Now, I’ll tell you where I want to start here today is with this Social Security business, and then we’re gonna move on to the filibustering of judges. The Washington Times today has just an incredible editorial. We’ve got some great soundbites from over the weekend as media talks about itself and you, the audience. They’re just stunned how sophisticated you are now. They are stunned how much you know before they report anything to you. They’re literally stunned. We learned this by watching Chris Matthews’ Sunday show yesterday. So we’ll have the audio sound bites of that coming up, and I don’t know if you saw Meet the Press yesterday, but Tim Russert just nailed Rahm Emanuel to the wall, did you see that? (Laughing.) We’ve got the audio sound bites. Rahm Emanuel, the former Clinton advisor who is now heading up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the House of Representatives. But first off I want to start with Social Security. This issue is only going to heat up, but there is blatant hypocrisy here on the left to report, and among the Democratic Party. I guess the best way to start with this, let’s go to Dusty Harry.
Dusty Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, was on Stephanopoulos’ show yesterday, This Week
REID: Here’s a crisis that doesn’t exist. If I had a mortgage on my home for 40 years and I knew I could make the payments every month, would that be a crisis? The answer is no. We have no crisis. For the next 50 years, people on Social Security, if we do nothing, will draw a hundred percent of their benefits. Even after the 50 years if we decide to do nothing congressionally they can still draw 80% of their benefits. That’s not a crisis.
RUSH: The one thing that’s left out of this — that’s not even true, by the way, but hypothetically let’s assume it was true or is true. The one thing the Democrats love to factor into things Dusty Harry is leaving out of here, and that’s inflation. Yeah, we’re going to get X-number of benefits. What’s it going to be worth? What’s $25,000 a year going to be worth to you in 50 years? Will it buy you a lightbulb? That’s the one thing Dusty Harry doesn’t factor, but all the rest of this is BS, folks. It’s, frankly, Barbra Streisand. It’s smoke and mirrors. One more Dusty Harry bite. Stephanopoulos then says, “But over the long term, Democrats and Republicans have agreed and the Social Security administration points out there’s a long term financing problem. Do Democrats have to come forward with a plan to address that?”
REID: Why should we come forward with a plan till the president tells us what he’s going to do?
RUSH: Stop the tape a minute. What the hell are you opposing, then, Dusty Harry? Do you understand the lunacy, the sheer lunacy? I tell you what, my patience is on a short fuse today, folks. It really is. I’m feeling pressured. Everybody that looks at me sees dollar signs. I can’t get away from it. No matter where I go, all anybody sees is an opportunity. They see things that I have, they say, “I don’t like that. I want to change that.” See, and I’m just on a real short fuse here today. I’m walking around, I got 15,000 people with their hands in my back pocket and I’m thinking of getting a zipper. So I’m just in a real short fuse and these guys are not helping with this kind of lunacy. So Dusty Harry says, “Why should we come forward with a plan until the president tells us what he’s gonna do?” Well, if the president hasn’t told you what he’s gonna do, Dusty Harry, why are you opposing it, then? Here’s the rest of what Dusty Harry mumbled, if you will.
REID: We’re willing to work to take care of those out years, but we have so many real crisis in America today, real crisis, 45 million Americans have no health care. Is that a crisis? I think so. Our public education system is teetering on the brink of real despair as a result of leave no child behind act not being taken care of. Those are two crisis that I see. Let’s take care of those, let’s take care of the staggering debt we have, that is a crisis. Social Security is not a crisis.
RUSH: All right, so we have two bites here from Dusty Harry. There is no crisis. It’s a crisis that doesn’t exist. Every payment that’s guaranteed for the next 50 years is going to be made without it doing anything that needs to be done now. Everything is hunky-dory. The only real crises out there are the uninsured in the health care system and the public education system, Leave No Child Behind and so forth. Pretty much every plan, every program the Democrats have authored over the last 50 years is in some form of crisis. Well, let’s go back to Dusty Harry’s first bite here where he says there’s no crisis. It’s a crisis that doesn’t exist. You know what I’ve got here? I have a column by David Broder, the dean of the Washington press corps and the dean of Washington political columnists, and this column is entitled, “Who will rescue Social Security?” He begins his piece this way. “On two of the biggest issues confronting Congress and the Clinton administration — Social Security and Medicare — it is hard to find anyone optimistic about action in the coming year. Everyone I interviewed agrees there may be a small window of opportunity — six to eight months — to deal with these two vital programs before the politics of the next election overwhelm everything. But few of those interviewed at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue have high hopes. One dissenter from the general gloom is Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who lobbied me over breakfast to write optimistically about the chances of a bipartisan breakthrough that would avoid the bankruptcy that threatens Medicare within the next decade and Social Security about 20 years later.
“President Clinton will play host to the last of four roundtables on Social Security reform, with invitations out to key members of Congress from both parties and all the major interest groups. Since last January, Clinton has emphasized the importance of ‘saving Social Security first.’ He said he hoped to hammer out a bipartisan plan once the campaign was out of the way. But the closer this White House summit has come, the more administration officials have backed away from any expectations of a breakthrough. Gene Sperling, the head of the White House National Economic Council, which is staffing the session, told me, ‘If the right people come and really engage, it could lay the foundation for working together in a pragmatic way. But this is not going to be a negotiating session. It can’t happen in a day and a half.’ Privately, many in the administration are far more pessimistic. While Democrats did not make Social Security as much a partisan issue in the 1998 campaign as in some past years, the lines are now being drawn. Conservative think tanks such as the CATO Institute and the Heritage Foundation want Republicans to insist on converting a portion of future Social Security taxes into individual savings accounts. Labor and its allies, which are owed a lot by the Democrats, next week will announce a major effort to block any such change.”
When was this written? Obviously the Clinton administration, Sunday, November 29th, 1998, “Who Will Rescue Social Security?” Now, I don’t know that Mr. Broder has written on Social Security recently. I haven’t done a check. I guess we should do that. It wasn’t my primary area of focus. The point I wish to make here is that in 1998, with the Clinton administration running the show, when they said that there was a Social Security crisis, it was automatically accepted by the Washington press corps and the drumbeat for a Social Security crisis thus began, and we began scaring the hell out of senior citizens, what Republicans wanted to do combined with what was going to happen to Social Security.
Nothing was done about it, however. There was a crisis back then. The Clinton administration backed off, didn’t do anything. We all know why. The Lewinsky and impeachment situations took center stage. But the bottom line is we jumped forward to 2005, or let’s go back to last year, 2004, President Bush says, “We’ve gotta act. We’ve put this off long enough,” and the same people who were claiming there’s a crisis back in 1998 are now saying it’s made up. It’s fabricated. It’s a crisis that doesn’t exist. The Broder column from November 29th, 1998, shows the symbiotic relationship between the Washington left and the Democrats and the mainstream press back then. All that Clinton had to do was utter the fact that there was a crisis and here came Broder with a support piece. I doubt… I shouldn’t say that, because I don’t know what Broder is going to do now. But I would suggest, Mr. Broder, before you write your next piece on this, you consult your own archive and look at what you wrote on Sunday, November 29th, 1998 so that you can at least have some consistency. Because if there is no crisis now and there was a crisis then, and nothing’s been done to address the crisis back then, how can there not be a crisis today?
Whenever you hear Social Security reform brought up here in the coming weeks and months, let me give you a couple things here that I guess you could say all you have to know about Social Security reform. One is, “Congress does not participate in the plan, like public education,” might be good enough for you, but it’s not good enough for them. Any poll on Social Security that does not break down opinion by age-group as in the young versus the old, is as useful as Al Gore’s lockbox, which was useless. The most important feature of the reform, the president plan, is ownership. That is, when you die — and although this may be a surprise to some of you, you will die — your share will go to your family, not the government. When Clinton said Social Security was in crisis, did any Democrat go bonkers and deny it? I can’t find one. I can’t find a journalist that denied it. I can’t find a Democrat. They all got on board and amplified the size of the crisis. They did not whatsoever go bonkers denying it. When any politician promises what you will get from Social Security, the first question you must ask is, “What will a loaf of bread cost at the same time?” If you get $25,000 a year in your Social Security benefits and a loaf of bread costs $5,000, so what?
What good is your $25,000 in benefits without somebody telling you what inflation is going to be? Because liberals love to erase their problems with inflation — and check this story. This is from the New York Times yesterday. The media is in full armament now. They are aligned fully to destroy the president’s Social Security plan. There are stories — I watched cable news today. They’re going back, they’re talking to FDR’s grandson or great-grandson or whoever it is, and they’ve got all this film of FDR signing the first Social Security Act, and the question is, “Well, what about his legacy? What about FDR’s legacy?” So what! Is that a reason to save a program that’s in crisis? Is that a reason to save something that’s no longer useful as it’s currently designed just because some great icon of the Democrat Party designed it? Apparently so to them, and that should show you the desperation they are in, folks. This is precisely what’s happened to them, all their old programs, all their old heroes, all their old icons have been outlived. Their usefulness is long gone.
The Democrats are so married and so buried and so wired to their past, they have ignored the future, and the only thing they can glom onto and grasp onto for comfort, almost as a life raft or a life preserver is these old programs and whoever it was that authored them, in this case Social Security and FDR. So the New York Times fully on board with the anti-Bush plan has this story: “Social Security Enlisted to Push Its Own Revision.” This is presented as a scandal. “Over the objections of many of its own employees, the Social Security Administration is gearing up for a major effort to publicize the financial problems of Social Security and to convince the public that private accounts are needed as part of any solution. The agency’s plans are set forth in internal documents [i.e. secret] including a ‘tactical plan’ for communications and marketing of the idea that Social Security faces dire financial problems requiring immediate action.” Remember, this is all a lie, it’s all made up and the Social Security administration is in on this conspiracy, probably with Halliburton and probably with Cheney and who knows who else and maybe Condoleezza Rice is involved, and it probably was authored by Alberto Gonzales. “Social Security officials say the agency is carrying out its mission to educate the public, including more than 47 million beneficiaries, and to support President Bush’s agenda.”
So I’m shocked, ladies and gentlemen, the bureaucrats, the unions, the New York Times think that it is wrong for the president to use his own administration, including this agency, which last time I checked is part of the executive branch, to promote a reform program — and after years of everyone agreeing that Social Security as is is unsustainable, we are told by the libs who abused it both in and outside the agency that all is well; all is hunky-dory. These are the anti-democratic forces we face and these are the people that have to be beaten back and we must overcome these people if we’re going to get anywhere, folks. They think they own the country regardless of the outcome of any election and regardless of the threats that we face, but they do not. They are stymied in their powerlessness, and so they have to go around you. They have to go around the duly elected results of the American people, be it judges, be it President Bush’s Social Security reform.
Because if you take just these two programs, the judges as we’ve already discussed, the courts are where liberals get what they want, because they lose at the ballot box on those same issues. Social Security is simply a tether to their valued and gloried past, and they can’t let go of it because that program is signature identified with them. If Bush is allowed to reform it and make it better, it’s just another ten nails in their coffin, more like a rivet in their coffin, and they know it, and so now the Social Security administration is being used, is being co-opted. There are secret internal documents going back and forth inside the agency. The agency is planning on issuing marketing instructions inside its own walls. They’re gonna publish pamphlets and they’re going to tell the American people the truth about the program: The program is in dire straits and it’s in trouble. We can’t believe this is happening, but thank God for you American people, the New York Times found out about this conspiracy and is here to save you from this deceit. That’s the attempt that is being made here, that everything going on here is underneath the radar, behind closed doors designed to screw you. It’s the exact opposite.
We go now to the audio sound bites. Meet the Press yesterday, Tim Russert. His guest, Rahm Emanuel, who is the new chairman of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee in the House, former Clinton administration advisor. Russert says, “Let me turn to Social Security, put a quote up on the board. Here’s the quote: ‘Looming fiscal crisis in Social Security. If nothing is done by 2029, there will be a deficit in Social Security trust fund which will either require a huge tax increase in the payroll tax or just about a 25% cut in Social Security benefits.’ Mr. Emanuel, do you agree with that?”
EMANUEL: Well, I think, first of all, we’re ready to do something on Social Security. But I want to say this. What we can’t do, Tim, what we can’t do is take the guaranteed retirement benefit for seniors and replace it with a guaranteed fee for Wall Street. As my — as my grandmother would have said, “Such a deal.” What the president —
RUSSERT: The question, what that quote said —
EMANUEL: The quote is from —
RUSSERT: Let me show you —
EMANUEL: Who’s it from?
RUSSERT: Let me show you. William Jefferson Clinton. “There’s a looming fiscal crisis. We either have to cut benefits or raise taxes.”
RUSH: So Russert followed up: “Did you agree with your former employer?”
EMANUEL: Since you want to bring up President Clinton, my former employer balanced the budget, worked with Democrats and Republicans to do that, had an economy that was growing —
RUSH: Stop the tape! Stop the tape! Here we go with more propaganda. There would have been no balanced budget were it not for the Republicans winning the House in 1994, there would have been no effort to balance the budget. Bill Clinton said (impression), “Hey, we could balance the budget three years. We can do it in five years; we could do it in ten years.” There was no way that outfit was going to balance the budget on its own. But note Emanuel is not answering the question here, folks.
EMANUEL: — and a half to three percent. He also created for three years in a row a surplus. Right now what we have is a $7 trillion deficit. In the first four years of the Bush administration —
RUSH: Stop the tape! There was never a surplus, ladies and gentlemen. The surplus was on paper. You know why there’s not a surplus today? Because these clowns in Washington started spending it just like a lot of people want to do with my money, they just started spending it, started making plans for it, peace dividend, more social programs, more this, more that — and it’s gone. There was never any surplus. It was all on paper. It was a ten-year forecast. They don’t do ten-year budgets. They do one-year budgets. There was no surplus that ever existed. The cash was never in hand, and it never materialized, and this is all smoke and mirrors, and he still has yet to answer the question.
EMANUEL: — from a surplus to adding $2 trillion to the debt of this country. On top of the $7 trillion the economy is carrying today this president is now talking about borrowing another $2 trillion. And I will say this, one thing you say about George Bush and the economy is we’ll forever be in his debt.
RUSH: Nice try. This is what passes for Democrats’ concern and compassion. This is how they deal with the issues, deal with questions. They don’t answer questions. Here’s a cold, hard fact placed right in front of him, right in his face: “Hey, it’s your president who said, ‘There’s a crisis, 25% increase in taxes or a reduction in benefits,'” and we got a bunch of gibberish and gobbledygook about Bush. You know, either there wasn’t a crisis then and there isn’t a crisis now or there was a crisis then and there is a crisis now. Either way you look at it, it’s the Democrats that don’t want to deal with it. Even when Clinton said there was a crisis in 1998, guess who said, “We got a plan.” The Republicans did. They didn’t run around saying, “There’s no crisis.” They said, “Yeah, we gotta fix this,” and it was the Republicans who tried to fix Medicare in 1994, and they were stopped in their tracks by the White House, the Clinton White House back then because they didn’t want to make any hard choices, more concerned were they over their approval ratings and their legacy rather than doing anything really hard. So nothing really hard was done during the Clinton years so people like Emanuel could run around and rewrite history and talk about how wonderful and idyllic everything was back then, not to mention the fact we were at war; we just hadn’t fired back yet.
Al-Qaeda was taking us out on a regular basis for the whole period of the 90s in the United States and around the world. We didn’t do diddly-squat about it. I know, we fired a couple missiles at an aspirin factory and at an empty building in Baghdad. Yippee! It is plain to see here, folks, who simply cannot face things, who cannot tell the truth. It’s the American left. It’s the Democrats. They can’t do one thing about this. They can’t be consistent on anything, and it’s all rooted in their continuing problem: Bad news for America, good news for them. Good news for America, bad news for them. Now, you might say, “Well, wait a minute. Social Security in crisis? That’s bad news for America. Why is that not good for them?” Ah, there are exceptions. Social Security is their program. They can’t admit that something one of their guys wrote and that they’ve administered all these years is a problem. They can’t admit that. To do that would be admitting their own fallibility, would be to admit their own failure. But their unwillingness to participate in a repair job or craft a fix for it is a testament to exactly how out of it they are.
RUSH: We’ll start on the phones today, this hour, in Norfolk, Virginia, with Bob. Hello, sir, glad you waited.
CALLER: Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh. It’s a pleasure to be on your show.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: The situation with Social Security, when FDR enacted this back in the thirties, you know, the average life span was 63 years old, hence the retirement age 65. You want to save Social Security, you don’t need a bunch of private accounts to make all the brokers on Wall Street rich. You don’t need any of these other little weird things that the president’s come up with. Increase the FICA taxes and increase the retirement age. Somebody in my age-group, I’m 37. I’ll be 38 in March, I can expect to work until I’m 70 or 72 because the average life span has increased that much. The — my teenaged children should expect to go to 75. That’s how you save Social Security, if it really does need saving to the extent that the president’s lean towards. Now, when President Clinton said that it needed some work done to it, yes, I agree with the president, needed some work done to it, and the Democrats should hold true to that term.
RUSH: Well, but they’re not. Hold it a minute. Forget this “should” business. They’re not. The Democrats are demagoguing it and lying about it. Your solution won’t work, either.
CALLER: Of course it will work.
CALLER: You don’t pay any — your FICA taxes cap out at something like 80,000, 85,000 a year. After that amount you don’t pay anymore FICA taxes.
RUSH: They cap out this year at $90,000.
CALLER: Okay, 90,000.
RUSH: — and they keep raising them. But, you know, at some point we’re all going to have to realize that raising taxes is not the solution to a problem. Raising taxes has never solved a problem in this country, and it’s not going to solve this one.
CALLER: Raising taxes can solve —
RUSH: If you cut benefits, you go out there and you be the one to say, “We’re going to cut benefits,” as an elected official and see what happens to you, and then you tell people you’re going to raise their taxes at the same time.
CALLER: You don’t have to cut the benefits, Rush.
RUSH: You do, too. You are going to. That’s the dirty little secret. We’re going to have to cut benefits. Well, what is raising the retirement age? It’s cutting benefits. You’re telling people they’re not going to get as much as their current contemporaries are going to get. If you can get it now at 62 but we’re going to move it up to say 65 or 70, guess what? Your benefits are being cut based on what you’ve been promised earlier. There’s going to be hell to pay if you do that. You start raising taxes and you’ve got an economic disaster in the private sector awaiting you on the other end. It ain’t the way to do it — and by the way, what is wrong with people in the private sector doing well? What is this business about we can’t make Wall Street wealthy? If that’s the case we gotta close the stock market and we gotta shut down people who sell stocks, because they get wealthy doing it. What the hell kind of thinking is this? Where do you people come from?
CALLER: This is just the same type of rhetoric that you Republicans have been using all along.
RUSH: It’s not rhetoric. It’s a serious question that you can’t answer. It’s a serious — try answering the question. What’s wrong with people in the private sector doing well?
CALLER: Social Security —
RUSH: Why should the government do well at the expense of the private sector? Why can the government exist in total corruption without any fiscal responsibility whatsoever, with no accountability, nobody with three and four —
CALLER: Fiscal responsibility, this president —
RUSH: You don’t care about that, you don’t care, but, boy, let some guy in the private sector get rich and you are loaded for bear and want to bring back the Soviet Union to deal with them. What in the hell is wrong with you people?
CALLER: For goodness sakes — no, Rush, you’re dropping off the deep end, nobody is trying to bring communism or socialism to the United States.
RUSH: No, we’re trying to get rid of it.
RUSH: We’re trying to get rid of socialism. You people may not realize it, but you want more — any time you want the government to get big, you want the government to grow and grow, at the expense of economic freedom, market sector freedom —
CALLER: What economic freedom? Social Security, Social Security is a security blanket for people in their old age. That’s what it originally was in place for.
RUSH: Yeah, but you know what it’s become? It’s become their total retirement. It was never intended to be that. This reform plan will help it maybe become that with less strain put on other taxpayers. Why in the world should three workers pay for the benefits of one retiree now, and then two workers pay for the benefits lifetime for a retiree in ten years? Where is it written that that’s fair? Why shouldn’t the retiree pay for his own damn retirement? Why shouldn’t people pay for whatever they need? When I want a tube of toothpaste, why do I have to get somebody else to go buy it? Where is this thinking? Same with Medicare people: They demand more every year; they never say thanks when they get it. Where is this thinking that your neighbors should pay for what you need? I’ll tell you what you do. Go down your street in your neighborhood and tell everybody that lives next door to you down every block, you want them to pay more in taxes for your retirement, and see if they give you any money. You know they won’t. So you’ll go to some politician group in Washington and you’ll demand they raise their taxes for them so that you can get your retirement paid for by somebody else. Where did this get written? This plan has become so bastardized from its origin that it’s not recognizable now, and precisely because it’s hard to fix this and is going to require hard choices.