RUSH: Rasmussen went out and asked people what they thought of the whole notion of forgiving student loans. Sixty-six percent oppose forgiveness of student loans. One of the loudest demands of the Occupy Wall Street protesters is forgiveness of the nearly $1 trillion worth of student loans, but Rasmussen, as I say, went out and surveyed and they found that 66% of Americans opposed the whole thing. You know, it really is a racket. It's an interesting loop or circle for generation after generation. We've all been pressured. I've told the story numbers of times.
My father, up until the last five years of his life thought he was a failure because he was unable to convince me to go to college. Formative experience, two of them in his life, the Great Depression and World War II. Great Depression, it was true, if you were without a college degree in and around that period of time, you really did face long odds in getting a job. Of course when I was growing up there was no Great Depression; there was nothing like it. But it was such a formative experience for people that lived through it that it became a value system. It was a huge thing and it always has been a huge thing: got to go to college. My problem with it has always been, college to me never equaled education. Learning equaled education. And I always had a problem learning in forced, mass circumstances like schools where everybody had to conform and everybody was taught the same thing, and what you were interested in was of secondary importance.
College. If I could have audited classes, meaning if I coulda gone and just picked the courses I wanted to go to, things I really cared about, go in there, learn what was being lectured or taught, not take a test, don't get any credit for it, just go in, leave, whatever, it would have been far more preferable to me. But, no, no, no, no, that wouldn't work because you didn't have any proof. You didn't have a degree. So there was social status attached with a degree, all the things wrapped up into it. While this is going on, every generation is under -- well, it was pressure, but it was almost a cultural requirement, systemic norm that you had to go to college. If you didn't go to college, you were hopeless. Your prospects were dimmed. You weren't going to learn anything. I can't tell you the things I was warned were gonna happen to me if I didn't get a college degree.
The pressure was intense and I continued to resist it because I wasn't interested in it. I knew way before college what I wanted to do, and all I wanted to do was things oriented toward advancing what I had already found out that I loved, and there wasn't one thing -- well, not true. There were maybe two or three areas of college that were interesting to me, and I did excel in 'em. But it wasn't enough to overshadow the F's I got in all the other classes. I just never equated it with learning. I still love learning to this day. It's one of the most exhilarating things. And I think learning is key, keeping your mind active, to remaining young at heart, rather than stagnating, and if you like learning you're gonna have a much easier time of it if you have the time, the freedom, the ability to focus on what it is you want to learn. It's impossible to know everything. (interruption) What do you mean, too much truth? I'm not saying that.
Snerdley's afraid that I'm hitting you people with too much truth, that I am setting a bad example for the young skulls full of mush listening to this program. They're now gonna walk into their parents' house, "See, see? Look at Rush, he doesn't like college, he didn't go to the college, I don't want to go." And you're gonna get mad at me for undue, improper influence of your young children. Well, that's not my intention here. I'm merely sharing my passions with you. I'm sharing my own experiences, and as I always do, my own opinions. (interruption) No, I was never scared that I didn't finish college. The one thing when I left home, I looked at it as a challenge.
I left home at age 20, after two basically worthless semesters of college. The story is now legion. I flunked speech class twice. I, El Rushbo, el primo communicator in America, flunked speech class. You know why? Because it wasn't a speech class. This is exactly my point. It was an outline class. I showed up. I gave every speech. But I didn't outline 'em. I had already developed another technique for giving speeches. I ad-libbed 'em. I gave speeches on subjects I knew about. I didn't need notes. Well, I flunked 'cause I didn't follow the course. This is the kind of stuff, I said, "This is a waste of my time." But I understood, the educators gotta have systems for dealing with large groups and masses of people. They can't tailor education to individuals when you got 200 of them in the classroom.
Okay. So I just figured it wasn't for me. But what happened to me, when I finally left home at age 20, after one year of accomplishing nothing, essentially, in college, I realized, sort of like a slap to the face, I realized at that point that I was going to have to be able to demonstrate my education. I wasn't gonna have a diploma that said, "This is an educated person." I was gonna have to demonstrate it. So I became an omnivorous, voluminous reader, and that worked well with my career because show prep has always been show prep, and I've always had a never-ending quest to keep learning, to know things. So it was a challenge. Demonstrating what I knew meant being able to use the language properly. Read it, write it, spell it, all of these things. And it became a personal challenge to me.
My whole life has been show prep, essentially, being prepared to have to demonstrate what I know because I don't have this magical piece of paper which says so. I also knew that I was not gonna be able to seek careers in places that required that piece of paper. Okay, fine. That limits. I didn't want to do it anyway. Cool. If I wanted to do it I'd have stayed in college. Now, I'm not suggesting that everybody punt college. 'Cause I realize for most people, college is a weigh station. It's the next thing you do when you don't know what you want to do. You go there, society says that's where you go, and this is what happens when you go there. You come out, you're educated; you're well-rounded; you're informed; you learn social skills, all that rot, and you are prepared, and, you know, all of these things that are attached to it that equal social status.
So people go to these colleges, universities as a weigh station, hoping that while they're there they find out their passion, they discover it, what they want to do. Some people know it when they go there. Again, not everybody's the same. But I just look at it now, the student loan business run by Obama, and I think I see the racket that this is. Now, I am fully aware that there are great institutions for education in this country. There are plenty of good universities and colleges. It's not all a racket. But I just find it fascinating that while the price of gasoline goes up we target a whole industry, Big Oil.
The subprime loan business happens, so what do we do? We protest on the lawns of executives at Wall Street firms that people have been made to believe had a role in the subprime mortgage thing. If the price of anything goes up, we protest that industry. The Democrat Party and the American left have their enemies list, and it's basically any private sector industry that is a success. The one institution in this country that is immune from such attack is education. Those people can charge whatever they want! Tuition could go up 200% and there's never one peep about it. The Democrat Party and the American left never make Big Education justify what they're doing. They never try to drum up hate for them. They never demonize them. They never try to get you to despise 'em.
They never try to get you to distrust 'em. They want people paying these exorbitant fees when it comes to college tuition, and what's the system to make it possible? Student loans! It's like the subprime mortgage business. "You can't afford a house? That's not fair. We're gonna see to it that you can get into one anyway." "You can't afford to go to college? That's not fair. You don't have a chance if you don't go to college. We're gonna make sure you can go there. Here's a student loan. You're gonna go for four years. We're gonna teach you nothing that's worthwhile. We're gonna teach you nothing useful. You're gonna be indebted to us $200,000 when it's all over. The rest of your working life is gonna be spent paying us off. You owe us," meaning the Democrat Party.
"All of our friends are in higher education: The teachers, the teachers' assistants, the professors. They are the ones who benefit from this never-ending tuition price increase, fee increases, what have you. It's the one American industry that is never demonized. No matter what it does. Price goes up? It would be the equivalent of if the Democrat Party and the American left had an incestuous relationship with Big Oil: The price of gasoline jumps up one day a buck a gallon let's say, and everybody in the country's whining and moaning. "How can this be?" and instead of the Democrat Party joining that chorus and bringing the Big Oil execs up and grilling 'em and accusing them of raping people and ripping 'em off, the government comes up with gasoline insurance, or gas loans.
"Here, we'll loan you money to buy the gasoline -- and after 20 years, if you can't pay it off, we'll forgive it and we'll make the other taxpayers pay it off for you," and I'm just saying that the racket (and it is one) works well because for all of these generations it is axiomatic: "Our children must go to college. Must." Almost as axiomatic now as: "Everyone must have health care. Must! It's a constitutional right, just like the right to a lawyer." If going to college equaled education, I'd have a lot fewer problems with it. But it doesn't. Too often it's an indoctrination or a propagandization or what have you. I'm not trying to get anybody irritated here, and I'm not trying to be too honest. It's just... Folks, I understand liberals. I know how they try to control. I know how they try to limit people's freedom. I know how they try to dumb down people in order to get them compliant and dependent. Gosh, the damage they've done to this country and the people of this country is just incalculable. It breaks my heart and ticks me off at the same time.
RUSH: You know, for many people -- and I mean this -- a student loan itself is one of the biggest education events in their lives. A student loan is, "Welcome to the real world, kid." Getting that big a loan, being responsible for it, having to pay it off. You know, another industry that's not demonized is Hollywood. Hollywood can charge you whatever they want at the box office, for DVDs. I don't care what they do. They are not even demonized for content. They used to be a couple of groups now and then have congressional hearings on some of the content. Very, very, very rarely. They also are immune. They are approved. I think in way too many places college, higher education, is just a branch office to the Democrat National Committee.
We know that the Ivy League is used to train people to live and work in government as a career from the Big Government perspective, that government's the center of the universe, that government's the center of the world, that government's the center of everybody's life. That's the purpose of the Ivy League education. What do you think the purpose of the Kennedy School is at Harvard, the Kennedy School of Government? It's to train you where to go to buy the right shoes if you work in the State Department; where to go to buy the right suit; on what occasion do you wear the tails. All the social, finer points and s, all the language, all the techniques.
They find you for the CIA there, they find you for the State Department there, they find you for any number of places there. (chuckles) Yes, yeah. At Yale you can join the Skulls. Well, the Skulls find you. Skull and Bones. It's a racket. It's a racket. Now, obviously there's a benefit to it for a lot of people. I'm not universally panning it. I'm just trying to make a point here that you check the Democrat Party and every industry they demonize the minute the price of their product goes up a penny or the minute they get a tax break, and then you look at how silent they are when the price of an education quadruples every year and their solution to it is for you to go into more debt to be able to have access to it. That's all I'm saying. Nothing more, nothing less.
RUSH: My personal slogan when it came to going to college: "Resist We Much!" Even before I knew that was my slogan, that I was my slogan.
RUSH: Yeah, I think that's true. There are other reasons why college tuitions are so expensive. A, you have all those scholarships out there. However, a football scholarship probably pays for itself how many times over. You have the college scholarships, and then you have the mandatory student aid that's out there. I don't know. I'm still amazed, folks. With all the money, still the universities are there soliciting donations and contributions and (sigh) I marvel at the amount of money circulating throughout every area of our society, and no matter what area we're talking about, they're all "underfunded." I don't care if it's education, if it's medicine, it's pensions, everything's underfunded! In other words, we're spending more than anybody is taking in -- and it contributes to this whole notion that nothing is real. It's all been built on dreams, loans, debt, what have you -- I mean, exorbitantly so. Don't forget, look, a lot of these institutions of higher learning have these endowments. Harvard, Columbia. Sometimes earning 20, 22% on their endowment investments. And they don't pay any taxes on their Wall Street profits. I'm telling you, folks, it's an ingenious racket.