RUSH: On Thursday the FCC is gonna vote on net neutrality. I have some people sending me e-mail, asking me what it is. I'll sum it up as best I can for you, but what is going to happen Thursday is a direct result of Obama hijacking the effort -- essentially, let me just put it to you this way. Do you own a website, do you operate a website? If Obama gets his way, you're gonna have to get a license for it just like radio and TV stations get licenses, because the Internet is gonna be subject to regulation under Title II like broadcast facilities are. Cable is not, but over the air broadcast -- But they can't wait to regulate the Internet, folks, they just can't wait.
There's too much freedom out there. There's too many people, quote, unquote, "out of control" on the Internet, and Obama and the Democrats have gotta get it controlled. And the way they're doing it is capitalizing on the stupidity of young people. Maybe "stupidity" is the wrong word. Ignorance and lack of information resulting from they haven't lived long enough to know.
The way net neutrality is being sold to Millennials is -- and I read these tech bloggers, these little guys. I read 'em, they hate their cable providers. They hate their web service providers, Internet service, they hate 'em. Just like you were made to hate Big Oil and just like you were made to hate Big Tobacco. Just like you've been oriented to hate Big Anything, Big Retail, big box retail like Walmart. The Democrats' enemies list now includes all of the telecommunications companies and the Internet service providers.
The way Obama is targeting support, gaining support from young people on this, is he's got them confused that what he's gonna do with net neutrality is punish the people they hate. Does this sound familiar? They're gonna go after Comcast, Time Warner, any other telecommunications, cell provider, Internet service, they're gonna really hammer 'em, and they're gonna make sure that they don't overcharge. Then they're gonna make sure they provide equal access to high speed. The big, rich people aren't gonna get any more access to high speed than people who can't afford it are, and the government's gonna take care of it, and the government's gonna punish, and government's gonna make people behave right.
The government's gonna make it all fair. The government's gonna make it all equal. And that's what they've been led to believe. The same government that has, right in front of these little people, these young people's faces, blown up the health care system. The same government that has made a mockery of HealthCare.gov. The same government that has messed up and on the verge of totally destroying, under the guise of transforming it, the best health care system in the world.
While that is happening, I mean, you can't have any better evidence of the incompetence of bureaucracies to handle massive market maneuvers like health care. You can't have a better example of government failure than what they're trying to do with health care, or anything that Obama has touched on the economy. And yet, in the midst of being able to see all of this failure, in the midst of witnessing all of this government incompetence, despite that, we still have people thinking the government's gonna get it right when they start regulating the Internet.
Now, I'm sorry, folks, you can blame Obama -- and I do -- and you can blame the FCC and its commissioners -- and I do -- and you can blame politicians, but ultimately this falls back on the gullibility and the ignorance, dare I say stupidity of some people, because it's happening right in front of us. The very government that can't do anything right in terms of improving things that it claims to fix is eminently trusted to get it right on the Internet. And I just want to be around when these people have to get licenses for their websites.
Do you know what happens when you get a license to own a radio or TV station? You have to prove to the government every three years, five, I don't know what it is now, maybe it's 10, but you have to prove that you are operating responsibly. You have to prove that you are adequately serving the community. Blah, blah, blah. The point is your freedom to operate your website is going to be dependent on the government approving what you do.
Do you want somebody like Obama and his Regime in charge of that? The Internet is the essence, in terms of the comparison to things elsewhere in America, the essence of independence, liberty, and freedom right now.
Now, to some of you who might be sensitive to the argument, "Well, what you know, Rush, those Internet providers, they do charge too much." Folks, nobody's gonna sit here and make the claim -- how best to describe this? The people who are the best customers of these providers are gonna get the best service. It's just the way it is. It's that way in health care. You can set up national health care like the Brits did. The rich people don't use it. They've got their own network of hospitals and doctors that have opted out, and it's gonna be like that here.
No matter how much socialism you have, no matter how much government attempts to make everybody the same and everybody equal, you're never gonna get rid of the rich. Look at Obama. If there's ever been a president that's told everybody he's targeting the rich, gonna get fair, get even, the rich are getting richer under Obama, aren't they? The rich, the finance people, the banks, they're getting richer. They got bailed out. I thought Obama was getting even with these guys.
The exact opposite of what these people think the government's going to do for them under net neutrality is what's gonna happen, the exact opposite. It's gonna get slower, it's gonna get more clogged up, and they're gonna have less access than they have now. But they have been so conditioned. The left, boy, does it profit from hatred. It profits, it benefits, it stokes it. And then they come in after they create all this hatred or add to the hatred that already exists, wherever it is, they add to it and they create all this chaos, and they gin up all this emotion, and then they come in as the guys wearing the white hats.
"We're gonna make it fair for you. We're gonna make it equal for you. We're gonna make sure that if you can only afford $15 a month for Internet service, your speeds are gonna be just as fast as people who are paying a thousand dollars a month." Well, I'm sorry, it's not gonna ever happen. The providers are gonna service the people that pay 'em a thousand bucks a month before they service the people that pay 'em 15. It's just the way it is. "It's not fair, Mr. Limbaugh, it's not fair, I don't have a thousand." You don't right now, but you might as you get older.
Anyway, you can't legislate this kind of stuff, but people live in a never-ending phase or state of blind-faith hope that the government can come along and address, redress and eliminate every injustice out there, be it economic, be it cultural, and they have yet to succeed at it. I mean, we're living in the middle of the absolute most glaring examples of government incompetence, as administered by Obama and his administration, and yet despite the evidence that they don't know what they're doing, despite the lies -- How many times did people hear from Obama, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Your premium is gonna come $2,500 down."
It didn't. None of it's happened. Everybody's premiums have gone up, out of pocket's gone up, premiums have gone up, deductibles have gone up. The number of insured has not gone up. Nothing's happened according to the promises, and yet when Obama comes along and tells 'em he's gonna lower their cable rates, he's gonna raise their speeds, he's gonna make sure their providers get -- they believe it. They believe it, in the midst of knowing full well they have been lied to I don't know how many times about Obamacare alone.
Maybe I'm making the mistake of assuming they know they've been lied to. Maybe they don't even know that. Maybe my mistake is assuming they are more aware than they are. In addition to websites needing a license to operate -- (interruption) You hadn't thought of that? Why else do they want to regulate the Internet? Net neutrality, that's another one of these bogus titles for an operation that's the exact opposite. It's not gonna be neutral. That's designed to make people think that nobody's gonna get special favorite treatment, nobody's gonna get better service.
It's designed to lasso and rope people in. It's just like you could call anything you want the Civil Rights Act of 2015, it could pass no matter what's in it. Net neutrality, yes, net freedom, yes. It just means that the bigger providers can't rip people off anymore. That's what they think it means, and that's all they think it means. Then they have to get their websites registered, and then the regulations, because you know Obama is incorporating the Federal Election Commission in this. You know that? The FEC? (interruption) Well, because so much of the Internet is perceived to be in-kind campaign contributions.
So the FCC and the FEC will now start regulating the Internet. And just as there have been with Obamacare, there will be waivers, exemptions for certain people from the regulations that are put in place to regulate the Internet. And just as the Obama waivers for Obamacare were designed to shield the absolute disaster that was awaiting everybody upon full implementation, waivers were granted so that Obama would not be punished prior to elections, waivers were granted to donors, waivers were granted to individuals and businesses friendly to Obama.
The same thing is gonna happen with the Internet and how it's regulated. Right now the Internet has very little regulation at all. I'm stunned with the ease in which Obama has had in getting so many young people to sign on eagerly to the idea of regulating the Internet. As long as -- this is the way it's always worked and it just amazes me that it keeps working -- as long as the regulation of the Internet is designed to punish the rich, then you get people to support it. "If the regulation and licensing of the Internet is designed to really sock it to the cable companies and the cellular companies and the Internet service providers, if that's what you're gonna do, I'm all for it because I hate my cable company, I hate my cell company, I hate my provider, and as much as you can punish them, I'm all for it."
They look at government as being able to wield the power they wish they could wield. Hillary Clinton has been wanting to control the Internet since 1993. Net neutrality is as honest a name as is the Affordable Care Act, or as was the Fairness Doctrine. It's just the latest left-wing power grab.
You know how they want to get rid of Fox News? You know how they'd love to get rid of talk radio? Well, they're gonna be able to get rid of people and things they don't like on the Internet. That's why they want regulatory control over it, and, by the way, the mechanism that they want to use to control the Internet falls under the aegis of Title II. Title II dates back to the 1930s. That's how old it is.
Let me take a brief time-out. I got a couple sound bites on this. Michael Powell, who I think is the son of Colonel Colin Powell -- general. Sorry. General Powell. He was a former commissioner of the FCC.
RUSH: "As the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission toy with regulating aspects of the Internet, critics on those agencies are warning that speed and freedom of speech are in jeopardy." And they are right. "In a joint column, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai and Federal Election Commission member Lee Goodman, leveled the boom on the Obama-favored regulations, essentially charging that it will muck up the freedom the nation has come to expect from the Internet."
They essentially charged that it will muck up the freedom the nation has come to expect from the Internet. "In one key passage of the column published in Politico, the duo wrote Monday that heavy-handed FCC regulations like those imposed in Europe will significantly slow down Internet speech. 'These Internet regulations will deter broadband deployment, depress network investment and slow broadband speeds. How do we know? Compare Europe, which has long had utility-style regulations, with the United States, which has embraced a light-touch regulatory model. Broadband speeds in the United States, both wired and wireless, are significantly faster than those in Europe.'" That's true, if you've never been. "Broadband investment in the United States is several multiples that of Europe. And broadband’s reach is much wider in the United States, despite its much lower population density."
And the reason is that it's less regulated. It costs less to build up and build out your high speed network. There are fewer payoffs required. It makes no sense in Europe to do it. That's what's called social justice. Democrat liberal social justice is never the equalization of people by raising or elevating people at the bottom. It is by lowering people at the top and punishing them. And that's exactly what Obama's net neutrality will do, or seek to do.
Better stated, what Obama's net neutrality falsely promises people in this country is that these big providers, the cellular companies, the cable companies, the satellite companies, the Internet providers, they're gonna get hammered finally. They're gonna be told that they're overcharging. They're gonna be told that they're throttling Internet speeds and that they can't do it anymore. And the bourgeois in the United States, "Yeah, yeah, man, you punish 'em, dude, you sock it to 'em, dude, you make 'em pay." What happens? Cable service, satellite service, Internet broadband service all get worse. And that's how everything is made fair. Nobody at the bottom has their service elevated.
It doesn't work that way. It never does when the left gets a hold of things. This is called social justice. (interruption) Oh, yeah, you bring Netflix into this and you really get these young Millennials all worked up. Netflix is out there telling everybody they're gonna be one of the big beneficiaries of this 'cause they compete with all these providers and so forth.
RUSH: I checked the e-mail during the break, and it's the same old question. "Rush, I haven't seen any of this. How do you know? How do you know this is what Obama means by net neutrality? I haven't seen anything." Why do you think you haven't seen any of this? The fact that you haven't seen any of this, you interpret as maybe evidence I don't know what I'm talking about? Why don't you ask yourself why Obama has not released what his regulations and his ideas for net neutrality are?
And let me give you a little reminder. How many of you saw the legislation that became Obamacare before it was voted on? Answer: Very few of you. Remember Nancy Pelosi? "We have to pass it to find out what's in it." Do you think if you had known well in advance everything that was in Obamacare, you would have in your blanket way supported it? I'm talking to young people, here, not you in the audience. I'm talking to young people who are all for net neutrality.
I hear from 'em.
I got these e-mails.
"How do you know? How do you know? I haven't seen any of that."
Why haven't you seen it? You haven't seen it because Obama hasn't released it. Obama has not released the details of his plan, his program for net neutrality. That's why everybody's able to make it up whatever they want it to be, just like the Obama campaign in 2008! Whatever you want him to be, he is. If he's a great unifier, that's what he's gonna be. If he's gonna make America loveed, that's what he's gonna do. You had no idea who he was.
Let me ask you this. Put your thinking caps on. How many times in the last 20 years do you recall various elements of the media saying there's too much democracy in America? "There are too many voices. We gotta pare these down! There's too much confusion, too many viewpoints out there; it's confusing to the people!" I remember every one of 'em. I remember me being on the cover of TIME Magazine in the mid-nineties, and the headline was: "Is Rush Limbaugh Good For America?"
Why were they asking that question?
Because my point of view was not theirs.
Mrs. Clinton, in 1998, said the following: "We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this Internet thing because the there are all these competing values without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function. What does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?" That was Hillary in 1998, sending a dog whistle about getting rid of Matt Drudge. It was in the midst of the Lewinsky event.
She was worried, as were all these libs, and they have been ever since their media monopoly was blown up. "There are too many voices. It's too confusing. There are too many points of view." That ought to just offend the hell out of everybody, particularly you young people. It ought to offend you and cause genuine anger among you. Too many viewpoints? "We gotta whittle 'em down! We gotta get rid of some of these really extreme points of view. It's causing chaos in the country.
"It's causing tumult. It's creating confusion." Who are they? Who are they to say there are too many opinions when we have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment explains that codifies freedom of speech? My point, this is something they have been salivating over getting control of, the Internet, for 17 to 20 years, just as like they salivated for control over health care for 50 years. And it's almost a repeat process.
Obama's got his massive plan, but nobody's seen it. He won't release it. So everybody's able to create off "net neutrality" whatever they want it to be. You've got Obama administration officials here and there who will drop little hints about getting even with the service providers or making sure that small customers do not have their speeds throttled and cut back, and thereby not reaching their data limit sooner and being charged for more data after they have reached their monthly allotted limit.
They dropped enough hints to make young people think that the real target of net neutrality is, once again, the big corporations. "Yeah! Obama's gonna come give 'em what-for. Obama's gonna come tame 'em, just like he did AIG, and just like he did all the fat cat financial company CEOs. Yeah! And if they don't fall in line, we're gonna send protesters for their front yards. We're gonna get even with these people ripping us off. I don't want to have to watch cable TV to I want to watch Breaking Bad.
"I want to be able to stream it on my phone, and I don't want to be overcharged for it. I want to be able to cut the cord, and I want to make sure that the company providing me with Breaking Bad on my iPhone does not overcharge." Obama comes along and says, "That's exactly what I'm gonna do." Really? You think it's gonna get cheaper? You know, HBO is gonna provide a stand alone streaming service, HBO GO.
To get it now, you have to be a cable or satellite subscriber to HBO, and then the service is so-called "free." It isn't because you have to be a customer now. But HBO's gonna cut the cord itself. HBO's gonna provide HBO GO, streaming only, and one of the biggest surprises awaiting young Millennials is how much they're gonna charge for it. They can charge pretty much what they are being paid now by each cable customer, and maybe add 20 or 30% to it.
They'll get away with it, because HBO is not considered an evil cable company or provider. "HBO's got the content! Yeah, HBO? We love HBO! That's where we get all our sex, and that's where we get all the gay-lesbian stuff, and that's where get all the drama. That's Game of Thrones! Yeah, man. Let me on have it my phone or my iPad. I don't want to have to have cable for it." Fine. They're gonna charge you for it.
And every one of these providers, every one of these content providers that cuts the cord out of cable, out of satellite, they're gonna charge, and you're gonna end up paying more for all these services you want than you do combined in your cable package. But they're not thinking this far ahead because right now they're being made satisfied and happy. The idea that Obama is gonna cut these providers and these cell companies and these telecoms down to size finally is just like back in our younger days, folks.
They were gonna get even with Big Oil. Yes siree, they were gonna get even with Big Tobacco! "Yeah, man, they're gonna get punished. They're gonna have their hats handed to 'em. Right on!" It never works out the way it's planned. Social justice. It's social justice, making it worse for everybody under the guise of equality or fairness or what have you. Mark my words. Here it is February 24, 2015: That's what's going to happen. And you know something else? For wealthy people, it isn't gonna change.
They're gonna be able to pay whatever they want to get the same service they've got now or even better, and there will be people that will bring it for 'em. There always will be. No matter what Obama does, no matter how much he regulates, no matter how much he tries, the wealthy are still gonna be able to get whatever download speeds they want. They're gonna be able to get whatever services and content-provider service they want.
They have the ability to pay for it, and as long as they've got the ability to pay for it, there's gonna be somebody to provide it. So the rich are not gonna get shafted, the rich are not gonna get stung, the rich are not gonna get punished. It's just service for most everybody else is going to deteriorate, under the guise of making it equal for everybody -- and "neutral." Yes, net neutrality! Now, these two guys...
Ajit Pai, FCC commissioner, is one of the Republican members, and Lee Goodman of the FEC. They warned, they said, "Internet freedom works. It is difficult to imagine where we would be today had the government micromanaged the Internet for the past two decades as it does Amtrak and the US Postal Service." They gonna turn the Internet into a utility, folks, licensed utilities. Next, they wrote this: "They don't need to shift control of the Internet to bureaucracies in Washington.
"Let's leave the power where it belongs: With the American people. When it comes to Americans' ability to access online content or offer political speech online, there isn't anything broken for the government to fix. To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan: 'Internet regulation isn't the solution to a problem. Internet regulation is the problem.'" All well and good, but I thought the era of Reagan was over. Isn't that what a lot of Republicans have been telling us for a couple of years or longer?
"Yeah, the era of Reagan is over! That's old-fashioned. Those are old days. Reaganism doesn't apply to the modern era," and yet it always does. They are right: Internet regulation is not the solution to a problem; internet regulation's gonna become problem. Michael Powell, former commissioner at the FCC (Republican, obviously) was on Squawk Box on CNBC today, and one of the cohosts, Andrew Ross Sorkin, asked him a question.
Sorkin said, "One of the things we've all talked about is what an appeal looks like and how long it takes and what that does to investment during that period. Now, we heard from the CEO of AT&T who says that he plans to pull back. Can you speak to that broadly from all of your constituents that you've been talking..." This is assuming that net neutrality becomes law of the land and that there are then lawsuits, appeals, to try to stop it. Michael Powell answers that question.
POWELL: Litigation with FCC appeals is a pretty long, drawn-out process. I would predict that it's at least two and up to five years before the rules are fully and finally settled. The original classification decision went all the way to the Supreme Court and took a good 3-1/2, four years. They've understood the law for 15 years, and suddenly that's gonna be radically transformed to a new style of regulation, which is gonna prompt a whole myriad of questions that are gonna await answers, and I think that's gonna have an impact on investment choices.
RUSH: See, they're talking about what's gonna happen with the investments of people buying stock in the providers. That's not what interests me about that the CNBC. But what interests me in this is once they put it in there, you're not gonna unravel it, and if it takes two to five years for an appeal to be heard, you're not gonna unravel anything just like you're not gonna unravel amnesty once it starts. This is what Obama knows.
It's gonna be total chaos. He doesn't care!
Health care is total chaos. He doesn't care. The bottom line is, he runs it. So then the next question came to Joe Kernen who said, "Well, when the adults in the room finally speak up and the FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, sees what the end result's gonna be, won't he say, 'Maybe I need to rethink this?' Is it too late for that or are we just gonna go headlong into it?" The vote's Thursday, Kernen saying, "Wait a minute! The FCC commissioner might wake up all of a sudden and see how bad this is," and this is what Powell says to that.
POWELL: I think they're locked and loaded and it's too late that they're gonna turn back. They're gonna vote on Thursday, and when you talk about the moments of shock, I think watching the president of the United States come on a YouTube video and direct the FCC to adopt a very specific regulatory result, I think that was shocking.
RUSH: Why? Why was that shocking? To see Obama try to take control of something, why in the world is that shocking? Why shouldn't that be accompanied by now? Why is it shocking that Obama would do a YouTube video aimed at the very young people we're talking about, demanding that the FCC immediately take over the regulation of the Internet? He doesn't have the authority to do that, just like he doesn't have the authority to grant blanket amnesty or any of this stuff.