RUSH: We'll start Seattle with Dan. Dan, glad you called. Great to have you in the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, Merry, Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Same to you, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: The Catholic Church is caught between a dilemma between socialism and conservatism. Socialism is the redistribution -- redistribute -- I can't say it.
CALLER: -- of the wealth of those who take, and then they redistribute it to places supposedly in poor nations where those people need it. And as far as the Catholic Church, the conservatism portion of it is, is it's a rulebook. The Bible is a conservative rulebook, and name one liberal that ever wants to follow the rules.
RUSH: Let me tell you what happened to Catholic Church, and it's not just me opining here. This has been the opinion of several learned historians. You can take it back, actually, to the New Deal. Once the Catholic Church was able to equate Big Government income redistribution with charity, it became an automatic supporter. Because the church, any church, all churches, are in large part about charity, about helping the underprivileged, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the thirsty, you name it.
Here comes this massive scheme called redistribution, New Deal, socialism, whatever you want to call it.
The church just glommed on to it, as Muhammad Ali says, "like white on rice." It was a no-brainer. When the church did that, the church coming on to it then added to the whole idea that it was a charitable thing rather than theft. And redistribution is theft. It is a powerful government taking from people they deem to have too much, or more than they need, and then just giving it to people they deem worthy of receiving it, and there's always a deal at the end: "If you'll vote for me, I'll keep giving you this stuff."
But once it became seen as charity and not theft, the Catholic Church is all-in.
RUSH: Mr. Snerdley, pop quiz. What was the last year that Americans were able to keep every dollar they earned? Your first instinct? (interruption) Yes, 1913, you're right. Up until 1913, everybody -- the robber barons, the poor, everybody -- kept 100% of what they earned. Well, there were temporary levies, maybe, like for the Civil War, but in terms of no income tax, 1913. What made us explode into an industrial giant? Well, here's my point, though.
My point is we're talking about redistribution of wealth and charity and all that, the Catholic Church, any church, 'cause the guy had a good point. I mean, there's nothing liberal about pro-life, nothing liberal with anti-gay marriage. If you look at morality, the morality of the Bible, the morality the Old and New Testaments, there's nothing leftist about it. The closest the leftist can come to claiming Christianity is socialism is to misinterpret and misapply the words and deeds of Jesus.
But everywhere else, the morality of the Bible does not ever come in contact with the belief system of the left. Okay? And yet all these churches are socialists. The bishops, the monsignors, the popes, they've all... Well, not all of them, but the Episcopalians, the Methodists, my church, they're worse than ever -- and why? Because they were able to get away with saying that the redistribution of wealth, socialism, was charity; that the only reason government was taking money was to give to the disadvantaged.
It's charity. You had to support it, and it gave you cover. But the fact of the matter is, I find this fascinating. Anybody can sit and say we didn't have any income tax until 1913. Well, okay, so what? This is 2013, and 1913 is a long time ago. It's a different world. Right. But back in 1911, 1912, 1910, you pick the year, with nobody paying any income tax, we had a public school system.
We had roads. We had bridges. We had an army and we had a navy, and they were winning wars. What else did we have? We had colleges. We had a public school system, we had colleges, we had doctors and health care. We had all kinds of stuff. How was that possible? How did we have all that without the government providing it? That's why... (interruption) The people earned it, that's right, and things were priced according to their ability pay for them, or afford them.
(New Castrati impression) "Mr. Limbaugh, are you seriously arguing for the elimination of the income tax?"
No. No. I mean, I'd celebrate it if it happened, I'd be the first one to sign it, but I'm also a realist. But the income tax doesn't come close now to funding the government's level of spending. I mean, the indebtedness that we're piling up here. So... (interruption) No, we didn't have political correctness -- and you know what else? We didn't have gyms and we didn't have sneakers and workouts and all that stuff.
Back in those days, a portly man was a sign of success and dominance and power. I envy those days. Just kidding, of course. No, I just think it's fascinating that we had all the infrastructure, and we had a decent education system, without an income tax. Could we do it again? Yeah, probably, but it probably never will happen.
RUSH: Bob in Tallahassee, Florida. Hello, sir. Glad you waited. Great to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Greetings, sir, and Merry Christmas to you.
RUSH: Same to you, sir. Thanks much.
CALLER: All right. A week, two weeks ago you were talking about the pope, and him commenting about trickle-down and things like that. Well, for example, charities. They receive money from people who donate. A very good example of businesses and charities is Newman's Own, Paul Newman. That's salad dressing, popcorn, whatever.
CALLER: Paul Newman set that up so that after expenses, profits went to charity.
CALLER: And one of the biggest recipients was the Catholic Church. Now, there are others that do receive from that organization, but the Catholic Church was one of the biggest ones. And, for example, you know, it's just a very good illustration what you were talking about in regards to capitalism, trickle-down, and such.
RUSH: Yeah, see, that's the thing. The reporting, in Reuters, of the papal decree was a verbatim critique or criticism of "trickle-down" and an assertion that it doesn't work. I really was flummoxed totally by it because all of economics is "trickle-down."
CALLER: There's only a finite amount of money in the system, period, to take away from some, to give away to others.
RUSH: Or to have it genuinely change hands.
CALLER: Exactly. Another aspect to consider of that is bad economies. When they do have bad economies? What is one of the things that you might hear about within the media? It's how charities are receiving less.
CALLER: Why is that? Because people have less money to give away.
CALLER: You know? And like I said, there's only a finite amount of money.
RUSH: See, now you're hitting another red flag, because the American people are the most charitable in the world, and the target of whatever the papal document was was this country. We are the leading capitalist country in the world, and we're the country with the largest dollar amount of charitable donation every year, disaster relief, I mean, it's not even close. The United States leads the world in acts of goodwill and charity, economic and otherwise. And to see it under attack, I couldn't believe it. I literally couldn't believe it.
Again, here's what the left wants you to think trickle-down is. They have totally bastardized the definition of trickle-down economics. What they want you to believe is that trickle-down starts with massive tax cuts for the rich. So we are going to let the rich keep much more of what they earn than they should, because that money will eventually trickle-down to the poor and the middle class because the rich will donate it or give it away. They set up something impossible as a definition of trickle-down.
Trickle-down has nothing to do with tax cuts for the rich. Trickle-down is what happens when there is commerce. There's trickle up. There's trickle-down. It has nothing to do with conservatism. It has nothing to do with tax cuts for the rich. Trickle-down is simply commerce, and it's undeniably true. It happens. The Catholic Church benefits from it. Everybody does. Every financial economic transaction is trickle-down, from somewhere to somewhere. In some cases it might be trickle up. But a job is trickle-down. Buying a product is trickle-down. It's all trickle-down. This is simply common sense.
The left has tried to change the definition of trickle-down much as they've tried to revise the history of the economics and the policies of the 1980s, because they were so successful. They had to be rewritten. They had to be tarnished and trashed. Because it was profoundly good, and it wasn't liberal, and it wasn't made popular by socialists and leftists and Democrats. It was the exact opposite of what they believe. And it worked so well that it had to be tarnished and trashed. And the way they did it was to impugn and make trickle-down a dirty word.
And the key to it: tax cuts for the rich. That's all you have to know about what the left thinks trickle-down is. They want you to think that what we believe is, let the rich keep all the money and we'll all benefit. That's not what trickle-down is. And then when the rich do not give their money away, then the left comes around and says, "See, trickle-down doesn't work. Bill Gates got $40 billion, he isn't giving it away." Except he is. But he's not going out on a street corner and giving a million here and a million there, he's not making millionaires, except that he is. They work at Microsoft.
They're just a bunch of frauds, folks. And to see this kind of gobbledygook coming from the highest reaches of the Catholic Church, just unbelievable. I'm rehashing old ground. But it may be worth it because there are so many new people tuning into this program each and every day, it helps to keep things in context. I still have this Obamacare Stack, and I'm telling you, I'm gonna get to this. I'm not toying with you or teasing you. I'm gonna get to it. It's just that once I start there's no end to it. One story just leads to the next, and it's bad. It is rotten. It's bad out there. And it's troubling because the Republican budget pretty much funds it. It's mind-boggling. But I must now take our own trickle-down time-out.