RUSH: Oh, jeez. I just heard something. You know, I really like Dana Perino. Maybe I ought to stop there.
Greetings, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome. It's Rush Limbaugh from high atop the EIB Building at the EIB Southern Command in a hidden location heavily fortified here in South Florida. The telephone number if you want to be on the program, 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
Well, she said she was listening to Huntsman yesterday, heard Huntsman say that the country is screwed. She said, (paraphrasing) "That's not presidential. That's not the way we want to talk, to say the country's screwed. It's live TV, you can screw up, and you can say the wrong thing, but it really is not the kind of discourse," blah, blah, blah, blah. And then she said, "I was watching TV today and I saw a Jon Huntsman ad and he says right in the ad that the country's screwed with Obama. That's just not the way we want to talk." Folks, we ARE screwed!
This recess appointment stuff, it's extra-constitutional. It is lawless. The Senate is not in recess. Who's gonna stop the guy? That's the question. If we're gonna sit around and say, "You can't say 'screwed,'" you got McCain out there, McCain ripping Newt for saying that Romney's a liar. John McCain slammed Newt Gingrich today. I can't believe it's already Thursday. "John McCain slammed Newt Gingrich Thursday for calling Mitt Romney 'a liar,' accusing him of crossing the line of 'something that we don’t do in politics. I don’t think it’s appropriate to call your opponent a liar. That’s just something we don’t do in politics unless you certainly have some overwhelming proof,' said McCain on CBS’s The Early Show." Really? Now they tell us. Who knew that's something we don't do in politics is call our opponents liars, unless we have overwhelming proof, which we do, if we're talking about Obama.
Anyway, McCain, here's the guy who says, (imitating McCain) "We're not gonna pronounce Obama's middle name. That's just not how we do things in politics, it's not gonna happen. If you say it, you're outta here, you understand?" As I say, I like Dana Perino, but folks, you haven't heard anything. I have been waiting to see if this gets reported. It has not been reported. It's not gone beyond where I first saw it. Well, I take it back. It has appeared in one other place. Our old buddy James Pethokoukis, who writes at Reuters and some other places, has discovered that one of the objectives Obama has with all these recess appointments is to -- brace yourself here -- essentially, when you strip it all away, if this happens, what Obama is planning on doing is essentially forgiving all mortgages.
There are some requirements. You have to be paying on your mortgage, you have to be three months current, but Obama is going to just wave a magic wand and allow people to refinance their mortgages, essentially cutting hundreds of dollars off of the monthly payment. This will cost $1.2 trillion and, as always, it is those of you who don't have a mortgage or who will not qualify for this plan who will be paying for it. This is buying an election in one fell swoop. (interruption) What? What quote from yesterday? Oh. Well, everybody's saying, even Rove is out there saying it's not a smart move to spend 20 minutes on stage with McCain if you are Romney having McCain endorse you. It's really not a smart move. That 20 minutes on Hannity last night. I don't know who they think are, I just don't know. I don't know how they think they're helping themselves. But don't get sidetracked here.
Folks, it may not matter who the nominee is. It may not matter about the primaries. It may not matter about any polling data. We have a president who's cutting the defense budget now. His priorities are winning the future, paying off his wacko donors and weakening national security in the process, proudly saying that it's about time we pared down to the point where we can only fight one ground war at a time. The idea that we should be able to fight two ground wars at a time is excessive and unnecessary, so we're cutting the defense budget. All of this is predictable, by the way. There is a plan afoot by virtue of these recess appointments, it's a little bit more complicated, but the bottom line is, in terms of perception, the perception is going to be on the part of people that Obama is forgiving their mortgages.
The perception and the way it's gonna be reported -- this is not really what's gonna happen -- but the way it's gonna be reported and the way people are gonna be made to feel is that Obama is fixing their mortgage. He's fixing the fact that their house is underwater. He is going to lower their monthly payment, the banks, the rich guys are gonna take the hit on it, millionaires and so forth. Your house is going to have value again. In one fell swoop with an executive order, we're gonna fix the housing problem. We're gonna bring value back to everybody's number one asset. Now, if that happens, and if it's reported that way, then all the rest of this is irrelevant. You go out and basically, as president, make it possible for people's mortgages to be paid much cheaper, the value of their home restored just with a wave of your magic wand, who's going to vote against that, who is going to vote against the guy that makes that happen? That's the plan.
Now, it's not guaranteed that it's going to happen. If it does, the monthly mortgage payment of people affected would fall by an average of $355 a month for Obama's constituents. That is not insignificant. For a lot of people, that's close to the payment we're talking about here. For a lot of people it's half the payment. It's not insignificant. You reduce people's monthly payment by 400 bucks, just by waving the magic wand, and there's one guy who did it. Obama. I want to take you back to some of the early town halls after the guy was elected over in Tampa, there's this woman saying, "Where's my new kitchen? Where's my new car?" Well, here it comes. Election year 2012. But instead of a new kitchen and a new car, hey, guess what? Here's your mortgage, refinanced, totally affordable as it should have been in the first place. The banks were ripping you off. The banks were overcharging you, but I am making your mortgage affordable and the value of your home is now worth something.
And who's gonna stop it? Who? Nobody! (interruption) Of course, they're gonna have to. What do you mean, "The banks are gonna grab the ankles on this"? The banks have been grabbing the ankles ever since the Community Redevelopment Act! The military is grabbing the ankles on cutting themselves. McCain's grabbing the ankles. (impression) "We don't call anybody 'liars' in politics! It's not how we do it, unless you have incontrovertible proof," and we don't really want to say the country's "screwed." That's just not presidential. So while we're sitting here worried about semantics and "sounding presidential," we've got a guy who is living and behaving outside the Constitution! We have a lawless regime, here.
We have a banana republic taking place! We have a dictatorship unfolding here. This mortgage thing -- and I'll give you the details here as the program unfolds. But remember, folks, it's not the details here that are going to matter. It's the perception and how this is reported; and when it's all over the beneficiaries of this program are going to be told that Obama is basically forgiving their mortgage, forgiving the loan. Obama is basically giving them a house, giving them their house; and that they deserve that because the rich banks have screwed them all these years by overcharging them and so forth; and Obama finally cut these people a break. This is how it's gonna be reported.
It's the same thing with the jobless numbers. I warned you. I warned you back in December, "Get ready," and, lo and behold, all it's taken is one month for it to come true. The new jobless numbers are out and, "Look! Ho, gee! Are we in Fat City? Why, everybody is going back to work. The economy, it's rebounded!" So it's a lot to deal with here, and I'll put all this in a semblance of order and give you the details of this. The mortgage thing is not guaranteed to happen. I don't want to say it's a fait accompli. I just want to tell you it's what's planned. This would be the mother of all stimulus bills. They're calling this the Home Assistance Refinancing Program 2.0.
The Home Assistance Refinancing Program, HARP (HARP 1.0) failed! It didn't work. They're going back and they're gonna do it again. They're calling it HARP 2.0. So we have a president who has gone rogue. Even yesterday in Ohio to set this up, Obama at his town hall meeting repeated his lie that the banks tricked people into getting bad mortgages. The banks tricked people, lured them in, and that's not at all what happened. The government is responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis as you well know because you're a devoted and regular listener to the program. But this is all set up yesterday with Obama in Ohio.
RUSH: Why don't the Republicans do something? I don't know. You've been asking me this for 23 years. Why don't the Republicans do something here about, you know, we got a guy, recess appointments when there's no recess. The Senate is not in recess. We've actually got Republicans saying, "It's not that big a deal. We don't want to make a big deal. It's not really that big a deal." Oh, it isn't, behaving outside the Constitution is not that big a deal? When's it gonna become a big enough deal to do something about? When's it gonna become a big enough deal to try to stop? That's the question that we all have.
January surprise, here it is, folks. James Pethokoukis at a blog, TheAmerican.com. "This could be just the beginning. If President Barack Obama’s legally dodgy appointment of Richard Cordray to head the consumer finance agency should stick, it may open the door to more such actions. Here's Jaret Seiberg of the Washington Research Group:" a think tank bunch "To us, the most important takeaway from a recess appointment of Cordray is that the President could use this same maneuver to put a housing advocate in charge of FHFA." Federal Housing Finance Agency.
"And why is that important? The Federal Housing Finance Agency is the regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And the FHFA currently has an acting director, Edward DeMarco. If Obama replaces him with a 'housing advocate' via the same recess appointment process, here’s what might happen next, according to Seiberg:
That could lead to a mass refinancing program for agency-backed mortgages that would go well beyond the existing HARP program. That could hurt agency MBS pricing and result in higher financing costs [mortgage backed security pricing] going forward. Yet it also could be a big boost for the economy and housing going into the election." Well, hell, yes, it could. You let people refinance their mortgages, effectively cut 'em in half, lop almost $400 off the monthly payment, have one guy said to be responsible for it, Barack Obama getting even with the banks for overcharging everybody, restoring value to people's homes.
Mr. Pethokoukis writes, "Indeed, my sources tell me the Obama administration has been eager to implement just such a plan, but needs to have its own man heading the FHFA to make it happen. The plan would be modeled after one originally devised by Columbia University economists Glenn Hubbard (a campaign adviser to Mitt Romney.)" Yes, let me read this to you again. The plan that Obama wants to implement "would be modeled after one originally devised by Columbia University economists Glenn Hubbard (a campaign adviser to Mitt Romney and AEI visiting scholar) and Christopher Mayer." These are the two guys that have come up with this refinancing program. You think they don't want to run against Romney?
So you've got Romney advisers that were hijacked to help put together Obamacare, and now you've got Obama who's about to institute a mortgage refinance plan that is the idea of a Romney advisor. And yet we're being told they're scared of running against Romney. They really don't want to run against Romney. I don't see it that way. "In recent congressional testimony, Mayer described how the mass refinancing plan would work: Under our plan, every homeowner with a GSE mortgage can refinance his or her mortgage with a new mortgage at a current fixed of 4.20 percent or less. … To qualify, the homeowner must be current on his or her mortgage or become so for at least three months. … Other than being current, we would impose no other qualification or application, except for the intention to accept the new rate (that is, no appraisal, no income verification, no tax returns, etc.)." No nothing.
You heard right. You heard right. All you have to do to qualify is have a GSE mortgage and be current for three months on your payment. GSE mortgage is a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac mortgage; a government sponsored enterprise. You gotta show up, you gotta be three months current, you have to have a mortgage that's approved by this thing governed by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. The GSE is a government-sponsored enterprise. That's Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac -- and other than being current, the two guys that came up with the plan (one of whom's a Romney adviser) said, "We would impose no other qualification or application except the intention to accept the new rate of 4.2%."
There would be no appraisal of your house. There would be no verification of your income. There would be no tax returns looked at. They'd simply say, "If you're current for three months..." Basically, GSE means everybody, because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pretty much have purview over practically every mortgage that's out there. If yours isn't yet under Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, it will eventually be packaged and sold to them so it eventually will be a GSE or if you have an FHA loan. "Mayer estimates that some $3.7 trillion of mortgages would be refinanced. That’s right, this would be the Mother of All Mortgage Refinancing Plans. It would help roughly 30 million borrowers save $75 billion to $80 billion a year.
"As Mayer puts it: 'This plan would function like a long-lasting tax cut for these 25 or 30 million American families,'" which is essentially Obama cutting your taxes by 400 bucks a month on your mortgage. (interruption) Snerdley keeps yelling at me, "The banks are just gonna roll over for this?" The banks have nothing to do with it! (interruption) No! It's Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. These are GSE mortgages. They're already in debt. These are taxpayers paying this, not the banks! It's the taxpayers. The banks are not in on this. This is everybody else. Renters are paying for this! People that don't have mortgages are paying for this. People that own their properties outright will be paying for this, not the banks.
"On his website, Hubbard," who is the Romney adviser, "says the plan would have an immediate fixed cost to the government of $121 billion. And he calculates the economic impact as follows," There are four points here, a lot of numbers, and it just gets confusing on the radio, but point number one is: ""We estimate that 72 percent of owner occupant homeowners would be eligible to refinance at no cost to them. Their monthly mortgage payments would fall by an average of $355, for a total national fiscal injection $7.1 billion each month," paid for by the taxpayers, not the banks. Now, if this happens it'll be one man doing it, Obama, as a result of getting his guy in at the Federal Housing Services Administration, and one guy will get the credit.
As I told you earlier: Those people that went to the town hall meeting shortly after Obama was elected, inaugurated, saying, "Where's my car? Where's my new kitchen?" Obama is gonna say, "Here is your house! I have made it possible for you to stay in and afford your house." So it won't matter who the Republican nominee is. It won't matter whether our nominee says the government is screwed or not or we're screwed. None of that stuff will matter. The polling data won't matter. This will be the single largest election purchase in our lifetimes, and it coincidences with defense department cuts and so forth. So the bottom line is: It's a political and economic gaining changer in a presidential election year. Obama could offer a trillion-dollar stimulus as measured over a decade that would directly and immediately impact millions of Americans suffering from the housing depression and just wipe it out.
RUSH: Now, let me sum it up for you in real language, not journalism language. The plan that I just described (formulated by an adviser to Mitt Romney, in part) would turn the conventional banking standards that we have upside down. The government would force banks to give lower rates to risky borrowers with bad mortgages. This is after, folks, the plan. Once you institute the program, you have to carry it forward with new lenders as well, otherwise the whole thing goes out the window. So, at that point, it does impact the banks. So the government would force the banks to give lower rates to risky borrowers with bad mortgages. Now, how do the banks make that up? They go to people like Snerdley who are responsible borrowers, who pay their mortgages, and you will have a higher rate because these people will be "the poor."
The people who are having their mortgages refinanced are "the poor," the disadvantaged, the victims of the predators who charged them more than they could ever afford. So responsible mortgage holders will have to pay higher rates in order to make up the difference for this reduction that the poor are getting. This is a massive redistribution scheme. It may be the single largest income redistribution scheme we've seen, if it happens -- and I hate to tell you this: This is the second mortgage-adjustment program that's being talked about. The first one is HARP 1. HARP 1 didn't work! A whole lot of people didn't apply for it because there is a lot of red tape.
There are still gonna be a lot of bureaucracy and hoops that people are gonna have to jump through. It's not guaranteed to work, but, even if it doesn't, you may never know. It's an election year and all that's going to be reported is the intention. The compassionate intention of Obama to help people who have been screwed by predatory lenders to make their mortgages affordable. Whether it ever happens or not will be irrelevant in terms of the impact on the campaign. The way it will be reported is, "Obama cares!" His intentions. His big-heartedness. "He wants to help." And, if it doesn't happen, you go to the old reliable: You blame the Republicans for standing in the way of it.
RUSH: I'm just watching McCain here. Hang on a minute. Oh, McCain's very concerned about the recess appointment. Well, that and a quarter will get you a latte.
Greetings, folks, and welcome back, Rush Limbaugh, great to have you here. I am America's real and only anchorman. America's truth detector. And, of course, the Doctor of Democracy all combined as one harmless, lovable little fuzzball bundle. The telephone number you want to be on the program, 800-282-2882.
Folks, this mortgage refinance business, if Obama will do this in an election year, what will he be capable of in a second term when there's no accountability, when he's basically a lame duck throughout the second term. Why not just write off half the student loan debt? In fact, why wait 'til the second term to do that? Why not do that on the heels of wiping out half of people's mortgage debt? That's what the Occupy Wall Street crowd wants. No student loans, just wipe it out. As I say, where's this gonna stop?
Now, there are people who think this won't work. In all honesty, there are people who say that the mortgage refinance plan, which is a giant redistribution of wealth plan, it's also a takeover of private property plan, by the way, when you get right down to it. But some people think it won't work. The difference here in HARP 1, HARP 1 you had to qualify. Obama's first mortgage assistance program, you had to go qualify. This you don't. There's no qualifying. All you have to do is be three months current on your mortgage. That's it. And you qualify. So if Obama's running roughshod over the Constitution less than a year out from the election, imagine what a second term will look like.
But remember, my friends, as Republicans we're not supposed to complain about Obama, we're not supposed to make it anything personal. No. We're not supposed to attack Obama. We're not supposed to attack him personally. We're not supposed to criticize Obama. That will send the independents running wherever they're gonna go. It would be in bad taste. It would be in terribly poor taste. So if Obama wants all these recess appointments, yes, we should lodge our objections and then shut up. And if he wants to refinance everybody's mortgage, we should lodge our objections and then shut up. Because to go any further would be unseemly, in bad taste, and would risk angering the independents, who will not tolerate the first black president being criticized. That's what our political consultants are telling our candidates.
So keep it respectful, let Obama do to Republicans what Romney did to Newt. That's what we should do here. Don't respond in kind. That might ruffle some feathers of the independents. In other words, let the bully bully you. Let the bully bully us. Because if we react to the bully, the kids in the school yard are gonna go right to the bully and love him. The bully is supposed to get away with being a bully when he's a Democrat president. There is no other way around it.
Reuters is cheering Obama's takeover of the bureaucracy here, the National Labor Relations Board. "Stymied by Congress, Obama to Boldly Seat Nominees -- A defiant President Barack Obama on Wednesday took his boldest action yet to show voters he will confront Republicans --" Obama is not confronting the Republicans. He's confronting the Constitution. The Republicans are not Obama's obstacle. The Constitution is Obama's obstacle. The Senate is controlled by Democrats. The Republicans don't control the Senate. The Republicans don't control whether these people are confirmed or not. The Democrats do. The Republicans are not standing in Obama's way. The Republicans are getting out of his way. They're afraid to be in his way.
Obama is bucking his own party on this. Obama is appointing people when there is no recess. Obama is acting outside the Constitution, and it is not the Republicans making him do it. As though he's justified anyway. But that's the tone of the reporting from Reuters. The Republicans are so bad, they're so obstinate, poor old Obama, he's got no choice but than to take a pee on the Constitution. Got no choice. Republicans are making him do it. That's what the message is. I know Dana Perino won't appreciate that language, but that's the message in the reporting. Right, here it is. "A defiant President Barack Obama on Wednesday took his boldest action yet to show voters he will confront Republicans." He's not confronting Republicans. He is confronting the Constitution. He's defying the Constitution with this power grab, not Republicans.
All right, let's go to the audio sound bites. I gotta calm down here. Here is the Dana Perino sound bite. Now, she was press secretary after Tony Snow in the White House. And I know where she's coming from. I know what the mind-set of the Bush team was, and you gotta admire 'em. They had a great reverence for the office. President Bush told me on numerous occasions why he did not respond to the political attacks on him, because he did not want to bring the office of the presidency down to that level. So the Bush people had and have a reverence for the office. I totally understand it. But I think it's being taken a bit far here to the point we are handcuffing ourselves in the process.
I understand where Dana Perino's coming from, I really do. But this goes to what we've always said. There's a group of people on our side who do not view the country to be as imperiled as you and I do, folks. The $15 trillion national debt, it's no different than when was it four trillion. It's just a number, Rush. The country's not imperiled. Obama can't destroy this country. Better people than Obama have tried, we're not gonna lose the country. It's not about that. You know, you win some elections and you lose some. What really is the objective of those who do not believe the country's imperiled, who do not think your kids' future is imperiled, who do not worry the debt is going to cause massive tax increases and loss of freedom. There's a sizable chunk of the Republican Party that does not think that. They just want to get back in charge of the money.
They want to run the Senate. They think that that's gonna be the best way to stop Obama. Well, what would they do if they ran Senate now and he's doing these recess appointments, what would they do? What evidence do we have to cite that they would do anything to stop it, reverse it, what would they do? But we do know they want the committee chairmanships. That's why they didn't like Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle. They thought, take Castle, he's a good moderate, he can win. We want our committee chairmen. Washington is all about who's in charge of the money, folks. You know, ideas are touted. They'll tell you they care about ideas. Ideas are secondary. The money in that town is the attraction, being in charge of it, what you can do with it is the great attraction.
So, anyway, Dana Perino was on Fox shortly after noon, and she got a question, "Why haven’t we seen a big picture inspiring speech from these candidates? Do you think they really know what their plan is for the country?"
PERINO: One of the things that happened in one of the debates, I thought it was just a slip-up, when Governor Huntsman said America is screwed. Okay, that is not presidential language, but on live TV you can sometimes say something you wish you didn't say, but today in New Hampshire releasing an ad that actually says that, and I think that just strikes the wrong note with people. If you want to be the leader of the United States of America, you should act like it.
RUSH: This is Dana Perino commenting on Huntsman, has high hopes for Huntsman, a lot of people on the Republican side hope that Huntsman is the dark horse, and she was telling everybody here that she was shocked. It had to be a slip of the tongue yesterday when Huntsman said that America is screwed, but then when he put it in an ad that she saw today she realized he meant to say it yesterday and, in the ad, and that's not presidential. And that's disappointing. And that's sad. (interruption) Snerdley, do not ask me that question. I'm not gonna repeat that question. I don't know -- you know, folks, it's at least three times a week I see a complaint or even hear one in person, e-mail complaint about why these conversations I have with the staff are one way.
"We don't even know if you're really talking to anybody. You could be making it all up. You could be faking these conversations. How do we know you're talking to somebody? Do you realize how frustrating it is to listen to a one-way conversation?" Trust me, there's a reason for this. There is a reason why these are one-way conversations and the question Snerdley wants me to ask in a rhetorical fashion... (laughing) it would be suitable for an FM morning show but not here. And Dana Perino ought to appreciate that of me. Standing up for high standards here.