RUSH: Working on three hours sleep last night, ladies and gentlemen, so that portends well for the — (laughing) — the usual flippancy and giddiness. You probably are talked-out or listened-out or watched-out by now on the bridge collapse up in Minneapolis. But I, ladies and gentlemen, haven’t said a word about it publicly because I have not had a chance to do so. I was at home on Wednesday night getting ready to leave for my super-secret meeting when the bridge collapse happened. I was getting ready to leave for my super-secret meeting at a faraway place, and I did not have the television on. I got a flash e-mail, ‘Boy, you ought to see what happened in Minneapolis.’ So I turned on the TV, and I saw the pictures. And like everybody, I was stunned. Then you know what I did? I went to kook Democrat websites. For the real story, if you want to find out what really happened and what is really behind all this, that’s where you have to go.
I’m sure the bridge collapse happened a little bit before I found out about it. But four minutes after I was told, I went to the Daily Kos. They’re having their convention, by the way, these netroots people are in Chicago. They want to unionize. (Laughing) I don’t care. These posts were just incredible. ‘We spend billions in Iraq while we fall apart at home.’ ‘We’ve been warned by engineers our nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair and upgrade. Who needs terrorism when the inept GOP runs our nation into the ground?’ ‘No one has the guts to take this on. Every week there’s a new national tragedy. Tainted food, nutcases with whatever,’ it goes on to talk about this is what you get with militarists and corporate people. It’s predictable, and it really is a little sad that a disaster like this becomes immediately partisan. But that’s the nature of our society and culture today. Thursday morning, Tony Snow had to go out and say, (paraphrasing) ‘Look, it’s a state project here, all these investigations, that bridge had been investigated, got 50 out of 120,’ you know all this. The White House had to go out and try to diffuse some of this. I’m glad that they did. First Lady is there today. The president’s going there tomorrow. He didn’t want to go today because they already have a traffic mess. That’s a major artery. When the president goes in someplace, everything gets shut down even more so, so he’s going to go in there tomorrow.
This is one of these classic events that is custom-made for the Drive-By Media. ‘The country is falling apart. Bush spending too much in Iraq. Not paying enough attention to what’s happening at home.’ Meanwhile, all these people complaining about the defense budget taking away money. Do you know that Minnesota was running, it’s either this year or last, a $2.1 billion surplus? These states are running surpluses. Most of these states are awash in money. As I have told you countless times, they have more money than they know what to do with, and they still want to raise your taxes, federal government, too. The state of Minnesota is building a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, rather than fix the bridges. How is that the fault of our being in Iraq? It’s not. The Drive-By Media had hardly taken a breath before they turned the cars around to blame Bush and Republicans in general for the bridge collapse. Senator Patty Murray said that Bush has not supported Democrat efforts to increase spending on critical infrastructure. So they immediately turn this into a ‘let’s increase taxes’ issue. This has to stop. They have enough money. It’s the same thing in New Orleans.
I could get partisan, if I wanted to, but I don’t think there’s anything partisan about this, but I could do a tit-for-tat. I could say, ‘Have you ever noticed that the infrastructure failures in this country are happening in cities run by liberal Democrats?’ New Orleans, Minnesota. I could say that. Well, I guess I just did say that, didn’t I? I could say, ‘Why are they not paying attention to their infrastructure? What is it that they’re not doing?’ We know the circumstances in Katrina, the graft down there, the levees not getting fixed and so forth. The Democrats, ladies and gentlemen, are the only people that care about roads and bridges. The rest of us, we never have to drive on those roads and bridges. It’s only liberal Democrats have to ride on the bridges. By the way, 600,000 bridges in this country, one of them goes down, ‘Country’s falling apart because we’re in Iraq.’ It’s absurd, but it’s a perfect template and a perfect action line for our buddies in the Drive-By Media. In 2005, for all these people saying that we spend too much in the military, the federal budget in 2005 was 2.47 trillion. The defense budget that year was 400 billion. Over 60% of the federal budget is spent on entitlement programs. Good old Soc. Security, good old Medicare, good old Medicaid, good old SCHIP program, with a P. They ought to change it, get the health care for the little children out there. Defense spending as a percentage of the total federal budget has been declining since the 1960s.
Here’s the thing. You can see this in states all over the country. Lots and lots of instances of Democrats screaming for infrastructure spending. All it is, folks, is a bold attempt to divert money to construction unions and developers and others in the trades as payoffs and thank yous for election donations. They scream for it because they’ve spent the money that should have gone on to fix this kind of thing that caused the bridge collapse. Democrat Party politics is all about paying off the people that donate to you, raise money for you, vote for you, and so forth. So when the Democrats are out there demanding all this new investment in infrastructure, they just want to raise taxes so they can pay off their buds in the unions. Now, Nick Coleman at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and I got the story here, says that this collapse of the bridge would never have happened if it wasn’t for the governor, Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, and his refusal to raise taxes. This is in the Minneapolis paper, Star Tribune. The reason this bridge collapsed is because he wouldn’t raise taxes.
Here’s a quote from the story. ‘For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been ‘No New Taxes.’ It’s been popular with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase — the first in 20 years — last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road repair. And yes, it would have fallen…’ Stick with me on this, folks. ‘Yes, it would have fallen even if the gas tax had gone through, because we are years behind a dangerous curve when it comes to the replacement of infrastructure that everyone but wingnuts in coonskin caps agree is one of the basic duties of government.’ What Nick Coleman, the brilliant Nick Coleman, fails to point out here is that there was no need for a tax increase when Pawlenty vetoed the gas tax increase. At the time, when Tim Pawlenty vetoed this five-cent gas tax increase, the state of Minnesota had a $2.1 billion budget surplus. The surplus comes from what? It certainly doesn’t come from government not spending. The surplus comes from overtaxation. That’s the case in almost, not all, but almost every state out there. They’ve got gobs of money, folks.
North Carolina was running a surplus, the Democrats there raised taxes by 9%.’ So what’s happening here, the political agenda is taking over with the collapse of the bridge. The Democrats and the Drive-Bys are trying to scare us into believing that more taxes would have saved these people on that bridge at that moment, and it’s all a GOP governor’s fault for refusing to increase those taxes. The fact of the matter is that the problem was not low taxes. The problem was fiscal irresponsibility. The Democrats spend money like a teenager that gets hold of your gold card, with abandon and little thought to the consequences or effectiveness. I have a list here of pork in just the state of Minnesota. There is a book that lists this stuff for every state. In fact, I think I have it here as a pdf file. I might upload it to the website, if it’s the same thing I’ve got here, but it mirrors what is happening in many, many states. They spend millions for animal exhibits at the zoo, millions for stupid art projects. Every county has a stupid art project, state funds in a number of states. They spend money on so many things, if you stop to think about it — try this. The state bailout of the Minnesota teachers retirement fund, which puts state taxpayers on the hook for $972 million in unfunded liabilities.
This is just a list of pork in Minnesota. A new $776 million Twins stadium to be paid for with a Hennepin County sales tax increase approved by state legislators with no voter referendum, $97.5 million for the Northstar commuter rail line, $34 million in subsidies to ethanol producers that have seen a 300% increase in profits in the last year, and yet they’re still being subsidized, $30 million for bear exhibits at the Minnesota and Como zoos, $12 million to renovate the Shubert Theater in downtown Minneapolis, one million for a replica Vikings ship in Morehead. Other states are building drag racing museums. They run around and say they don’t have enough money to fix the bridges. They don’t have enough money to deal with the infrastructure. The thing is with liberals they’ll never have enough money, no matter how much they raise, no matter how much they increase taxes.
RUSH: We put together some video to illustrate what I was just saying. I’m sure you’ve watched it, I’m sure you’ve seen it, but you haven’t heard it until you hear it as we present it. We have a montage here, we have Craig Crawford of PMSNBC; we have Joe Scarborough; we have a reporter from CNN, Greg Hunter; we have Lou Dobbs; we have Barney ‘My Boy Lollipop’ Frank. We have Jack Cafferty of CNN; we got Bill Tucker at CNN; and we got Senator Amy Klobuchar. This is a montage on how the Iraq war caused the bridge collapse. Now, before we play it I have to tell you, four minutes after I heard the story, for the real story, I went to these fruitcake websites, MoveOn.org, Democrat Underground, and I’m telling you, they were blaming being in Iraq. Now, I don’t know who’s giving marching orders to who, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s these people in the Drive-Bys — because they’re going nuts. All these presidential candidates are at one of these kook website conventions in Chicago. So they may be taking the lead, or else they all think alike and they don’t need a leader. Whatever, listen to this montage of what is responsible for the bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
CRAWFORD: I’ve looked up what it would take to fix the nation’s infrastructure. It’s about $532 billion a year. It just so happens to be about what we’re spending in Iraq.
SCARBOROUGH: Certainly American voters would probably decide it would be wiser to invest in our own aging infrastructure than continuing to throw good money after bad in Iraq.
HUNTER: We’re spending billions of dollars every month in Iraq.
DODD: This administration is trying to convince us to spend $500 billion in Iraq.
FRANK: If we did not have the war in Iraq, with hundreds of billions of dollars, we would be able to do a great deal more.
CAFFERTY: How could the US better spend the $2 billion a week that we’re pouring into Iraq here at home?
TUCKER: We’re spending about a trillion dollars in infrastructure in Iraq.
DOBBS: We’re not even succeeding in rebuilding the infrastructure and creating new infrastructure in Iraq.
KLOBUCHAR: Priorities in our country have been out of whack the last few years. We’ve spent like almost $500 billion in Iraq.
RUSH: Look at how little time it took for them to come up with this. So everything is a zero-sum game with these clowns. We’re spending $500 billion in Iraq and, lo and behold, to fix all the infrastructure would be $552 billion. Well. You ever think about cutting some of the absolute — how about getting $150 million back from Jack Murtha? Some of these people that are scoring some of these big earmark pork projects, have you ever thought about maybe going to some of the redundancy? How about the fact that the people that run the food stamp program advertise for applicants to keep their budgets up? You know how baseline budgeting works. We explained that once on this program. Every year the government has a budget. They never examine at the end of the year whether or not they spent too much in one area or whether or not they spent too little. Every line item, I don’t care what it is, has an automatically built-in increase. This is called the baseline. It varies every year, but let’s just say for round numbers it’s 10%. So let’s say that the president proposes an increase in line item A of 7%. The Democrats squawk, ‘This is a cut! It’s a Draconian cut, you can’t.’ ‘No. We’re going to spend 7% more than we did last year, it’s just not 10% more.’ ‘Well, no, it’s in the baseline, 10%.’
So this is how they run around and say they’re Draconian cuts, yet the budget swells to a larger number year after year after year. It would be no different if you tell yourself, ‘I’m going to go out and buy a car. I’m going to go out and buy one of those humongous, really cool Cadillac Escalades and I’m going to go out and I’m going to spend 60 grand for it.’ Then you and your wife go to the showroom, start kicking the tires, all this stuff, ‘Well, you know what, I think I’ll buy a Crossover and I’ll spend 38, $40,000. I just saved 20 grand.’ No, you didn’t, you just spent 38. You didn’t save because you never spent the 60. This is how the federal budget works. So to say that they’re 500 and some odd billion dollars in Iraq, ‘Oh, we can get it out of there.’ Folks, it is irresponsible. It’s journalistic malpractice. Everything they can do to wipe out the victory in Iraq. But, again, I remind you the dirty little secret is they know how well it’s going. They don’t have the guts to do this without Republican support, the Democrats don’t, and if they do win the White House in ’08, as I have told you, we are not getting out of Iraq when they win it.
They’re going to have a huge problem with their kook fringe. They already do. They thought the November election was about that, so they know what’s going on, and they know we’re winning, and they got a pretty good idea what the Petraeus report is going to say. They do. They just don’t want anybody else to know. In fact Pelosi said, (paraphrasing) ‘I don’t care what he says, we’re losing. I don’t care.’ I’ve got the sound bite coming up. ‘I don’t care what he says. I’m not concerned with the Petraeus report. It’s going to be a bunch of lies. We’re going to get out. There’s no progress that can be made.’ Here’s Katie Couric from last night. Nobody watches this, so here’s how you hear it.
COURIC: It’s not just bridges collapsing, from water mains to pipelines to highways, America’s infrastructure is falling apart.
RUSH: No, it’s not. What a dunce!
RUSH: Two more audio sound bites to illustrate the hysteria, the panic, and the liberal agenda-ism of the Drive-By Media and the Democrats. Last night on MSNBC Hardball, fill-in host Mike Barnicle was talking to Barney Frank. He said, ‘Does this help the Democrats?’ Can you believe that? Does this bridge collapse, does the death of these five people and the injured people, help the Democrats. ‘Does it help you this sort of a disaster?’
FRANK: I am hoping that we can get this across to people that, again, if we do not pull our resources, there are some things we can’t do to improve the quality of our life — and by the way, if you’re rich you might be able to buy yourself, you know, some private police but you can’t buy yourself your own bridge. You can’t buy yourself cleaner air. So even the wealthier people ought to understand that there are some things that as civilized society, living together in a tight set of spaces, we have to pool our resources to deal with it.
RUSH: This is just absurd. You know, I’m just going to go out and buy a bridge. I’m going to go buy a bridge, and I’m going to make sure I got the cleanest air in the country, inside my house. He says it can’t be done. I’m going to say it can be done. What is this, ‘I am hoping to get this across to people that if we do not pool our resources there are some things that we…’? Pool our resources? Try three trillion dollars’ worth of taxes from the American people to ‘pool resources’! The problem is not we don’t have enough money. It’s how you clowns spend it! Now they’re trying to turn a bridge falling down into some way of creating dependence. Let’s make the bridge dependent on the federal government. Here’s a quote. This is this morning during a, I guess, news conference at the site of the bridge collapse. This is Senator Amy Klobuchar. (I hope I’m pronouncing it right.) She said this.
KLOBUCHAR: A bridge in America…just…shouldn’t…fall down. And that’s why we have called for this investigation. It’s going to take time because we have to get to the bottom of this. I’ve already talked with Senator Reid and Senator Durbin and Senator Schumer.
RUSH: Oh, that will fix it!
KLOBUCHAR: We are going to work to make sure —
RUSH: That’s right.
KLOBUCHAR: — that the resources are there —
RUSH: Yes, yes.
KLOBUCHAR: — to not only help with the immediate recovery —
RUSH: Absolutely right.
KLOBUCHAR: — but for the long-term rebuilding of this bridge.
RUSH: Absolutely. Yeah, Senator Reid is going to handle this along with Senator ‘Schemer’ and Senator Durbin. They’ll get the bridge built. Never mind they had nothing to do with it falling. They’re going to get it rebuilt. (chuckles) A bridge in America just shouldn’t fall down? Why not? Everybody’s going to die of AIDS; everybody’s going to die of caffeine. We’re all going to die in the next 25 years, the next 25 minutes. We’re going to try to paint a picture of doom and gloom and crisis. A bridge ought to be falling every day in this country if the Democrats are right about the state of our circumstances here.
RUSH: William in Atlanta, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Great to have you with us.
CALLER: How are you?
CALLER: Okay. I find it very hypocritical that you say that only Democrats make sure their friends get paid, when Republicans are guilty of the same thing and have been guilty of it for an extremely long time. I mean, if you go back to the beginning of the Republican Party, they always made sure their friends got taken care of, no matter the cost to the American public, and then for you to say that —
RUSH: You know what? You’re right. You’re absolutely right. Both parties do this. You’re absolutely right. I forgot Halliburton, any number of companies.
CALLER: Halliburton, Kaiser with Lyndon Baines Johnson. I mean, the list goes on and on and on.
RUSH: You’re right. You’re absolutely right. You know, the point I was trying to make with that was that these calls, even before the bridge collapse to ‘fix the infrastructure’ is just the way to funnel money to construction companies, construction unions and so forth, even when the job doesn’t need to be done.
CALLER: I’ll agree with you on that. It doesn’t take six people — three people sitting in the truck; one person standing and watching, and two people working — to fix anything. But like you said, they have to make sure they cover the baseline of their projects.
RUSH: Well, you’re up to speed with me.
CALLER: But the problem is, we, as the American public, have to decide that we will no longer take this from our elected leaders, and show them, Democratic and Republican, that we want things to change.
RUSH: Well, yeah. That’s going to be tough. This is how these political parties have survived. But I’m going to tell you, William: even though both parties do pay back their donors, there’s no question about it, there is still a significant difference in the two parties ideologically, and the Democrat Party is the party of the biggest government they can get and as close to socialism as they can get, with attacks on capitalism. Look at their enemies list: Wal-Mart, Big Oil, Big Drug, Big Tobacco, Big Cigar, Big Fast Food, Big Trans Fat, Big Auto. Any ‘Big,’ they are out to destroy it and punish it and raise taxes on it. The Republican Party, for the most part, is pro-capitalist. Leave people alone. Democrats try to tell everybody how to live, liberal Democrats do. Conservatives, don’t care what you do. As long as you keep it to yourself, it’s fine and dandy, as long as you’re not destroying the moral fiber of the country and so forth. If you want to smoke, go ahead. If you want to eat food that’s not good for you, go ahead! It’s none of our business. But the libs want to make everything you do their business. There are many more differences than that, but that’s a fundamental. William, I’m glad you called.
RUSH: Steve in Margate, New Jersey, glad you called, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Day one dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: Rush, a lot more people died when the World Trade Center came tumbling down than when this bridge in Minnesota came down.
CALLER: And I’ll tell you, these people that are trivializing the war on terror and saying to get out of Iraq, they’re putting their agenda ahead of the safety of our country. You can do both. We could help the infrastructure of our country and defend it. This quote that you had before about bridges shouldn’t come falling down in America? Well, skyscrapers shouldn’t come falling down, either, and people shouldn’t have to jump out of windows holding hands.
RUSH: Right. It’s another blue state disaster.
CALLER: I’ll never forget a few years ago, Uncle Walter [Cronkite] was being interviewed, and you made a point of playing a quote of his, and he said he misses what he used to do because he misses setting the agenda.
CALLER: That’s just what these people are doing, is they have an agenda and they ignore so much that’s common sense, and I think it’s shameless, absolutely shameless.
RUSH: Yeah. They have a word for this. Of course, you’re talking about Walter Cronkite, right?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: It’s called ‘managing the news,’ and the Drive-Bys are all concerned with the upcoming ’08 presidential race, ‘Who’s going to manage the news?’ Who’s going to protect their agenda, and who’s going to try to disrupt it and so forth, but you have a great memory on that, sir. That’s actually a great point about 9/11: skyscrapers shouldn’t fall, either. Isn’t it interesting that it didn’t take long, in relative terms, after the World Trade Center towers came down, that the left started finding a way to blame Bush for it. In fact, you know what? Steel doesn’t melt. Bush imploded that! Bush knew 9/11 was going to happen. Mainstream Democrats believe — well, some mainstream Democrats — believe and think this. ‘Yeah, he knew. He knew it was coming down and he didn’t do anything about it. Look at the way those buildings fell! Why, it had to be an inside job.’ It didn’t take long. Once again, Republicans are blowing up the country in a Democrat-run state. Bush steered Hurricane Katrina right to New Orleans, and Bush wanted the bridge collapse in Minneapolis because he would rather fight the war in Iraq. Steve, thanks much. Great call.
RUSH: Tracy in Plymouth, Minnesota. I’m glad you called, and welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hey, Rush!
CALLER: Mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: I’ve been a longtime listener since the late eighties, and this is my first time calling.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you.
CALLER: I wanted to give credit to my 20-year-old son Joe who is the oldest of my four Rush babies, for encouraging me to call today. So…
RUSH: You don’t sound old enough to have a 20-year-old.
CALLER: Oh, well! (giggles) Thank you.
RUSH: By the way, Tracy is one of my top-ten all-time favorite female names.
CALLER: Oh, really?
RUSH: It always has been.
CALLER: OK, well, there weren’t so many of them when I was born. We’ve been discussing, in fact — my son and I this morning were talking about — the fact that in the last year or so, there was an attempt to raise the gas tax here in Minnesota, and of course, our Republican governor Tim Pawlenty is being blamed for this.
RUSH: Vetoing it because at the time the state was running a $2.1 billion surplus.
CALLER: Right. Right. Also, I believe there might have been something in the form of a referendum for improving road work, but there was really quite a bit of outcry amongst the conservative talk radio stations in town talking about the fact that we have recently spent millions on light rail here, which is not being utilized very much at all, and the wording of what they were attempting to pass, basically, gave an open door for them to primary use all of the money towards light rail if they so chose. So, you know, obviously with the kind of weather we have here, our roads need work a lot, but I knew if it was passed, then more than likely none of that money would have gone toward anything like fixing a bridge.
RUSH: Of course not.
RUSH: Not only that, taxpayers up there built the Twins a stadium and are being asked to build the Vikings stadium, right?
CALLER: Well, actually they’re about to break ground on the Twins stadium. In fact, they were going to do it on Wednesday, and they canceled it.
RUSH: Right, right. They also canceled the game with the Kansas City Royals.
CALLER: Yes. Yes.
RUSH: Well, how about all the money they spend for a bear exhibit at the zoo? I’ve been through a lot of this stuff. I went through this in the first hour.
RUSH: I covered a lot of the pork and a lot of the things. You know, all of these states, they run out and they fund ‘arts centers’ for the arts-and-croissant crowd, for the Brie and Chablis bunch. They’ve got these states, surpluses. Minnesota has a $2.1 billion surplus, Tracy. They’ve got more money than they know what to do with. Raising taxes is just a reflexive reaction that Democrats have, that liberals have, and it’s all about control over people’s lives, and they take the occasion of this tragedy to advance their political agenda again, which is commonplace as well.
CALLER: Yeah. We knew that was going to happen. We were waiting, and it didn’t take long for that to happen.
RUSH: Well, you did great. This is your first call, and you did fabulous.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: Your son should be very proud of you.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: All right, thanks, Tracy. It’s great that you called.