Jeb Bush Declines Romney Offer
RUSH: New York Times: "A steady stream of endorsements has been flowing to Mitt Romney, with his campaign promoting Republicans who are giving their blessing to his presidential candidacy. Yet on the eve of the Florida primary, he has been unable to land the biggest catch of all: Jeb Bush. ... It has not been for a lack of effort by Mr. Romney, who has made phone calls, traded e-mails and met privately to try to win over Mr. Bush. The campaign was poised to make him a national co-chairman, a role Mr. Bush would have shared with Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, but several Republicans familiar with the offer say it was declined.
"As the center of Republican politics has once again returned to Florida, with Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich making final appeals to voters across the state on Sunday, Mr. Bush has been noticeably - and, several friends say, purposefully - absent from the conversation. 'If Dad got behind him, that would help shut the door,' Jeb Bush Jr., his youngest son, said in an interview, referring to Mr. Romney. 'But that's just not his style.' ... In his conversations about an endorsement, Mr. Bush also conveyed to Mr. Romney and his allies that his double-digit defeat in the South Carolina primary did not warrant an endorsement and he needed to 'earn' it."
You don't get my endorsement when you lose by double digits in South Carolina, Jeb Bush told Romney. But "if weekend polls showing Mr. Romney with a double-digit lead offer an accurate picture of the race, an endorsement from" Jeb Bush may not matter, says the Times. It "may be unnecessary." I don't know, folks. I think that this stuff with Romney, the polling is not gonna reflect, not gonna indicate. But you heard the first caller today. We've got others. Even though this is the kind of campaign that's gone on for eons, people still hate it. They still hate it. You don't know what kind of effervescing opposition to Romney might be happening out there because of this stuff.
It doesn't look good. It may be part of the fabric, but it's still doesn't look good. It doesn't make people comfortable. So we'll see. The election is tomorrow. Do I think Jeb Bush's endorsement will sway anyone? I don't know. I don't know. In South Carolina Jim DeMint didn't choose side. Terry Branstadt in Iowa didn't choose sides. They didn't endorse anybody there. (interruption) No, no, no, no, no, no. Nobody's following my lead. I don't know what kind of power endorsements have, anyway.
AMT Redux: Democrat Senators Push "Buffett Rule"
RUSH: The beat goes on, ladies and gentlemen. The New York Times has a story: "'Democratic Senators to Push 'Buffett Rule' -- Democratic senators announced Monday that they would introduce legislation this week codifying President Obama's principle that the superrich should pay at least the tax rate of middle-class workers." This is all part of this Warren Buffett and his secretary scam. The bill creates what would be another Alternative Minimum Tax for the super rich. We already have an AMT, and it is killing the middle class.
The AMT, to refresh your memory, the Alternative Minimum Tax came into existence because one year it was discovered that a couple of millionaires didn't pay any tax. It was literally less than ten people, I think, but the Democrats raised holy heck about it. So we got the Alternative Minimum Tax which meant that there was no way -- and, by the way, these millionaires had not broken the law. They had not violated tax law. Everything they did was legal, but the Democrats, "Well, that's not right." So they came up with the Alternative Minimum Tax. And as you've seen, what was rich back then isn't rich anymore. The Alternative Minimum Tax now captures people it was never intended to capture, and they never get rid of it, do they?
They all talk about wanting to get rid of it, they all talk about how unfair it is, but have you noticed what stops them from getting rid of it? "Well, how are we gonna pay for it?" They all talk about how it's unfair. They all talk about how it's collecting taxes from people that it shouldn't be, but they like that it's collecting taxes from people it shouldn't be, because when you talk about eliminating the AMT, people in government say, "Well, how we gonna pay for the lost revenues? We need a tax increase somewhere. We just can't lose that revenue." Oh, no. Government can never lose the revenue. Government can never do with less than it had previously. That's why Newt, I love his statement, he wants to reduce government to fit the amount of money it gets, not raise taxes in order feed the size of government as it grows. He's exactly right about that.
This Buffett Rule is simply a replay of the Alternative Minimum Tax. The Democrats are using the same old playbook. Back in 1970, then-Treasury Secretary Joseph Barr prompted the enactment of the Alternative Minimum Tax with an announcement that 155 high income households had not paid a dime of federal tax. I thought it was less than ten. It's 155. Has anybody stopped to notice that 48% of American households now don't pay a dime of federal income tax? Doesn't matter. The same argument, 155 high income households had not paid a dime in federal income tax, so here came the AMT to capture those people.
Now look at how many of you the AMT captures, and now we got half the country not paying any federal income tax. This is AMT number two. It's all class envy, it's class warfare, it's the Buffett Rule, and it's being employed for essentially the same reason as the original AMT. And what they're banking on is that the yutes of America aren't gonna remember the AMT, not gonna remember how it started, even the people who were around it that are being captured by it now will not make the association. They think at the regime that the hatred-of-the-rich argument will overcome anything. So here's Obama pushing the Alternative Minimum Tax again, called the Buffett Rule. How excited is he going to be if Romney's the nominee while pushing this?
Bam Asked to Bail Out Detroit
RUSH: This is from TheHill.com, and I'm pretty sure that at some point in the past we predicted this. Here's the headline: "'Rep. Clarke Asks Obama to Bail Out City of Detroit -- Rep. Hansen Clarke (R-Mich.) [sic] asked President Obama on Friday to help bail out the nearly bankrupt city of Detroit, the Michigan News site MLIVE.com reported on Monday." GM was not enough. Now, this is Friday when this guy does this. Obama's State of the Union show was when, Tuesday? Didn't he hear Obama brag he had saved Detroit in the State of the Union show? Obama bragged that he saved Detroit on Tuesday of last week. Three days later, Hansen Clarke of Michigan, asks Obama to help bail out Detroit. I may have to offer a correction, ladies and gentlemen. Paul W. Smith at our affiliate in Detroit, WJR, says that Hansen Clarke is a Democrat. That makes more sense. Hansen Clarke is a Democrat, asking Obama to bail out Detroit. I said he was a Republican. But it looks like, from Paul W. Smith, he is a Democrat. All right.
Average Pay of Government Workers Matches That at Microsoft
RUSH: This is the American Enterprise Institute, Andrew Biggs is the author of a piece. "The average federal government employee receives a salary of around $75,000 per year. With present and future fringe benefits equal to about 76 percent of salaries, that makes for total annual compensation of around $133,000. How does this match up to the private sector? CNN Money has a nice survey of the 25 highest-paying companies in the country, outlining the average total compensation per employee in each one. According to CNN, the closest match to federal employment is Microsoft, whose average employee compensation is $132,023 per year, making it the 17th highest-paying company in the country.
"When high federal pay is pointed out, public employee unions counter that federal employees are more productive than the average private sector worker, due to their greater education and experience. But do you think that the average federal employee is more productive than the average Microsoft employee? Or Intel, or Qualcomm, both of which pay around the same?" Federal employees now have an annual total compensation, pay and benefits, that average 133 grand.
Microsoft at 132. By 2005, Microsoft had created at least 10,000 millionaires and three billionaires, which you would think would skew that salary of $132,000 quite high. One hundred and thirty-three thousand dollars, and they claim they're more productive. No, they don't create any wealth. No, no, no. I gotta be very careful here. The federal government doesn't create any wealth at all. It destroys wealth. The federal government doesn't have a dime until it takes it from people who produce it and earn it. Pure and simple. The federal government produces nothing. Absolutely nothing.