RUSH: Ron in Athens, Georgia, I’m glad you called and glad you waited. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program.
CALLER: Rush, it’s great to talk to you. Can you hear me all right?
RUSH: Yeah, I hear you fine.
CALLER: All right. Great.
RUSH: (shouting) What, are you on some kind of a cell phone out there driving around?
CALLER: What’s that?
RUSH: You’re on a cell phone? You can’t hear me and I can year you. You’re on a cell phone, right?
CALLER: Yeah. Actually, I’m on a Bluetooth so my son can listen inside in the truck, because he’s a big fan of yours.
RUSH: Well, Bluetooth works here. We handle all technologies.
CALLER: (laughs) I want to say, small business, pizza making, large family dittos from a guy who got his start because he listened to you too much.
RUSH: Well, thank you. I appreciate that and I understand. (Laughing.)
CALLER: This minimum wage thing has been bothering me for a long time, and I haven’t given a dime to the Republican Party for over ten years because they can’t get their economic stuff together, and I just heard today this minimum wage thing has been going around and the Democrats of course, that was part of their theme in the 2006 elections, but President Bush — I just heard a sound bite at the half hour where he — said he could support raising the minimum wage two dollars over the period of two years but he hopes — or doesn’t want it to hurt small businesses, and I thought, “That’s like telling somebody, I want to eat as much chocolate as I can, but I want to lose weight,” and I wanted to get your thoughts on that.
RUSH: I’m glad you called. We have been talking about this minimum wage for the longest time. I had a story, must have been the Los Angeles Times or somewhere, was a California story on the minimum wage out there is going up higher than the federal minimum wage is slated to increase in January, and they went out and they talked to a bunch of small business owners — dry cleaners and doughnut shop owners and this sort of stuff — and they said, “Hey, we’re going to have to raise prices. We’re going to have to raise prices,” and the small business owner said, “I’m afraid my customers aren’t going to understand that,” and I agree, because most of them are idiots. They’re not going to understand. They think, “Well, just cut back expenses! Cut back on some of the luxuries that you business owners no doubt have,” and so forth. People don’t understand the economics of this stuff.
As far as Bush, I heard him, too, in the press conference today. He said he “supports a Democrat proposal to increase the minimum wage, said it should be coupled with tax and regulatory relief for small business.” Let me tell you, if he gets that with a Democrat-controlled Congress, I will be surprised. Here’s the sad thing about this, Ron. There’s no other way to put this. I think this is happening in global warming, too. I saw a story today by Patrick Michaels in the American Spectator that made me start thinking of this. We have lost, as conservatives, the minimum wage argument, and we lost it for a simple reason: not because we’re wrong, but because we argued it in an almost scholarly and pure economics way, whereas the left says, “We need people to be able to feed their families! We need for people to be able to eat! We need something that’s fair. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and what is a measly dollar an hour?” and the average American says, (weeping), “Oh-aw-aw! How can my country be so cruel to deny these people at least a halfway decent wage?” Meanwhile, we’re out there saying, “Well, no. If you do that you’re going to actually end up losing jobs.” You lose ’em. It’s the same way we lost the Social Security reform argument. It was primarily a marketing, framing mistaken — and the same thing’s happening in global warming, by the way, which I will ‘splain as the program unfolds before your very eyes and ears. But we lost the argument on this. We’ve lost the American people. Bush is for a minimum wage; the Republicans in the House last year before the November elections were for it. People get what they want in this country.