RUSH: The big news, of course, ladies and gentlemen, continues to be the battle being waged in the Senate over illegal immigration. Major, major, major progress. ‘Heeding conservative demands to shore up the southern US border to prevent illegal immigrants from freely crossing into the country, the Senate voted yesterday…’ We got the news of this right at the end of yesterday’s program. As soon as the program was over, I saw the story. They’re going to build a 370-mile fence, triple layered. The vote was 83-16, including the votes of Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Rodham. They voted. They were among the 83 to add the fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers along the southern border.
‘Construction of the barrier would send a signal that open border days are over. Good fences make good neighbors. Fences don’t make bad neighbors,’ said senator Jeff Sessions. Dick Durbin said a lot of stupid things. Among them, ‘What we have here has become a symbol for the right wing in American politics. Our relationship with Mexico would come down to a barrier between our two countries.’ We have other comments from Durbin as well. Now, the story also has this little paragraph. ‘Earlier in the day, the Senate unanimously approved an amendment that says legal or illegal immigrants who are convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors unrelated to their residency status will be deported immediately. Those convicted will be permanently barred from the guest worker program or any chance of getting on a path to U.S. citizenship.’
Now, what is this? We need an amendment requiring the deportation of alien felons? ‘Rush, aren’t you willing to take what you can get here? Good news on the fence.’ Folks, we’re moving the chains here. The ground is being covered at a rapid pace; still a long way to go on this, but this is patently absurd. Isn’t that already a law, for crying out loud? How many times are we going to rewrite laws? How many redundant laws are we going to have in this country? It’s amazing. I guess we have to write new laws because we don’t much mind people violating current laws. What’s going to happen when they just ignore all the new ones?
You know, without some serious enforcement mechanisms in here, there’s no reason for anybody to obey the law. Now, my question is, could we deport rogue senators? If they happen to get in some… Never mind. I don’t even want to go there. They’ll be able to get back in and haunt us, jump the fence or what have you. Now, a couple things here to illustrate the point that we are in the process of moving the chains and winning. There are two interesting columns today. David Brooks in the New York Times — the man whose work I have often cited and praised; I don’t think I’ve ever been critical of Mr. Brooks — and also a piece by the Creators Syndicate, Alan Reynolds, a man I also respect, his work, particularly in economics, has been highly instructive for me. But these two pieces put together, I want to analyze them for you, the piece is found on Townhall. Let me start with Alan Reynolds first.
He says: ‘I’m not a big talk show fan, but I happened to catch Rush Limbaugh interviewing Vice President Cheney about the recent presidential address on immigration.’ Now, I’m not a big talk show fan? Why did he throw that in there for? Well, because you can’t have people thinking that these people inside-the-Beltway and part of GOP elite actually listen to talk radio. It had to be an accident. ‘Limbaugh’s key statement or question was this: ‘The compromise bill we’re being told is Hagel-Martinez, two Republicans proposing this bill. Robert Rector at Heritage and (Alabama Republican) Sen. Sessions, who I know you respect, both did joint analyses of this bill, and what they project using conservative estimates is anywhere from, over the next 20 years, 110 million to 217 million legal immigrants entering the country, and illegals as part of that number, being granted legal status.
”What is the public policy purpose for doing that in these kinds of numbers?’ Vice President Cheney appeared unaware of these ‘conservative estimates,’ so he asked, ‘These are people who would attain legal status?’ Rush answered: ‘No, this is a combination of both. This is an increase in the number of legal immigrants, as well as added to illegals who would then be made legal over that 20-year time frame. It also allows for exponential growth because these people would be allowed to bring in their family members, as well.’
Mr. Reynolds then says, ‘Rush is a very smart fellow, and his comments on economic issues normally range from astute to brilliant. But these numbers are not ‘just striking,’ they are patently absurd,’ the 117 to 217 million over the next 20 years. He said the numbers are just ‘patently absurd. Regardless whether the bill in question (S.2611) is better or worse than other immigration bills, to suggest it would, could or even might permit legal immigration to average between 5.1 million and 10.9 million per year is nothing more than a cheap parlor trick.’
All right, those three paragraphs, they stand alone. I’m not going to spend a lot of time analyzing them, but ‘very smart fellow…comments on economic issues normally range from astute to brilliant,’ but the fact that I bought into these numbers, gotta question my sanity now or my intelligence, because this is just not possible. Mr. Reynolds then says, ‘The larger estimate of 217 million legal immigrants by 2026 implies that annual legal immigration under S.2611 would be almost 12 times larger than its current rate of about 950,000 a year (plus at least 400,000 illegal immigrants).’ He says that, ‘Nobody could possibly believe legal immigration is suddenly going to jump from about 1 million a year to nearly 11 million, so the 20-year average of 10.9 legal immigrants per year necessarily requires annual immigration much larger than 10.9 million in the future — larger, in fact, than 25 million a year.
‘If the idea of Congress allowing 25 million legal immigrants per year is starting to sound unbelievable, that is because it is. The trick involved is aptly called ‘the magic of compound interest.’ The original version of S.2611 would have allowed the number of temporary guest workers (initially set at 325,000 a year) to increase by as much as 20 percent in any given year, but that was a ceiling, not a norm. Congress could also reduce the number. The bill’s sponsors have, in fact, reduced the proposed number of temporary six-year work visas to 200,000 (only about half the number of uninvited guests). When people talk about illegal workers ‘moving to the back of the line,’ that would be the length of the line (which is currently almost non-existent).’
Now, a couple of points on this. Mr. Reynolds is striking here at the high side estimate, the 117 to 217 million illegal immigrants and ignoring completely the low side or even conservative estimate of between 80 and 90 million under the original bill. Now, I don’t know how many of you have been involved in negotiations, but the idea that you might suggest in a bill — and, by the way, these numbers were not specified. They had to be analyzed. If this bill were enacted, signed into law, and every provision of it carried out, that is what would happen. Not to say it was the design. Of course, the people that wrote the bill knew it was going to be analyzed that way, and you have a number like 217 million, well, it’s absurd. So you reduce it.
Okay, fine. Sessions got them to reduce it a couple days ago, and now the range is 60 to 90 million. Well, that’s still an incredibly high figure, and yet it’s being portrayed as a “victory.” It’s a typical negotiation ploy. Everybody has throwaways in them. So “the magic,” as Mr. Reynolds puts it, isn’t “compound interest.” It’s extended family. The bill not only hugely increased legal immigration, but it expanded the number and kinds of family members who would qualify for legal status as well. Now I would imagine, folks, that back in 1986, the last time we did this, when less than three million illegal immigrants were granted amnesty, it would have been unbelievable to think that at least four times as many illegal aliens would come to the country in 20 years, but that’s exactly what happened.
You know, we legalized a little over three million in 1986, granted them amnesty, said, “All right, fine. We’re going to fix the problem. Now the number is up to 12, some people say 20, million. It can’t happen? It did! It did happen. That’s precisely what happened. Not to mention the millions more legal immigrants who have also emigrated here. Now, that takes me to Mr. Reynold’s other point, which has nothing to do with analyzing the economic or demographic consequences of this bill. He asserts in this piece that Congress wouldn’t allow such growth in immigration. Well, I’m sorry. The evidence is otherwise. The last 20 years. Why do you think we’re at this point now? It’s because of what has happened the last 20 years. Who’s to say it can’t happen again?
It’s easier to believe that something that has happened can happen again, isn’t it? Congress just voted to reduce the cap on legal immigrants. That’s true. So now the estimate appears to be anywhere from 60 to 90 million over 20 years. Fine. Okay, a big victory, down from 217 to 90. Whew. We can all breathe easier. But, successive Congresses and presidents have in fact done little to stem the tide of legal and illegal immigration into the country for decades, which is why we are where we are today. The historical evidence proves Mr. Reynolds wrong. What has happened could very easily happen again, and if it’s in the bill, and if it thus is possible, it still is worthy of calling attention to it.
“By assuming that…” Now, this is Mr. Reynolds again. “By assuming (or pretending) that Congress would always permit the number of guest workers to increase by the maximum allowable percentage, year after year without end, the original 325,000 per year would approach 1.7 million a year within a decade and 10.4 million a year by 2026. But why stop there? If this calculation made any sense, the United States would supposedly be importing 54.6 million guest workers in the year 2036, then 65.5 million in the following year and 78.6 million the year after that. Each time 20 percent is added, it becomes part of the base so that the next time the 20 percent is applied to a larger amount.”
Again, this is deft, but it’s silly. The only reason that 20-year analyses of this bill are being done is because about every 20 years Congress and the president seem to act on this issue. It takes 20 years for it to effervesce up, to bubble up to where people get roiled about it, so that’s why a 20-year analysis. It was not a figure picked out of the air, and it was not a figure used to create panic. It was a figure that is historically accurate. Every 20 years we do something about this. Mr. Reynolds says that we wouldn’t welcome millions of spouses and children and parents into our country, but that’s exactly what the bill would do as it’s written.
Why deny it? It’s in plain English. I mean, what sense is it in writing a new law, a new bill, “Ah, it will never happen.” Well, it can if it’s written that way. The warning bells were simply sounded, and guess what? It worked. The 217’s now down to between 60 and 90 million, and of course there’s nothing that says that future presidents and Congresses can’t go back and change this however way they want to or ignore it or what have you. But I suspect, folks, that… Well, I don’t want to speculate too much on this, but it just seems the manner in which the piece opens and the substance of the piece, I’m not sure that somebody didn’t ask Mr. Reynolds to write this in order to counter these numbers out there, especially since the vice president was involved and didn’t know of these numbers.
RUSH: My friends, we are winning. I want to add one more thing to Alan Reynolds’ piece from which I just quoted. Once a law like this is passed and you know this to be true, those of you who follow these kind of things, legal rights will inure to those who benefit from it, and that always ends up being litigated. Furthermore, the political and demographic situation changes drastically, making reversing course almost impossible which is what we’re experiencing right now with all this silliness. The reason that we’re having a national argument about this is because we fixed this in ’86 but we didn’t fix it, and now we’ve gotten to a point where they say there’s nothing we can do. Well, we don’t want to go through this again.
Nothing we can do. It’s exactly right. Once you get to a point where the problem is too big to solve, it’s in a way synonymous with Senator Moynihan, “defining deviancy down.” Once you decide you can’t stop certain kinds of crime, you just stop and say, “Well, it’s normal behavior now. Well, we’ve got 11 to 12 million, and we can’t deport them. Rush, the horses are out of the barn. We can’t deport these people. We gotta find a way to make ’em legal.” Well, we don’t want this to happen again. If we’re going to fix it, we’re going to fix it, and when you get a bill like this that has this wide open possibility for these massive numbers, you have to deal with it as it’s written.
Nobody knows, trying to determine the intent of Congress; the intent of Congress is what’s in the stupid bill. “Well, it’s absurd to think those numbers would ever be real.” Well, why were they put in there? This program, we don’t try to read the minds of these people. We deal with what they actually say and do. I learned you can’t read minds a long time ago, in a number of different ways. The Reynolds piece sort of is emotional, but it’s not very analytical. He’s not up to his usual stuff. Remember, he’s a brilliant economist. He’s got a tremendous pedigree and r?sum?. It’s one of the reasons why I’m not sure this whole thing was his idea.
I could be dead wrong about that, but nevertheless, that’s neither here nor there. (interruption) What do you mean? I’m not going to say who I think put him up to it. I’m not going to start throwing accusations around. I’m going to keep some things to myself, Snerdley. Well, that’s the interesting thing. Snerdley says, “Why not? They accuse you of things.” That’s what’s interesting about this. I’ve not attacked Alan Reynolds ever and I certainly haven’t attacked Brooks, and yet today, this week… See, these things don’t happen by accident. All of a sudden I’m the bad guy here, and talk radio. It’s not just me, although we all know that I am talk radio.
Now, I’m sitting here. I’m just doing what I always do — speaking truth to kooks, and putting all this in proper perspective, and doing a deep analysis of all this stuff — and all of a sudden now the slings and arrows are coming at me. Folks, I have learned over the course of my sterling career that when that happens, it means I’m winning. It means we’re winning. I mean, they savaged me over tax cuts. “Why, it’s heartless, cold-hearted! Limbaugh doesn’t care. He’s sidling up to the rich.” Same thing with welfare reform, any number of issues. When they start — I don’t care who, either the GOP elite, inside the Beltway, or the libs, whenever they start — attacking like this, it means we’re winning. Otherwise they would ignore us.
And there’s a little frustration, too, folks, because these inside the Beltway types, I’ll tell you what this reminds me of. I’ve told you about this. I used to go to these country club blue-blood Republican dinner parties out in the Hamptons in the nineties, and all of these rich Republican contributors would come up to me, “You gotta stop those Christians on abortion! They’re going to wreck the party!”
I said, “What are you talking to me for?”
“They listen to you!”
“Well, you can’t get by without them. If you want to be a winner as a Republican, you better find a way to co-exist with those people because they are not the enemy. The Democrats are your enemy.”
Well, a lot of these guys’ wives were just henpecking them to death over this about abortion, but look at where it’s ended up. The bottom line is abortion didn’t wreck the Republican Party. Abortion helped define what has come to be known as values voters, and abortion is now losing in the arena of ideas. It’s now a minority who favor it. It’s under 50%. So these blue-bloods and country clubs are out of touch and they resent the fact that they don’t have the power that talk radio and other town hall forums do.
All right, a couple relevant paragraphs from David Brooks’ piece. “What bothers you about the restrictionists…” Okay, that’s me and you, and I think they even include Mark Levin in this piece. “What bothers you about the restrictionists is not that they are primitives or racists.” Thank you, Mr. Brooks! “They’re not. It’s their imperviousness, their unwillingness to compromise. They don’t have the numbers to govern, but they think they have the numbers to destroy.” Uh, and then there’s this: “They trumpet the studies indicating that immigration decreases wages, but ignore the ones that show it stimulates wages and growth.
“They mention the strains first-generation immigrants put on social services, but ignore the evidence that immigrants’ children are so productive they more than compensate for the cost. They talk about the criminal immigrants, but look past the vast majority who are religious and family-centered.” Now, that is a straw dog. We don’t ignore any of this. I don’t say that they’re all criminals. I don’t deny that many of them have faith. I don’t even put ’em down, period. You know, this is one example of how this has gotten out of hand. People seem to forget the word “illegal” is in front of the word “immigrant,” and also I have said, I don’t even think this is about “immigration.”
I think it’s just some people seeking a better life and wanting a job in this country. They’re not assimilating. We’re not even debating this in the proper context. But I’ll tell you, I do reject the false arguments about the net financial benefit, re: the public service costs. All you gotta do at look at Prop 187. All you have to do is look at Arizona. You can look at a number of places that have been infested here with an illegal immigrant wave or population, and you tell me that there’s a net benefit to their arrival when it comes to propping up the social safety net — I’m going to reject that right off the bat. Now, this first little line, “They don’t have the numbers to govern,” you and me, the leaders of the insurgency here in America. Yeah, outside the Beltway we’re an insurgency. Inside the Beltway, the best and the brightest, you know, going to make sure the country heads down the right track. We are too clueless, unsophisticated and uneducated to have the slightest idea what we’re even talking about and we’re dangerous because so many of you are stupid, too, that when you believe people like me, why, we’ve got a major problem in the country. But then Mr. Brooks comforts himself with the notion that, quote, “They don’t have the numbers to govern, but they think they have the numbers to destroy.” I’m not trying to govern anything nor am I trying to destroy anything.
This is an upbeat, positive, optimistic program. Love of country, doing the right thing, that’s what we focus on here as often as possible. Destroy? What are we trying to destroy? Has Mr. Brooks forgotten there’s a whole political party that is bent on destroying this administration and this country’s national security? And yet the big enemy today is people like me and you? They don’t have the numbers to govern but they think they have the numbers to destroy? It reminds me what Fred Barnes said, who’s also part of this inside-the-Beltway cabal, on Brit Hume’s show on Tuesday night, said Limbaugh and his crowd at the end of the day don’t have any votes, so it doesn’t matter. Don’t have any votes. The way of treating us as inconsequential.
I guess they misunderstand the motive of the problem. We’re not trying to affect any outcome. Just trying to create as many informed people as possible. We’re doing a radio program here. I guess the editors at the Weekly Standard and one or two conservative writers for the New York Times, though, I guess they do have a lot of votes, and of course they have the pulse of the nation and the movement, they understand what’s going on? They have votes? Of course they think they do include White House policy, and they might, and, in fact, if they do that might be one explanation why Bush is in such deep doo-doo with the GOP base, because he’s getting a bunch of advice from people to whom the rest of the country is a mystery.
These are the country club types. If they’re not country club they hang close enough around them. I don’t know how in touch they are. Standing by all this is a recipe for disaster down the road, 20 years ago versus where we are today. Imagine it getting even worse. How many votes can Fred Barnes or David Brooks bring to the table? How many votes can I bring to the table? I could ask them how many politicians, you know, ask them to write favorable pieces about them before an election. I could tell you how many of them call here and want to get on this show. They don’t get on because we don’t have guests.
When it comes to measuring the views of the base, people like you, they dismiss you and programs like this. I really think it’s because there’s a — I don’t know — fear or a little bit of an anger out there at the influence programs like this do have, versus, you know, what people who write columns inside the Beltway have. It’s always been this way, folks, there’s nothing new about it. It’s just interesting to see this erupting now on the right side of the center aisle. But it just means we’re winning, and that’s what all these attacks mean. I guess Mr. Brooks and some in his circle seem concerned about how I, quote, unquote, am leading the grassroots in the wrong direction and how the elites are marching on regardless, and when I say don’t have any votes, that really doesn’t matter, but Barnes accused me of being ‘anti-immigrant.’ There’s been no such statement out of my mouth ever. I thought these people were more informed and a little bit more up to speed on what actually happens here. At any rate, let me grab a couple phone calls here before we go to the break. Raymond outside of San Francisco. Welcome to the program, sir, nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Semper fi dittos, sir. I salute your intellect.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Appreciate that.
CALLER: You know, these papers that were written, he’s trying to base it on this is your policy position because you’re a Republican, not on your intellectual dissemination of the facts and that’s what these people inside the Beltway don’t get. Your program does not brainwash; it informs us, and then we come to an intellectual, well-thought-out position based on those facts, and the fact is that this nation will be overrun with immigrants just by, whatever, we wave our magic wand and make everybody legal.
RUSH: Well, I don’t know about “overrun,” but I mean the possibility clearly exists. If those numbers happened it would be overrun.
CALLER: Oh, absolutely.
RUSH: But, you know, you touched on something very important. A lot of people use the word brainwashing, and after 18 years, it’s amazing to still run into this, that people think that you people in this audience are a bunch of absolute idiots, mind-numbed robots, and you get your marching orders on this show. What they don’t understand… I guess now this would include people on the right in certain parts of the country. What they don’t get is that I don’t brainwash anybody, and I’m nobody’s Svengali. I validate what you already think in some cases, and there are huge numbers of people out there that fall into this category, and those numbers are frightening.
To diminish the numbers, the constitution of those numbers has to be made up of nitwits and gullible, easily-led fools, and of course this represents a grave threat because that means demagogues can rule, and it’s all rooted in — especially when the criticism is dishonest. You have to say things, the right things that have been said on this program that have not been said ever, than it indicates there’s a little resentment, fear, maybe some jealousy, and the desire to discredit is simply an indication, as I said at the top of the program, that we’re winning on this, and they’re frustrated by it. Maria in Del Rey Beach, Florida, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Hi, Rush, delighted to talk with you. I work in the medical community, and I tell you, it doesn’t take very, you know, a rocket scientist to figure this one out. All you gotta do is know when you go in the hospital and you pay 30 dollars for one aspirin or you pay your insurance for your health care, you’re paying for every illegal immigrant that needs medical care, and many other things. It’s a cycle that’s happening that attacks us in other ways because the hospitals and the physicians aren’t making enough money because a lot of this is going into, you know, freebies at the ER and all of that. And then they’re forced to start hiring employees that don’t speak English that bring down the medical community even more. It’s a complete nightmare.
RUSH: You know. Do you know there are 11 hospital emergency rooms that have shut down in southern California simply —
CALLER: And it’s happening here, too, Rush, in Palm Beach County. It’s not very far away.
RUSH: I know. People are showing up, have no ability to pay, everybody else has to pay, and if outside people refuse to pay and don’t, then there’s no revenue coming in and, bammo! You’ve lost seven emergency rooms in southern California.
CALLER: Exactly. So it has an enormous impact.
RUSH: Yeah, I know. It does. I’m trying to imagine the other side of this. I don’t mind trying to find virtue in people wanting to improve their lives and come to this country and do so. I’m not opposed that happening. But the easiness and the willingness to ignore certain realities about who, and the numbers, and the word illegal — that’s what’s striking to me. I’m having a tough time understanding what it is they don’t see about this that I do. I guess it’s because they think that views that you and I have are rooted in some sort of bigotry.
Well, they said it wasn’t bigotry or racism. I don’t know what it is. (interruption) Heartlessness and it’s not compassionate? Is that right? That’s right. They have families, they have children, they’re trying to improve their lives, and immigration is what’s made America great. Well, this isn’t immigration. This is a job quest. There is so little assimilation going on. I told you the story the other day of a friend of mine. I was out in LA. I was out at a well known golf club, and I played a round with the pro who was from Minnesota, and you can’t go out there and escape this issue.
The only way you can go out there and not talk about this is get involved in the entertainment community with some brain dead person that has no clue that John McCain is alive. That’s the only way you can escape it, and so I’m talking to this golfer and he said, “You know, we moved out here to Minnesota three years ago. I went to the DMV, had to get my driver’s license switched over to California. So I talked to the guy, chatted him up for about a minute or two just getting to know him and asking him about policies, and we got down to business and he said, ‘What language would you like to take the test in?’ What language? I’ve just been talking to you in English for two minutes. ‘I have to ask, sir.'” Has to ask. What language do you want to take the test in?
It’s a little bit of an illustration of the point that assimilation and acculturation are not really a focus of any of this, and let’s be honest, folks, let’s not leave the politics out. Let’s stick inside the Beltway. We know damn well that as far as the Democratic Party is concerned, these people represent nothing but voters and future victims. The Democratic Party doesn’t want these people to become prosperous. That would be the worst thing that could happen to them; they become prosperous, rich Republicans, beneficiaries of tax cuts.
No, the Democrats want these people to remain downtrodden, poor, uneducated. That’s the Democrat base! They need victims. This economy’s doing so well that they’re running out of victims. So this wave of illegal immigrants represents a great new source of votes. They’re out there recruiting in these marches, for crying out loud, and then you look at the marches and you look at who’s sponsoring, you find a bunch of anti-American, you know, pro-Marxist bunch of people. Then you hear Ted Kennedy talk about this, the new civil rights movement. This is not about immigration, let’s face it, and, frankly, some of the Republicans, Shelby Steele has it exactly right. This is nothing but guilt. ‘Why, they’re poor people, they have families, and we’re the rich, powerful United States, and we’re only 5% of the population, but we’re raping the world, 25% of its resources. No wonder they want to come here because this is where everything is because we’ve stolen it. We can’t be mean to the…’ blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
So the Republicans, they don’t want to be seen as cold-hearted and cruel or any of this sort of stuff, so they run along and get into this thinking this new wave of people are going to think, hey, the Republicans are pretty nice, maybe we can vote for them. We get into this competition of the Republicans trying to out-Democrat Democrats so we’ve got this newfangled, asinine immigration bill.
RUSH: I’ve been waiting for the environmentalist wackos to take a position on all this illegal immigration, and they’re strangely silent. Now, the environmentalist wackos of course blame us, they blame the United States for practically everything. They also blame us for global warming. They blame us for pollution. They blame us for fossil fuels. We’ve raped the world’s resources. We’re only 5% of the population and so forth. Now, you would think that if they were consistent, they would be alarmed at this wave of millions and millions and millions of new people coming into this country.
Wouldn’t you think that the more immigrants we allow in, the more air we’re going to pollute, and the more trees that we’re going to need to cut down, the more gasoline that we’re going to burn? It would seem to me that the environmentalist wackos would have dire threats and be making dire threats and telling us of extreme consequences of this. But you don’t hear anything at all. If the Kyoto treaty, the Kyoto whatever, the protocol, if it were intellectually honest, you’d end up blaming much of Mexico for our pollution, given their theories. More people, the more population, and the more technological advancement, the more people living a better life, I mean that’s their theory, the worse the global environmental situation is.
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