RUSH: It’s time to go back to Conservatism 101. I like to do this now and then. We’re in our 20th year now, and it’s sometimes unavoidable that I will just assume that after all these years that you’ve been listening to this program that the fundamentals of conservatism are understood here. Then I run across a story, and people’s reaction to it, and I say, ‘Nope, this is something that needs to be constantly reinforced, basic Conservatism 101, something that needs to be constantly taught.’ I should remember my own admonition because I think this is what happened to the Republicans in 1994 when they started with their first time in 40 years control of the House. They made the assumption that the voters had all of a sudden, ‘Yep, conservatism is what we want,’ and so they stopped teaching it. They just started implementing a bunch of things without the accompanying explanation and it kind of scared some people. There’s another reason for this, too, folks, and it is inarguable. An organization, any group of people, I don’t care whether it’s a family, a classroom, a bureaucracy, you name it, if it is not conservative, it will by definition be liberal. Conservatism is an applied intellectual pursuit and it has to be constantly reinforced.
Liberalism is easy. You see something like somebody suffering, ‘Oh, that’s horrible. We’ve gotta do something,’ and you think, ‘Ah, I’m a good person. I care.’ You don’t really examine what needs to be done to solve or cure or stop the suffering and you really don’t even ask, ‘Gee, I wonder why that person suffered? What are the circumstances that led there?’ Until you get into conservatism, applied intellectual conservatism, you will never ask that question. Liberalism is the most gutless choice you can make, and it requires no solution. All it requires is empathy, sympathy, and feeling bad and getting mad, and getting mad that people are suffering this way. Then the final nail in the liberal coffin is you want everybody else’s money from them to fix the problem. Never mind the fact that throughout decades, the millennia of human civilization, such procedures don’t work. Now, what is it that makes me think we need to reestablish Conservatism 101?
Well, in Chicago, an alderman wants to tax bottled water. Alderman George Cardenas, ‘wants to slap a tax of up to 25 cents on the cost of every bottle to help close a $217 million budget gap. ‘People enjoy jogging or driving with a bottle of water. There’s a cost associated with this behavior. You have to pay for it,’ said Cardenas. Cardenas noted that there’s a nearly $40 million shortfall in the city’s water and sewer funds, in part because of a decline in water usage. ‘How is this possible when we have a water system that’s won honors? It’s because bottled water has become a $15 billion industry that’s growing at a rate of 20 to 30 percent a year,’ he said. Cardenas also said a bottled water tax would help the environment by dissuading people from buying the plastic bottles that end up in landfills.’ Now, I don’t know what the people of Chicago think about this, but I can make a pretty good prediction that there are several reactions.
First, you’re going to have people say, ‘This is absurd! This is outrageous!’ The people that like bottled water are going to say, ‘No, don’t tax my water. Tax cigarettes, tax soda pop, tax something, but leave me alone. I need my bottled water.’ Others, who don’t drink bottled water, are going to say, ‘Yeah, zap ’em, that’s absolutely right, tax those people. Drinking bottled water is something a bunch of phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ rollers do, a bunch of snobs. Tax them.’ People who are educated say, ‘You know, it never stops. No matter what it is, the first time somebody figures out in government that an industry is making a profit, why, we gotta go claim it,’ like Mrs. Clinton wants the big profits of oil. She wants to claim ’em and use the money for her own do-gooder ways and ideas, and because people hate Big Oil, ‘Yeah, yeah, go punish those people.’ Tax increases on the rich. ‘Yeah, really make those people hurt. I’m sick and tired of those people getting away with highway robbery. It’s not fair they have more money than I do.’ Most people, when they hear that a certain segment of the population is going to be taxed, particularly if they are not members of that segment, like in this case the bottled water crowd, they don’t care.
Conservatism 101 says that it doesn’t matter whose ox is being gored, be it yours or somebody else’s, you need to care, because a tax on one segment is simply a stealth way of raising taxes on everybody else. It’s the way the Democrats are trying now to get universal health care enacted in this country. They went for the whole thing. They went from a comprehensive national health care. Hillary Care back in the early nineties, didn’t work, bombed out. Went for comprehensive immigration reform earlier this year, earlier this summer, bombed out, didn’t work. So now they go the incremental route. In the case of Mrs. Clinton, it’s the SCHIPs program. Children are now 25 and under. Families who make 80 grand will be eligible for their neighbors paying health care for their kids. It is a stealth way — and of course a lot of people go, ‘Rush, it’s okay because it’s just not right that so many children in the country don’t have health insurance, it’s just so horrible, so horrible.’ That’s the feel-good liberal reaction to it. The applied intellectual conservative reaction is, ‘Wait a second. This is just a giant trick, this is liberals being liberals. This is their incremental way of finally getting what they want by doing it segment by segment.’ Same thing here with this bottled water business in Chicago. The idea that simply because this alderman thinks that this industry is making too much money and that people are running around drinking while they drive and while they jog and that they ought to be paying for that — is there already a sales tax on bottled water in Chicago? I will bet you there is.
RUSH: Now, this suggested tax increase, 25 cents a bottle on bottled water in Chicago, you have to understand that this is the new liberal fad. This is the new anti- SUV fad. San Francisco wants to ban bottled water for all of the right environmental reasons. The New York Times had a story recently on how rotten bottled water is and how unfair the profits being made by these companies. That may well be, but we had the stories about how some of the bottled water had some tap water in them, which I have long suspected. But that’s not the point of this.
By the way, in Virginia, they’ve got a new law, a bad driver tax in Virginia. A judge has just ruled in Richmond that the tax, the fees, are constitutional. ‘Fresh evidence emerged that legislators and the governor may have enacted the fees without fully researching the effect on the poor of comparable programs in other states.’ But the judge said, nope, it’s okay. ‘The licenses of tens of thousands of motorists in New Jersey and Michigan, including many low income drivers, have been suspended because of unpaid fees. ‘Michigan judges are calling for a repeal of the program because they’re seeing an influx of motorists cited for driving on suspended licenses which prompts a new round of fees that many people can’t afford,’ but in Virginia they’re gonna go ahead with this. He also said they intend to find a way to impose these fees on out of state motorists when the General Assembly convenes in January. So here’s the thing. If it moves, they will tax it, and one of the ways they get away with it is, ‘Well, it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care. Let those bottled water people pay it.’ Okay, so tax on cigars? ‘No problem, I don’t smoke cigars.’ Tax on toll roads? ‘No problem, I don’t have to travel that way if I don’t want to.’ Transfer tax on selling property? ‘No problem, I rent. It doesn’t affect me. Tax ’em to the end of the earth.’ Bottled water tax? ‘No problem, I don’t buy that expensive stuff.’ Yacht tax? ‘No problem, I’m not going to be buying a yacht any time soon.’ Cigarette tax? ‘No problem, serves those idiots right for smoking cigarettes.’ Hotel tax? ‘No problem, that only affects people who come here from out of town. I couldn’t care less about the hotel tax.’ Gas tax? ‘I thought it was just oil company profits, but go ahead. No, I don’t want my gas tax raised.’
Folks, you need to be reminded of something here. When one segment of the population is taxed, we are all taxed. Our elected leaders in a city, state, government, federal government, have a disease. It requires them to be fed. They have to be fed our money as fast as we can earn it because their disease is no spending restraint whatsoever. Why is it the fault of the bottled water drinkers in Chicago that the city is running a 217 million dollar budget deficit? Is it their fault or is it these people running the government? Why should they just be able to choose a segment and say, ‘We’re going to go get those people,’ and then the rest of the town that doesn’t do bottled water, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ Of course, when you couple this with the Drive-By Media hit on the whole bottled water industry these days, and these things, you know, rotate like SUVs and so forth, they get away with this, and it’s not be just a tax in Chicago on bottled water. Tax on one segment of the population is a tax on all of us. Each and every tax, each and every toll, has a ripple of unintended consequences that eventually catches us all in the current. The SCHIPs thing, I tell you, is one of the greatest examples of this, this child care health insurance bill. Children are now 25 years of age, families of four making 80 grand qualify for their neighbors to pay for health insurance for their kids?
So applied Conservatism 101 would understand what taxation really is. It is a form of control. It is also a form of anger. This alderman in Chicago in this story sounds mad. He sounds mad that people are enjoying bottled water. He’s got a $217 million budget deficit, and he claims it’s now the fault of the people that buy bottled water, because they’re not paying enough tax. I’ll bet you in Chicago there are plenty of people saying, ‘Yeah, soak ’em, soak ’em, they’re polluting the environment, a bunch of elitists just drinking out of the tap like I do.’ That’s how these bureaucrats and government people survive. It’s called class envy, and an incremental tax leads to a tax on everybody at some point.
RUSH: John in Cary, North Carolina, as we go back to the phones. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program.
CALLER: Hey, Army dittos, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Fine, sir. Thanks much.
CALLER: Hey, I got a question for you, a little contradiction. You can help me with my income taxes, perhaps, with the possible expansion of the SCHIP program.
CALLER: We’re going to be covering, quote, children until they’re 25, but as a taxpayer with two kids, my kids stopped being kids when they were 16 for the federal income tax child credit. When are they kids? When are they not?
RUSH: Depends on the federal program. When it comes to your taxes, your kids stop being 16 at 16. Under the SCHIPs program, they’re going to be qualified as children at age 25 and under.
RUSH: So you think there’s probably no hope that they’ll let me keep signing my kids until they’re 25?
RUSH: No. What’s your total family earnings?
CALLER: A little over a hundred.
RUSH: Is it over 80?
RUSH: Okay, then you don’t qualify.
CALLER: It was kind of a rhetorical question anyway.
RUSH: I know, but you don’t qualify for the SCHIPs — too bad.
CALLER: I know. I’m one of those lucky ones.
RUSH: It is an interesting question. We’re going to have to see what the president does with this when these clowns get back from their recess and start moving forward on it, because it’s a pure incremental way of getting to universal health care, and this is a pretty big bite, folks, that they are taking. When families of 80 grand or less, I think it’s actually 82,000, qualify. All this is, is your neighbors paying the health insurance for your kids if you have kids 25 and under and your family income is $82,000 or less. Now, you think I’m making all this up, and I’m not. This is in the bill and there’s lots more to it. This is where the cigarette tax increase is going to go up by a dollar a pack and where the cigar tax is going to go up from five cents a cigar to ten dollars a cigar. As we discussed yesterday, cigarette sales are down. There’s attributing the cigarette sales here to the facts that taxes are already sky high. Sure, that’s a factor, but it’s also because there’s nowhere you can smoke ’em anywhere. The point is tobacco products are going to be the golden goose that they’re going to kill in order to fund the program. When that happens they’re not going to kill the program, they’re going to go tax the rest of you. So, this is just all part of the setup.
Who could possibly object to those evil cigar and cigarette smokers being taxed? Most people, if you don’t smoke, either one, you don’t care. That’s what I was talking about when the show opened. You couldn’t care less. Go ahead and tax ’em, dirty, rotten filthy people, killing me with secondhand smoke, make ’em pay, make ’em pay, plus it’s a good thing, health care for children. You’re thinking you won’t have to pay for it. It will be evil cigarette and cigar smokers. Well, guess what’s going to happen? At ten bucks per cigar tax, they’re not going to sell enough to fund the program. Never mind what it’s going to do to the cigar business. At a buck additional in tax on a pack of cigarettes, when you take the existing sales, it’s already declining, what do you think is going to happen then? Let’s face it, most of the people who smoke cigarettes are downscale Democrats. There are exceptions, of course, but their budgets only go so far. What the Democrats are counting on, what everybody is counting on here is they’re addicted, and they’ll spend whatever they have to to buy this stuff. They won’t have any choice. They’re addicted to it. Most people smoke cigarettes want to quit anyway. This will just be an added incentive to do it.
So what happens? When the expected revenue from these giant new wonderful taxes on evil cigar and cigarette smokers fail to produce the needed revenue to provide health insurance for all the kids in this country 25 and under who are in poor families making $82,000 a year or less, do you think they’re just going to cancel the program? Ha! They’re going to come after you! They’re already targeting me because I smoke cigars. They’re already coming after you. They’re going to come after you because they’re going to have to. Can’t kill the program. So while you sit there and you rub your hands together in glee at all the new taxes that these evil people that smoke cigars and cigarettes are going to have to pay, understand that down the road, it’s you who are going to be paying for them.
Woody in Arlington, Virginia, you’re next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, you are the best. You’re the master. It’s a pleasure to be on your program.
RUSH: Thank you, Woody, very much.
CALLER: I actually, as you said, live in Arlington right outside of Washington, DC, and I’m calling about this new tax the libs have forced down our throats.
RUSH: The bad driving tax.
CALLER: Exactly right. If you go 15 miles per hour over the speed limit in Virginia and you’re a resident here, you’re fined a thousand dollars on top of the speeding ticket.
CALLER: And I read an article yesterday that a woman got slapped with this tax while she was driving to the hospital, and she was pregnant —
CALLER: — and thought her water was breaking.
RUSH: Right. Saw that. A $1,050 tax she got.
CALLER: It’s absurd. I actually called my elected officials, Rush, and I spoke with my delegate and state senator, Bob Brink and Patricia Ticer. They claim they don’t have enough money in tax revenue to maintain infrastructure. Just like you said a few weeks ago at the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, this is straight out of the liberal playbook.
RUSH: Right, it is. This is an incremental tax. The people who don’t go over 15 miles an hour beyond the speed limit can say, ‘Well, make ’em pay! They are endangering the rest of us by speeding! They should pay a fine and a tax!’ The Democrats have figured out these comprehensive ways to get things done where they go for everything in one shot, going to bomb out, but if you go after increments because they can play on class envy and they can play on the sin, poor driving, dangerous driving, road ragers, really soak ’em, yeah, I’m tired of the streets being dangerous and so forth. They’ve already put the SUV tax, gas guzzler tax, this kind of thing. But they never have enough, do they? Woody, when they have a budget shortfall like this Alderman in Chicago, $217 million budget being deficit, ‘Well, we’ll make the bottled water buyers and consumers pay that,’ rather than be more responsible with their spending.
CALLER: You’re exactly right, Rush.
RUSH: Well, I did see that story, $1,050 fine for a woman speeding to the hospital because her water broke. Woody, I appreciate the call.