RUSH: Last night on the Fox News Channel with Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney guest hosted. He had on Keith Ellison, the congressman from Minnesota. Stuart Varney said, "Let's deal with the fairness question. I want to talk to you about the case of Phil Mickelson, California resident. On every dollar that Phil Mickelson makes, he has to pay 63¢ to the state and federal governments in income taxes. Is that fair?"
ELLISON: "Fair" calls forth the question, "Compared to what?" It's fair compared to allowing somebody who is surviving on minimal income like a senior citizen to cut home heating oil, which is what we're gonna have to do if the sequester goes into place. It's fair compared to asking a poor family on food stamps to get by with less. It's fair compared to say we're gonna cut down on the investment that we make into innovation, medical innovation for brand-new industries to put even more people back to work. So it's a matter of, "Compared to what?"
RUSH: Now, I just love the way this floating definition of "fairness" gets employed by these people on the left. "Fair compared to what?" How about fair compared to Phil Mickelson? How about fair compared to how hard he works? How about fair compared to the irresponsibility with which government is spending and wasting the money it's collecting from him? Anyway, Varney said, "So you think that 63%...?" The way to look at this, folks, is you throw the 63% number out. Phil Mickelson keeps 37¢ of every $1. That's the way to put this in perspective. That's the way to understand this. Keith Ellison just said: Yep, it's totally fair that Mickelson should only keep 37¢ of every dollar that he earns, and he wasn't finished...
ELLISON: Asking Phil Mickelson for able to say more money so that women and children can have a meal, is fair. Yes, I do. I think it's fair to ask Phil Mickelson for a little bit more money to make sure that we can continue to invest in infrastructure in this country, and for making that groundbreaking research and medicine is paid for, to make sure that people who have the basics, that college education is affordable. It's fair to ask Phil Mickelson to help with that. As a patriotic American, I'm sure Phil Mickelson would agree.
RUSH: Of course.
"As a patriotic American," Phil would agree. Do you realize how absurd this is? We are in debt to the tune of close to $17 trillion. We have spent $17 trillion that we don't have over the course of this nation's history. But in the last four years, we have spent $6 trillion of that $17 trillion. Obama is the owner of $6 trillion of spending that we don't have. We spent $6 trillion! I want you just to visualize that. We have spent $6 trillion more than we have. We have an annual budget deficit of $1.3 trillion. We are spending money like it has never been spent before. We're spending money two and three and four times on the same items. Food stamps? There are 48 million Americans on food stamps!
There was a story in the newspaper the other day. A woman was robbed. She was robbed of her purse. The purse cost $400. In the purse was $800 of cash, a bunch of credit cards and her food stamps. So a woman with a $400 purse, $800 in cash, and a bunch of credit cards, is also on food stamps. There are a whole lot of people on food stamps that ought not be, but the government is soliciting for them. They're advertising for them. In Mexico we're running radio commercials advising future immigrants how to get on food stamps once they get into America, once they get into the country.
So we're spending 3.5 trillion dollars a year and only two trillion of it do we actually have. The rest we're borrowing or printing. And yet here comes Keith Ellison, "Yeah, Phil Mickelson needs to pay more so that we can continue to invest in infrastructure. So that we can make sure that groundbreaking research in medicine is paid for." The government doesn't do any of that. Drug companies engage in their own R&D. But let's say the government did pay for it, the government's spending all that anyway. The government's spending all of that and more, but they're not spending much in infrastructure. What they're spending it on to me is irrelevant here.
What Keith Ellison is doing is trying to make it sound like we're cutting back on all these items. We're cutting back on infrastructure. We're not. We're cutting back on research and development. We're not cutting back. We're not cutting back on college education. It's getting more expensive. It's not becoming more affordable. Phil Mickelson's money and everybody else's tax money is being irresponsibly spent. In fact, the point of raising taxes any more is not even about the money. It's about punishment. It's about punishing success. It's about making sure that people do not become wealthy. It's about making sure that people cannot build a nest egg. That's the purpose of taxation.
Here we have a member of Congress who actually wants to make the case that it is patriotic that somebody should only keep 37 cents of every dollar that they earn under all of these false premises that we're not spending on infrastructure, that we're not spending enough on medicine, that we're not spending enough on infrastructure, and we're not spending enough on tuition. And it's Phil Mickelson's fault to boot, and therefore Phil Mickelson would be patriotic and he would agree that it's necessary that he should pay 63 cents of every dollar so that these expenses don't get cut.
In fact, there aren't any cuts. There aren't even any imaginary cuts anymore. This is just flat-out absurd. This is bordering on banana republic totalitarianism, this kind of thinking, these kinds of accusations, these kinds of misrepresentations. Low-information voters actually think, when they hear stuff like this, that we're cutting back on all these items. We're cutting back on children's health care. We're cutting back on research and development. It's all because of the Republicans, too, don't you know. The Republicans are causing this. The Republicans are cutting all this spending.
There isn't any spending reduction. We're spending money we're never gonna have. And it's Phil Mickelson's fault, by the way, and other rich people that all these items are being short-changed. And they're not being. This stuff irritates me like I can't begin to tell you. This kind of demagoguery, this kind of lying to the American people, misrepresentation of things that are happening. In the meantime, the amount of spending we're engaging in is unsustainable and it is causing great harm to the very fabric and foundations of this country. The institutions, traditions and all that that have made this country great, they're all under assault now, and they're still not happy. With all of this spending, it's still not enough. They still have to lie and misrepresent and try to tell people that all these precious items are being cut back, and until we take 63 cents from Phil Mickelson and others like him we're not gonna be able to continue to fund these programs.
If we in this country only spent what we collected, like everybody else has to in their life, we would still have plenty of money to do everything we're doing now. If we only spent two trillion -- do you realize, in 1987, the federal budget was $900 billion. Now we're up to two trillion, 3.5 trillion. The budget's 3.5 trillion dollars, this is absurd. And in the midst of all this they insult our intelligence and tell us that we're not spending enough yet.
RUSH: Keith Ellison. We need 63 cents of every dollar Phil Mickelson makes so that we don't cut back on infrastructure. We just authorized $50 billion for recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast. Fifty billion. That's infrastructure. We're not short-changing anybody in this country on anything. The only people being short-changed are the people that produce.
Here's another thing that is just really gnaws at me. Who the hell is Keith Ellison to dictate all this? He's a congressman from Minnesota. Big whoop. Where is the constitutional authority for some hack federal politician to judge what anybody should or shouldn't have? Who is he to get to sit here and say, other than he was asked a question, but he's one of 435 members of House. Big whoop. So Keith Ellison thinks it's unfair for Mickelson to pay anything less than 63 cents out of every dollar. Where's his constitutional authority to judge what anybody should or shouldn't have? What do you mean, fairness in compared to what?
So he comes up with his own definition of fairness. He comes up with his own theories on who ought to have what and who ought not have what and who has more than what they need, and then be able to use the law to impose that. I'll tell you, folks, it irritates me, all of the lying and all the misrepresentation, the demagoguery that goes into all of this. We're not cutting back on anything. And the sequester is not that big of a cutback on anything, either. We're not reducing spending. We never have reduced spending and there's no reduced spending on the table. Nobody's even proposing any. And this guy runs around and tries to make people think that we're gonna close down colleges, we're gonna close down hospitals, we're gonna close down repairs on roads and bridges.
Obama does it all the time, using all of this fear.
Now this newspaper, it's Brunswick, Georgia. Here's the little blurb in the newspaper. "A woman said she noticed her purse missing from her car just before 5pm Sunday. The car was parked at her residence on Hornet Drive. The woman said the car had been locked, and the purse was in the back seat. The purse was valued at $400, her wallet was valued at $200, and she said there was $800 cash in the purse, according to the police report. Also missing were the woman’s food stamp cards."
Oh, poor woman. Oh, isn't it just the case, folks. A $400 purse, $200 wallet, $800 in cash, and her food stamp cards are missing as part of the theft.
RUSH: Emily in the state of Washington, great to have you on the program. Hi, Emily. I'm glad you waited.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It's an absolute honor to talk to you. I'm so excited. My dad's been listening to Rush as long as I can remember. So I guess I'm technically a Rush Baby, but I have three babies of my own, so I am fully engaged in this battle in trying to get conservative values back on to the platform for most of America.
CALLER: So my question is, as I was awfully discouraged of the election results, I'm just trying to hone in on something I can do, and it's like "who can we reach?" So I'm wondering, isn't there some classification of Obama voters, they're not on the government dole, they just aren't rational. They're just not seeing the rational, reasonable conservative principles.
RUSH: Yes. This is one of the reasons -- it's a great question -- it's one of the reasons that I remain optimistic. I do not believe that every Obama voter voted for this. I don't believe people, a large a number of them, I don't believe that a large a number of people who voted for Obama actually voted for what's happening and what's going to happen. I think there were other factors that led them to it and they're gonna be shocked and stunned. That's what I firmly believe.
RUSH: Here is Mike in Troup County, Georgia. It's great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Dittos from one of those Tea Party kooks.
RUSH: Ha! Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: I'm calling 'cause it seems that the crass media has not really understood that Phil Mickelson's actions were not against the federal government but against the state of California, because it doesn't matter whether he moves to Texas or to Alaska or Timbuktu, New Jersey. His federal taxes are gonna be the same. He was just getting rid of that extra 13%.
RUSH: Well, not anymore.
CALLER: (chuckling) Well, not anymore. But that was what he was attempting to do. So when Ellison says that Phil was going to hurt all these federal programs, what he was planning on doing would not do that.
RUSH: Well, this is actually an excellent point. What's happening here, folks, is that our buddy Mike from Troup County, Georgia, is reacting to the demagogue, Keith Ellison. In those two sound bites we played, Keith Ellison was with Stuart Varney on Fox yesterday on the Neil Cavuto show. Keith Ellison said (summarized), "You're damn right Mickelson owes the 63%! You're damn right! We need infrastructure. We need investments into roads and bridges. We need investments into medical R&D."
What Mike's pointing out is: "Wait a minute! Mickelson wasn't talking about abandoning his federal taxes. He was talking about leaving California. So none of Keith Ellison's precious federal programs would be impacted." That's an excellent point. Now, not to throw water on your great call (because it's a great, great point), but that's not why Phil Mickelson got in trouble. Phil Mickelson got in trouble because he dared to voice what he was thinking. Phil Mickelson got in trouble because he made himself a perfect target for the left who wants to intimidate people into accepting their policies.
There's another lesson here, too, and it's exactly what you say.
It's the concept of federalism. Mickelson, as is everybody else in the country, is totally free to leave California and move somewhere else where the tax burden is less. (Of course, he can't now, because all hell descended on him when he voiced nothing other than the fact he was thinking about it.) But you can't leave the country. If you don't like the taxes in New York, you can move. If you don't like them in Montana or wherever, you can move. But federal taxes, you can't do anything about, other renouncing your citizenship and giving up your passport.
Most people are not gonna do that.
So in this case, people said, "We don't want that kind of freedom! We don't want people thinking that way. We don't want people even pondering not paying taxes, and we don't want people like Mickelson giving other people any ideas." So a guy like Mickelson, who is totally beholden to public opinion because he endorses products, must be liked. He's a spokesman for many corporate sponsors, so he's totally beholden to public opinion. Phil Mickelson must be loved and adored. Phil Mickelson cannot in any way approach controversy or he will lose his sponsorships.
He will. Others wouldn't, but Mickelson would because of factors. So he had to immediately apologize, he had to immediately rein it back in, and now he's almost stuck in California, 'cause now if he does move, they're gonna tar and feather him as an ingrate who's somebody shirking their responsibilities, somebody who's failing to meet their patriotic duty. (interruption) What, Snerdley, what? (interruption) No, no, no. (interruption) Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. Snerdley says, "I thought the rich had all these loopholes." The asset wealthy have loopholes. There aren't any loopholes for the income earner today. There aren't any loopholes.
If your income is earned, your tax rate's what it is. You can't deduct your mortgage over a million bucks. You can't deduct your charitable or any other deductions over your tax rate, and that's gonna be even less. There's not a whole lot you can do with earned income. Now, you can structure as much income as possible. You can file as a sub-S and say that 90% of your income is bonus and not pay your full Medicare share, but that's about it. It's the asset wealthy who have all of the carve-outs. The people who are wealthy because of their annual income, there's not much left. There aren't that many tricks. There aren't that many loopholes.
That's another piece of demagoguery, folks.
Don't doubt me on this!
There just aren't that many loopholes anymore. That's just typical Obama, left-wing demagoguery to accuse highly successful people of "shirking their responsibility," when a loophole is nothing other than something that's in the tax law. A loophole is now associated with cheating, is it not? Your average low-information voter hears the words "tax loophole," and says, "Ah! It's a way for the rich to get out of paying that I don't have." No. It's just the law. You know what a loophole is? It's the mortgage interest deduction. That's a loophole. It's a carve-out.
It's the government deciding that we're not gonna tax certain expenditures.
It's put in there for the housing market and the lending institutions and all that, and it may go the way of Sam Hill. They may take that away, but that is an example of a loophole. So every one of you who deduct the interest on your mortgage, you have a tax loophole! A loophole is simply tax law. It's not cheating. It's not finding a way to not pay your taxes that nobody's ever seen. It's not something that you get away with that you don't get caught doing. It's nothing illegal. But that's how they're all portrayed. It's how tax loopholes are portrayed.