RUSH: So late in the program yesterday, we had a guy call who wanted to raise taxes on everybody a hundred percent, on the rich, just make the rich pay for it and finally show everybody what the disaster is. And as you recall, I threatened to fire Snerdley if he ever gave me another one of those calls, and Snerdley said, "I hear you." And the reason I got so agitated at that is we're in the middle of the disaster. We are in it.
Folks, we're gonna have to realize, to you and me it's a disaster, but to a majority of people who voted in the country, it isn't. Some people want to make sure that everybody realizes that the way the country's being run now is or will become a disaster. One of the ways of illustrating that for these guys -- and, by the way, it's a growing sentiment. I have done some research, and there are people out there, "Let's just cave and raise taxes on the rich." The theory is, make the rich elitist liberals pay a price for voting for Obama.
That's the theory. On paper it sounds good. Tax Warren Buffett, tax all these Hollywood people, make 'em pay for it. There are two things, however, that need to be said. I understand, as I say, the energy, passion, sentiment behind that, but once, folks, you do that, how do you get that back? I don't care whose money you take away, once you start down that road, do you think government's ever gonna give it back, I mean in your lifetime? One of the things that the left has always done, the Democrats have always done, is secure votes by making their voters think that we are gonna be punished. Raising taxes on the rich, for example, is exactly the example.
So Obama and the Democrats say they're gonna raise taxes on the rich, and union workers, middle class, lower middle class Democrats say, "Yeah, yeah, you show 'em." Their lives don't change, their taxes don't change, their income doesn't go up just because you raise taxes on the rich. In fact, the more you do that, the worse off the little guy is gonna be. But the little guy nevertheless is happy. The Democrat Party's made up of a bunch of people who are made happy via the suffering of others. Not improvement in their own lives, but with the suffering of others.
The Democrats have made, in terms of my life, a lifetime policy out of this. Revenge. And Obama even said it. What does he mean when he says, get your revenge, vote? Take it out on the rich. Take it out on the successful. Take it out on the people that have more than you do. I'll help you. I'll punish 'em. I'll raise taxes on 'em. Vote for me, and I'll make sure that you feel better 'cause those people are gonna have it stuck to 'em. And people do. They don't care. They don't care that their lives aren't improved any, significantly. They get off on the fact that other people are being hurt, they think.
So now we got people on our side calling and suggesting the same thing. "Let's just make sure that they pay a price for supporting Obama." And I understand that. I understand the emotion behind that. The problem is, in Warren Buffett's case, you could raise the income tax rate to a hundred percent and you're gonna be collecting taxes on about $120,000 of income. The rest of his income is not earned, so to speak. It's dividend, capital gains. He's got his wealth. You're going to have to institute a wealth tax to go get people like Buffett and many moguls and many executives. They've insured themselves.
You have to understand, the income tax is to prevent you from accruing wealth. It's not gonna punish the truly rich who are propping up Democrats, the truly rich mogul, the truly rich CEO, the truly wealthy Wall Street tycoon. Warren Buffett is not paid 38, 40 million a year, whatever, billion dollars, whatever he makes. Somebody is not paying him that. His investments are throwing off that income, at a 15% tax rate. So you could raise capital gains, maybe, but then you would have all kinds of negative impact on investment, and maybe that's what some of you want. But they'll still be rich at the end of the day, at least compared to you and everybody else.
At the same time, you've endorsed the notion of punishing the rich, no matter who they are, liberal, conservative, Republican, what have you. And then there's also the "but we gotta show 'em what it's like." I've been hearing this since I sat down behind this microphone. Let the Democrats win. I first heard it in 1992 with Clinton. Let Clinton win. People calling, "Let Clinton win. Let people see what kind of disaster we're headed for." Well, we're in it. We're in it. And the people that you want to be impacted by the disaster, to the point that they change their vote, guess what? They've got however many weeks of unemployment that they need and want, and more if they demand it. They have their flat-screen TVs. They have their cars. They've got their cell phones, in many cases an Obama phone. They've got their 250 minutes a month. As far as they're concerned, there isn't any pain. Not real pain.
So I said yesterday...
Some people said, "Well, you were really, really mean yesterday."
"What do you mean, 'mean'?"
"Cutting off unemployment at 13 weeks."
"Yeah, it sounds mean today. I know. 'Thirteen weeks, three months, we'll take care of you and then you're on your own.'"
"But, Rush! But, Rush! There aren't any jobs to be had."
"You know, demand creates a lot of things."
When a lot of people need work, when there are a lot of people that want work, there can be psychological shifts that can actually impact change, policy, and the direction the country's going. It wasn't that long ago that 13 weeks unemployment was a godsend. It was considered a great benefit. Ninety-nine weeks? You ever add that up? That's approaching two years, and it's been shown the longer you don't work the harder it is to get back in the mode, and the longer you don't work the harder it is to keep skills up.
And 99 weeks plus, that's Obama's ID, the Democrat Party's ID. They're all for that. They'll forgive your student loans, or at least they'll dangle that carrot in front of you. Now, all this having been said... And you probably have heard, more and more people saying, "Let's just go ahead and cave. Let's let Obama have his taxes on the rich."
In fact, grab sound bite number two. The media is hyperventilating here over Obama and Boehner speaking on the phone, and then Stephanopoulos and... Actually, grab number three, because this is George Stephanopoulos and Jonathan Karl, and they're just overjoyed. They can't contain themselves. The GOP is conceding that taxes on the rich must go up. It's from Good Morning America today.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're starting to see some Republicans concede that tax rates on the wealthy, at least, are going to have to go up. But the president has another rock-hard bottom line, and that is an increase in the US debt limit as well.
KARL: Yeah, that's right. Uh, Republicans -- even, privately, top Republicans -- say those tax rates are gonna almost certainly go up.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, so happy. They're just so happy. "The tax rates are gonna have to go up! Yep, yep, that's exactly right," and they're thrilled by it. You can ask yourself why all day long. The answer is very simple. The Republican Party is in the crosshairs. The unity of the House Republicans is in the crosshairs. What Obama and the Democrats are trying to do is blow it all up. Politics! They're trying to wipe out the Republican Party.
They aren't interested in us liking them.
They aren't interested in getting along with us.
They aren't interested in collegiality or conviviality or fun and games.
They don't want us around in any significant numbers to cause them any problems.
So the best way to do that is to get us to compromise on our core, and they get excited when they think they're making progress in that regard. Now, back to the raising-taxes-on-the-rich business. The simple fact of the matter is, it's happened. Three states now, when you add it all up, are going to have a marginal top tax rate of over 50%. California, Hawaii, and one other. Actually a lot of them are close.
California, Hawaii, and it might be New York. That would be the natural thing to assume. Here are the details. Top states... Oh, by the way, the vast majority of these people are in blue states, the vast majority of the people who are going to be paying over 50%. You're getting what you want to a certain extent because Obama is raising taxes on his voters. Most of these people are in blue states.
For example, the top states with the most households at $250,000 and above are, in order: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, DC. Only, Virginia (and that's even a toss-up) is not a blue state. The rest of these states are dead blue. The top metro areas, cities, with the most $250,000 households: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Washington, DC.
The states with the highest average housing values and mortgages, meaning the most expensive as well: Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco. The states with the highest percentage of people taking itemized deductions (which are soon to go): California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Washington. So those of you who want taxes raised on the rich, you're getting your dream. Obama's raising taxes on his voters.
His voters in California voted to raise taxes on themselves, folks!
It's called Proposition 30 in California. Some dummkopf entrepreneur has just now figuring out what happened. It's too late. In California, Hawaii, and I think New York -- three states -- people at $200,000 and $250,000 a year are now gonna be paying over 50%. Do you know what the top marginal income tax rate in California? It's 13.3% added to the federal, which is going to 40%. It's 39.6%. Add 13 points, it's plus 40.
We're not talking Medicare, Social Security yet.
Marginal income tax rates are over 50% in California, Hawaii, and New York. These other states are very, very close. Is this what Obama wants? It would appear so. This is what he's angling for. You take a look at the Republican offer of raising $800 billion. How has Boehner offered it? Eliminating deductions, eliminating write-offs and loopholes, and all that. "Loophole."
Anyway, the Republicans do not want rates to go up.
The reason they say they're holding fast on rates (and this is true) is because so many small-business people who are organized under Subchapter S corporation rules file their business taxes on their personal form. And the marginal income tax rate, if it's left alone ... This is theoretical, but it's pretty applicable. If the marginal rate goes up, those people are harmed. It's money off the top.
It will restrict the growth of their business. It will take away disposable income that they can invest in either themselves, in the families or in their businesses. It will restrict their ability to hire people. However, if you leave the marginal rates alone (which the Republicans want to do), but concede, "Okay, we'll get rid of the deductions: The charitable donations, the mortgage interest, all that stuff," it is said that that will have the least impact on small business.
Obama, by the way... You can raise the money. You could get $800 billion over a period of time by eliminating the deductions, and Obama's opposing that. Obama wants both. He wants the rate up and the elimination of deductions. People are saying, "Wait a minute. If you get the money that you say you want for deficit reduction and all this...?" It's crap, but, "If you get the money that you say you want with the elimination of deductions, why not take it?"
The point is, it's not the money that Obama wants, folks. If there were a way... I'm gonna come up with somewhat of an extreme example to illustrate, but it's right on the money. If there were a magic way to legitimately raise -- not print or borrow, but legitimately raise -- raise a trillion dollars that could be handed to Obama right now that did not require raising taxes or eliminating loopholes, he would not take it.
The trillion dollars, the $1.6 trillion, the $1.2 trillion, the $800 billion, whatever the number is is not relevant. What's relevant to Obama is inflicting the damage. Now, that may be too extreme. That may make you nervous to hear me describe Obama's desire that way. So let me change "inflict the damage" to Obama "wants to punish." There's no other way to describe it!
You give him a trillion dollars without raising taxes, and it won't count. He's going to have those taxes raised. He wants the rates up. He's not gonna compromise on it. He wants the rates up. He wants the deductions gone because of the impact it will have. It's not about raising money. Remember what he said about capital gains. When it was pointed out to him that lowering the capital gains rate increased the amount of revenue to Washington (this was in 2007 or 2008), Obama said, "I don't care. It's a fairness issue for me."
It wasn't fair that investment income was taxed so low. He didn't care about the revenue being generated. You all think that we raise taxes or levy taxes to raise money to run the government efficiently. That's not what it's about anymore. Not with this guy, and not with these people in the Democrat Party. It's not about that. There are many things going on here. One of them is to redistribute wealth and take it from people who have it, and then eliminate/decimate the Republican Party.
That's where are we.
That's what going over the cliff or not going over the cliff is really all about.
RUSH: Now, to illustrate. Jay Carney, while we were talking to Senator DeMint and Ed Feulner at Heritage, Jay Carney was briefing the media. And Ed Henry, the White House reporter, said, "Jay, a moment ago you said it's 'frightening' for Republicans to bring back the debt ceiling again and raise the specter of the nation defaulting. Isn't it frightening for the American people to hear the Treasury secretary say that we're going off the cliff?"
CARNEY: The president of the United States will not sign a bill that extends tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, or for those making more than $250,000 a year. This is an issue that the American people understand, they are very clear about, and -- if public surveys are to be believed -- are supportive of the president on. We can't afford it. He has made this very clear. What he has also made clear is that Republicans in the House could act today to give tax cuts for 98% of the American people. They have not, because they insist that tax cuts for the top 2% are more important.
RUSH: What did he just say we can't "afford"? The president's spokesman just said: We can't afford to let people keep the same amount that they're earning now. We need more from them. We can't "afford" it. We can't "afford" to let high income earners continue as they are. The nation can't afford that, and the American people agree: This is all about punishing the rich. And, as Carney says, that's what the American people voted for. They support the president on this. We're not gonna extend the Bush tax rates. We can't afford that. The American people voted to punish everybody who earns $250,000 or more, and that's what we're going to do.
RUSH: Here's Steve in Rochester, New Hampshire, as we start on the phones. Welcome, sir. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. It's an honor to talk to you. I've been listening to you since I was in high school back in the late 1980s.
RUSH: Wow, I appreciate that. Thank you.
CALLER: I am a retired or former history teacher up here in New Hampshire, and I just want to say, first of all, that I completely agree with everything you've said regarding taxes and the Democratic Party since the beginning of your show. One of the cases that I always taught and we always taught students was McCulloch v. Maryland, which occurred in 1819. The federal government chartered the Bank of the United States, it was a federally chartered bank, and the federally chartered Bank of the United States tried to open a branch in Maryland. Maryland wanted nothing to do with it, so they put a huge tax on it to try to get rid of it. It went to court, and the chief justice at the time, John Marshall, ruled in part that the power to tax is the power to destroy, and they tossed the case out. And that's something that I think a lot of people just aren't picking up on, as far as what the Democrats are saying.
RUSH: I must respectfully disagree to an extent. I think the low-information voters we talk about, in their own way, are very sophisticated. I think we're gonna have to grow up. We're gonna have to admit to ourselves that they do indeed understand the power to tax is the power to destroy, and that's what they're supporting. That's what they're voting for. They are voting to raise taxes on the rich because they want them punished.
RUSH: Therefore they believe they can be punished by raising taxes.
RUSH: So it's safe to say that they do want the power to destroy.
CALLER: Exactly. And I think they fully realize, the Democrats fully understand that the taxing power is a power to destroy, if they want to use it as such, which they do.
RUSH: Yes. And by the way, this is not new to Obama.
RUSH: Bill Clinton, every Democrat since FDR has been running against tax cuts, has been running on class envy against the rich. You and I just happen to be alive at that moment in time where it has finally broken through and a majority of people who vote, will vote for that and agree with it.
CALLER: I mean, it's something that people obviously need to be reeducated about. The Founding Fathers certainly understood that. They were so fearful of the taxing power. I mean, if you look at the arguments that went on before the Civil War over tariffs, whether we should raise tariffs or lower tariffs.
RUSH: Never before, though, never before in American history has an elected government sought to impoverish its citizens for the advancement of its political objectives. We now live in a moment in time where that's happened.
RUSH: An elected administration has, via policies, sought to impoverish millions of citizens and then support them.
RUSH: For the express purpose --
CALLER: Of maintaining their base.
RUSH: Maintaining and growing it.
RUSH: And then inflicting harm on the Republicans, growing government, empowering themselves, all of that.
RUSH: And of course these are the people about whom it is said are the most compassionate and the most tolerant, the most loving, and the most understanding. They in fact are the most damaging when you get right down to it. They have succeeded in teaching people that the power to tax is the power to destroy, and they now have people voting for them on the premise that they want the Democrats they're electing to do that. It's their fault. It's their fault that there's a recession. It's their fault that we're in debt, and they've got too much money. They've got more than they need. This has been said and repeated by millions of Democrats for decades now, that whole premise that you've got more than you need.
For the longest time I've heard people say, "How come Bill Gates and Warren Buffett vote Democrat?" Very simple. If you have the kind of money they do or if you have the money a Hollywood mogul does, you don't want people beating down your door to get your money. So you state publicly that you think you've got too much. It's how the Kennedys did it. You state publicly that you think the rich have had too big a ride, the rich are benefiting from a rigged game, a stacked deck. There need to be higher taxes, just needs to be, it's unfair. In the process you inoculate yourself from becoming a target, because you're on the side of the oppressed, and you are not blamed for taking money that they would have had. You are permitted to have your money, as long as you are perceived to be on their side. And that's what these wise, smart liberal businesspeople learned some time ago.
RUSH: Here is Chris in Charleston, South Carolina. Hi, sir. Great to have you.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call, Rush.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: About one month before the election I was reading an article that said that people making $250,000 and more, their taxes would go up, and my very first thought was, "Well, thank God I don't make that much." But then my immediate second thought was, "I live in America. There's no reason that I should be having that as my first thought. It's a completely foreign thought that we shouldn’t be having."
RUSH: That's a natural. No, wait a minute. You know, this is an excellent point because it is a natural thought that everybody has, and that's what the Democrats play on. It is entirely natural to give thanks you're not a target.
CALLER: That's exactly right. I mean, I feel like, "Wow, thank God I dodged that," but that's ten years ago or more, when I started a business. I do have a small business, and so if that kind of thinking is creeping into my thinking, I'm very concerned. What about younger people? It's not gonna creep in. It's gonna be their first thought and only thought. And what about future entrepreneurs, people like Steve Jobs? I mean, I don't see how you foster creativity if you feel like, "I don't want to be a target."
RUSH: The whole premise of raising taxes on the rich is to have the 98% cheer it on that they're not part of the 2%. That's the whole premise of it. You can't separate this from the class envy aspect. You're quite mature to pull back and say, "Wait a minute. How...?" The real question is, let's say that you are nowhere near that threshold, Chris. You don't have a small business.
You just earn whatever you earn. You're nowhere near it. You get the news that people of $250,000 or higher are gonna get a tax increase, and let's say you cheer it. The real question should be, "Wait a minute. How does that make my life better? Materially. I mean, is it enough that I feel good that somebody's getting stuck?" Because that's what's being sold.
CALLER: That kind of thought is so foreign to me. Like, I think of people that make millions of dollars, and, you know, I think, "Good for them." I don't... I have simple needs. I don't need millions of dollars. I get to do what I want to do. But I don't even understand this thinking.
RUSH: Well --
CALLER: This punitive attitude.
RUSH: Well, let me give you something else to think about then, because there's another aspect of this that is also pretty insidious. Go back to your original thought. You gave thanks that you're not in that bracket, and then there are some people who then... Because this is a subtle way to discourage people from being ambitious.
CALLER: Not only that, but you give thanks, I guess, to the government for not punishing you.
RUSH: Yeah, and for giving you a way to not be punished -- i.e., don't become that successful.
CALLER: Don't compete. Right.
RUSH: That's the insidious part. It's discouragement. It's a subtle form of discouraging effort and success by telling people, "You'll be left alone. You won't be targeted. You'll not be said to be the problem."
CALLER: You'll just be a face in the crowd. You just go along and you're gonna be okay.
RUSH: Exactly, and this technique has been used throughout history to subjugate whole peoples.
CALLER: That's what the Republicans are not making clear to anyone. They're really not.
RUSH: I don't... (sigh) Jeez, I don't know. The way we're discussing things here, I don't know. Are you saying it would be great if you heard some elected Republicans go to a microphone and talk about things like you and I are discussing them?
CALLER: Yeah, I would. I'd feel like someone else thinks like I do, like someone in a position of authority.
RUSH: Uh, you have to know this before you can talk about it. You have to believe it. I think it's one of the problems that we face when we look around for conservatism in leadership. There aren't a whole lot of people that really can explain it, Chris, that are elected. There are a few, and look how they stand out. Marco Rubio, Jack Kemp, Paul Ryan, take your pick. They're few, but the ones that can, they're stars. You would think that would be infectious.
I think right now what's happening is everybody's caught up in the minutia of all this. Everybody's caught up in the, "Well, if we'll give you $800 billion, here, with deductions and loopholes." They're not even thinking philosophically. Everybody's got their green eye shades on here. The Democrats don't, but they want everyone to think they do. "We've got our green eye shades on and we've got our accountants on the case, because that's what we think the American people are paying attention to."