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Municipal Unions and Pensions

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Charlie as we head back to the phones.  Charlie's from Cape Coral, Florida.  Great to have you on the program.  Hi, Charlie.

CALLER:  Hi, how you doing, Rush?  Mega dittos.  Been a longtime listener, so long, in fact, I think I was in your inaugural class at the Limbaugh Institute.

RUSH:  Well, I appreciate that.  Thank you very much.

CALLER:  Thank you for all your service that you've done over the years.  I've got two real quick points.  One was the main reason I called and begging your indulgence on a second quick point regarding the hypocrisy of these unions, both public service and the teachers and school unions.  The first is, is that if we use their mantra and apply their mantra right back at 'em on your "pay your fair share" when asked to pay actually less than their fair share in contributing to their retirement programs and the like, you hear nothing but them squealing like stuck pigs out there.  It's okay if it applies to you, but do as we say, but not as we --

RUSH:  Well, see, the difference is they don't consider themselves in the 1%. Snerdley, what happened to that guy from Bakersfield that was gonna give me grief?  He hung up? Darn it.  We had a guy from Bakersfield who said that I am doing irreparable damage to police unions, municipal employees who are cops and firefighters, 'cause they're conservatives and I'm ticking them off by lumping them in.  Well, I have to address that in the next half hour.  See, the bottom line here Charlie is the people we're talking about don't think they're in the 1%.  They don't think they're getting their fair share even now, is the whole point.  So when you hit 'em up with, "How about paying your fair share?" No, no, no.  It's a sense of entitlement that many of them have simply because they think they're being taken advantage of to start with.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

Now, Snerdley, we had a call from Bakersfield, California, right? (interruption) It was Bakersfield. Was it a cop or...? (interruption) He was a cop. This is troubling. I lost sleep over this in the break at the bottom of the hour. Well, I didn't sleep in the break. I'm gonna lose sleep over it tonight. I was thinking about it. The guy said, "Look," and I guess he couldn't hang on. "You are..." What did he say? What were his exact words on the phone? (interruption)

I'm "driving away police officers who are ultraconservatives who are members of municipal unions." He may have a point. I have not been distinguishing. See, here's my problem. Well, I don't know if it's a problem, but I respect the intelligence the audience. I assume that people understand that, to me, this is a left-right issue. It's not anti-union, per se. I mean, if you want to join a union, go right ahead. Some jobs you have to, such as being a cop. You have to join. Most of those jobs are unionized.

First of all, I don't think I'm driving them away. I think they're smart enough to know what's going on here. I think... (interruption) (laughing) Snerdley's looking at me like, "Are you sure about that?" (laughing) I'm not talking... (interruption) What do you mean I'm talking their paychecks? What do you mean? I am not suggesting we do away with their pensions. (interruption) Yes, they do! (sigh) There's not one cop union member who thinks I'm against his pension.

There's not one cop.

As you said, the guy could have been a rabble-rouser. But... (interruption) No, I can understand that. This is one of the problems talking about this stuff, 'cause not every union member is a liberal. The union leaders are. And the people who take their dues are. And the people who give their dues away as campaign donations are liberal. But, the mathematics is the mathematics. And if the money isn't there, then the promise to pay lifetime pension and health care can't be met. If the money isn't there, the promise doesn't mean anything.

There have to be adjustments made.

People do it all the time.

The Wisconsin crowd wanted to be exempt from it. That's what the fight was about. And nobody was talking about doing away with the pensions. They're just saying you gotta pay 5% towards it. I don't even have a pension. I don't even have health care! It's not that it's denied me, I just choose not to. I don't have a pension! I've always assumed I have to take care of that myself. I would be living on eggshells if I had laid off all that responsibility on other people. 'Cause I don't have nearly the confidence in them to come through as I would in myself.

But I understand the precarious nature of this and the fear people have, 'cause it's always all about the money. And people in this fight, if they don't listen carefully, can think somebody wants to take their money away from them. That's what the union leaders want the rank-and-file to believe, is that Republicans want to take away their pensions and Republicans to want take away their health care. And that's not true at all. It's just, we've reached a point in time where we don't have the money.

We just don't have it!

I gotta have faith, Snerdley, that these cops that this guy is talking about are self-reliant individuals, anyway. By definition. (interruption) What do you mean fi...? (interruption) What do you mean you've always thought the same thing about firefighters and look at that union? (interruption) What? (interruption) We haven't said anything about the firefighters! (interruption) The firefighters union can't stand it? Well, that's the firefighters' problem. I'm not even talking about the firefighters! You're bringing up the firefighters. I'm trying to keep it focused on the cops.

Anyway, let me grab one more before we have to take the break.

Gary in Buffalo. Thank you four calling, sir. It's great to have you on the program.

CALLER: Honor to speak with you again.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: As a taxpayer, what I saw in the run-up to the election was the following. I saw unions, Communist Party USA, the Socialist Party USA, the anarchists, and the professional poor -- along with the Democrats -- marching arm in arm against me, The taxpayer. That's what I saw. None of those people like America. Most of them want this country and its capitalistic system, which made them successful, destroyed. And they were marching against me.

RUSH: And you are the one paying them! You are the one paying them. When they march against the country and you, they're marching against the people who pay them. Right? That's what you're saying.

CALLER: Exactly. And I'm tired of it, and I think that everybody's tired of it. And the people of Wisconsin were obviously tired of it.

RUSH: The only change in Wisconsin... Well, not the only. But one of the changes was that when it came to health insurance, they were being asked to pay 12.5% toward the cost.

CALLER: Cry me a river. Walk in my shoes.

RUSH: Yeah, what --

CALLER: Taxpayers pay the bills, and everyone's forgotten it.

RUSH: Yeah. Or they never thought about it in the first place.

CALLER: Well, the taxpayers are suddenly realizing what's going on. And, you know, there used to be a time when I was younger that Communist Party USA wasn't really a good thing. It didn't mean happiness. It wasn't a smiley face.

RUSH: How old do you think the public sector unions are? How long have we had 'em? Do you know? I do. Do you know?

CALLER: I do not.

RUSH: In 1959, municipal, public sector unions in Wisconsin were born. In 1959. So what did they do before that?

CALLER: Like everybody else did, they got along.

RUSH: Well, I don't know. But --

CALLER: They made their own way. They relied on rugged individualism and rose as their skills and minds let them rise. You remember those days?

RUSH: They're still alive as far I'm concerned.

CALLER: Sorry. I'm just a little angry about all this.

RUSH: Well, I know. A lot of people are, especially when you're out there being ripped as somebody not paying your fair share. You're out there being blamed for all the deficits. You're being blamed for the fiscal mess. And then you hear --

CALLER: I pay my fair share, trust me.

RUSH: Pardon me?

CALLER: I pay my fair share, trust me. And so do all of the taxpayers out there -- you know, the people who pay the bills?

RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. And then some, I'd say. All right. Well, look, Gar'. Gar', I'm glad you called.

CALLER: Have a good day.

RUSH: I appreciate it. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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