RUSH: Who's next? Don in Chicago. Don, I'm glad you held on. You're on Open Line Friday next. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Last night I was sitting down with my wife 'til almost 1:30 in the morning. I'm self-employed, I'm a painting contractor. We were doing payroll and we were doing the quarterly taxes, and I was looking at the numbers and it's just not going. I've been in business 20 years, and I think I gotta just close shop and call it a day and go get a job. Because I'm borrowing money. I'm not paying myself. I'm paying my guys. My guys aren't working full weeks anymore. It's been going downhill for the last three, four years.
RUSH: Isn't sitting down and doing the quarterly a pain? Isn't that depressing?
CALLER: Ugh. I hate it.
RUSH: I gotta tell you, I know, man. I know exactly where you're coming from. I despise it. If most people had to pay their taxes that way --
RUSH: -- it would be the biggest tax reform we ever had.
CALLER: Absolutely. I've been listening to you for 20 years. I'm inspired by you. It's what keeps me going. I'm sitting here in my family room. I'm looking at a picture of my son who is a sergeant in the Marine Corps, and I know if I was talking to him right now, he would say, "Dad, don't do it. Don't quit. Don't do it." But reality being what it is, Rush, I don't see anything getting better.
RUSH: Wait a second. Who's quitting? If you shut down your business 'cause it's not viable and you go get a job someplace, or you try to, you're not quitting anything.
CALLER: I know but I --
RUSH: You're just changing your strategy.
CALLER: I understand, but I feel like I'm failing. You know, I feel like I've been beat.
RUSH: Don, I'll tell you what: You're in Chicago. If I were you I'd be thanking the Lord every day I'm still alive.
CALLER: (laughing) I'm outside of Chicago, but, yeah.
RUSH: You gotta learn to look at the positives here.
CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
RUSH: Your mayor is looking out for you.
CALLER: Yeah. Well, he isn't my mayor, I live out in the suburbs, but I understand. I understand. It's just, you know, I feel like I've been beat up. I'm trying to stay in the ring and I just keep on getting knocked out, keep on getting back up.
RUSH: You said you're a painting contractor.
CALLER: That's correct.
RUSH: You own your business.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: What kind of painting? Residential, construction, business, what kind? Anything you can get?
CALLER: Well, that lately, but we kind of specialize in retirement communities so it's kind of residential commercial work. And with the economy being the way it is, these people aren't moving into retirement communities 'cause they can't sell their properties.
RUSH: Right. They can't afford to retire. I got a story right here. It's in Forbes: "Why You Should Plan on Working to Age 70." It's 'cause if you don't, you're either gonna get wiped out by a death panel or you're gonna starve because there isn't gonna be a retirement for you.
CALLER: I understand. I understand.
RUSH: So the seasoned citizens are not moving into retirement homes at a rapid enough rate for you to go in there and paint the walls.
CALLER: That's correct. And these are high-end communities. One of them's up in Lake Forest, and these people have million-dollar homes that are now worth, you know, five and six hundred thousand-dollars. You know, properties that they can't sell because they're not gonna let 'em go and they can't afford to move in and have a double mortgage payment. So they're just sitting.
RUSH: Well, go on welfare.
CALLER: (chuckles) Never.
RUSH: They just reformed that. You don't even have to work anymore. Go on welfare.
CALLER: Never, Rush. I'm not gonna be a burden anywhere. I'm not gonna file bankruptcy. I'm gonna close up and slowly pay down the money I owe and I'll just find a job. It's the right thing to do, but it's not... I just don't want to do it. I just don't want to do it.
RUSH: I know. How many employees do you have?
CALLE: Well, I've had as many as 15, but now we're down to like three guys. I'm not even counting myself. And lately we haven't been putting in 40-hour weeks 'cause the work is so sporadic.
RUSH: But you still have to pay 'em?
CALLER: Absolutely! I'm cutting their checks right now and I'm not getting one. (laughing)
RUSH: Well, the employees always eat first.
CALLER: Absolutely. Absolutely.
RUSH: Then after a while none of 'em appreciate it anyway.
CALLER: Well, my wife had to take a job four years ago just to kind of pick up the slack so we could drop the health care that I was paying for. So now she's picking up the health care. Our kids are grown up and married, so that's not a burden on us.
RUSH: Well, health care is free now. That Supreme Court took care of that.
RUSH: You got it better off out there than you actually know.
CALLER: I'm glad I called, Rush. (laughing)
RUSH: (laughing) I'm glad you did, too.
CALLER: You're really making me feel great. (laughing)
RUSH: I'm sorry. Look, I am so ticked off today, I can't describe it. I don't mean to be shoveling that all on you. I really understand your frustration. I feel for you. What's happening to you and people like you has me burning under the collar. What's happening to this country, it just frosts me. I can't tell you how mad it makes me.
CALLER: You know, Rush, for years...
RUSH: It frustrates me that I can't do anything about this. I know what to do about this. So many other people know what to do. We are hamstrung. We are prisoners to a bunch of people who are happy that you are in the circumstance that you're in.
RUSH: That's what ticks me off. It ticks me off! This is the greatest country on earth. I get e-mails from people in your circumstance, phone calls from people like you, and it's so damned unnecessary. And it's happening because there are people that want it to happen. I can't tell you how it ticks me off. It ticks me off that more people don't realize it for what it is.
CALLER: For years I've heard you say -- and it's one of the favorite things I've ever heard you say -- there could be a recession, there could be a depression, but I'm not participating. And that's the attitude I've always taken, that somehow I'm gonna work through this. I can make things happen. And if I could just get a lead, I can make things happen. I'm a salesman; I can do it. But lately I've just been feeling like I'm fighting the world.
RUSH: The deck is stacked against you as it's never been stacked against you. You have your government working against you now. You have institutions working against you. You have people who are drawing up plans for this to happen as it's happening.
CALLER: (groans) Oh, it's bad.
RUSH: That's what you're up against. That's what makes this different. You know, and I have said it. I've often said, "You're gonna have a recession? Fine. I'm not participating." (sigh) It's still possible to do that, but we've not been in a circumstance like this. We have not been in an economic downturn caused by the White House and prolonged by the White House, with policy after policy after policy that is oriented toward creating the circumstance that you're in.
RUSH: So you've got all kinds of double whammies. Then you, on the other hand, are an entrepreneur. You're a business owner. Most people think you're rolling in dough. You own your own business.
CALLER: Ha! No. That's not the way it is. I'm trying to make ends meet like everyone else.
RUSH: Have you thought about painting housing projects? Maybe figure out where all these people Obama's taking care of are and go paint where they are.
CALLER: (laughing) I guess I gotta start thinking outside the box a little more.
RUSH: Well, you do. For real!
RUSH: You do. You're up against odds that you've not been up against, and you're up against things that you never thought you'd be up against.
CALLER: No, this is a whole different season. I've been in business for 20 years, I've been in the trades for 32, and I've never seen anything that even was close to this. Never.
RUSH: And no end in sight.
CALLER: No. And that's why, you know, when you're sitting downstairs in the basement in your office and you're looking at your wife and she's looking at you like, "This is bad. We need to change strategy. We gotta look at this as a reality and I think you gotta go get a job."
CALLER: And I couldn't even sleep last night, Rush. I couldn't even sleep.
RUSH: I really feel for you. It frustrates me. I wish there were things that we all could do. See, there are! That's what's frustrating. There are things to do. There are things that could fix this, or at least get started on a parts of having this fixed right now. They could be done, and we're sitting here debating when the hell Romney left Bain.
It just frosts me.
RUSH: Our last caller was Don outside Chicago. Don, seriously, something you might look into. All these foreclosed homes have to be kept up. The banks have to keep 'em up, and I guarantee you, there's a bunch of 'em in the Chicagoland area. As part of your investigation, Don, about maybe packing up and becoming an employee, before you do that, call on some lending institutions and find out if there's any work to be done in maintaining foreclosed properties, 'cause there's a hell of a lot of them out there.
Folks, let me tell you something. What bothers me about this is that every day in the media, we get horse race crap. We got poll after poll after poll, how's Obama doing here, how's Obama doing there. The country is crumbling. It's literally falling apart at the foundations around everybody except in Washington. There is no recession in Washington. That's where all the money is. Everybody there is doing just fine. They have no clue what's happening outside the Beltway, and I'm not just speaking euphemistically. They really don't know. They should; it's their job. They live in this world where they can pursue all these issues in an academic and anecdotal way as though there's reality attached to it.
Eight-point-two unemployment means something; 14.4% unemployment in the black community means something. Economic growth of zero means something. It has impact on real people. And all these people in the media, they're liberals, they supposedly have all this care and compassion and concern for their fellow man. There are lives being changed for the worse and forever out there because of the policies of this guy, and none of that matters to them. All that matters is how they can massage the news every day so that this guy doesn't look bad and maybe get reelected. To do what? More of this? What is happening to this country that these people support? What is happening to this country that these people want more of?
Well, there are answers to those questions, and they ought to scare you to death. There are people who want more of this, and if they don't want more of this, there are people who will guarantee more of this by virtue of keeping in power those running the show now. Meanwhile, real people are seeing their businesses close up, their life's work count for nothing, their savings go away to zilch. Kids up to debt $200,000 just to go to stupid schools. There's real life happening out here that's being destroyed and these people are so unaware of it, no concern whatsoever.