She said it. Her own words were very plain. SDI told Gorbachev the final fact, the final truth. He knew the Americans could do it, and he knew his country couldn’t. They simple had no economic way of competing. Now, Gennady Gerasimov here calls it “blackmail,” but the truth of the matter is it wasn’t blackmail. It was a seriously intended program, and the critics back then, by the way, just to remind you, all said, “It will never work.” Every great idea greeted by the left is pooh-poohed! “It won’t work. It can’t work,” and that, of course, was not Ronald Reagan. Anything worthwhile can work, and the reason it can work is because we are Americans. We have the freedom to do great things, therefore we have the ability and the means. The oppressed of the world simply can’t compete.
I have here another AP story, and I just can’t let this go. I’ve got to comment on some of this stuff, because it’s seductive. If you don’t know how to read this stuff, you can be trapped. You can end up ensnared in something that is a bit of a misleading mirage, so to speak. This is “Reagan Legacy,” it’s called. “Ronald Reagan told Americans that government was the problem. They haven’t been quite the same since. Lionized by his party, mimicked by opponents when not mocked by them, he spoke the verities of a New Age of conservatism that remains the strongest thread in American politics.” That’s good. So far so good, right? We’re hooked. “Wooow! Haven’t seen this in the mainstream press for a while. ” Let’s continue.
“A gift and a burden came from the Reagan years. The gift is the landmark arms control agreements that brought the world steps back from nuclear armageddon combined with a toughness that his admirers say was the final thrust of Cold War victory. After his time, the Berlin Wall came down.” Now, that was only one leg of the stool. There were three legs of the stool of Reaganism. One was beating back communism. Another was rebuilding the U.S. military, and the third was tax cuts — and that’s been the hardest one for even the Democrats praising Reagan over the weekend. They leave that one out. They just leave out tax cuts because to mention tax cuts equates Bush with Reagan. It makes Bush the Reagan heir. It takes the Reagan legacy straight to Bush. They’re trying to leave the tax cuts out, not going to let them get away with that — and rebuilding the military, too.
Now, of course to the press, “beating back the Soviet Union” is a big deal because they thought it would never happen — and at times, you know, they thought Gorbachev was the savior of the world. That’s why the “Gorbasms” on this program came into existence. The press actually thought Mikhail Gorbachev was the man who was going to save the world and Reagan was going to start World War III. He was just a tricky itchy fingered cowboy that was going to push that button and launch Armageddon, which of course was never true, but here’s what AP says is the burden of the Reagan years: “A sensational cost of that toughness and more. Reagan powered up the military while attacking the anti-poverty programs he said didn’t work, his shining city was built on a mountain of debt.” Uhhh, Reagan never “attacked poverty.” He didn’t attack anti-poverty programs.
This is the kind of thing that just makes me want to scream. The assumption is that everything about the Great Society was wonderful, and if you try to look at the Great Society and say, “That didn’t work,” and, “That didn’t work. We need to replace it, get rid of it, whatever,” you were “anti-poverty.” You were “anti-poor.” You were anti-this and anti-that, and that just wasn’t the case. The Great Society, the war on poverty, all these great things was a debacle, and you talk about costs? The costs of the Great Society: the working people of this country ended up transferring over the period of 30 years five to $7 trillion to people who wouldn’t or couldn’t, and it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter! The percentages all stayed the same. Do you know what finally mattered? What finally made an impact didn’t happen until the late 90s and that’s welfare reform, and guess where that got started? It got started with what’s called today “an attack on anti-poverty programs.”
It never was an attack on anti-poverty programs because you know how Reagan conservatism defines “compassion”? You define compassion by not counting the number of people who receive benefits; you define compassion by counting the number of people who no longer need them, and that was the objective all along. They still can’t resist getting a little dig in here that Reagan was cold-hearted and mean-spirited to the poor. “Welfare reform, entitlement reform, tax cuts, a balanced budget, a crime crackdown featuring support, even eagerness for the death penalty, a rallying against family breakdown. Both parties wanted to do those things after Reagan took a crack at them.” They did? Both parties wanted to “take a crack” at these things? Unh-uh! If that’s the case we wouldn’t be as divided as we are. “Both parties,” my rear end. This is history revisionism here. Welfare reform? Everybody wants to give Clinton credit for it because he signed a bill, but he vetoed it twice, tried to do everything he could to stop it. Entitlement reform? We don’t have entitlement reform! Wish we did.
Tax cuts? Tell me a Democrat other than (Georgia Democratic Senator) Zell Miller who supports ’em. Tell me. True, Bill Richardson. Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico cut taxes in his state, but aside from that, you can’t name me any Democrats who want to do tax cuts because they saw Reagan do them. We have Democrats who tried to revise what happened in the 80s and blame the tax cuts for all of our misery! To this day, they blame Bush’s tax cuts for whatever misery they’re trying to convince you exists — and, of course, we’re in another one of those economic booms that looks like it may rival the one Reagan created in the 1980s, and this is only going to continue to grow. There’s a story in the paper today that by the election, there may be a net gain of 750,000 jobs in this country. Net gain, after all this talk about Bush lost, what is it? Two million jobs lost on Bush’s watch? Oh, yeah, that’s right. It went up to three. The Democrats, “Three million jobs lost!” and so forth. It was really, the figure was never that high but the new number is a net gain of 750,000 may occur by the election.
So you have to know how to read this stuff, folks: very, very, very carefully. You know, and the New York Times piece today, “Reagan Legacy Looming Large Over Campaign.” This is Adam Nagourney. They are petrified that this whole week is something Kerry won’t recover from. They are petrified that Bush is going to try to associate himself with this, and they’re already editorializing how “unseemly it would be for a sitting president to try to tie himself to the death legacy of a president who has just passed away” and so forth, and of course the answer to that is, “He doesn’t have to, doesn’t have to try.” If there’s anybody out there on the political stage that has inherited the Reagan legacy, it is Bush, primarily with tax cuts and his vision for the world and America. There’s no way John Kerry can claim it and no way a Democrat can claim it, and so they don’t want Bush to claim it. It would be “unseemly.”
But he does. (program observer interruption) Yeah, who? Clinton? Nixon funeral, yeah. Well, that’s true. The Nixon funeral. You know, I have a totally unique recollection of the Nixon funeral. Let’s talk about that just a second. The Nixon funeral, I’ll never forget that. The whole ceremony took place in the Nixon Library in that little house. Remember that little house he grew up in? Here’s a man who reached the pinnacle of American success in political life, that little house that he grew up in. It was in the picture throughout the funeral. I just couldn’t get over it. You know something about Nixon? His wife, Pat, he loved her so much, when she had dates with other guys he offered to drive them just so he could be near. Just loved her so much. Anyway, yeah, Nixon, the funeral. Clinton was praised for being a great statesman and flew everybody out there on Air Force One. They televised the landing of Air Force One much like I was televised landing in Philadelphia during the McNabb week.
But what strikes me about the Nixon funeral was Jimmy Carter (Watch the malaise speech) and Rosalyn sitting there. I will never forget this, because to the people on the left — and a lot of ’em — Richard Nixon was just, just, yick. Just didn’t like — and here all these people were standing up praising Nixon. Henry Kissinger stood up there. Bob Dole got up there. All kinds of people. Reagan was there, but he didn’t speak. Reagan and Nancy were there but he didn’t speak. But just person after person after person strode to the podium and praised Nixon when it came to foreign policy, and I could just see Rosalyn jabbing Jimmy in the ribs saying, ‘You believe this? This guy? Richard Nixon? And he’s getting all this praise, and look at you, Dumbo,’ and from that point the quest for the Jimmy Carter Nobel Prize began, I am convinced of it. I am totally convinced of it because I think he’s sitting there total disbelief that Nixon could have all these accolades at his funeral.
RUSH: Guy in Pea Ridge, North Carolina, welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Rush, it’s a profound honor to be speaking to you today —
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: — while you’re conducting this tribute to President Reagan. At the risk of sounding a little selfish, I’d like to relate just how President Reagan has personally affected my life.
RUSH: Okay, now, I know what you’re going to say. Hang on just a second. I’m going to admonish you just a little bit here because, see, I know what you’re going to say because I have the benefit of the computer that tells me, and I just want you to know: you are falling into a trap if you think that what you’re going to say represents that you are ‘selfish.’ It doesn’t, and that’s a leftist plot that they tried to actually attach to Reagan himself. Go ahead and say what you’re going to say so people know what I’m talking about. I mean I’m mildly, I’m saying this with love and humor, please understand. Okay.
CALLER: I accept that.
CALLER: Back in 1980 [sic–1981] when President Reagan first took office, I was working is a state employee no New York state. Good job. I was in debt. We had three children, one in college, two on the way, and hardly anything saved. Well, the third leg that you just spoke of a little bit while ago is “tax cut.” That coupled with the IRAs that he opened up for individuals enabled us to be able to put money aside and invest it in America. As a result, today we’re retired and we’re living on the waterfront of the North Carolina coast, and I owe it all to Ronald Reagan. There’s not a day that goes by that when I wake up I don’t thank God and President Reagan for the lifestyle that we enjoy today.
RUSH: And you are absolutely right. You couldn’t be more right. “Admonish” is the wrong word. What you actually have provided is an opportunity and that’s really all I meant. It’s your money to begin with, and Ronald Reagan knew this. But because of the tax system in this country… You know, people in this country are more excited about the “benefits” they get than they are angry about the taxes they pay — or were. And that’s one of the attitudinal shifts that’s still in the process of taking place — the shift toward anger at taxes that people pay. One of the reasons they’re not angry is they don’t see it. It’s withheld. It’s money they never have in their pocket. They don’t have to pay it, they think. It’s just taken from them. But look at what you said. You didn’t want anybody to think you were “greedy” because you were happy you kept more of what you earned.
You saved it, you invested it in America and yet you’re afraid some might think you’re “greedy.” That was the power — and I’m glad you said it, because that is the power of the revisionist history of the 80s when they called it the decade of “greed and selfishness,” that’s exactly what they meant. They wanted people like us to feel greedy if we kept more of our money that we had earned instead of giving it to government to do with whatever they chose, which is basically create more and more dependence on the part of other citizens. You were not greedy; you were sensible. You were not greedy; you were appreciative. You’re not greedy, you understand. And I’m not yelling at you, I’m being emphatic to make my point with the audience here. There’s no way under the sun that people who earn what they earn and vote for people who are going to let them keep more of it, because that’s the way the economy grows and that’s the way their families grow. That’s not greed; that’s common sense. That’s simply justice. It is the way it ought to be. Somebody wrote a book with that title once, and so I applaud you, sir. I’m glad you got through and you were able to so cleverly and cogently make that point. Good for you.
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