RUSH: Now, I got an e-mail note from a friend. "Hey, Rush, why are the markets plunging? Volume is at a four-year low." So I looked up there. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 149. That's no big deal. We're still at 12,700, but volume, trading is down. The amount of activity going on in the stock market is at a four-year low. I don't know. I guess they read that Obamacare is gonna add to the deficit. Maybe these people up there just figured that out for the first time today. Folks, today's report did remind me of one thing about Obamacare that I had almost forgotten. Not only does Obamacare create a new tax on the uninsured and employers who don't provide insurance -- that's the fine -- and the requirement to buy it.
That's the requirement to buy health insurance or pay a fine if you don't. Now, the regime has gone back and forth on whether or not they're gonna call that a tax. When they call it a tax is at the Supreme Court. They say, "Hey, this is not a mandate. This is not violation. We have the power to levy taxes." But it also puts a new tax on people who have insurance already, people who have what Obama calls "high-end insurance." Even they have to pay a tax under Obamacare. Everybody gets soaked here, and that's why there are 4,000 new IRS agents to secure compliance with a piece of legislation that everybody thinks is about making them well when they get sick.
And I think the question should be asked frequently: "What do 4,000 IRS agents have to do with making sick people well?" Why are they even needed? And the regime, by the way, just this week (or maybe it was Friday, I forget which) confirmed that the 4,000 agents are being hired and $500 million is being diverted from somewhere to hire them.
RUSH: Investor's Business Daily -- or I guess it's just now Investors.com -- has an editorial on the army of IRS enforcers. "After foisting its 2,700-page health law on the public, the White House now plans to enforce its detested mandate by siccing the IRS on unwilling citizens. All that stands in the way is 'the consent of the governed.' Back in 2009, when ObamaCare was being debated in Congress, then-House Minority Leader John Boehner warned that the takeover of the health care system could only lead to armies of enforcers from the Internal Revenue Service forcing Americans to buy insurance of the government's choosing.
"Boehner recognized that this so-called reform would inevitably trigger major public resistance. Boehner was mocked as an alarmist by Obama's Democratic allies. But in reality, he was right, and nobody knew it better than the Obama administration itself. That's why the behemoth ObamaCare bill sneakily left out the detail that it intended to hire 500 Internal Revenue Service agents to enforce the unpopular mandate, while 300 other IRS operatives would be added to push 'free' benefits to the indigent to ensure their complete dependence on the state."
I've mistakenly been using the number 4,000. That's a financial figure related to this. It's 500 agents. Actually, now I'm getting confused. I know the number 4,000 is in there somewhere. But whatever, 500 plus an additional 300 IRS operatives to run out and ostensibly alert the poor, "Hey, there are free benefits here for you." And there's this brilliant observation in the Investors.com piece. "When vast numbers of people refuse to obey a law, there's a problem with the law." And, by the way, how can you even say that something 2,700 pages is a law? It's impossible for the average American to know how to comply with this law and not be in breach of it. Regardless, IRS agents, what do they have to do with making the sick get better? What in the world could IRS agents have to do with that? What role is the IRS going to play in curing illness and disease? What role?
RUSH: It is 4,000 agents. This Investor's Business Daily has a typo in it. I've looked at a bunch of different sources and, by all accounts, the best estimate is the IRS is gonna hire at least 4,000 more agents. The Washington Examiner had it. "IRS Seeks 4,000 Agents, $303 Million for Obamacare." What does the IRS know about Obamacare that we don't?
RUSH: There is another lie that Obama keeps repeating, and this is it. It's a direct quote: "What drags down our entire economy is the growing gap between the ultra-rich and everybody else." Direct quote. And this stems, ladies and gentlemen, from his belief that the founding of this country was unjust and immoral, and it's gone on for 200-plus years. And now finally, a little over three years ago, we started -- finally! -- to get it right. It's gonna take a while. And the big problem with this country since its founding is "the gap between the ultra-rich and everybody else." And the founders were ultra-rich and they set up a system to maintain that for themselves and their family and everybody else in their group, and at the same time make it impossible with this you're-on-your-own economy.
Because most people, on their own, are incompetent. Most people, on their own, will be walked all over. Most people, on their own, are weak and helpless. This is how the left looks at people. But quite simply, this is preposterous. There are no facts to back up this assertion that what drags down the economy is "the growing gap between the ultra-rich and everybody else." What drags down the economy is Obama. What drags down the economy is the government looting the private sector, transferring wealth from people who produce it to themselves and government and then giving it to people that they ultimately want to vote for them.
When you loot the private sector, when you make it smaller, you are by definition reducing the size of our economy and its potential to grow. In fact, you might say that the opposite is true. If anything, you need very rich people to drive the economy, which some of our news media have even admitted in previous random acts of journalism. And the most recent example I could give you is the Christmas season when they lamented (and they were rubbing their hands together) that the luxury segment was suffering. Remember that? The rich just were not going to Neiman Marcus or Saks or wherever they go.
Luxury sales were down, and this was bad for all of the sensible reasons. It was gonna hurt future employment. It was gonna hurt overall economic growth. So they do engage in random acts of journalism now and then. There's no capitalism without capital, and there's no capital without the rich. Everybody has had a story today on the health care law adding $340 billion to the deficit -- except the New York Times. I looked. AP's got it and Reuters has it. Everybody's got it and is breathless talking about it as though it's some sort of big news. I looked at the New York Times website; it's not there. I Googled the words to find it. Not there. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place.
I wanted to see what the New York Times had to say about the fact that Obamacare blows up the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. 'Cause it is news to people. Amazingly, this is news to people. So I went to the Washington Post, and, lo and behold, there it is! I have it right here (shuffling paper). In my formerly nicotine-stained fingers, I have it. And they actually report this fraud, this massive fraud perpetrated on the American public by Obama and virtually every Democrat in Congress. It's outrageous what Obamacare does to the economy, to doctors, patients, private health insurance companies. We've talked about it before, but the New York Times has nothing. In fact, by the way, Jay Carney, the spokeskid at the White House...
You know, I know Jay Carney and his wife, Claire Shipman. Claire Shipman is a reporter for ABC News. She used to be at CNN. Jay Carney used to be at TIME Magazine. He's now at the White House. But before he was at the White House, he was at Biden's office. He might have been the spokeskid for Biden or something else in Biden's office but he moved up the chain when Robert Gibbs left. Gibbs left to go earn some money while there still is some. (interruption) Gibbs? Oh, okay. I guess he earned enough money while there is some to earn and he left that and went back to the campaign now. Oh, okay.
Anyway, Carney when he was at TIME Magazine, called me one day to ask me a question about a story he was working on. I wasn't in, but they left a message for me to call back. So I did. I called back, and he picked up the phone. He said, "You return your own calls?" I said, "Yeah." "Wow!" He was really impressed that I didn't have a secretary to place my calls for me. What I didn't tell him was that I don't really do the phone much. And then I saw him once at a Washington Redskins game in the owners box back in that season where I spent five games with ESPN. The opener ESPN covered, we did the ESPN pregame show, and Dan Snyder invited the ESPN crew to his suite to watch the game.
Claire Shipman and Jay Carney were there. I said hi. They're very nice people. Now he's the spokeskid for Obama. From TIME Magazine to the White House, and I'm sure when this ends he goes back to some magazine. Anyway, yesterday Carney was asked about the IRS agents. At the White House press briefing, Wendell Goler at Fox said, "Hey, Jay, there's a report in The Hill that says a couple hundred million dollars of IRS money been used to fund aspects of Obamacare, and there's some Republicans on the Hill who feel that this is improper given that there is already a fund for implementation of Obamacare. Can you react to their criticism?"
CARNEY: This is about, uh, enabling the IRS to provide the, uhhh -- essentially the -- the -- the tax breaks to small businesses and individuals, uh, to assist them, uh, in acquiring health insurance. Or in the case of small businesses, providing health insurance.
RUSH: Okay! So there, ladies and gentlemen, is our answer! Four thousand IRS agents, according to Obama's spokeskid, to help small business and individuals in acquiring health insurance. Did you know that? Did you know that you were going to get "assistance" from the IRS in complying with the mandate? Did you know that, folks? That you are gonna have "assistance" from the IRS to acquire health insurance? Yeah, the IRS is gonna come and they're going to help you! It says here, small businesses... The IRS is gonna essentially tell you of the tax breaks. The IRS is gonna come along and they're gonna knock on your door. I don't know how they're gonna find you but they will if you haven't bought health insurance.
If you haven't abided by the mandate, they'll find you and say, "Hey, you know what? You're missing out on some tax breaks here! We're from the IRS, and the president has sent us to advise you of the tax breaks that are involved here in Obamacare. And we're here to help you in acquiring health insurance, because our records show that you don't have any. And the law is that you must have some. We're here from the IRS to help you get your health insurance. Or, if you are a really small business, we're here to help provide health insurance." So the regime has admitted, in whatever words Carney used, that the IRS is the enforcement mechanism. And that you can expect to get a friendly visit from the IRS to help you have health insurance, to help you get your tax breaks, to help you provide health insurance.
You know, you're from the Acme small business, and your primary customer is the Coyote, and the Coyote has had a bunch of trouble catching the Road Runner and none of what you have sent the Coyote is working, and every from Acme fails. You ever watch the Road Runner? Okay. So you're having trouble making ends meet at Acme, and here comes the IRS, and they knock on your door. "Hi. We see that you don't have health insurance. We're here to help you get it." What is your reaction going to be? And what happens if you don't buy it?
What if the IRS comes in and you don't like the menu of services being offered by the IRS, and if you say, "I'm sorry. I appreciate your concern but I really don't need or want health insurance"? What happens to you then? Well, what happens is, you are going to be fined. You will pay a fine. And early on in Obamacare, the fine is not very much money. It's much less than what a policy would cost you. And if I may be bluntly honest, that is by design, too, folks. The fine is seductively low in cost. Anybody who is young or has a small business would choose, if it's legal, to pay the fine instead of buying health insurance. (interruption)
I don't think most people will tell the IRS agent, "Take your health insurance and shove it."
I don't think that's gonna happen, Snerdley. That's why it's the IRS that has been hired to help citizens get their health insurance. I don't think that citizens are going to tell the IRS to pound sand here. What instead will happen is the IRS will present all of the wonderful options available, and here's the cost of your average policy, and here's the cost of the fine. Well, the fine is gonna be so much cheaper, at first, than the health insurance policy, and if it's legal to pay the fine and the IRS will wave good-bye and leave, you'll do that. That's by design, folks. It's by design. The fine is purposely priced much lower for the first two or three years.
Now, what happens when all of these people choose the fine instead of the policy? Well, who is hurt then? Insurance companies. Now, remember, the insurance companies were among the early adopters for Obamacare because of the mandate requiring people to buy health insurance, that was a godsend. That made most insurance companies forget Republican versus Democrat, liberal versus conservative. All they saw, and applauded, was a powerful force like the government making everybody buy their product. My ship has come in and I'm at the dock. If you're an insurance company, this is the greatest day of your life. The federal government, in association with the IRS, is making everybody by health insurance. Whoa.
If you sold Happy Meals, wouldn't you love it if every American had to buy a Happy Meal? Wouldn't you support that if you were McDonald's? If you were General Motors and an order came down that everybody has to have a Volt, would you care if it was Josef Stalin who issued the order? No. You'd sit there and go, "Right on." So the insurance companies, folks, didn't care. They forgot whether they were Republicans or Democrats, liberal or conservative. They didn't even think about the future of country. They just saw, "Man, everybody hates us. We're insurance companies, but now, doesn't matter, they've been ordered to buy our product." Yes, they have. But guess what the insurance companies weren't told? There's an opt-out, a much cheaper opt-out. You pay a fine.
So all of these 30 million, whatever the number is uninsured, pay the fine instead of buy the policy. What happens to the industry of private insurance? Just like the coyote falling off the cliff trying to catch the road runner using an Acme product, bam. The insurance industry ceases to exist. And then, after three years, folks, the fines all of a sudden become more expensive than the policy. Doesn't take long. This is all in Obamacare. This is in the plan after three years, four years, whatever, it doesn't take long. The fines end up costing much more than the policy, which means you will then, as a matter of economics, buy the policy, 'cause you have to now, remember, the mandate.
But now, where do you go? Because the private health insurance industry has been dealt a potentially fatal blow. It doesn't exist because all these people could opt-out and pay the fine instead. So the real objective is finally realized. The only place you can go when you have to, by law, have insurance, is a state-run exchange like an office at your county building where the DMV is or whatever. You go in there, you buy your health insurance. It's gonna be the only place you can go. And if you don't, after all this, if you don't, then someday soon, knock on the door. You look through the peephole and it's the IRS there to help you get your health insurance and to tell you about all the tax breaks.
RUSH: By the way, the fine for companies is 8% of the employee's salary. That's their option. The fine for not buying insurance under Obamacare is 8% of the employee's salary. Now, it ain't gonna stay at 8% for very long, but that's what it is the first couple of years. Well, what are they gonna do? Companies are gonna pay the fine. You lose your health insurance. They're gonna pay the 8% fine and you're on your own, in an economy that Obama says being on your own never worked. So where you gonna go? Now, that 8%, by the way, that doesn't last long, but it's enough to get the ball rolling to get all these companies to give up their health insurance programs, kick you out, get rid of you. That's all part of the plan to make the government the sole vendor for health insurance.