasket even faster.
CALLER: You got it. And I was surprised that they did not say, "Look, this is what we're gonna do: We're gonna get together, say, September. We're gonna wrap this thing up by the end of September; we're gonna vote on it by mid-October and we're gonna get it settled so that this Christmas season, they'll start selling."
RUSH: Who did you wish or think would be saying that?
CALLER: Well, I just... You know --
RUSH: Congress at large or the Republicans?
CALLER: Well, somebody in control. Somebody, one side or the other. Quite honestly, could you imagine if Obama did it? I wouldn't give him anything as far as what he would need to get reelected, but if that guy came on and said, "This is what we're gonna do and we're gonna get it set ahead of time and we're gonna do it so when retail season comes along on that Black Friday, it will be the biggest one we've had in ten years."
RUSH: I don't mean to sound disrespectful because I'm not being disrespectful, but you are laboring under a very serious misconception. You are not wrong. You are absolutely right in what you say, but the misconception under which you are laboring is that you think these people want to fix it.
RUSH: These people don't want to go anywhere near this because the fix for this is going to be painful.
CALLER: That is correct.
RUSH: And they don't want their names tied to it. That's why this whole deal was done in the first place.
CALLER: I hear you.
RUSH: This was nothing more than "kick the can down the road," and they're gonna find a way to get out of this committee business.
CALLER: I hear you.
RUSH: This committee thing, you wait. It's either gonna have no teeth when it's finished or corporation happen at all.
CALLER: Right. Well, if it has no teeth then all it will do is suck everything out of the retail season, and that affects everybody that's in retail and I think that's a lot of people.
RUSH: It is. It's gonna suck energy, it's gonna suck everything. It has the potential to suck happiness, which you in retail need.
CALLER: Yes. We just opened up a brand-new store, and quite honestly, you know, it's an affluent area and quite honestly again on the air all you hear is about, you know, "The debt ceiling within the debt ceiling, the debt ceiling. Are they gonna make it? Are they gonna make it? Are people gonna get paid their Social Security? " It's a tough atmosphere to open up a new retail store when most people aren't even opening stores.
RUSH: Let me tell you something.
CALLER: They're cutting back.
RUSH: Let me tell you something, Scott. I hear you, pal. I just started a new tea business.
RUSH: TwoIfByTea.com. I knew, Kathryn and I knew that doing this in this particular economic climate -- with so much unemployment, so few leisure dollars -- that it was a tough thing to do. Why did you build your new store, be interested to know because circumstances when you built store were not much different than they are today. Why did you do it?
CALLER: Well, first of all it's not my store. I'm just the general manager. But second of all the reason was that one of our location just over the years that had been there a long time was just going down and down and down and down. It would have been much easier just to close it. But instead the owner, who I think the world of, he said, "Look..." (chokes up) "Let's build a nice store."
RUSH: To try to save it?
CALLER: Well, no. You know, instead of the having a crappy store, the place it with a crappy store, that's what we did.
RUSH: The crap store was going to hell? Is that what you're saying?
CALLER: It wasn't even really going to hell. It was just in a bad neighborhood.
RUSH: Oh! Oh! Oh! I misunderstood. But it was losing business because of the location?
CALLER: Yeah, it was losing business but it was a bad reflection of what the company is.
RUSH: Right, right, right. Okay. Yeah. You did it for image, you did it to help boost sales. Your owner probably didn't want to lay a bunch of people off. He was probably being compassionate.
CALLER: That's exactly right. It was a risk on his part, and the whole time all you hear is, you know, "Debt ceiling, debt ceiling, debt ceiling."
RUSH: I hear you. That's exactly what we were doing is the Two If By Tea. We had this idea for a while.
RUSH: And we talked about it. And I finally said, we said to he each other, "I'm not gonna let this guy stand in the way of trying this. It may make no sense in the world to do this right now, but I'm not gonna sit here and give up and hunker done."
CALLER: That was the owner.
CALLER: You know, and I just hate to see it maybe going the same way with Black Friday since it's the second biggest season for us.
RUSH: Well, I got a plan for you.
RUSH: I have something for your owner. I don't know if you can do this legally, but listen to this story. This is Reuters: "Arkansans shopped until they dropped on Saturday, braving temperatures deep into the triple-digits to take advantage of the state's first sales tax holiday weekend. 'I have never seen anything like this,' said Clancy Graham, a manager at Little Rock's RK Collections Boutique, an independently owned store. 'If we could do this three times a year, it would be amazing. It has done crazy good stuff for our business.' Arkansas lawmakers approved the holiday in February to give parents a tax break on their back-to-school shopping for items such as uniforms, clothing and school supplies. The tax-holiday also covers items not necessarily needed for school including wedding apparel, girdles ..." Girdles? Girdles? It's Arkansas. Okay. "[A]nd costumes. Officials have estimated it would cost Arkansas about $2 million in revenue," but look what happened! They simply took away the sales tax and sales went bananas in Arkansas.
RUSH: Now, that his lesson! There's an economic lesson there.
CALLER: Sure there is.
RUSH: Tax cuts generating revenue. Now, the state of the Arkansas may have lost some revenue here, but the people who are in business didn't, and the state of Arkansas's gonna make it back.
RUSH: So there's a lesson here. So, we find ourselves in the same situation you're in.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: The whole notion that they're gonna have Congress bickering with the same old stuff, and all this does is depress people, all it does is keep focusing on the failures of the country.
RUSH: And it makes people want to hoard what they've got because they don't know what the future is. It's the same reason people, on balance, and businesses are not expanding. Yours is an exception.
CALLER: That is correct. It's just unfortunate that even though it may not accomplish anything, it may hurt something.
RUSH: Well, our best to you.
CALLER: To your business, too.
RUSH: I appreciate know appreciate your call. I just wish I could tell you something confidently that would comfort you about this committee. The best I can do is that I think it's like everything else: When they get the point in time where the committee becomes relevant, something's gonna happen to make it irrelevant, worthless, not happen, or kick it further down the road or what have you. Because nobody -- particularly in election year, nobody -- wants to be attached to things that cause pain.