RUSH: How many of you have encountered airline delays? They're popping up all over the place out there in greater and greater frequency. And remember that back on April 20th of 2011 -- this is two years ago -- they passed the Passenger Bill of Rights that would limit the amount of time you could spend on the tarmac. Remember all these people that ended up for four hours or longer on a jet. The excuse was, well, they couldn't find a gate or we couldn't get a departure slot or whatever, and the airline wouldn't let 'em off the airplane so we passed the Passenger Bill of Rights, which limited tarmac time.
Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, said airline passengers have a right to be treated fairly. And now the president has furloughed air traffic controllers. And you know what they're doing? Some of them have been reassigned to run unions. Diana Furchtgott-Roth has a column in the DC Examiner today, about 11 or 12, I forget how many pilots who've been furloughed and air traffic controllers, that have been sent over to various relevant unions to do union leadership duty. I'm telling you, this is a purposely caused situation. This is chaos, and passengers are being punished for the sequester. And it's all being done to blame the Republicans.
There's no need for any air traffic control delays. There's no need. There are plenty of ways to accommodate the sequester without this kind of behavior which is impacting the way people live their daily lives. And as an added bonus, as far as Obama and the Democrats are concerned, it's making it look like government is necessary for everything to run on time. When in fact the lesson to be learned here is that big government, central planning, we're told at least they could make the trains run on time. That's what Mussolini did. That's why they loved him. This bunch can't even make the planes run on time. They can't make the trains run on time, except they're doing it on purpose to frustrate passengers, to create chaos, to punish passengers, if you will.
You watch, before it's all over, it's gonna be the fault of the Republicans for causing the sequester to happen, for not being bipartisan, for not agreeing with Obama to stave this off. So two years ago it was the Passenger Bill of Rights, limits tarmac time. Now it is deliberately punishing passengers to score political points. Sorry, folks. That's what it is. That's where we are.
RUSH: Here is Peter in Las Vegas. Welcome, sir. Great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. From my research on the sequester thing that's taking money away from the FAA, and that's supposed to be an increase in the money that was already in the budget. So if the money was already there, and the sequester is just this minimal amount of money, then why are they asking these people to take furloughs, and then, if they did ask 'em to take furloughs, why isn't the military being used to fill in the gaps for air traffic controllers?
RUSH: Well, you answer it. What do you think the answer is? They want the chaos.
CALLER: It's a fear campaign to make people uncomfortable, plus it's also tying up air traffic.
RUSH: Well, of course. They're punishing people that fly. What they're doing is twofold. They're trying to make sure the Republicans are blamed for these inconveniences and they're trying at the same time to make people think, if the government's not fully involved, nothing can happen correctly. We need the government. We need the government. We want the government. The government's good. The government's great. We need the government. The planes can't fly on time, by the way, without the government. They want people thinking that, and then since they're not flying on time because of the sequester, who made that happen? Republicans made it happen. That's the objective. It's Obama's idea. You're right, it's an inconsequential amount of money. It's easily replaced. There are pennies and dimes they can find throughout this budget to not spend that wouldn't affect anything because there's so many redundant programs. They're choosing these things.
CALLER: That's correct. Hey, listen, the event in West, Texas, has been overshadowed by what happened in Boston, and I lived in Boston for a while, and my heart goes out to those people, but the tragic event in West, Texas, basically destroyed the firehouse and most of the firemen were killed there. In fact, even one of the fire chiefs from Dallas was killed there, that went in to try and save the people. And what I've been asking people on eBay to do that have vehicles for sale, emergency vehicles and fire trucks, instead of selling them, maybe if they can donate them to the people in West, Texas. So since I was able to get on the air here with you today, if there's anybody out there that has a fire truck collecting dust anywhere, an ambulance, can you please get it down to Mr. George Smith. He's the head of West, Texas, emergency services.
RUSH: This is Waco, you mean, right?
CALLER: No. The town was actually West, Texas. It's next to Waco. And Waco was also affected, and they all lost many, many vehicles, and of course they lost 35 people that we know of now that died in the explosion. But most of those people who died were first responders.
RUSH: Yeah, but there's no way to blame this on America or Republicans, so it's not getting a lot of attention. So I'm glad you brought some to it. You might be surprised at what you end up getting here, Peter, with your request. This audience comes through in ways that you cannot imagine.
RUSH: Here's Bill in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush, a real pleasure. To the point. I received a letter from the unemployment insurance agency informing me that there will be a 10.7% cut in benefits and the reductions are generally known as "sequestration budget cuts."
RUSH: Wait a minute, you got a letter from the state unemployment office --
CALLER: That's correct.
RUSH: -- and they're reducing your unemployment benefits?
CALLER: By 10.7%, and the reductions are generally known as sequestration budget cuts.
RUSH: Wait. The sequester is the defense budget and Medicare, primarily. That's why all this stuff with the airline delays and air traffic controllers is odd in the first place. The sequester deals with two things primarily. Unemployment benefit, 10.7% cut in your unemployment check?
CALLER: That's correct. Although I did collect benefits early in 2012, it's been a good six months, possibly eight months, since I've been collecting unemployment, and so apparently I'm still on their mailing list.
RUSH: Wait a minute. You are or you aren't getting unemployment now?
CALLER: I am not.
RUSH: Oh. Okay. So you found a job?
CALLER: I did.
RUSH: How'd you do that?
CALLER: Well, hard work and being tenacious.
RUSH: Do you like the job?
CALLER: I do.
RUSH: Well, excellent. Excellent. So the unemployment benefit cut is only interesting to you in the fact that it's happening because they're blaming the sequester for it?
CALLER: They have sequestration in quotation marks.
RUSH: That's unbelievable. Do you know how many people are on unemployment getting that -- if that's through, and it's happening system-wide -- think of the millions of people who are now being told that their unemployment benefits are being cut because of the sequester, and of course the Republicans did that.
CALLER: It says if you aren't receiving benefits, no action is required.
RUSH: Right. Well, good.
CALLER: That's underlined.
RUSH: Yeah, bottom line, get a job. Which you did. Bill, thanks for the call. I appreciate it.