RUSH: All right. So the Washington soap opera is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen. The president's been speaking for the last 20 minutes, 25, 30, whatever on the morality and the economics of extending emergency unemployment benefits, anything to get Obamacare off the front page and get Obamacare off the radar. Now we've got to extend unemployment benefits. It's nothing more than the news agenda being recycled. It's just flat-out amazing. If what he just said is true, we ought to just stop anybody working and put everybody on unemployment, and that's how to get a recovery.
Hey, folks, Rush Limbaugh, great to be here. It's only Tuesday. Already rocking and rolling here. Telephone number, you want to be on the program, is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
This guy is an absolute economic idiot. He's sitting here, he's touting the benefits of unemployment insurance for the last 20 minutes. And the first thing that comes to my mind is, wait a minute, I thought we had this great economic recovery going because of him and because of his astute, brilliant policies. I thought the president had given us an economic recovery and we're starting to come back here. They're reporting fourth quarter growth at 4%. Did you hear that?
By the way, they're using new metrics to measure. It's nowhere near growing at 4%. But that's what they're saying. And, in the midst of all of this economic growth and all of this economic rebound, the most important thing is avoiding another government shutdown and extending unemployment benefits. The president just said that unemployment benefits actually create new jobs. Now, stop and think about that for a second. Unemployment benefits create new jobs. What is unemployment insurance? It is paying people not to work.
Let's change the term. Let's get rid of "unemployment insurance" and let's call it "paying people not to work." The president of the United States just said to resounding applause -- well, I'm not sure that got applause. The only thing that's really gotten any applause in the White House, he's got all kinds of people standing behind him, is when he said we can't dare have another government shutdown. That got a standing ovation. So it tells you the kind of people in the room.
Anyway, paying people not to work can grow the economy. Paying people not to work can create jobs. And he explained how, by the way. You want to hear that? Well, here's what he said. There's somebody in the room named Kathy. I guess she's the chosen one today. Somehow she's being totally mistreated by this unfair, immoral, unjust country. She's being mistreated by this unfair, immoral, unjust economy (that's all his). She's being mistreated, she's being forgotten, she's being left out by this uncaring, unfeeling country (which he has been running now for five years). He keeps pointing to Kathy, saying if we extend Kathy's unemployment benefits, we are going to actually create jobs. And here's how.
The additional money that Kathy will have will enable her to turn the thermostat up, and turning the thermostat up when it's an ice bowl out there will allow the utility company to maybe hire more workers, because they are deriving more income because Kathy's turning up her thermostat. Did you know it works that way? So everybody out there, turn your thermostat up, because that will create jobs at your local utility. That's how it works.
Then, after Kathy turns up her thermostat with the money she has left over from her unemployment check, she can then go to the grocery store and buy maybe an additional dozen eggs, or maybe another loaf of bread. And when she does that, the grocery store might hire a new worker, and, in fact, might even hire Kathy. This is the kind of drivel that we are getting from the president of the United States, and this is the kind of drivel that low-information voters apparently are just scarfing up.
Nancy Pelosi got all this started. For every dollar of unemployment benefits, we create two dollars of economic activity or some such thing as that. But the real overriding question is, if we are in the midst of this massive, growing economy, and this just once in a lifetime, thrilling recovery, then what's the emergency? Thirty minutes on this. Thirty minutes. And it's all part of the soap opera, folks. It's nothing more than a distraction. It is the playing of the race card. It's the playing of class envy. It's got every liberal Democrat, slash, socialist agenda item wrapped up in it.
Republicans are mean and evil and don't care about people. Washington has not been working hard enough. The president said, "We can do this if we just work together." And the place erupted in applause at that. I forgot. If we can just work together. There's obviously applause signs in the East Room of the White House where this is taking place.
So here we have Kathy unemployed because this country's unfair, unjust, and immoral, despite the fact he's been president for five years. We're in the midst of this rebounding recovery, this growing economy, got fourth quarter growth at 4%, and yet the most pressing item in America is extending unemployment benefits, which, if we do it, will create even more jobs and create even more economic growth because, again, just to review, when Kathy gets her unemployment check, she will turn up her thermostat and make her home warmer.
By the way, coming up, ladies and gentlemen, the lessons from Diane Sawyer on how to stay warm in the cold. I got it right here. Diane Sawyer on ABC News, and it involves wearing a scarf. Make sure you wear a scarf. Also coming up on the program today, audio sound bites from Anderson Cooper on how water freezes when it gets cold. A demonstration, in fact. He's got a glass of water. He throws the water in the glass up in the air, and it turns to snow in a demonstration of how water freezes in cold weather. Yeah, it's a big day out there. I mean the news is rocking and rolling. Anyway, Kathy -- (interruption) what? What's the question? Hm-hm. We've had emergency unemployment benefits since 2008.
We do it every year! That's what I mean about this being recycled. This is nothing new. This is a Democrat Party policy agenda. This is not based in reality. This is all based on advancing their agenda. It has nothing to do with the reality of life in the country. We have been paying people not to work in record numbers. We got 91 million people not working in this country and they're all eating. This has been my point. We're paying people not to work. We ought to have full employment by now, if what the president said is true.
We ought to have economic growth like the world's never seen before, 'cause we've been doing it now since 2008. Here's the AP story on this. Shutdown -- or showdown. Sorry, sorry! I didn't mean to say shutdown. That scares people. Oh, jeez, I didn't mean it, folks. It was a faux pas. "Showdown Set on Unemployment Bill in Senate." They had a test vote today and it passed, and it's just the next step and the first step.
It's our old buddy David Espo at AP. "The new year looks a lot like the old one in the Senate..." This year looks like last year, looks like the year before that and the year before that. Nothing's changed and everything's getting worse. Yeah, I'm mad. I really am mad. I tell you, what makes me mad about this is that it sells. What really worries me is if this works, it's a testament to the degree of ignorance that exists in this country.
It's gotta be laughed out of the White House with this today. This is the fifth consecutive year that he's trotted this out there in January, after getting back from Hawaii, and started tugging at heartstrings. "Oh, how horrible this country is. How woefully horrible the economy is, and it's because of how bad Bush was." He's been in charge five years but he hasn't got any responsibility for anything that's happened. He's still working hard to fix this.
Now we learn that an unemployment check to Kathy will make her turn up her thermostat, which is gonna increase hiring at her local utility. But then when the environmentalist wackos find out about this they're gonna storm Kathy's house and they're gonna break her thermostat so that she can't turn it up 'cause that's gonna lead to global warming. Then Kathy is gonna take whatever she has and spend it on raising the thermostat.
She's gonna go to the grocery store. She's gonna buy high cholesterol food, eggs and milk, and she's gonna get sick, maybe get clogged arteries. That's gonna put additional pressure, price pressure on the health care system. So the Food Nazis will be after her for that, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "You bought an additional dozen eggs? What, are you crazy? Why didn't you buy some arugula!"
After she spends what she hasn't spent on the thermostat, she's gonna go to the grocery store and buy high-cholesterol bread and eggs. The grocery store (probably, what, Whole Foods?) is gonna go out and hire somebody, maybe even Kathy. You know how that works is, they see Kathy walk in, and they know she's gonna spend some additional money she didn't have 'cause she got her unemployment check. She's gonna buy maybe a little bit more than she would have.
They're gonna say, "You know what? You'd make a great employee. You're hired!" That's what the president said. That's how it all works. That's how paying people not to work creates jobs and grows the economy. Well, by that measure, nobody ought to be working. Everybody ought to be on unemployment insurance. We ought to be paying everybody not to work -- and we're working on it. We got 91 million Americans not working, while the unemployment rate miraculously is plunging.
It's just... I'm telling you, folks, it just ticks me off. Well, 25 years of this. Twenty-five years of putting up with this drivel from these people. Twenty-five and now we're into 26 years, and there were many years before that. That's just the years of this program. Anyway, back to this AP story. "The new year looks a lot like the old one in the Senate, with Democrats scratching for votes to pass an agenda they share with President Barack Obama, and Republicans decidedly unenthusiastic about supporting legislation without changes."
So the president's filled with big-hearted compassion, and the Republicans with steely, cold eyes are saying to the people of the country, "No! Suffer!" Here's the point: The only concession that the Republicans... I want you to remember this. You may not remember this, but I'm gonna remind you of it. The only concession the Republicans got for giving Obama an unlimited debt ceiling... Remember the last debt ceiling that they gave him was an unlimited debt ceiling with a condition.
The condition, the concession that they got from Obama was that the Democrats would not push to extend federal unemployment benefits. Well, here we are. The one concession the Republicans got has now been blown to smithereens, and you see what a good deal that was for the Republicans. As always, the AP here studiously fails to note that these federal benefits, "emergency unemployment insurance," was implemented back in 2008. This is simply a renewal.
The president, though, is relying on the fact that you've forgotten that, and this is the first time we're doing it, and this will put us over the hump. "We're almost there, folks! This economy is really roaring back. This recovery is going full bore. But there's still some people hurting, and we need to extend unemployment benefits." They want you to think that this is the first time and the only time. We've done it every year since 2008. Emergency? How do you think we up to 99 weeks of unemployment compensation?
How do you think we got to 99 weeks of paying people not to work? It's taken us five years to do it. In 2008, it started as an emergency. It was a one-time boost at the height of the recession. It's all part of the stimulus argument in 2008, and then Obama was inaugurated in 2009. Meanwhile, these "one-time benefits," as they were promised us back in 2008, have been extended every year since in a flimflam ceremony exactly like this, every year for five years.
Never mind the recession officially ended in July of 2009, which is 4-1/2 years ago now.
No, we still need to give people 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, and now what this vote today in the Senate is about is making it permanent. That's what is being voted on in the Senate is making paying people for 99 weeks not to work permanent. In the AP story it even says, the Democrats want to do this "to demonstrate sympathy." Translation: Buy votes. Never mind that it has been Obama and the Democrats who have prolonged this recession, and have given us the worst economic recovery in the history of this country -- and it is. It is the worst economic recovery in the history of this country. The pope could have done better. I just threw that in, I mean, just 'cause I gotta go to a break.
RUSH: It is so cold out there, folks, the Democrats today have their hands in their own pockets. You know, this is actually is frustrating. It's maddening. If a $1 trillion "stimulus" program did not create any jobs, would somebody explain to me how in the heck a $6 billion extension of unemployment insurance is going to do it? We've done it every year for the past five years. If it didn't create jobs in the past five years, how is it going to do it now? But, see, none of that matters.
All that matters is the president gets to show that he cares, that he has compassion, that his party has compassion and the Republicans don't. The people of this country, I trust the vast majority of them still want jobs. They want to work. They want prosperity. There isn't any prosperity with unemployment benefits. There's no hope of prosperity with unemployment benefits.
There's no future. Unemployment benefits... Can you imagine, "Son, someday I'm gonna die, and I'm gonna leave you everything I've got. I'm gonna set you up. I'm gonna leave you my unemployment benefits. I have saved every penny of every unemployment check, and I'm gonna leave it to you." "Big whoop, Dad." They passed a $1 trillion stimulus when Obama took office.
No jobs. Every year we have spent $6 billion extending unemployment benefits. We haven't created any jobs. The president today says, "Oh, yeah, Kathy's gonna take that unemployment check and turn her thermostat up. By the way, the president said back on May 17th of 2008 (you'll remember this), "We can't drive our SUVs. You know, we can't eat as much as we want.
"We can't keep our homes at 72 degrees at all times, whether they're living in the desert or we're living in a tundra and just expect every other country to say, 'Okay, you know, you guys go ahead. You keep on using 25% of the world's energy.'" He said we can't keep thermostats high, we can't keep our homes cool or warm, whatever we want. The rest of the world won't accept it. But today, with unemployment compensation, you turn up your thermostat, and the utility people hire people for jobs.
RUSH: By the way, folks, technically the Senate is not voting to make these jobless benefits permanent. I was being extrapolative there. This extension is only supposed to be for another three months. But if they can't stop this now, they may as well make this permanent. They may as well make this an annual thing. It has been since 2008. The $6 billion that we're gonna spend extending unemployment benefits is for three months.
This is not an exercise in substance whatsoever. What galls me again is that the president goes into the White House today and just lies. He's just lying to people about everything he's saying here. This is not a way to grow the economy, it's not a way to create jobs. It's not gonna let somebody turn their thermostat up. It isn't gonna let 'em buy additional food that leads to the supermarket hiring somebody. It doesn't work that way.
There is no economic recovery.
It's a disaster.
It's the worst economic recovery in our history. There is no growing economy. Obamacare is an absolute disaster, and this whole thing is a distraction designed to take people's focus away from that -- and these people getting away with this is what bugs me. They get away with simply lying. We're dumbing down this country. This party, these people, these Democrats are creating a nation of ignorant people.
They're doing everything they can to create a nation of abject ignoramuses for the purposes of profiting from it, of benefiting from it. That's what distresses me. I happen to love people. I happen to want the best for people, and these people are not it. The Democrat Party is not the best thing for people. The worst thing that can happen to people is for Democrat Party policies to be implemented to thrive and survive.
They destroy people, they destroy jobs, they destroy the economy. There is no economy. They're totally wrecking the American health care system -- and all the while they're doing this, they get credited with having the big hearts, and all the compassion. Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi has claimed that extending unemployment benefits will create 600,000 jobs. I kid you not. It's just an abject lie.
I don't care whether they know it or not; I don't care whether they believe it or not. That doesn't matter. They're lying through their teeth, or they're ignoramuses. Either one, it's still bad. Again, Obama gets into office and we have the "stimulus." For all intents and purposes, it's a trillion dollars. That's 2009. He didn't create any jobs. We have 91 million Americans who are not working, 91 million human beings are not working. Every year we've extended unemployment benefits.
This time, they're asking for a three-month extension.
That's nothing more than a campaign trick. It's $6 billion. So if a $1 trillion stimulus doesn't create jobs -- and, by the way, we've extended "emergency" unemployment insurance every year since 2008. If that hasn't created jobs, why is this going to create jobs? It won't. And then to have our intelligence insulted by telling us that this is how you create jobs? Paying people not to work creates jobs? The president said it! Let's go to the audio sound bites. We've got a couple of these from the ceremony. Grab sound bite 25.
Here is the president, in his own words, explaining how paying people not to work, helps the economy.
OBAMA: Independent economists have shown that extending emergency unemployment insurance actually helps the economy, actually creates new jobs. When folks like Katherine have a little more to spend, to turn up the heat in her house or buy a few extra groceries, that means more spending with businesses in her local community, which in turn may expire that person to hire one more person.
RUSH: There, you heard it. You heard it straight from the horse's mouth. I told you he said it, but you just heard him say it. Independent economists? What the hell is an independent economist? "Independent economists have shown that extending emergency unemployment insurance..." These people are doofuses, too, because we've been doing it for five, six years in a row now, and it doesn't do any of this.
Extending emergency unemployment benefits helps the economy? There's no evidence. It actually creates new jobs, 'cause Kathy's gonna have a little bit more to spend to turn up her thermostat and buy a few extra grocery stores, and that may lead to people being hired? One person? That may inspire that business to hire one more person. So we're gonna measure an economic recovery by an individual schlub over here gets hired?
The schlub over there gets hired, because somebody got an unemployment check? (interruption) No, no, no, no, no. Folks, Snerdley is asking me, "What, are you against unemployment?" No, no, no. That's not my point here. See, this is the risk that you run in pointing out how these people are lying. They set up this massive, magical fantasy world, and when you point out that it doesn't work this way, they get credit.
"At least they're trying! They care about people. I mean, they want her to have an extra loaf of bread," and when you oppose it, it allows them to say, "See? These people that oppose Obama, they don't care about people." In fact, we do. This is not how you help people. This is punishing people. This is setting people back. This is not compassion. This is insulting everybody's intelligence. This isn't helping people. This is buying their votes. This is dumbing people down.
Here's one more sound bite from the president from his big show today...
OBAMA: I've heard the argument that says extending unemployment insurance will somehow hurt the unemployed because it saps their motivation to get a new job. I -- I -- I really want to -- I want to (pause) go at this for a second. Y'know, I -- I, uhhh --
OBAMA: That really sells the American people short. I meet a lot of people as president of the United States, and as a candidate for president of the United States, and as a US senator and as a state senator. I, uh, I -- I meet a lot of people. And I can't -- I can't name a time where I met an American who would rather have an unemployment check than the pride of havin' a job.
RUSH: Well, then, if that's the case, Mr. President, then why is the most important thing to you today an unemployment check. If that's not what people want, why is that all you're giving them? If they don't want an unemployment check, if that's not what they're really looking for, then why do you want all the credit for giving them one? If they don't want an unemployment check, why is that all you have to offer? And it is all he has to offer because his economic policies kill jobs. His economic policies kill health care. His economic policies destroy growing economies.
And, by the way, it's simple math. His economic policies grow government. Government can only grow if it takes money from other people in the private sector. The president is shrinking the pie. The president is taking money out of the place where people go and get jobs and get raises and have careers. He's taking the money and growing government with it. It isn't possible that the president's economic policies can create substantive, real economic growth.
Anyway, this is what we're dealing with here. This is the kind of neophyte just abject dishonesty that we are living with. Even if this babe did get a job, even if this mystical -- no, she's actually a real person. She's in the room. Even if she got a job at the grocery store, it'd be for 29 hours, because if they hired her for 30 they've have to give her health care. They're not gonna do that because of his policies. So even if she got a job it would be 29 hours a week and she would still need an unemployment check.
Okay. Now, folks, the show is effectively over. I have discussed the big issue of the day. I'm on record as having discussed it. The end of the day everybody can say, "Yep, yep, Limbaugh talked about it, gave us his unique take," and that's it. I can go home now. Bring in a guest host, do the rest of the program, go home, 'cause I have dutifully responded to the soap opera script, and I have talked about health care, and you the audience have not been let down. You had expectations and you heard unemployment, that's what the big news was, and I talked about it and so we're done.
RUSH: No, no. What I meant was, the big issue of the day, according to the news media, the soap opera plot line writers, is extending unemployment benefits. And I've talked about it. So now the audience is satisfied. If I go home right now, at the end of the day, everybody, "Yeah, yeah, Rush talked about that." I have satisfied the expectations of the audience and everybody else. I didn't talk about football. I didn't talk about golf. I didn't talk about blah blah. I talked about the big deal. Now I'm finished. I can go home. I'll come back tomorrow, whatever the big story is I'll fill the first hour on it and go home. And nobody can say I'm phoning it in, how this stuff works.
A question, though. This is a little rhetorical question. If we're gonna give Kathy three months of additional unemployment benefits and that's gonna create jobs and grow the economy, doesn't it stand to reason that taking money away from people would hurt the economy and maybe lose jobs, like raising their taxes? I mean, that takes money away from people. If this dummkopf is gonna sit up there and try to tell us that paying people not to work creates jobs 'cause they can turn up their thermostat and buy an additional dozen eggs, doesn't it then stand to reason that taking money away from people might result -- like if you get hit with a tax increase and you can't turn your thermostat up because of it, or you can't buy an additional dozen eggs, then somebody might get fired at the utility company, and the grocery store might say, "You know what, we didn't sell a dozen eggs today that we sold yesterday. We gotta fire somebody."
Doesn't it stand to reason, using the president's own logic, using his own persuasive device, if giving people $125 a week grows the economy and creates jobs, wouldn't taking money away from them do the exact opposite? This is so absurd. And get this. If you want to cringe, let's go to Gloria Borger. She was on CNN after Obama finished, and she thought it was the greatest thing she'd ever seen. It was just fabulous. It was so good, in fact, that she knows that the Republicans are trying to figure out a way to get in on it so that they can benefit from the compassion.
BORGER: Look, it was a winning issue for them in the 2012 campaign. It worked against Mitt Romney very well. I think what we're seeing, though, is sort of questioning that's going on in the Republican Party, which is, what can they do to combat this. This has started a whole conversation about what Republicans can do to talk about equality of opportunity. Because just saying you're against government intervention isn't enough if you want to win a national election. Right now the advantage is clearly with the Democrats on this, and I think they know it.
RUSH: See how this works? Gloria Borger says the Republicans now have to try to figure out a way to accept the premise of extending unemployment benefits and get in on it so that they can benefit from it, otherwise they're gonna lose elections. The substance of it is irrelevant. It's strictly horse race politics, as far as Gloria Borger and the rest of the media are concerned. I have an alternative. The alternative is not to run around and talk about smaller government, government intervention. You can do that. Nobody is talking about creating jobs and that's the solution to this. I'm sorry to yell, folks. I just get really passionate and wired up because it's just plain old simple logic.
Dana Milbank had a piece in the Washington Post wringing his hands (imitating Milbank) "Why aren't the Democrats crucifying the Republicans for throwing nearly four million people out of work?" By denying this extension of unemployment benefits. "It's a golden opportunity for the Democrats to just go in there and really paint the Republicans as cold-hearted, mean-spirited extremists." Not one person no matter where you look on this is actually talking about creating jobs. In the United States of America there's not one person who can offer as an alternative maybe economic policies that would spur economic growth and create jobs? Ms. Borger, if the Republican Party weren't afraid of itself, that's what they would be talking about, and they'd be talking about how this administration, with your assistance, has been killing jobs, and how this is going to continue to kill jobs. That's what they would be doing.
Trying to get in on it? What can the Republicans do to combat this? Yeah, because, see, all we care about is how Democrats look. They're giving people something. And the Republicans don't want to. Until the Republicans figure out how to do this, how to deal with this, and actually talk the language of the American people and their own voters, this same scenario is gonna be used against them every time the Democrats start using government to buy votes. All right, let's see. I don't have time to squeeze any -- she has another 15-second sound bite here, but, frankly, I don't want to want to hear it myself.
RUSH: So, in a nutshell, what do we have here? The president showing up in the East Room of the White House surrounded by victims of his own economy who are instead portrayed as beneficiaries. Everybody out of work in this country today is a victim of Obama economic policies. And he was surrounded by 'em in the White House today disguised as if they were beneficiaries. That is the degree of how sick all this has become.