RUSH: The New York City council is preparing a new ban on smoking by parents in cars. ‘A City Council member of Queens and chairman of the council’s environmental protection committee, James Gennaro, said he is planning to introduce a bill later this month that would ban smoking from cars carrying minors. ‘I am just seeking every opportunity I can to denormalize smoking and to try to put it out of the reach of kids,’ Mr. Gennaro said. ‘I’ve lost family members to lung cancer and I’ve seen what happens.” Somebody better tell this guy that the entire national and state, by the way, health care insurance program for kids depends on people buying cigarettes. And if they’re going to buy ’em, they have to be able to smoke ’em. If they can’t smoke ’em anywhere, people aren’t going to buy ’em. Now, you people that run governments, I don’t care if it’s city councils or the federal government or whatever, you’re going to have to figure something out here real quick, because if you’re going to fund everything with tobacco, you’re going to have to make sure the product can be used after it’s purchased. You can’t at the same time try to get everybody to quit it and then demand that the taxes from it support a health care program.
I know what’s going to happen with this. People will not pay the taxes on cigars that they’re talking about, the buck a pack on cigarettes, is already impacting sales. Everybody is out there saying to themselves about the children’s health care program, ‘Sure, go ahead and tax those smokers, dirty, filthy rotten pigs, secondhand smoke, and they want to kill themselves, great, make ’em pay.’ That’s how this incremental taxation works: get all of you who don’t smoke supporting a tax increase on smokers. Well, you know what’s going to happen, they’re not going to generate enough revenue to pay for this stupid program, not when kids in this program are anybody 25 and under, and when families of $82,000 a year annual income qualify. So when the taxes from cigarettes and cigars don’t meet the costs, guess who’s going to get taxed next folks? You. They’ll find a way to tax some other activity that you do, like drinking bottled water that you get from Chicago, or — a little inside joke there — or whatever else. But you gotta be careful. Somebody better tell him this. I understand the need and the desire to get people to stop smoking, but it’s their own life. If people want to smoke and if they want to do it in their cars with their kids in there, it’s their life, and the more you allow nanny state government to step in and tell you how you can and can’t live your private life, the more freedom you’re going to end up losing.
RUSH: Jason in Logan, Utah. Welcome, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hey, Rush Limbaugh, it is an honor to talk to you. I want to start this morning or this afternoon by saying thanks for sharing the talent that you have on loan from God. I just wanted to get a clarification from you. You made a comment a couple segments ago regarding smoking in cars with children. Am I to understand that you are for or against that? I understand you’re against the government telling us whether we can and can’t do things. I’m just curious what your thoughts were —
RUSH: I am against —
RUSH: Is he on a cell phone breaking up? Is that what the noise is?
CALLER: Yes, probably.
RUSH: Well, hang with me until we finally lose you. Are you on the move or are you stationary?
CALLER: I’m on the move.
RUSH: Well, we’ll probably lose you, but hang in there as long as you can. I am totally against the government coming into my car and into my house and telling me what I can and can’t do whether it’s how I use a cell phone, listen to the radio, or smoke a cigar or cigarette. If you let ’em into your car, pal, because of your kids, then they’re going to be into your house because of your kids and not just because of smoking. Maybe you got the wrong kind of toys; maybe you got the wrong kind of upholstery on your furniture; maybe you’re using the wrong kind of floor wax; maybe your house is a pigsty, and you let ’em in, and it’s over.
CALLER: So does that take away the free agency from the child though that has to suffer the rest of their lives from the smoke that their parents —
RUSH: There is no documented evidence that secondhand smoke has killed anybody. That is a myth. The World Health Organization suppressed their own survey on this. We have it at RushLimbaugh.com. We put it up periodically. My mom smoked and look at me.
CALLER: My parents smoked as well, but —
RUSH: My mom smoked in the car. I think if a kid says, ‘Mommy, mommy! Can I go out and smoke?’ Most parents say no. The sensitivity today probably is high enough that people aren’t going to do it anyway. We already can’t smoke outdoors. In New York you can’t smoke a cigarette in Central Park, not legally. Central Park! You can’t smoke at Yankee Stadium. You can’t smoke at Shea Stadium. You can’t smoke anywhere. Here’s the thing. Because, as I said very clearly, very articulately in the first half hour of the program, if you’re going to tax this product in order to support health care for the precious little children, you better be able to let the product that’s being taxed be used. If you’re going to ban cigarette smoking everywhere and then still charge all these exorbitant taxes, you are not going to generate the money that you want.
See, you are proving my point. You probably don’t smoke, and so it’s okay to raise taxes on people that do, and it’s okay to tell people who are smoking that they shouldn’t be, especially around their kids. If it stayed in cars, fine, but it won’t. They’ll take it elsewhere. Your own private property. They already tell you if it rains too much in your backyard, and you have a flood, you can’t mow the grass anymore, you have a wetland with home to all kinds of critters out there that didn’t show up and didn’t live there until the rain fell. This is a big bugaboo with me. I hate the holier-than-thou among us who think that everything they do in life is right, and so everybody’s gotta emulate them. ‘You smoke? Ew! Ew! You are subhuman. I must make you stop.’ Leave me alone! Leave me alone. You want to go out and live a dull, boring, pristine life that’s not going to get you any significant longer years of life than my life is going to give me, you go right ahead, but don’t impose it on me. By the way, my kids are my kids, and they’re not yours, and they’re not the state’s, and it’s my job to raise ’em, and if I goof it up, tough toenails. At some point the kids have to be become adults anyway. Lots of kids have grown up with rotten parents and have gone on to live very successful lives. Happens every day. Most parents are bad at it anyway. There’s no school that you go to.
RUSH: Jim in Roseburg, Oregon, welcome, sir, and welcome to the EIB Network as well.
CALLER: Mega 17-year, ex-tobacco-rep, conservative-teacher dittos.
RUSH: Well, thank you, sir.
CALLER: I owe you an apology. I had a knee-jerk, liberal reaction to your smoking comments with parents smoking in the car, and I clearly fell off the wagon.
RUSH: Why? What was your reaction?
CALLER: Well, I am a smoker, and I smoke to control my MS pain, and I’m back on the 12-step Rush recovery program.
RUSH: You mean you were mad at what I said?
CALLER: No, no, no, no. I wasn’t mad, but I do have to admit that when I do see a parent pulled over at a convenience store dumping their ashtray out for somebody else to pick up, smoking with the windows up, it does tick me off. But, I realized, you know… You know, I had that fleeting liberal thought, and I’m back on the program.
RUSH: Okay. So you got a little bit irritated with me. To refresh people’s memories and to inform those who weren’t here, a New York City councilman going to pass a resolution or present a resolution for passage that would not allow parents to smoke in their cars if the kids are in the car. I thought the political correct crowd’s going to love this. Everything is ‘for the children,’ and I to this audience loud and clear, ‘You better be careful of this for two reasons. A, you let them into your private property, your car, and tell you what you can and can’t do there, it isn’t going to stop with smoking. You aren’t going to be able to listen to the radio down the road. You’re not going to be able to use your cell phone.’ Well, you can’t use your cell phone with your hand in a lot of states now. You let ’em into your car, then you’re going to let ’em into your house, and if you have kids in the house, you can’t smoke in there — and once they get into your house, folks, then they can start telling you anything they want about your house. They don’t like the paint that you’re using. They don’t like the lightbulbs that you’re using. They don’t like the hardwood floor or the upholstery that you’re using. Maybe it’s not flammable retardant enough. Who knows?
The idea that they run around and see some parent smoking in a car with the windows up or cracked a little with kids in there, too bad! You know, if this product is so bad, ban it! But instead, what are they doing? And this is the second thing I want to tell ’em that they better figure out real quick. If they are going to fund health care insurance programs ‘for the children’ with tobacco products, they’d better make sure the products can be used. Otherwise people aren’t going to buy ’em, and when they don’t buy the products there’s no tax revenue and then the health care program for ‘the wittwle children’ runs short of money, and guess who’s going to come next in line for taxes? You! They’re not going to shut the program down; they’re going to come to you. Now, you can’t sit here and start condemning this product as deadly secondhand smoke is deadly — which it isn’t! It may be uncomfortable. You may not like it. Some people may be allergic, but it doesn’t kill anybody. There are no studies that say it does, and those who purport to say it are as big a hoax as global warming is. The World Health Organization did a big study and suppressed it, but we have it at RushLimbaugh.com. But that’s not the point. The point is if they’re going to raise all this hell about how horrible and deadly this product is, and at the same time tax the sale to fund their precious little government operations, they better make sure people can use the product. You see the conundrum here, or the dilemma? If they really believed all this, they would ban it! If this stuff is so deadly, why, they would ban it. They don’t dare because their government operations depend too much on the revenue from this stuff, and they’re going to kill that goose by eliminating places where these products can be used. They’re going to make… They can’t have it both ways on this and it’s going to come to a head at some point, sooner rather than later.
RUSH: We have a nine-year-old from Acton, Massachusetts, that’s joining us. Her name is Lily. It’s pleasure to have you with us, Lily.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: I think that the liberals should tell people when and where they should smoke, because if they’re smoking in the car with their kids, the kids can get sick and that’s what happened to my mom when she was little. She used to be riding in a car with her friends, and one of them would be smoking, and she’d get sick, and also I think that people shouldn’t be smoking.
RUSH: What kind of sick, Lily?
CALLER: She’d throw up and she wouldn’t feel good and —
RUSH: How long did it last?
CALLER: It lasted as long as there was smoking.
RUSH: Okay, now, what did you say at the beginning about liberals?
CALLER: Liberals should say when and where you smoke, because —
RUSH: Thank you, Mr. Snerdley. (Laughing.) Liberals should say where you can and can’t smoke. Lilly, I’m going to be as blatantly honest with you here as I can. If smoking makes somebody sick, then whoever is smoking shouldn’t do it. I’m not suggesting that it’s okay to smoke in the car with the windows up or down, with kids — that’s not my point. My point is that the government has no business dictating that degree of our behavior, because if you let them start doing it in that way, they’re going to eventually tell your mommy how she can raise you. They’re going to tell you if she’s being too mean, too cruel, too nice, or what have you. It’s a dangerous path to go down. I can’t believe that if somebody actually was made sick in the presence of smoke, that the smoker would continue, especially a parent. A parent ought not, in that circumstance, continue anyway. I don’t know how often it happens anyway. I don’t see that many people smoke in their cars anymore, but regardless, the government, Lily, this is crucial, the government is not the solution to that family, or that problem. Wait ’til the government starts telling you what dolls you can and can’t play with. Do you have a Barbie doll?
CALLER: Only one.
RUSH: So what if someday the government decided that the Barbie doll you have is just inappropriate for you and that you shouldn’t have it and they penalize your mother for letting you have it, should the liberals be able to do that?
CALLER: No. Definitely no.
RUSH: Okay, good. Well, then we have reached a teachable moment here. In my mind, that’s possible if we allow them into our cars. I think families ought to decide this themselves. Parents need to be responsible. It’s not the government’s job to make them responsible. I understand you don’t want to be around people who smoke, right?
RUSH: Does your mom smoke in the car?
CALLER: No. Nobody in my family smokes because my mom doesn’t want anybody smoking.
RUSH: Cool. Cool. Everything is fine, then. No complaints. Don’t start saying the liberals need to be telling people what they can and can’t do, Llly, please, please.
RUSH: Also, you know, Lily, if you’re still out there, I goofed up on one thing. Barbie dolls are part of the Mattel recall, because there’s lead in there. So Lily, don’t lick Barbie. Don’t lick your Barbie doll. Any of you kids out there with Barbies, don’t lick ’em because they may have lead in the paint or whatever, in the manufacturing process. So I’m happy to be able to perform this public service. That was a young future patriot calling this program to get guidance, and I should have had that knowledge at my fingertips but didn’t.
RUSH: San Bernardino California. Michael, I’m glad you called. Welcome.
CALLER: Yeah, it’s funny because, uh, I think, uh, here, er, your last caller exposed something about, quote, ‘liberals,’ end quote, that you may not intended to be exposed. Here I was thinking I was so brilliant, uh, that I was going to take down your argument about smoking in cars, and it really only took a nine-year-old to do it.
RUSH: She didn’t take down an argument at all.
CALLER: Oh, you — you had said — you’d gone on for several minutes about how could this be harmful, it’s not harmful, and then a nine-year-old explained to you that the obvious —
RUSH: No. I specified. By harmful, there is a bunch of misinformation out there. ‘Harmful’ as in causes death. Secondhand smoke does not cause death. I acknowledged earlier it makes some people sick. They have allergies to it, and they shouldn’t have to be around it. You’re missing my whole point. The point is that the government has no business telling people how they can live their lives, and they’re way too into it as it is. I think we’ve already lost the battle.
CALLER: It — it — uh — Obviously. Let’s just take that argument not even a full step but just a microstep further. Let’s legalize drugs. Let’s legalize all forms of poison. Let’s legalize explosives. Let’s legalize anything, if the government —
RUSH: That’s not the answer. No. No, no. You’re going overboard. The logical thing to do based on everything we’re told about tobacco, is to ban it as well. If we not going to be able to have cigarettes smoked in cars with little kids because it’s going to kill ’em and make ’em sick, what the hell business does the government have allowing the product to be sold?
CALLER: Well, I think the argument is — is as follows. Look, you want to make yourself sick? You want to poison yourself? Go right ahead, but we’re not going to allow you I had to it to people that can’t defend themselves like children.
RUSH: Or waiters, or waitresses, or people that you might have in your house.
RUSH: So, you see, the point is that we can structure —
CALLER: No, no. No, no. Wait. There’s no law against smoking in your own house.
RUSH: Oh, they’ve tried to do in a couple of counties in Maryland, and it’s next if you let ’em into the car! Damn right it is. There’s no question.
CALLER: Only… Now we’re back to my original point, that really only a paranoid right-winger would see a liberal plot in this.
CALLER: Some things are obviously sensible, some things are not, and no one is suggesting in any real way or has it ever come close to being a reality.
RUSH: Wrong. I am suggesting it and you’re blind to it. It is not ‘paranoia’ when evidence already exists of the trend.
CALLER: It… The… You… You’re not honestly, seriously suggesting that there is a trend to ban smoking within private homes.
RUSH: I’m telling you it’s coming. It’s been tried. It would have succeeded in Maryland were it not for an outrage. Montgomery County, Maryland —
CALLER: I — I —
RUSH: Now, listen to this, Michael. In Montgomery County, Maryland, a little ninny neighbor claimed in her locked house with the windows down, she could smell somebody’s cigarette smoke a hundred yards away who was also in their house. So a city councilman said, ‘Well, we can’t have this! That’s disruptive,’ and they tried to ban smoking in the house.
CALLER: Okay. You’re talking about one place, one person, making one complaint. I wouldn’t call that a trend.
RUSH: Well, Michael, this is how liberalism spreads. Once they start this stuff, it never goes away. Like gay marriage is going to happen in this country.
CALLER: What I’m saying is… What I’m saying is when you see it quote, ‘spreading,’ end quote, that is right-wing paranoia. (Chuckles.)
RUSH: No, it’s not right-wing paranoia. It’s stopping it. It’s making sure it doesn’t grow. It’s making sure that these powers, these liberal ninnies, nannies and do-gooders, do not get foothold and traction in trying to tell everybody else how to live, including in their own homes. In New York, for crying out loud, you have to ban trans-fat at the grocery store as well! You are blind if you don’t see what’s happening here, and the fact that you’re not concerned if means you probably think that these people doing this have ‘the public interest, the highest standards of public interests at heart,’ and they don’t. It’s about control. They can’t leave people alone. You gave me a Libertarian definition a moment ago. They don’t believe in that. They’re not going to sit there and let people do what they want to do in their homes. They’re trying to change everything about the way people live, what kind of cars they drive, pressuring them into buying these little hybrids and stuff. It’s been going a long time, and it would have advanced a lot sooner had it not been for the effectiveness of me and this program.
RUSH: Alexandria, Virginia is next. This is Sharon. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. This is Sharon.
CALLER: I hate to remind you and your audience of this, but the government came into our cars in the Sixties when the seat belt debate was going on. I was in high school, and I was in college when this was debated, and my father — we were raised in Kansas — was totally against it, because he said, ‘The first time you let the government into your car, it’s going to be keep going.’ The next thing that happened was the air bags, and I remember that debated in Congress. The auto companies’ scientists came back, technologists came back and said air bags were not yet ready for cars. So what happens? Children are terribly crippled and injured. There was even one child in Texas that was beheaded by an air bag. So the next thing we get car seats, and we put those kids in the back seat, where mom and dad can’t hear them. The first thing that happens when the child gets in a car, unusually, is that they fall asleep. Out of sight, out of mind.
RUSH: Thank God!
CALLER: You are then driving to work, and all of a sudden, you forget the child’s in the car, and they are left in cars dying, in temperatures of 150 degrees. I am sick of the Nazis. I’m tired of the fat Nazis, the car Nazis, the tobacco Nazis, the ethanol Nazis, the food Nazis, the environmentalist Nazis, the speech Nazis, and the alcohol Nazis. I’m sick of them. Get out of our lives and stay out of our lives!
RUSH: Well, but, see, they think you don’t know how to live your life right.
CALLER: I do know how to live my life, and I’ve had a rough year, and this conversation today has really taken me right over the edge!
RUSH: Oh, gee. I’m sorry.
CALLER: I am so sick of all of it! They have no right to be in our business, on that personal a level, and you are also right that once they get into our cars and they can dictate what we do in our cars, the next thing will come, our homes, and that will happen.
RUSH: Haven’t there been places in the country that have tried to ban or stagger the times people could barbecue outside because of the effect on ‘global warming’?
RUSH: In large cities. They tried that in Los Angeles some years ago, and I don’t know if it ever became law or what have you. I know it’s pervasive, and everybody thinks that the things behind it that motivates it is the ‘good intentions’ and the big hearts of the public safety concerns these people have, and while many of the underlings in that group of people probably do have the best of intentions, the people behind all this are aiming for control, for the government to be able to tell people they can and can’t do it, to condition people to accept permission from the government for what they do. It’s all about control, and it’s all about keeping people dependent. It’s about keeping people from growing up and becoming adults, able to handle their own lives and deal with their own problems so that the liberals that run the government, the Democrats that run the government, can be there to step in when people slip, which most people do. I know. It’s hideous. I don’t know where it stops, but it’s going to be a constant thing we fight and battle against on this program.
CALLER: Rush, you keep battling it. Don’t stop.
RUSH: I won’t.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: It’s in my nature to oppose this kind of thing. It really is. Sharon, I appreciate that.
RUSH: Now, you think that there’s nothing going on out there. Get this. This is from the UK: ‘Call to Ban Cars Near Schools to Tackle Obesity — Car exclusion zones should be set up around schools to help tackle obesity and climate change, a report suggested today. The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP),’ Or Eeep! ‘research found that banning vehicles from roads near schools could help reverse the dramatic decline in walking seen in the UK in recent decades. Leaving the car at home would benefit children and their parents,’ and would also cut down on global warming. So, in other words, you can only drive so close to the school. You’re going to park your car in a government-approved place, then you let the obese kids out and they trundle into school, reducing the obesity problem, saving global warming — and who could oppose this? Why it’s for the wittle childwren! It’s just one plan. We’re all trying to help here.
RUSH: Ellen in Knightstown, Indiana, welcome to the program.
CALLER: Rush, I know you don’t mean to, but you’re coming between me and my grandchildren with this foodstuff, and I hope you will think about it and talk about it tomorrow. I’m trying to get my children to stop eating junk food — not just junk food, junk!
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Grandchildren, or children, which is it?
CALLER: Both, but mostly my grandchildren, because when I grew up, we ate food out of the garden. It was a treat to go to the root beer stand, and now the kids are living on Cokes and Diet Cokes — which has even worse because it has aspartame in it!
CALLER: They’re eating potato chips and French fries, and that’s — that’s what they’re living on, Rush!
RUSH: Ellen? Ellen, you’re a grandmother. I cannot believe you think this is new. When I grew up in my little town, we grew up on a place calls Wimpy’s, which is a burger joint. It was like Mel’s Drive-In in American Graffiti, and then we got our first McDonald’s. We had potato chips. We had barbecues in the backyard. Hamburgers! They may not have been from Wimpy’s and McDonald’s, but they were…hamburgers! We had mustard and mayonnaise. We had onions.
CALLER: Okay, Rush.
RUSH: And we drank Coke!
CALLER: But, Rush, are you denying that Medicare and Medicaid is our biggest problem in this country and the government is making all of us that want to live healthy lifestyles, put food into our bodies instead of junk, that —
RUSH: Wait a minute. The government’s not forcing your grandkids to go to McDonald’s, and they’re not forcing your grandkids to pick up the Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips at the local hotspot.
CALLER: All I’m saying, Rush, is it’s coming across that it doesn’t make any difference what you eat, saturated fat, smoke, whatever. You don’t mean to but that’s the way it’s coming across I know because I’m having this debate with my 26-year-old grandson who says, ‘Grandma, they haven’t proven these things hurt you.’ (Gags.) Rush, we’re not eating the same as we used to.
RUSH: Wait a minute. Did I hear you right? You are debating a 26-year-old adult?
RUSH: Who’s your grandson?
RUSH: Over what he should and shouldn’t eat?
CALLER: Yes. Because —
RUSH: When are you going to let him grow up? This is not my fault!
CALLER: Okay. The point I’m making is does it make a difference in our health, what we put in our bodies? If we put the wrong things in our car, does it make a difference in how it runs?
RUSH: Well, of course, but everything is proportion. People say cigarettes kill you, but it might take 50 years.
CALLER: (Gags.) Rush, all I’m —
RUSH: An auto accident can take care of it instantly. We’re losing proportion on it. Potato chips are not going to kill people. The idea that this is —
CALLER: It is when that’s all they’re eating. They’re not eating vegetables! They’re not eating fruits!
RUSH: Okay, then give ’em a can of V8 and have them drink that and they’ll get their vegetables!
CALLER: All I’m saying —
RUSH: If it’s about nutrients, just get them a can of V8! Get them some bloody Marys made with V8.
CALLER: Bring that part across, too, because you’re making it sound as though I’m exaggerating everything, that it’s said not all that important what you eat, and it comes across as though that’s the side you’re on.
RUSH: In the big scheme of things, it isn’t. There are really a lot of pressing problems in this country like taxes, the war on terror, and I’m being deadly serious here. We are so affluent that we have time to get ourselves roiled up in all this angst.
CALLER: And what about Medicare and Medicaid? Isn’t everybody on prescription drugs now? Isn’t that what we’re upset about, because the government is making us pay for people whether they’re healthy or they’re not healthy?
RUSH: Okay! So this is where it comes down to.
RUSH: The stress on the health care system because of what people eat.
CALLER: Yes! Exactly!
RUSH: They’re making themselves obese so forth.
CALLER: Why should people who —
RUSH: Well, see, that’s the wrong solution.
CALLER: — educate themselves…? I agree with you, and I’m telling my —
RUSH: The solution to this is not changing diet dramatically like this. The solution to Medicare and Medicaid… I don’t think that what people eating each and every day are contributing to the kind of illnesses that end up on Medicaid. Medicaid is for the poor. Medicare is for the seasoned citizens, and when you get seasoned citizen status, and the odds that you’re going to get sick from anything go up simply because of the law of averages. Look, Ellen, I will talk about this in greater detail tomorrow.
RUSH: RUSH: Headline from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, from May 29th: ‘Homes, Next Target for Smoking Ban — An effort this fall will urge multiunit buildings to adopt a smoke-free policy.’
We’ll continue this tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen. I can’t wait. I cannot wait.