RUSH: Norman in Detroit, you’re next. Glad you waited. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I wondered if you had read about Bush’s plans to raise the tax on Social Security.
RUSH: I have read that plan, yes. I’m a little upset about it but I’ve got some more to say about it. What’s your problem with it?
CALLER: I’m concerned about this. It almost seems like a trend of a policy shift change after his inauguration. I mean first he’s threatened his first veto to be to protect the spending bill that is going to cost more than what it originally was projected to cost, and now he’s talking about raising taxes on the upper-middle class and upper class to pay for Social Security, and I’m wondering if we should be concerned about this trend. Do you think it’s going to continue?
RUSH: Well, first off, I’m not yet willing to concede that there is a trend here. I’d like to read to you the story from the Associated Press, written by our old friend Laura Meckler, and the first line of the story is this: “President Bush is not ruling out raising taxes on people that earn more than $90,000 as a way to help fix Soc[he] Security’s finances. At the same time, he renewed his pitch Wednesday for Congress to approve an overhaul that would include Social Security private accounts for many workers. He told 2,000 people at an airport terminal in New Hampshire that rich and poor alike should have a chance to invest in the stock market.”
This $90,000, that’s not an accidental figure. It happens to be what the current ceiling is on Social Security taxes withheld from income. Right now once you make more than 90 grand a year your Social Security taxes end, and this is just another way of saying he’s for increasing the ceiling or raising the ceiling on this, but he didn’t say that. He said he’s “not ruling it out,” and this is a key thing. There is no definitive plan yet.
And I don’t like, I don’t like raising payroll taxes. I don’t like raising taxes, period. I don’t ever support it, especially with the notion that those who are more able to pay it ought to be the ones to pay it. But what’s happening here, remember: This is a battle. If you go inside the Beltway, the intelligentsia there says, “This is dead on arrival. There’s no way.” When he puts on the table that he might be open to it, he brings in Democrat support. The Democrats probably had somewhere in Washington a bunch of orgasms when they read this, because that’s what tax increases do to them. The Democrats literally have orgasms over tax increases more than sex. They are for tax increases. They love ’em. When Bush said this, I guarantee you they went, “Ahhhh!” Press likes it, too. What am I saying? Liberals, press, wherever you can find ’em. And so the argument remains how to fix it, not whether it needs to be fixed, and that’s key. If he can move the Democrats off of their plan — It doesn’t need to be fixed — he’s winning. He’s putting it in the right direction. That’s what this little move did. I like it so far.
Let expound a little bit on the president not ruling out raising taxes to help out with the Social Security problem. Up till now, the Democrats’ position has been: “No way. There’s no crisis. We don’t need to fix it,” even though we can go back to 1999 and we have the tapes here if we want to play them of every Democrat today saying, “There’s no crisis,” in 1999 saying there was. We can do that all day long. But they’re obstinate. There’s maybe two Democrats, Ben Nelson from Nebraska is one. Only two Democrats in the Senate have given any indication here of supporting the president.
So, remember what’s going on here. In addition to all these various issues, the president and the mad scientist genius Karl Rove also had as one of their agenda items the utter destruction of the Democrat Party. Ha-ha-ha-ha. Now, what better way to do that than to force these people to come out boldly and loudly for what they are for? And so Bush doesn’t rule out raising taxes. Now, what is that like? That’s like when you were in high school and you hear the rumor about Spanish fly, big aphrodisiac? Tax increases to Democrats are like a lifetime prescription to Viagra. You know, folks, I don’t know, it’s a magnet. It will draw these people out. What we want is as many Democrats as possible eagerly and loudly and boldly endorsing tax increases. We want that! “But, Rush! But, Rush! What if it happens?” Ah, I’m not going to conclude here that the president’s actually going to do this. But one thing that this does…
The two things that this does, number one, it changes the focus from, “This can’t be done,” to, “Oh, okay you’re willing to raise taxes? Well, we’ll talk.” So now we’re talking about how to fix it rather than, “It doesn’t need to be fixed. There’s no crisis,” and the second thing it does, it flushes these people out and makes them come out boldly on the record for tax increases. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t find in recent histoire where being madly, boldly, loudly in favor of tax increases has helped anybody at the polls. You could ask Walter Mondull about it. I mean Clinton raised taxes, but this was after promising a middle-class tax cut, and after he got in office he said he “never worked harder on anything in his life” but just couldn’t find a way to do it and raised everybody’s taxes. So until we get a definitive program and a set of proposals here from the president, I’m not gonna panic over this. I think in a political sense the move here is pretty good.