RUSH: A sad story today from the Associated Press out of Chicago, ladies and gentlemen. "Feeling the pinch of the sluggish economic recovery, many Americans --" Oh, by the way, somebody on the staff do this. I'm going to make a prediction about the fiscal cliff, budget deal. I'm gonna make a prediction today, and I want to remind ourselves to go back and revisit this date, November 21st, sometime in the first three to four months, however long it takes to get this fiscal cliff deal done. It won't happen by the end of this year. I always say "make a note," but we never remember what date it was. Don't forget this day, make a note, put Post-Its, I'm gonna iCal it on all my computers, I'm gonna make a prediction on what's gonna happen.
But first off, this AP story. "Feeling the pinch of the sluggish economic recovery, many Americans setting out on the nation's annual Thanksgiving migration --" Is that what we have, a Thanksgiving migration? We are migrating now. It used to be over the river and through the woods. Now we're migrating. "Many Americans setting out on the nation's annual Thanksgiving migration sacrificed summer vacations, relied on relatives for airfare or scoured the Web for travel deals to ensure they made it home." Yes, this has never happened before. People had to sacrifice summer vacations. They had to rely on relatives for airfare. They had to search for bargains.
"It's not just tight family finances making travel tough. Airlines struggling to save on jet fuel and other expenses have cut the number of flights, leading to a jump in airfares. Those hitting the roads face high gas prices and rising tolls. Now, with talk of the nation sliding off a 'fiscal cliff' come January, many travelers said they're accepting that sacrifices for pricy holiday journeys have become the norm." Oh, woe is them. Who do you think these people voted for?
"'You become immune to it, I guess,' said Chris Zukowski, a 43-year-old locomotive engineer from the Chicago suburb of Huntley, as he hugged his wife and three children goodbye at Chicago's O'Hare Airport and lamented he could not afford to join them on the holiday trip to New Jersey." Do you believe families in America in 2012 separated at Thanksgiving? Dad stays home, wife and kids off to New Jersey. And that's considered a holiday today.
"'You have to cut back on things just to make sure that you can afford to do stuff like this, so they can go visit Grandma,' he said, referring to his son and two daughters." I got a couple stories on the fact that this is it, folks, that we have finished, this nation and the world have finished -- two books out about. We're over. There's no more economic growth of 3%, 5%, 6% a year, it's over. This is it. Economic growth of .9, 1% a year is it for us and the rest of the world. We have burned through whatever there was to win and gain since the Industrial Revolution, and now the new norm, the new reality says, this is it. This is as good as it is ever going to get.
"If the nation's travel patterns are any kind of barometer for the state of the economy, the travel forecast for Thanksgiving week suggested a slight upward nudge as people and businesses recover slowly from the 2007-09 recession. ... Army Pfc. Jordan Clark, of Biloxi, Miss., said he was only able to fly because relatives pooled their resources to buy his ticket." What, has this never happened before, where families had to pool resources?
"'It's been difficult. My parents help out, my grandparents,' the 20-year-old serviceman said before getting on a flight from Chicago to San Antonio. He wasn't so lucky over the summer, when he had to make the same journey by bus in what became a three-day ordeal thanks to breakdowns. But it saved him more than $200." Some families are even agreeing to move Thanksgiving Day, do you believe this? This is how dire things have become. Some families are moving it to Saturday so that those who are traveling long distance -- hitchhiking, buses -- have a chance with cheaper, off-peak fares and avoid crowds, said a transportation researcher at DePaul University. I'm sorry to be cynical, folks. I don't know. I mean, it's what they voted for.
RUSH: Maybe we should've canceled Thanksgiving. Not very many Americans know what it is anyway, and look at all the poor, suffering, they can't participate in it. In America in 2010, Thanksgiving is splitting up families. I have it here. I saw that on TV, and I have it here in this AP story. Families are being divided by Thanksgiving. What kind of holiday is that? What kind of holiday is it that divides American families? What kind of holiday is it, what kind of cruel tradition from the founding of this country is it? What kind of holiday is it that makes children and mothers have to separate from their fathers? Of course, in certain circles that's not a bad thing if you're a feminazi. Maybe we should've just canceled Thanksgiving so that the poor don't have to suffer by seeing what other people are doing and they can't do.
RUSH: From Bloomberg News.com. "Give thanks for low food prices," 'cause they're gonna go up next year. Enjoy Thanksgiving now, because next year you may not be able to afford it. That's right. "Americans may want to freeze the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, as retail food prices are expected to rise next year." This is Bloomberg. We actually have a news agency with the lead of a story that your leftovers from Thanksgiving, you might want to freeze 'em for next year, because food prices are gonna skyrocket. You know why the food prices are gonna skyrocket? 'Cause of the drought. And you know what caused the drought? Global warming.
Everything the Democrats and Obama warned us about is happening. Everything the Republicans said wasn't happening did happen, and so now because the Republicans ignored all the warning signs, Thanksgiving may be unaffordable next year. Food inflation coming due to a drought. But let's not forget the impact of higher gas prices. Higher gas prices on the way, higher prices for everything on the way. Health care, that's gonna happen. Disposable income is gonna take a beating next year. And so we're gonna raise taxes on employers and we're gonna raise taxes on employees.
We have a law out there called Obamacare that drives up the cost of insurance premiums and is forcing companies to cut employees and hours, but we don't get any stories about the coming misery related to Obamacare. But we have story after story, the coming misery of rising food prices because of the drought.
A related story. "More Americans Will Use Food Stamps For Thanksgiving This Year Than Ever Before." US News & World Report. "More Americans will use food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinner this year than ever before, according to a new report from the nonprofit government watchdog group The Sunlight Foundation. The Food Stamp Challenge, which challenges higher-income families to live as if they are on food stamps, estimates that a person on food stamps has a budget of about $1.25 per meal. In other words, a family on food stamps must buy an entire meal per person for less than the cost of an average cup of coffee."
Now, does anybody really think that 48 million Americans who are living on food stamps are eating meals that cost less -- what does a six-pack of beer cost that you can buy with food stamps? And there aren't even any food stamps; it's a debit card now. There is an effort underway to remove the stigma of being on food stamps. And accompanying that effort is to make it okay. In fact, it's an act of courage. It's valor. It's an act of courage to be on food stamps. It's an act of survival. It's an act of doing what it takes to take care of yourself. I'm not kidding. It's what's happening here.
The Food Stamp Challenge challenges higher income families to live as though they are on food stamps. "This Thanksgiving, 42.2 million Americans will be on food stamps, according to the Economic Policy Institute. ... Not surprisingly, feeding millions of Americans isn't cheap. The cost of the SNAP program last year reached $72 billion."
Look, feeding millions of Americans isn't cheap. You know, it used to be that Americans fed themselves. Yeah, it wasn't that long ago, either. Do you remember it, Snerdley? Do you remember what it was like then? Americans fed themselves. But that has been deemed unfair. That's been deemed practically discriminatory, racism probably, feeding yourself. And so now we gotta remove the stigma of being on food stamps.
More Americans will use food stamps for Thanksgiving. It's an act of courage. It's the latest example of people struggling, doing whatever's necessary, to take care of themselves. This is what's underway. Don't doubt me. You know, if as much effort was spent to challenge politicians to improve the economy so we would have more jobs, as there was on convincing people about having the government feed you, we might get somewhere. But we have more effort being expended teaching people how to let the government feed them than we do an effort being made to improve the economy so people can feed themselves.
But, see, this is a great example of an issue that the libs will use to cast conservatives as heartless and mean. "Look at all these millions of Americans on food stamps. It's 'cause the Republicans don't care. The Republicans have no heart. They've sat around in Congress --" by the way, this is how the budget deal is gonna go, forewarning. "They sat around, Republicans, they won the House in 2010 and they let all this happen."
Speaking of which, "Newark Mayor Booker says he will live on food stamps for at least a week after being challenged on Twitter -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he plans on living on food stamps for at least a week after being challenged to do so by a user on Twitter. The challenge arose when Booker and a woman who goes by the name TwitWit ... began talking about the idea Sunday night while discussing the role the government should play in funding school breakfast and lunch programs.
"During their Twitter exchange, TwitWit wrote, 'Nutrition is not the responsibility of the government.' The conversation soon changed to food stamps. 'Why is there a family today that is "too poor to afford breakfast"? Are they not already receiving food stamps?' TwitWit wrote. 'Let's you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?' Booker responded."
So he had somebody challenging this whole idea that government has to feed people, and Cory Booker, "Okay, you want to find out how tough life is? Let's do it. Let's live on food stamps." So we're gonna revive Martin Sheen kicking homeless people off of their sewer grates, and he's gonna sleep for a week to illustrate and call attention, to raise consciousness. And now the mayor of Newark is doing the same thing.