RUSH: Have you seen the new jobless numbers? They're not good, because what happened is the state of California reported this week, and they didn't report last week. The number of jobless claims jumps up to a total 388,000, plus 46,000. Unexpectedly high, plus 46,000 over the previous week. And Jay Carney is on Air Force One, the White House -- mobile White House -- in action, Obama campaigning and Jay Carney just said, (paraphrasing) "Oh, yeah, the unemployment news today just shows the steady progress and that the economy is healing." I kid you not, 388,000 new claims for unemployment last week because California reported. They didn't get their data in in time last week. They did this time and so we've got an accurate number. It's just amazing how this stuff works. Going into the debate on the economy last week, California just couldn't get their number in on time and that led to an unemployment rate of 7.8%.
Some really depressing, striking, and, at the same time, enraging numbers have been released today by the Congressional Research Service. The government spent -- I want you to listen to me here. Look at me. "The government spent approximately $1.03 trillion on 83 means-tested federal welfare programs in fiscal year 2011 alone." This means that federal welfare is the government's largest expenditure. It is up 32% in the four years of Barack Obama.
Don't forget that it was Obama who, in recent weeks, ripped the work requirement out of welfare reform, which, in several analyses, had been working to reduce welfare rolls. It required people to either try to get a job or be looking for a job actively, provably, or even be working part-time before they could receive welfare benefits. Obama stripped that out by virtue of executive order. The White House and the Democrats are trying to deny that he did that, but he did it.
But this is striking. And, folks, to put this at even greater perspective, the data, this $1.03 trillion, that's roughly the size of annual budget deficit every year. This $1.03 trillion does not even include Social Security and Medicare and veterans' benefits. The data excludes entitlements. This is just pure welfare. Eighty-three welfare programs means tested. Means tested means that you have to meet certain requirements before you qualify. It's not even blanket welfare. It's outrageous. The Congressional Research Service is bipartisan or nonpartisan, although the Republican side are the ones who released this.
"Spending on the 10 largest federal welfare programs has doubled as a share of the federal budget in the last 30 years: In inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Republican staff on the Senate Budget Committee, the amount spent on these programs has increased 378 percent in that 30-year time frame," and Obama's not satisfied. He wants to expand this even more. They're reporting "that food assistance programs -- the third largest welfare category behind health and cash assistance -- experienced the greatest increase in spending, with 71 percent more spending in 2011 than in 2008." Food assistance, food stamps. That's why the number of people on food stamps has rocketed all the way up to 47 million. I'm sure you've seen the ads that the Agriculture Department runs soliciting people to join the food stamp program.
This is part of a government program designed to expand the role of government, the size of government, to create dependence. And it puts the lie to this whole thing that Obama said in his closing comments at the debate the other night when he went on and on and on about, "I believe in self-reliance and individualism and good careers, high-paying jobs." He doesn't believe in that at all. It's the exact opposite. Have you wondered why, folks, Obama has not proposed any detail of a second-term agenda? He still hasn't. The Wall Street Journal has an editorial about it. He hasn't proposed a second-term agenda at all. Do you know what he's doing? They're out there now trying to make a big deal out of binders filled with women. They really are.
It's the next Big Bird. It is laughable. Biden's out there talking, and they're mad about it. They are acting as though they are outraged and angry, and this is part of the Republican War on Women, that women are no better than just being put in a bunch of binders, and they think they can sell this. Now, the reason that there's no second-term agenda is twofold, maybe even three reasons. One reason is that he would never get elected if he were honest about what his second term is gonna be. But if you think these four years have been bad economically and in the sense of economic destruction and the transformation of the country from a superpower to an also-ran, if you think it's been bad in these four years, you have no idea what the next four, and he doesn't dare tell you.
The second reason for not telling you what the agenda is -- and this one might be a little tough to understand. But by not announcing a second-term agenda, Obama and the Democrats and the way they think are establishing a mandate for whatever they do. "What do you mean, Rush? How in the world can you have a mandate for something you haven't even announced? It doesn't make any sense." It doesn't make any sense in the world of logic you and I inhabit. But the way Obama and the Democrats look at it, whatever they do in the second term, nobody will be able to claim they lied, 'cause they didn't say anything.
So if Obama goes on another government expansionist tear, if he starts raising taxes on the rich and he does everything he can to destroy achievers, destroy success, attack it and level everybody off, mired in mediocrity, (imitating Obama) "Well, I never lied about this. I never said I wasn't gonna do this." That's how you get a mandate for doing something. "I never lied about it. I never said this wasn't gonna happen."
"Yeah, but you never said it was gonna happen."
"Well, I got elected. It must mean the people want more of what I was doing."
It's made to order. And that's the reason why there's no detail of a second-term agenda. The second-term agenda would be devastating to this country. And, believe me, they are salivating at the opportunity to do it. There are people talking, it's not many, but there are people saying, "You know, Rush, Obama doesn't look like he really wants to win this thing. It doesn't look like his heart's in it." That may be the outward appearance, but I wouldn't count on that at all, folks.
If he really didn't want to lose this, there are better ways to do it than what he's doing. (chuckles) Maybe not many, but there are ways he can, like... I don't want to detail them. You could fill in the blanks. Not show up at campaign appearances, not spend a bunch of money on ads. There's any number of things. By the way, all the negative ads are gone. The negative ads have been pulled off TV.
Obama's firewall keeps narrowing, and it is obvious now, folks -- by that debate performance and Biden's debate performance -- that Obama is relying on only one thing for reelection, and that's base turnout. I think not only last November did Obama cast aside the votes of white, working-class Americans. I think now he's pretty much punted on independents and moderates and he's now just going for base turnout, pure and simple.
That's what all of the aggressiveness is all about. That's what the talk about women and binders is about. It's to gin up resentment, the divide-and-conquer route. Divide this country is exactly what he's doing, and it's to promote his angry base and to turn them out and to keep 'em jazzed. But these welfare numbers... The Heritage Foundation today has their own piece on this.
"If converted to cash, means-tested welfare spending..." This is the way to look at this, folks. "If converted to cash, means-tested welfare spending is more than five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the United States." Let me rephrase that: At $1.03 trillion, if every bit of that was straight cash outlays, it would be enough to give everybody below the poverty line in this country enough money to get them out of poverty for one year.
It's $1.03 trillion, yet we have the same percentage of people in poverty today as when the War on Poverty began in 1964. The number is 14%, 15%. The real numbers are different, but the percentage is the same: 14%. But with an expenditure of a trillion dollars, we could wipe out poverty just for one year. The point is that even spending $1.03 trillion on welfare, we are not making a dent in poverty.
So what's the lesson?
The lesson is (as if we needed to learn it) welfare and government spending do not reduce poverty. Now, you and I don't need to have this established. We know because we've been working on this with government programs since 1964, and poverty is still the same. So you now have to ask, "Well, if the War on Poverty isn't wiping it out, and if we're spending enough, if all this were actually cash...?
Some of it's food stamps. There are other benefits that don't involve straight cash. But if it was all converted to cash and divvied up among the people in poverty for one year, they'd be out of it. So another thing we can ascertain is the objective is not to lift people out of poverty. Not after 40-plus years, 50-plus years. Again, this spending doesn't include Social Security and Medicare.
Do you realize the percentage of federal spending, the federal budget that goes to people in exchange for no production of anything? It's just astounding. And it's still not enough for Obama. It still isn't enough! He wants more. He wants to raise taxes on the only people left. People earning, people succeeding, people achieving. It is really convoluted. This stuff has to stop.
This is what this election is all about: saving the country, saving the country versus losing it. We're spending enough every year to see to it that there is no poverty in any year. I mean, if we as a society agreed in a democratic fashion to spend a trillion dollars a year in cash payments to people in poverty, we would not have poverty. Every year, if we just made that agreement. That's how much we're spending! We could wipe it out. Definitionally.
Now, we wouldn't be curing the problem because we're not teaching people to be productive. We're not teaching people to get themselves out of poverty, which is what's been missing. That's what was so important about the work requirement in welfare reform. That's now been stripped. The next time you hear Barack Obama talk about how he likes self-reliance and he wants to promote it, the exact opposite is true.
RUSH: That $1 trillion. It's $1.03 trillion, but I'm just going to round it off to $1 trillion. That does not include Social Security or Medicare -- and, ladies and gentlemen, it does not include any welfare from the states. The amount of federal and state money being spent in this country on welfare is obscene, and it is destructive. It is ultimately not humane. It is ultimately not helping. It is not. By definition, it isn't helping!
All that money is not reducing the poverty rolls. All that money is not reducing the welfare rolls. All of that money is not teaching people to be productive. We spend all that money, and we're supposedly a compassionate country. We are not helping people realize their dreams. We are suppressing them. We are not helping people to realize their potential. We are suppressing it.
We are not -- we are not -- being compassionate with this.
We're taking the easy way out.
But how easy is it?
Where does that trillion dollars come from, just the federal side? Where does the trillion dollars come from? Taxes. It comes from the people who are producing. Now, I'm not trying to set up a divide, Us vs. Them. That's not my point here. I want to talk about the overall economic impact of this. That $1 trillion has to come from somewhere, and we know that it comes from people who work -- and it's being borrowed from wherever.
The ChiComs get a lot of blame for this, but we borrow from the Japanese, too. You know, a lot of people buy US debt. The ChiComs just happen to buy quite a bit of it. The point is we don't have the money. We're taxing people, and in the process of taxing people we're taking money away from people who are working. We're taking money away from people who are productive.
What is the net result of this?
The net result is production declines.
Economic output? There simply will not be as much. The private sector is being raided. We're in the middle of it now. We wonder why. After all this infusion of capital and the stimulus -- why, with all of this aid, all of this federal money -- why isn't the economy coming back? It can't with these policies. It cannot. It's not economically or mathematically possible. We are shrinking the private sector where growth takes place, and it's being done on purpose.
RUSH: Seriously, folks, this can't go on, and in truth, welfare reform has not come up in these debates. The whole notion of welfare hasn't come up, it hasn't been part of the debates, and I think one of the reasons is the 47% comment. But, you know, every time that is brought up, there's a comment that Obama made that we haven't used in a long time. People have forgotten this, but how about Obama, "You didn't build that. You didn't make that happen." I mean, if they want to say that Romney's vulnerable on his 47% comment, how about Obama and telling the successful people of the world that they didn't do that? "Well, I was taken out of context." Well, what about Romney, this 47%?
There's still some things Romney could do. The next debate's gonna be foreign policy, but I am confident that in this next and final debate Romney's gonna get his economic stats in again. He's gonna have to. He's gonna have to detail for people the economic decline and destruction as he has done brilliantly in both previous debates. I think the debate on Tuesday night was an even bigger Romney slam dunk than I thought the next day. I think he buried Obama. The recitation, and it was unanswered, of these economic numbers was striking. But what Romney needs to do, he says he's got a five-point plan, for example. His tax plan, he wants to create more taxpayers, and that creates more revenue.
The one thing Romney doesn't explain, that I know he can explain, he knows it, is how his stuff is gonna work. It's not too late. It's not too late to get into this. And it really will help. I think explaining how his ideas implement, how they work, wouldn't take much time. We do it here every day. It's just called explaining conservatism or explaining basic economics. Such as this trillion dollars of welfare, federal alone, again, has to come from somewhere. Just like the stimulus bill, the stimulus spending. Let's call that a trillion dollars because by the time it's all added up that's what it was. Where did that come from? There wasn't a trillion dollars in profit someplace that was the result of earnings and production. There wasn't a trillion dollars in a stash sitting around not being used.
That trillion dollars came from the private sector or from borrowing. We didn't have it. Well, let's say it came from the private sector. Fine. Trillion dollars, that's where it was put, right? (imitating Obama) "That's right. We're gonna jump-start the economy. We're gonna inject a trillion dollars, stimulus spending." We didn't inject anything because you first have to take the money out of the private sector before you put it back in. It's a net wash, it's a net zero. That's just one reason it didn't work. Now this trillion dollars of welfare spending, where does that come from? It comes from -- and again, I'm not trying to create a divide here, Us v. Them. This is strictly economics.
The $1 trillion comes from the private sector, tax revenue, people who produce. And if that money is going to continue to be levied on people, the private sector where that money comes from, by definition, is going to shrink. It's what's happening. It's why there are so many millions out of work. It is why the unemployment rate is almost 15%. It is why the labor force participation rate is so low. It is actually already happening. We've gotten past the point of predicting what will happen with certain economic policies. Now we're living it, thanks to Obama. Obama is crossing the T's and dotting the I's on 50 years of liberalism and FDR New Dealism. It's finally arrived now.
You cannot take a trillion dollars and spread it around where it's not gonna produce anything, where it isn't gonna generate anything, where it's not gonna contribute to growth, without reducing growth, reducing productivity. And when that happens, everybody's standards of living declines, and that is what is happening. We're in the midst of it and that's why the election is so crucial. We have to put the brakes on this. That's the first thing that has to happen. We have to stop this direction before we can turn it around. And that's what this election's about. It's crucial. We've got decades now of evidence that this does not work. This release today, put in the proper context, that this amount of money converted to cash could wipe out poverty every year, what more do you need? And we don't. We're spending it.
We're not reducing poverty by a percentage point at all. People in poverty are growing. One in six Americans are now in poverty. The number of people who've given up looking for work is increasing. The unemployment number this week, 388,000 new claims. There's not a single reason to perpetuate the status quo. There's not a single reason to endorse this and vote for more of it. All we're doing if we do that is securing our demise. We're going to complete the transformation of this country from a great superpower to just an average, run-of-the-mill country in the world.
Folks, there's no fixing this with Obama. There's none. All we're gonna get is cement poured on top of this. We're in the grave. We're in the grave. Still alive in the grave. And they haven't poured the dirt on, but that's what the second term is. In fact, that might be a good graphic for the website: Country in a casket, we're still breathing, they haven't put the dirt on us yet. That's what the second term is. Obama's second term, shovel-ready job, burying the American economy. Yep, there it is. Michaele, get to work on that for the website this afternoon.
That's brilliant. Came up with that just now myself right off the top of my fertile head.