RUSH: So when Panetta puts out this number, 800,000 civilian workforce employees furloughed, it just isn't true. We're talking about $44 billion of cuts this year.
I can't think of an analogy that illustrates how insignificant that is in relationship to our entire annual budget, but it's pennies, folks. And yet we're getting this never-ending, panic-mongering, fear-mongering, end-of-the-day, end of-the-world stuff, and we're talking about $44 billion. Forty-four billion is a rounding error on the spreadsheet. It's not even $85 billion we're talking about this year. It's $44 billion.
Grab audio sound bites 22, 23. Rand Paul was on Anderson Cooper last night on CNN. You gotta hand it to Rand Paul. He's out there explaining the sequester only cuts the rate of growth. That's another thing. These are not actual cuts. They're not cuts from a zero baseline, they are cuts, they are reductions in the rate of growth. We're actually gonna still end up spending more money than we did last year, not what was projected, is all. Less than what was projected by baseline budgeting.
Wolf Blitzer says, "All right, Senator Paul, are the Republicans willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and health care?" Do you people in the media wonder why it is that we -- are the Republicans willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and health care? What, did Obama write the question for you, Wolf? Did the White House write the question, vital investments in education, health care, national security, and all the jobs? And here's what Rand Paul said.
PAUL: I'm not really willing to discuss it in the framework that he's made up for himself. I mean, for goodness sakes it was his proposal. He proposed the sequester. It was his idea. He signed it into law, and now he's gonna tell us that, oh, it's all our fault? It's a pittance. I mean, it's a slowdown in the rate of growth. There are no real cuts happening over ten years. And he's saying, oh, it's some dramatic thing where all of a sudden it's still the rich's fault. Didn't he already raise taxes on the rich? I'm having trouble understanding what he's talking about because he sets up this rhetoric and this sort of game of let's go get the rich again that really is divorced from any reality. It's his sequester we're talking about, his bill.
RUSH: And there aren't any cuts. Wolf didn't hear a word of what he said. Wolf says, "Well, what's the likelihood, Senator, Congress will agree on avoiding all of these forced cuts?"
PAUL: Is anybody not gonna stand up and call his bluff on that ridiculousness? Cuts in the rate of growth should not have us laying off FAA, air traffic controllers and meat inspectors. This is the emotionalism that's always used to argue against any cuts. This is not enough cuts. I would say to the president, stand up and do the right thing and don't ask us to squeeze more money out of the private sector, which we think is bad for jobs, in order for you to do the right thing. Why doesn't he stand up and be a leader and just do the right thing? And Wolf says, "But what about these severe cuts that will happen?" I don't know.
RUSH: Folks, get this. The Cybercast News Service yesterday reported that there was an estimated $44 billion in estimated or improper Medicare payments last year. GAO estimates $44 billion in fraudulent Medicare payments, and those are the budget cuts we're talking about here? I mean, this is all so much smoke and mirrors. We ought to be talking about real cuts, significant, sizeable cuts. This is just chump change, a game everybody's playing.