RUSH: Michael in Momence, Illinois. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thanks a lot, Rush, first-time caller. I'm calling because I was at the unemployment office just yesterday, and they have tables there where people fill out the paperwork that they have --
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait whoa, whoa, whoa, just a second. I need you to go slow here.
RUSH: Why were you at the unemployment office? It may seem like an obvious question, but I want to know, why were you at the unemployment office?
CALLER: I was filing for benefits.
RUSH: Filing for unemployment benefits. Okay.
RUSH: Then you said on the tables...
CALLER: They had tables set out for people to fill out paperwork.
CALLER: All right. On this table was a few copies of a news release, as it said across the top of the paper, and what the news release was saying was: Due to the lowering of the unemployment rate and the improving economy, that federal extensions for unemployment benefits were being canceled. So it's not 99 weeks anymore.
RUSH: Well, this was in Momence, Illinois?
CALLER: Kankakee County office.
RUSH: Kankakee County. So you went in there --
RUSH: -- and they're touting the economy roaring back so much, unemployment rate has gone down, the economy is improving, so federal extensions for unemployment benefits are being canceled?
CALLER: That's correct.
RUSH: I had not heard that.
CALLER: That was news to me as well.
RUSH: Well, but was there anything in this about 99 weeks, or are you just saying that because you know it's 99 weeks that's the max?
CALLER: Well, actually my brother's well below his 99 weeks. He called to verify and he said he's gonna be kicked off as of next week.
RUSH: Even before he reaches his 99 weeks?
CALLER: Yeah, 99 weeks doesn't mean anything anymore.
RUSH: I have not heard this anywhere. Have you heard this anywhere, that people are just being told the economy is doing so well and unemployment is going up or down, employment's going up, that your benefits are being canceled?
CALLER: Not mine personally yet, but that's what's going on.
RUSH: Well, but you're just starting. Illinois's unemployment rate hasn't gone down. Illinois's unemployment rate is skyrocketing.
CALLER: Well, apparently they seem to think it's pretty good.
RUSH: Well. This doesn't make any sense.
CALLER: Well, Rush, here's part of my question, is what happens to these people now that they're shoved up the unemployment rolls? Are these people being counted?
RUSH: That's why this doesn't make any sense. In an election year, you add people to the unemployment rolls. You take care of 'em. You extend their benefits. You make sure they know you're doing -- this makes no sense. This is like a Romney prank.
CALLER: You know what you probably could do, and maybe your staff could do it, maybe go to the Illinois unemployment website and click on news releases. They do release news on the website.
RUSH: Well, I'll assign one of the 55 people doing research to that. Snerdley is asking me, "Could this be how they're lowering the numbers?" Am I the only one that sees this? Again, I ask that question. Okay, here are the two possibilities on the table. Michael, I was joking about the 55 people doing research. I was being very, very facetious. Thanks for the call. Here's what we have. A guy goes in to the Illinois unemployment office in Kankakee County. News releases all over the tables where you fill out your forms: Because the unemployment rate is coming down and the economy is recovering, unemployment benefits are being canceled.
The only thing not said on the release is, "Get a job." I don't know what canceled means. They're not canceling everybody's benefits. That I know. But it's just what this guy saw. So here are the two possibilities on the table. Snerdley's theory is that this is how they're getting the unemployment rate down. Okay, the benefit of that is what? The unemployment rate going down, millions and millions and millions of Americans unemployed, who else is gonna see this? The only people that are gonna see this are people going to the unemployment office. Why do you go to unemployment office? To get your bennies. To get your benefits.
You walk in to get your benefits. You read a news release that says: Sorry, you're out of luck, get a job. This is how we're lowering the unemployment rate. And this lowering the unemployment rate is gonna redound to Obama by getting him more votes because we're gonna spread the news the economy is recovering, unemployment's going down, but nobody is gonna see that unless somebody from that office called here like just happened. On the other hand, what is the real-world effect of this? People who are on unemployment are in there, I'd say the majority of them are genuine, they're not scamming the system. Some are in there trying to scam it, happens, but most people are in there 'cause they're out of work and they want some unemployment benefits. They read something in there: Sorry, the economy is getting so good, the unemployment rate is falling so much, that benefits are canceled, or extension benefits are canceled.
In an election year, Obama turning away voters? I can't believe this. This is like a Republican trick. If I didn't know better I'd say Andrew Breitbart had been in the Kankakee County, Illinois, unemployment office. I mean here you have hapless people with nowhere else to go, out of work, going in to sign up for unemployment and they read something from the regime that says, "No benefits, the economy is doing too good." In an election year you want as many people on unemployment benefits as possible. You want dependents. You want people thanking you for making it possible they can eat. Snerdley, you're off the reservation. Snerdley is now suggesting this is how they're getting rid of white working class. They don't know who's gonna walk in there. The news release doesn't say: Only to be read if you're white working class. Doesn't say that. Everybody's gonna see this. According to the BLS, the Illinois unemployment rate is 8.1, so it is down. This doesn't make any sense. And again, anybody can call here and say anything, but the guy sounded legit.
RUSH: Okay, I have the press release that the guy who went to the Illinois unemployment office saw. I'm holding it right here my formerly nicotine-stained fingers. I have it. And he was right. Now, here's the deal. "Economic Growth Strong Enough to Close Temporary Unemployment Insurance Program." That's the headline. "Long-Term Unemployed Should Visit IllinoisJobLink.com -- Chicago: Falling unemployment rates and steady economic growth means an extended unemployment insurance program ends this month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) said today.
"The expiring federal program..." By the way, the date of this thing is May 2nd. "The expiring federal program affects individuals who have collected benefits for more than 79 weeks. The Extended Benefit (EB) program ends May 12 because specific economic factors set forth by federal officials were met, such as the falling unemployment rate. Illinois EB claimants will be notified via mail and e-mail. Final payments will be issued during the two weeks following May 12. No further unemployment program exists for EB exhaustees."
You ever heard that word: "Exhaustees"? So here's the deal. "More than 200,000 long-term jobless Americans will lose their unemployment checks this week, when eight states roll off the federal Extended Benefits program. Nearly half of them live in California, and the rest reside in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Colorado, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Texas. The federal Extended Benefits program has provided the jobless with up to 20 weeks of unemployment checks after they've run through their state and their federal emergency benefits, which together last up to 79 weeks.
"But the Extended Benefits program is expiring throughout the country" when your state unemployment rate drops. So Obama... What's happening here, I actually kind of like it now. Now, wait! Obama is stabbing himself in the back here: 200,000 Americans are losing their unemployment. There's no more 99 weeks in these eight states, and it's gonna be more states. As the regime keeps reporting the unemployment rate going down, they are at the same time kicking their own voters off the unemployment rolls!
That's what's happening here.
So the caller last hour who went in for the first time to sign up won't be eligible for 99 weeks anymore. He's gonna get 79 weeks is what's happening here. The fed's 20-week extension to take you to 99 weeks is ending because the unemployment rate has fallen to a level previously agreed to by federal officials. This all goes back to deals made during the debt limit arguments. But, see, here's the thing. Now, the Democrats politically... Keep a sharp eye on this. This is how you are on the cutting edge here, folks.
Because while everybody's talking about Romney and gay marriage and all this, the Democrats are already trying to blame the end of unemployment extensions on the Republicans because this was part of the debt ceiling deal last August. Now, this is a Democrat deal, but they're gonna blame the Republicans for it. And it wouldn't be happening if there was an honest unemployment rate being reported! That's the great thing here. Well, I say "great thing."
The funny thing is the regime is stabbing itself in the back because they're faking the unemployment number. Unemployment is not going down because people are finding jobs; unemployment is going down because the universe of jobs is shrinking: The labor force participation rate. Eighty-eight million Americans aren't working! Sixteen million of them make up the 8.1% unemployment number. When you have a smaller universe of jobs against which you're calculating the unemployed, the percentage is gonna go down.
The percentage of two-out-of-ten is 20%. Two-out-of-15 is less than 20%. What they're doing is lowering the universe number so that the percentage of people reported to be out of work goes down, but it isn't true. The unemployment number... Everybody admits this. Everybody knows that what the regime is doing is jimmying the numbers because they're shrinking the universe. There aren't any new jobs being created, certainly not enough to lower the unemployment rate. So Obama's voters are getting the shaft.
Somebody just said, "If fewer people had given up working, they'd get their benefits." No. The regime is just... Maybe this what people don't understand. Maybe this is where I failed to communicate. The administration is just arbitrarily telling us that there are two to 2-1/2 million fewer jobs today than there were when Obama took office. They're just reporting whatever number they have to make up to make the unemployment rate drop. The number of people in the labor force is not a factual statistic.
The regime is making it up in order to get the unemployment rate down. Because Obama's calculation here, obviously, is: "When the unemployment rate goes down, people think jobs are being created and people are going back to work. So we can easily sell an economic recovery." But the problem is, even when that number went from 8.2% to 8.1% (did you notice?), the media were not excited about it. I was amazed. The media reporting it was actually accurate. They told us the truth.
The number is going down not because of new jobs being created. The number's going down because more and more people are out of the workforce. And people started scratched their heads, "How can that be? If more and more people are out of the workforce, how can the number go down?" Right! Exactly! Now you get it! In the old days, when America was really America, the unemployment rate went down because people were being hired. Now the unemployment rate is going down because people not only are not being hired, but they're not even looking for work!
And then beyond that, they're not even being counted as looking for work. So because of, essentially, an artificially low unemployment number, Obama voters are losing their unemployment benefits. This is what... When the guy told the story, this is what I couldn't believe. That's why I thought, "If Andrew Breitbart was still alive, he'd print this press release and put it in all these unemployment on offices." (laughing) Because like this guy called me...
This guy called and he was shocked. "My benefits have been cut because they say the economy is roaring back!" He knows the economy is not roaring back. He knows the economy is not robust. He can't find a job. Where is he? He's in the unemployment office! Why? Because he can't find a job. But then he gets there and he reads about how good the economy is doing and that his benefits are gonna get cut. And if he had any intention of voting for Obama, I guarantee he's gonna be scratching his head, 'cause all Obama's out there doing is talking about all the benefits that you can get.
So you're gonna have to find a way, you people, to get over to the Social Security department and get on Social Security disability to make up for your unemployment benefit cuts. Obama voters are being punished because of Obama's jiggering of the figures. Their jobless benefits aren't being cut. They're being "seasonally adjusted" is what's happening here. The unemployment rate is being seasonally adjusted and people are losing their benefits. This is priceless. This is priceless!
This poor guy goes in to get his unemployment benefits because he can't find work, and he gets a notice here that the economy is doing so great that his benefits are being cut.
He says, "This doesn't make any sense. I gotta call Rush and find out what's going on!"
And so he did.
RUSH: So there's no question what's gonna happen here. Let me put this in perspective for you. It's actually 239,000 people, this will end it. I just want to close the loop here. Two-hundred-and-thirty-nine thousand people this weekend are losing their unemployment benefits, the people at 99 weeks. Eight states, unemployment rate has fallen enough that nobody will get benefits after 79 weeks. The federal extension to 99 weeks ends in these eight states. It's part of the debt limit deal last August. Don't think Obama doesn't know about this. They've made a calculation. What you are next going to hear intensely is that this is a Republican plan. They forced Obama to go along with this. This was part of the deal to raise the debt limit last year.
So next week, when this starts to hit, when people show up and sign up for their extension and they don't get them, there's gonna be hell to pay. Next week, if not this week on the Sunday shows, is when the all-out assault on the Republicans being responsible for this is going to hit. I have no doubt in my mind it is a calculated political move, much like the student loan interest rate was. And to refresh your memory on that. In 2007, the Democrats ran everything that year. They ran the House and the Senate, Bush in the White House of course. The Democrats decided to cut the student loan interest rate in half. And then also the Democrats in the House and the Senate voted to restore the student loan interest rate, at its current level, in July of this year, which would have the effect, the impression would be that the student loan interest rate is doubling in July of this year. When all that was happening was, it was being restored to where it was in 2007 when the Democrats cut it.
The Democrats cut it in 2007 and plan to restore it in 2012 as a presidential election issue. They of course couldn't know in 2007 whether the Democrats have the White House or not, but they were pretty confident, given the country hated Bush and the media was drumming up -- they figured it was gonna be Hillary in 2007. So as an insurance policy, they have this student loan interest rate doubling, and of course if they're running the show in 2012, when it goes back up, they can just themselves get rid of it, quietly, no attention being paid to it. But now the news is out, the student loan interest rate's gonna double. The Republicans want your student loan interest rates to increase, when the Republicans have nothing to do with it. All the while Boehner was actually try to pass legislation to keep the student loan interest rate where it is. Same thing's happening here with unemployment.
The 99-week extensions end during a presidential year. So the calculation Obama has made is really quite simple. He wants voters to be without their unemployment during an election year so that he can blame the Republicans for it and profit from it. So no money, no food, no job is how Obama benefits, according to his calculation. According to his strategizing, his and Axelrod's, the Chicago way: Let's make people hurt. Let's bring some pain. Let's calculate when it would be best for their unemployment benefits to end, with no extension. We'll do that in an election year and blame it on the Republicans.
That's what's gonna happen, and then sometime next week I'm gonna be deluged with phone calls from you, "Rush, why don't the Republicans..." and I'm gonna say, as I've been saying since 1988, "I don't have the foggiest idea why the Republicans don't do X in response to it." But there's Obama in Seattle last night: You know, sometimes I forgot how bad the recession is. I wonder if Obama forgot the recession ended three years ago, by his own calculation.
RUSH: According to CNNMoney.com: "By the beginning of September, the [unemployment] benefits will disappear in another seven states, leaving Alaska as the sole" state to offer extended unemployment benefits. So what this means is that, by September, no state will have extended unemployment benefits. That's happening in an election year. It is going to be incumbent on Romney and the Republicans to explain why this is happening. What timing is this? I'm glad that guy from Illinois called us, because this is major.
Every state, by the time we get to September (except Alaska), will lose its extended unemployment benefits. Meaning nobody beyond 79 weeks. All of those between 79 and 99 get zapped. And the Republicans are gonna get blamed for it, and it's gonna be up to Romney and the Republicans to explain why this is happening, who did it, and what's behind it. And you know what Obama knows? Obama knows: How can the Republicans come out and say, "Well, unemployment rate isn't really 8.1%. It should be much higher"?
I mean, you can say it, but who wants to talk about how rotten the economy is? They should, but it's almost too complicated to try to explain in 30- or 60-second TV ad. Now, the deal ending the 20-week extension from 79 to 99 weeks was done in February of this year. It was not... I mistakenly said that it was part of the debt deal in August. It was done in February of this year. So it's a campaign-year tactic.