RUSH: Sam in Dayton, Ohio, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Family dittos, Rush. I had a question. In light of the New Orleans standards of giving, I was wondering how many more disasters can the United States endure and their aid and comfort to the victims down there?
RUSH: Let me ask you the same question: How many more do you think we can afford?
CALLER: I’m hearing in the press, of course, all the mayors of big cities reevaluating their disaster plans, and it’s quite daunting what the potentials are.
RUSH: You know what I’m surprised I haven’t heard yet? And I’m going to make a prediction. I’m going to make a prediction that we will soon hear it. Look it, I have not been in full attention mode over the weekend because of my debilitating illness. I’m fighting through it to be here today for you, but I must confess, I didn’t want to feel any worse over the weekend watching the news. So this may have already happened. I’ll ask you, Sam. Has anybody heard of anybody saying something along the lines of this: “Well, you know, the average benefit to the victims’ families in the World Trade Center was $1.9 million, and in that light, the victims of New Orleans really aren’t getting very much at all.” Has anybody heard that said yet? Have you heard that, Sam?
CALLER: No, I have not.
RUSH: Well, keep your ears open, pal, because it isn’t going to be long. It’s not going to be long before somebody says it. It’s going to be the media. It’s going to be an activist. It’s going to be somebody, after some time goes by, who says, “Wait a minute! Two-hundred? It’s a lot of money, but how much per capita is it? It’s still far less than what the families of the World Trade Center,” and then they’re going to say, “Yeah, most of them were white in the World Trade Center. Bush is pulling a fast one here. Bush couldn’t wait to throw millions at the victims’ families at 9/11, but look at what New Orleans victims are getting. It’s nothing in comparison.” Mark my words. I make the prediction on September 19th at 1:41:30 in the afternoon, and we’ll keep a sharp eye on this.
As to the answer to the question, folks, maybe it is the fact that I am delirious with the fever here, but when you ask me, “Can we afford to rebuild?” Yes! We’re America! We can afford to do anything! We’re the United States of America, and we’re going to do what’s necessary. If it’s disaster here or disaster anywhere, yes! We’re going to do it. We can afford it. We can print money, for crying out loud! We’re the United States government. We can print money. Yes, we’re going to do it. You know, it’s time to get a grip here, folks. It’s time to get a grip. It’s one thing to talking about spending restraint during normal times, we know how hard that is. You think there’s going to be spending restraint which politicians have a chance to earn gold stars in a disaster aftermath? Does anybody really think that the politicians that come up and start talking about budget cuts so that we don’t spend as much on the recovery is going to get anywhere? The politicians that are talking about budget cuts — and, by the way, they’re out there, and they’re good.
They’re following The Limbaugh Plan, so that this makes some fiscal sense. There’s no reason to have to raise taxes to do this. When you look at all the reports of the fraud that exists in the funding that’s gone on in New Orleans in the last 50 years, you know there’s fraud and waste in every line of the federal budget. In every line of the federal government there is waste and there is fraud. We know it. Intellectually we know it. You and I, the citizens of this country, we know it. What we don’t know is that the people who spend it will admit it and then go get it. You know, I don’t think people stop to think what the federal budget is. Is it over two trillion now? It’s $2.6 trillion! Folks, do you have any idea how much money that is? For the idea to be that there’s no fat in this budget, and that there’s no waste, and that there’s no fraud. We know just from looking back for ten years to Louisiana how much fraud and waste there has been in that little budget alone. We know how much fraud and waste there’s been in the redundant programs, we know the food stamp program, for crying out loud, advertises at the end of every budget year because they don’t have enough takers and they have to advertise for more food stamp takers to make sure their budget isn’t cut next year. We know damn well that there’s money all over this country that is being spent on things that have no intention of it being spent. It’s fraud; it’s waste. Of course we can afford it, $2.6 trillion, for crying out loud, does anybody have any idea how much money that is? No! Nobody can possibly imagine it. That’s why you don’t know. We all just assumed that’s what it takes to run the country.
It always amazes me: every budget year, Democrats whine and moan about budget cuts. There aren’t ever any budget cuts! Zilch, zero, nada. No budget cuts! Two years ago the budget was $1.9 trillion. It’s today $2.6 trillion. Simple addition says that that’s $300 billion less, that another trillion has been spent just in the last two years, and yet everybody runs around talks about all these ‘cuts’ that have taken place. There are no cuts. There never are any cuts. (sigh) To the extent that there are ‘cuts,’ it’s reductions in the rate of growth. We don’t spend as much as was budgeted. We always spend more. I don’t care what it is. We’re spending more on sea turtle research. It’s asinine, these kinds of things. We’re spending money on bridges to nowhere in Alaska. (Sorry, Alaska, I know it’s a sensitive subject. I got e-mails when I mentioned it last week.) But bottom line is: we can afford it. Don’t anybody tell me we can’t afford it from a host of perspectives. We are the United States, and if we have to we will print the money to afford it. I’m not saying that’s a good idea, but we will afford it. It will be paid for. This is why if we’re going to get a handle on any of this. This is a golden opportunity to demonstrate how money can be wisely, well spent for the first time in 60 years, in this type of a disaster rebuilding effort. I continue to see it as an opportunity, but I’m not part of the doom-and-gloom crowd that says, ‘Oh, if another disaster happens, can we afford it? If there’s another terrorist attack, can we afford it.’ We will afford it. This is not Zimbabwe. This is not Saudi Arabia. This is not whatever country you want to mention. We will afford it. We will spend it. It’s just a fact of life. That’s our history. We will rebuild our country. We will do what’s necessary to get it done. But in this instance, we have a golden opportunity here to demonstrate how it can be done in a way that takes people off the federal assistance rolls. It’s not going to be easy and I don’t mean to paint a picture of a panacea, but the opportunity exists.