RUSH: The sequester, ladies and gentlemen. Have you stocked up your food? Have you bought all your water? Have you got all the batteries that you're gonna need? Have you made plans to do without for months and months and months? I'm telling you it's going to be brutal out there. I heard a media person today saying the reason why... Get this, now. The reason why they think this time the sequester's gonna happen -- the reason why there will not be a last-minute solution like there always is -- is because there are no talks.
"Nobody is talking about this. There are no negotiations going on," which I don't think means anything. Guess what happens at the end of next month, folks? We run out of money, for real, government-wide. That's right! The continuing resolution that funds the government under which we're now operating, runs out in toto at the end of March. This sequester is nothing compared to what's coming the end of March. The next crisis is within five weeks, and it's gonna make this sequester look like Romper Room. It's an entire government shutdown that we're gonna get hit with in four weeks.
We can't get a break!
It's like we're drowning in this stuff.
We cannot reach the surface!
RUSH: I forget the specific issue. It might have been the fiscal cliff. I think I know what it was. It was the fiscal cliff, as we neared the end of last year. The fiscal cliff, remember that? If we didn't come to some kind of agreement on taxes and tax rates, then we were gonna go over the cliff. The country was gonna be forever changed. People were going to die. They were gonna lose their jobs. There were gonna be no more Pentagon jobs, no more firefighters, no more cops. First responders would be severely impacted.
Remember all of that? It's same stuff you've been hearing last week and the week before. We heard all of that the last two weeks of December. There were people on our side who said, "You know what? Let's just punt on this fiscal cliff. Let's let Obama have what he wants. Let's go ahead and just get the tax issue off the table so that we can move on and deal with what really matters, and that's spending cuts." Do you remember that?
There were many people who offered that advice, among them Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard. They said, "Look, we can't win this tax fight. Let's get taxes off the table," and then we did and Mitch McConnell was running around saying, "Okay now taxes are off the table." I might be confusing this with the debt whatever in January. Hell, these things are all running together now. I know the fiscal cliff was at the end of the year, and then what was next? The debt limit? No.
It was the fiscal cliff, and now we're at the sequester. Whatever. See, there are so many of these crises, and they happen with such regularity that you get them confused. But the point is that back in December Bill Kristol and others (I don't want to lay it off totally on him) said, "Let's just punt! Come on, let's move on. We'll move and we'll really fight the next battle on spending. That's where we'll take Obama to the cleaners." Well, guess what? Yesterday on Fox News Sunday during the All-Star Panel at the end of the program, Bill Kristol urged the Republicans to go ahead and cave on the sequester.
"Let's move on to the next thing and really fight Obama on that." So they're doing it again. The inside-the-Beltway Washington elites are doing it again. Here's how it went down. Chris Wallace said, "A top White House official was so sensitive about the Woodward column..." See, Woodward is out there saying the sequester is Obama's idea. Do you realize...? By the way, I hate to keep interrupting myself, but Bob Woodward continues to remind everybody sequester was Obama's idea, 'cause it's in his book.
You've got young whippersnapper journalists at the Washington Post, one of them Ezra Klein, the new wunderkind is the future of the news business, saying, "I don't know what Bob's doing." In the old days, when you had a journalist emeritus like this, like Woodward, you wouldn't disagree with the guy. You wouldn't throw Woodward overboard. You'd bite the bullet, you would show respect. I mean, Woodward is the reason you got into journalism. Woodward brought down Nixon. You don't publicly disrespect Woodward. But a bunch of young whippersnapper journalists are getting all over Woodward's case because Woodward is blaming Obama for the sequester, and they want to blame the Republicans for it.
Now, it was Obama's idea. Woodward is just being truthful. Woodward is just being a good reporter. The new State-Controlled Media is at odds with Woodward over this, and we have details of that. Anyway, Chris Wallace said, "A top White House official was so sensitive about the Woodward column that he called me last night and he said, it's a complete revisionist history. We accepted this -- all cuts to the sequestration, just as a way to get the trigger. Nobody expected it to happen, and if we had wanted all spending cuts, we could have made that deal with the House Republicans back in August of 2011. And there wouldn't have been any sequestration."
So Kristol then responds to that.
KRISTOL: The White House was being misleading recently when they denied that. On the other hand, a majority of Republicans in Congress voted for it. So they both accepted it as a trigger, as a kind of fail-safe mechanism. It would be too horrible to contemplate, and now it’s happening. We are how many months away from the next election? Kind of a long way. Really, in February? Right after a national election, you people can't rise above this sniping? The Republicans in the House sit around saying, "Oh, hey, let it go in, we're tough guys. We're going to stand up to the --" what about the military?
RUSH: What about the military? Serious operational cuts in the military. So Wallace said, "Let me ask one question about what we will henceforth call the Kristol Scenario, which is that they end up passing this halfway cave, a limited cave on tax rates." Anyway what Kristol was doing here was urging the Republicans to just cave on the sequester, which is what happened in December, and move on to the next thing, and by saying, "Look, they voted for it, fail-safe mechanism designed to prevent that which is now happening." Here is Kristol. This is what he said back on December 9th, 2012, on Fox News Sunday.
KRISTOL: There will be plenty of other opportunities to debate all these spending, defense, and entitlement issues next year. My view is get the tax issue off the table. It's the weakest one for Republicans right now.
WALLACE: So the fiscal cliff --
WALLACE: Let the president own it.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. Let the president -- stop fighting him on taxes, let him have it. Now let's just stop on the sequester. We'll move on to the next thing, which is the government shutdown at the end of March, by the way.
RUSH: I alluded to something here in the first hour of the program, and I want to go back to this, because the Wall Street Journal has an interesting story today. I saw CNN this morning, and they were talking to Dana Bash. She's the infobabe up there at White House or Capitol. I forget where she is. Doesn't matter. They ask her (paraphrased), "What's different this time, Dana? I mean, in the fiscal cliff and all these other crises, there's always a last-minute settlement, and crisis is averted."
She was asked, "Why is that not thought to be the case now? Why is everybody so convinced that sequester's gonna happen?" She said, "Because there are no talks, no negotiations. Congress isn't talking to the White House. Obama's not talking to Boehner. McConnell is not talking to Boehner, and McConnell's not talking to Obama -- and the guy that did the video is not talking to the court. I mean, nobody's talking. There aren't any negotiations."
Here's another reason.
This is what I'm leading to.
It's in the Wall Street Journal. "Already looking past the current budget impasse gripping the capital, congressional leaders are quietly considering a deal to avert a government shutdown next month -- but at the cost of prolonging across-the-board spending cuts. Attention is beginning to shift from Friday, when the broad cuts known as the sequester kick in, to the next budget deadline: Congress must pass a so-called continuing resolution by the end of March to keep funding government operations."
So the point here is, ladies and gentlemen, they've had everybody worked up now into a fever pitch over the sequester, and all the horrors that will visit us, and it turns out that is nothing compared to what comes up at the end of March. The sequester is simply the result of a deal not having been made to fund certain specific government operations, and the deal is that if they don't get the deal, then of course the absolute worst things will happen: Medicare and defense budget cuts.
"Whoa, can't have that!"
But at the end of March the entire government might shut down, folks. Again that's because, see, we don't have -- and we have not had for four years -- an annual budget. We have been funding the government with what are called continuing resolutions. They occur every year to 18 months. This, by the way, is a purposeful policy by the Democrats to keep everybody in a fevered-pitch crisis mode. It is a way to hide their spending plans, which a budget would reveal.
It is a way to actually end up spending more money because during the period of time of the continuing resolution, you can throw anything in there you want, keep spending and spending and spending, and then you are eventually gonna run out of the authority to spend, and you need to renew it. Hence, you need a new continuing resolution. So my point is that however bad they have painted this sequester, however it is they've exaggerated it, at the end of March we're looking at another possible entire government shutdown.
Not just a firefighter here and a cop there and somebody over there. We're looking at everybody! We cannot escape this. So what the Wall Street Journal is saying is that the reason there aren't any talks going on right now about the sequester is that it's really chump change compared to the CR, the continuing resolution that'll expire at the end of March. As far as we're concerned, all it means is that we're the gerbils or hamsters that are continuing to run in circles here, and we're not making any ground.
We're not gaining ground. We're just treading water, essentially. We're basically keeping our heads afloat, and we're in a cesspool of crisis, and it's being done on purpose. This constant crisis mentality is from month to month now, it seems. Every month there is a new budget crisis or challenge, but the next one? That would mean not just the sleigh ride concession in Jellystone Park will shutdown.
By the way, I found the truth about those 800,000 civilian Pentagon employees. Do you know what that really is? Panetta said that he was preparing to lay off 800,000 civilians. Do you know what it really adds up to? They will not work one day a week. They currently work a five-day week. If the sequester happens, they will work a four-day week. They're being furloughed one day of the workweek. That's the panic! They will miss one day's worth of pay from a total workweek.
They're not being laid off in toto.
They're not being sent home.
It's like a school furlough when they run out of money in a school district. They shut school down every Friday for a semester, if they run out of money. That's what the civilians will do, the 800,000. You know, my instinct told me, "We're not gonna lay off 800,000 civilian Pentagon employees over $45 billion. We're just not gonna do it!" Well, I was right. They work a five-day week and what's gonna happen is they'll work a four-day week if sequester happens. Many of them will probably celebrate.