RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, this morning there was a joint press conference that featured the so-called Republican leadership of John Boehner and Eric Cantor and about 15 other people that were standing there. I don't know why, but they were smiling. And what we got today was a seminar on how to surrender. It was weak. The Republicans have conceded the language. They have conceded the silly language of baseline budgeting. I think it's time for a re-teaching of what baseline budgeting is, because until that's addressed, all of this is smoke and mirrors. All of this fiscal cliff stuff, deficit reduction talk, there isn't any.
There aren't any spending cuts, even if they claim there are because of the current services baseline. All there will ever be until that's fixed is cuts in the rate of growth of spending. But there won't be any real spending cuts. And the Republicans showed today that they're not even interested in it. And now they're ceding the language. So now deductions are loopholes. You know what that sets up? That sets up the premise that 100% of income is subject to taxation and that everything that we might deduct from our overall gross earnings is a loophole, not a deduction, not a legitimate deduction. They just gave that away by conceding on the language here. A loophole is not a deduction, but it has become one.
I mean, stop and think. When you think of a loophole in the tax law, what do you think of? You think of an unintended error that allows people to get away without paying their taxes. That's what you think a loophole is. Well, sorry. Now a standard, legal itemized deduction and everyone one of them have become loopholes. And such, they are subject to elimination. So now the premise of 100% taxation, the premise is now on the table. And all that means is that all money is Washington's, and what we end up with is totally up to their discretion and their big-heartedness or mean-heartedness, what have you.
This seminar in surrender today also -- we got the sound bites coming up, you'll hear it -- validated the false premise that confiscating additional private property will result in greater tax revenue going forward. The Republicans have just given in. They have compromised, what have you, on the premise that raising taxes on the rich will fix the problem. They have conceded that the problem exists in part because the rich aren't paying their fair share. They must feel so squished, so defeated, so universally disliked. I think we all had a sense of this. The first few days after the election, you start listening to Republicans from the consultant class to the elected class, all talk about what they had to do to start winning elections. It basically was, "Well, we have to adopt the liberal premise on things without actually saying so. We gotta be open to amnesty, relax our views on abortion. We gotta concede that many of the Tea Party's a bunch of kooks," all that.
Well, it turns out that that apparently is exactly what they think they've gotta do. Because once you concede the premise that taking private property from people is justified and will actually reduce deficits, 'cause it won't, it can't. The only thing that can reduce deficits is two things: economic growth and spending cuts. And nobody has anything on the table that's gonna promote economic growth, and of course nobody has anything on the table that's gonna result in any genuinely reduced spending.
You know, if it weren't for the fact that my expectations going into this were so low to begin with, I'd be really mad. But my expectations on this have been fulfilled. My expectations here thus have made it possible that I'm not blowing a gasket here. I'm sure some of you, contrary to me, probably had high expectations. You probably thought, "Well, we elected the Republicans. They know that they're the last wall of defense. They're the firewall."
Some of you, I'm sure, are livid and outraged. Believe me, intellectually I'm with you. Emotionally, my expectations on this were so low that I'm not angry. In fact, they've been met. Obama's gonna end up getting what he wants. We're using his language. We're now calling new taxes "revenues." We have accepted the premise that "new revenues" will result in greater tax receipts going forward. Yeah, let's listen. Maybe I'm wr... No. I was gonna say, "Maybe I'm wrong." (laughing)
Here's Boehner on Capitol Hill, a little press briefing on the fiscal cliff...
BOEHNER: If the president doesn't agree with, uh, our proposal and our outline, I think he's got an obligation, uh, to send one to the Congress -- and a plan that can pass both chambers of Congress. If you look at the -- the plans that the White House have -- have talked about thus far, uh, they couldn't pass either house of the Congress. We're ready and eager to talk to the president and to work with him to make sure that the American people, uhh, aren't disadvantaged, uhh, by what's happening here in Washington.
RUSH: Well, the problem, Mr. Speaker, is that Obama doesn't want to deal with you. He wants to go over the cliff. He doesn't want to deal with you, except to the extent he can get you to concede to him. He has no desire to deal with you. Here's Eric Cantor...
CANTOR: They don't want to sit down with the president! We want to talk specifics. We put an offer on the table now. He has out-of-hand rejected that. Where are the specifics? Where are the discussions? Nothing is going on. Meanwhile, the people of this country are the ones that suffer. So we ask the president, "Sit down with us, be serious about the specifics of spending, so we can stop the wasteful spending in Washington and finally address the problem."
RUSH: Now, I... It's just the same old lingo. Those two bites do not feature the ceding of the language that I heard (i.e., "deductions" being "loopholes"). But again, in that sense, it's not just these guys. I mean, the Republican Party made that part of their presidential campaign. You know, Romney was suggesting that we could "raise" $1.2 trillion or something by eliminating deductions and so forth. By the way, I have it here somewhere.
Obama, back in 2011, said, "No way," or... Nah, where did he...? I thought I had it right here at the top. I'm sorry, I don't. Obama has contradicted himself. Whatever he's saying today, he said just the exact opposite in 2011 about deductions and so forth. Which is instructive and informative only in the sense that whatever he's saying now doesn't matter and can't be trusted. He's out there saying, "The economy's poised to take off!"
Sorry, the math doesn't work out. It just doesn't. It just isn't there. Let me take a break here. I've got to anyway. I want to find this point of contradiction with Obama. There's a lot of other interesting stuff out there today. Folks, I'm sorry, but this stuff, frankly... I don't want to disappoint you, but as I said: My expectations going into it were not very high anyway. So I'm not all that surprised at the way this is shaping up and the way it's gonna end up going down.
I'll be shocked, pleasantly so, to be wrong if indeed I am.
RUSH: Okay, I found it. You know where I put it? I've got three pages here on Ryan and Rubio and the speeches they made at the Jack Kemp Foundation. The Kemp Foundation has an annual dinner to celebrate Kemp. They met at the Mayflower Hotel last night and it was obvious... Both Rubio and Paul Ryan, in their speeches, did everything they could to distance themselves from the 47% comment that Romney made.
That really has got the Republican Party shaken up.
I mean, everybody involved is flabbergasted.
Bobby Jindal, Rubio, now Paul Ryan. They all are just flabbergasted over that, and they think it's one of the reasons Romney lost. So they're all making tracks to distance themselves from that whole 47% comment that Romney made and the premise that is behind it. Both their speeches, you could say, were an attempt to get out from under the legacy of that comment and make sure they have no contact with it, no relationship with it whatsoever.
They don't agree with it, don't want any part of it.
We've got sound bites of both of their speeches coming up as well, as the program unfolds.
Anyway, I had put this story about Obama underneath that, and here he is: "In negotiations on the looming fiscal cliff, Obama has been insistent on the matter of raising tax rates on the top 2%." It was the top 1%, by the way. Now it's the top 2%. Remember he started out wanting $800 billion? After he won the election, he started flexing his muscles and jacked that up to $1.6 trillion.
And Boehner has come along and offered $800 billion with the premise of eliminating "loopholes." I can't tell you how the ceding of the language hurts. You know, the language matters. Words mean things, and to let the left have another word and totally co-opt it and destroy its real meaning... We've just allowed it to happen here. So now every legitimate deduction is a "loophole."
From now on going forward, the mortgage interest deduction is a "loophole." The charitable deduction is a "loophole." The earned income tax credit's a "loophole" now. Well, you know what low-information voters think a "loophole" is. You know what people who file a one-page tax form think a "loophole" is. And the vast majority of Americans file a one page, the 1040-EZ form.
"How much did you make? How much will you give us? Here's what we're taking. Send it in." And they're done with it. They don't know itemized deductions or the earned income tax credit. All they know is what they make and what they pay -- which, in many cases, income tax-wise isn't much. But they hear the word "loophole" and they think tax cheat. And so now every legit, by law, itemized deduction is considered a "loophole" for the express purpose of eliminating them.
Well, this is our private property we're talking about. Our money is as much our private property as anything else that we have earned and that we own. And Boehner has said (summarized), "All right, I'll give you $800 billion in new revenue." They live in this world. They think, because of the election, that the American people want new taxes and want new "revenue." I'll boil it down to the essence.
It's clear that they have no interest in teaching conservatism. It's clear they have no interest in defending it or standing up for it or explaining it, even. And I think one of the reasons is that many of them really aren't conservatives. It used to be that "Republican Party" and "conservative" meant the same thing. I don't think they do anymore. It's been that way for a while. But they don't explain it. They don't take the opportunity to contrast it because they don't know it.
It's like they or some consultants convince them that all they gotta do to win these precious independents or win the votes of people who are voting against them is go ahead and give them what they want, which is taxes on the rich. And "the rich" is now defined as $200,000 a year. Anyway, "In negotiations on this looming fiscal cliff, Obama has been insistent on the matter of raising taxes on the top 2%. In a Bloomberg interview yesterday, Obama said, "It's just a matter of math.
"You know, there's been a lot of talk, that somehow we can raise $800 billion or a trillion dollars worth of revenue just by closing loopholes and deductions. ... [T]hat's not a realistic option." Yet it was just over a year ago, in the same negotiations with Republicans going on now on the debt reduction deal that never came to fruition, the White House proposed doing just that. They proposed $800 billion, raising revenue, by closing loopholes and deductions.
Yesterday Obama says, "You can't do it! There's not that kind of money there."
A year ago he was all for it!
Well, how do you negotiate with somebody like this?
And then why do you beg somebody like this to come sit at the table with you and give you a proposal?
Take it to him, for crying out loud!
RUSH: All right, here is what Obama said in July of 2011. This was during another such negotiation as this. It wasn't a fiscal cliff negotiation, but it was a debt reduction deal. Debt limit, all that. And here's what Obama said in July of 2011. "What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates. It could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could lower rates generally while broadening the base."
He said that a year ago. Now, he did not mean it. Remember, July '11, it's reelection time in their mind. He didn't mean it. He doesn't mean lower tax rates. He would never do it, but he talked about it. The important thing is, the take-away here is that in July of 2011 Barack Obama articulated the very deal Boehner has offered. After winning reelection last month, Obama said, to hell with that, and jacked up his demand to $1.6 trillion. He wants the Clinton tax rates back, which is close to 40% on the upper earners.
Yesterday Obama said: "It's just a matter of math. You know, there's been a lot of talk, that somehow we can raise $800 billion or a trillion dollars worth of revenue just by closing loopholes and deductions. ... That's not a realistic option."
Let me read these quotes again, back-to-back.
Obama, July 2011: "Give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates. It could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could lower rates generally while broadening the base." That's July last year.
Yesterday: "It's just a matter of math. You know, there's been a lot of talk, that somehow we can raise $800 billion or a trillion dollars worth of revenue just by closing loopholes and deductions. ... That's not a realistic option."
Okay, so if you're Boehner and Cantor and these guys, which Obama do you deal with here? My point is you don't deal. This is like trying to get out of quicksand, herd cats, or swim in Jell-O. Whatever analogy that you want. Now, here's Boehner. This is also from the press conference this morning.
BOEHNER: This week we made a good-faith offer to avert the fiscal crisis.
BOEHNER: And that offer included significant spending cuts and reforms, and it included additional revenue.
BOEHNER: And, frankly, it was the balanced approach that the president's been asking for. Now we need a response from the White House.
RUSH: He's accepted the premise. This is my point. Okay, spending cuts will never happen, additional revenue, why don't we just call it taxes? "We've agreed with the president to raise taxes $800 billion." Why not just say that? Instead of this "new revenue" garbage. We've already lost the word "investment." "Investment" now means tax increase. "Investment" means more private property of yours taken away. If somebody could convince me that our budget problems were because we're undertaxed then maybe I'd have a different view, but it's not. We do not have a taxation problem. We have got a wildly out-of-control spending problem. But we've just accepted the premise.
By the way, the new revenue that Boehner offered was $800 billion. Boehner offered exactly what Obama asked for last July, and Obama says, "Well, the math doesn't work out on that." I'll tell you what it reminds me of. My first ever contract in this business was in 1986. I started in this business in 1967. So essentially it was 20 years before I had a contract. It was a big deal to have a contract. Not everybody did. It was a sign that you had advanced climbing the ladder and all that. I didn't have an agent. I don't have an agent now. Why give somebody 20%, 5%, whatever, when I can do it myself?
At any rate, I am, quote, unquote, "in negotiations" with the general manager. And we set a meeting. We're in the middle of the talks, as it is said. We have a meeting scheduled for 7:30 one morning. My program starts at nine. I show up at 7:30, the general manager is in his office on the phone, puts his call on hold, said, "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here for our meeting."
"We don't have a meeting."
"Yeah, we have a contract..."
"No, there's no meeting."
"What are you talking about?"
He started thumbing through his calendar. "I don't have anything on the calendar here. I don't have time for you today."
I ran out, I said, "What the hell just happened?" It was a typical ploy. I didn't know what was going on. We all learn as we go through these things. It didn't take me long to learn what had happened, but at the moment I'm thinking, "Did I get something wrong?" But what had happened was I had been put totally on the defensive. And what had really been conveyed was, "I don't care about you. You're not important. Why do you think I've got a meeting with you? Who do you think you are?" That was the message.
Well, that's all that's happening here. A year ago Obama had made the comment to Boehner. A year ago, $800 billion, we can raise that if we close loopholes. So Boehner offered it this year. "What are you talking about? The math doesn't work out. I don't know what you're talking about." But to complete the analogy, if I would have acted then like the Republicans are acting today, I woulda walked out of the general manager's office, I woulda gone on the radio and started crying about it. "What do you mean? Come on, we were supposed to meet. Will you meet with me?" They're saying, "We've submitted a proposal. All we want is the president to react to our proposal. We've done what he wanted. Could he just submit a response?"
I don't know, maybe they don't know or maybe they don't understand or they don't agree that what the president is trying to do is render them irrelevant. There's a lot of ego attached to positions of power in Washington, and it may well be that if you're Speaker of the House, it's inconceivable somebody would want to render you irrelevant, in your own mind. I don't know. I've never been Speaker of the House. But I know egos. I've been surrounded by 'em all my life and I have a healthy one myself, that's in check, by the way, contrary to popular opinion. (laughing)
But, again, we've ceded the lingo. We're now calling tax increases revenue. We've agreed to $800 billion of revenue. We're accepting the premise that it's a tax problem and, yeah, that it's a balanced approach. And we're doing this with a guy that we know has run up the national debt $6 trillion in four years. This guy has added to the national debt more than all the previous presidents combined.
Now, the Republicans also have a history, a behavioral pattern you can predict. They believe Obama won the election, that means he should get his judges and he should get his budget, and that's what it means. And, by the same token, when we win elections... except it never works out that way. You never hear the Democrats adopting our language. You never hear the Democrats abandoning their core beliefs and what they believe. In fact, when they lose, you'd be hard-pressed to know it by watching the media and listening to the Democrats each and every day after they lose an election.
Now, you notice that in July of 2011, Obama said that we could raise $1.2 trillion by eliminating loopholes. That's 50% more than Boehner says they could raise, $800 billion. Obama said you could get $1.2 trillion closing loopholes in July of 2011. So Boehner said, "Okay, well, here's $800 billion." Obama said, "No, no, no, the math doesn't work out. You can't do that. I mean, that would mean eliminating the charitable deduction," when in fact that's what he wants to do. You know, I guess my point is if we're gonna let him have his way, do it. Don't compromise yourself in the process. And don't make it look like his way is also yours.
But look, that's just me, folks, I'm just a guy on the radio here. I've never done their job. It's easy to throw spitballs here from the peanut gallery. But there is a pattern. There is a pattern that's undeniable here in every debt deal that's negotiated, be it the debt limit, be it this fiscal cliff, be it the budget. There's a pattern, and it always involves us relaxing what we believe, due to the premise that we think we're hated and so we gotta do stuff to make people like us. I still think that's at the root of a lot of this, plus the fact that they don't know conservatism. They really aren't conservatives, and thus taking the occasion, the opportunity to teach it, to be instructive, is really not relevant, either.
Let's take a brief time-out. We'll be back, and -- there's other stuff happening out there. We'll get to it when we get back.
RUSH: To prove my point, CNN is overjoyed. Here is their headline for their report on the Boehner press conference. You ready? Quote: "The Rich Will Pay More in Taxes, Boehner Says." There you have it. And so you see, the Republicans have now agreed with the premise that the problem is that the rich aren't paying their fair share. We have just agreed with Obama's campaign premise.
The rich aren't paying their fair share!
The Republicans have agreed to this, they've recognized this, and Boehner says those days are over. "The rich will pay more in taxes." Now, some of you might be saying, "But, Rush! But, Rush! You know, the media would say that no matter what." Nope. Not in this case. Not if Boehner and the Republicans had steadfastly opposed raising taxes on anyone. "But, Rush! But, Rush! They can't win that."
That's not the point. The point is what you stand for when this is all said and done. You have something to fall back on and go back to, in order to move forward. We've just given away something that used to be part of our brand. "That's right, Rush, and the brand is what's killing us. Republicans love the rich, and Boehner knows it." That could be at the root of this, too. It could be.
These guys, elected Republicans, believe that the average American thinks that the only people the average Republican cares about are the rich. "Let's get rid of that! Let's raise taxes on them. To hell with it! I'm sick and tired of being called a friend of the rich." When in fact it's Obama who has all the crony capitalist deals with all the rich guys. Could be that. Whatever, it's defensive. And whatever, it's reactionary.
It certainly isn't proactive.
From the article: "Taxes on the wealthy are going up, House Speaker John Boehner conceded on Wednesday in challenging President Barack Obama to sit down with him to hammer out a deal for avoiding the fiscal cliff." So you see, in the Drive-Bys now we got the framework for a deal! "Finally we're gonna blame the rich. We should have been doing that all along, and now Boehner's finally agreed. Okay, now we can move forward."
They're blaming the rich.
The last group of people with any money in the private sector have now, officially, been targeted.
RUSH: All right, there it is up on CNN; "Obama Demanding Tax Hike on Wealthy," and of course the Republicans agreed to do that today and actually earlier in the week, by reducing "loopholes." But Obama's not gonna be content with that. He wants the rates to go up, too -- make no mistake -- and they will. Here. I've got Obama in his own words, back-to-back. Let's go July 22nd at the White House. This is Obama, a press briefing on the debt ceiling talks at that time...
OBAMA JULY 22, 2012: What we said was, uh, "Give us 1.2 trillion in additional revenues," which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions, and engaging in a tax-reform process that could have lowered rates generally by broadening the base.
RUSH: That's last year, July of last year. "Yeah, we could raise $1.2 trillion just by closing loopholes and eliminating deductions." Here's Obama yesterday...
OBAMA DECEMBER 4, 2012: It's not me being stubborn. It's not me being partisan. It's just a matter of math. You know, there's been a lot of talk that somehow we can raise $800 billion or a trillion dollars worth of revenue just by closing loopholes and deductions.
RUSH: Yeah, you did.
OBAMA DECEMBER 4, 2012: But a lot of your viewers understand, uh, uh, that the only way to do that would be if you completely eliminated, for example, charitable deductions. Well, i-i-i-if you eliminate charitable deductions, that means every hospital and university and not-for-profit agency across the country would suddenly find themselves, uh, on the verge of collapse. So that's not a realistic option.
Last year it was!
Last year it was a totally realistic option, right out of Obama's mouth.
This year, ain't no way. You'd have to eliminate 'em all. And then he says, "Yeah, and what's wrong with that? Hee-hee-hee-hee. I'll gladly be the sole benefactor for hospitals! I'll gladly be the sole benefactor for universities. I'll gladly be the sole benefactor for nonprofits." That's what he wants, anyway.
RUSH: Doug in Seattle. I'm glad you waited. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Good morning, Rush, from sunny liberty sicko Seattle.
RUSH: Yes, sir. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Well, 23-, 24-year-listener, first-time caller, first time I've ever called a radio show in my life.
RUSH: Oh, I'm honored.
CALLER: Got through to Snerdley on like the third ring, so unbelievable.
RUSH: Well, I'm glad you made it. Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Thanks. Well, I agree that any tax hikes by Obama or the Republicans for that matter is not gonna solve anything, but I have an idea for a very simple plan, very understandable by even the American people. I know that's a tough nut to crack, and could put Obama in a bind. And here's the plan. Are you ready?
RUSH: I'm ready.
CALLER: Very simple. You redefine middle class to about 400 to 500 K. That gives the people in the high-cost areas, New York, California, Washington state, you know, which really is middle class in a lot of those places, gets them into the middle class. You lower the tax rates for the middle class down to 15 or 20%.
RUSH: They already are.
CALLER: The maximum you're gonna pay is 15 or 20. If you want to make it lower for people in the lower middle class, or lower class, that's great, no problem. And here's the biggest thing. Any savings by the middle class, capital gains and gains they make, capital gains, dividends, interest if they have money in a bank or they own a bond --
RUSH: Okay --
CALLER: -- anything they make in savings is tax-free, no tax ever.
RUSH: I've got to take a break here, but I've actually thought of something similar to that. Be back in just a second.
RUSH: If there was no tax on savings, like our previous caller said, you'd have to get out of the way for all the capital flooding into this country. Why do you think people go offshore? It is to escape this kind of stuff. There are clearly all kinds of ways to build up this economy. Obama's not interested and the Republicans ought not participate with him in his ideas.