RUSH: We go to Marshall, Missouri. This is Jeff, and I’m glad you waited, sir. Thanks for your patience.
CALLER: Well, thank you for taking my call, Rush. You know, it occurs to me that since Hillary is really ahead in the polls — or she was, she’s beating her rivals badly — why don’t they quit? That’s what they want us to do in Iraq.
CALLER: You know, if you’re losing, quit.
RUSH: Save their money! (laughter)
CALLER: (chuckles) It sounds to me, Rush, like they want to be president more than they want to us win the war on terror.
RUSH: Oh, there’s no question about that! They’ve been invested in defeat — not only in the war on terror, but in Iraq as well. Folks, I don’t want to be a redundant, broken record here, but this is a dangerous collection of Democrats that are seeking the White House. It’s not just Mrs. Clinton that would be bad news. They all would be. Edwards may be even worse, and who else? I keep forgetting. Oh! Obama. Folks, Obama doesn’t have a clue yet. He’s young at this. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. These guys are all, every one of them, speaks in pandering platitudes and slogans and so forth, and their view of the country is as though we’re Soup Line America. I mean, the doom and gloom that people feel in this country is directly proportionate to the number of Democrats and media people who constantly talk about it when it doesn’t exist. So the fact that these guys would wreck anything… Look at what they’re doing with illegal immigration. They would wreck the country’s borders. They would just ignore the law. They will do whatever they can to get more voters into the country; register them to vote as drivers in New York State. There’s nothing about the country that’s sacred to them, not even a Constitution. They’ll rewrite that every opportunity they get with their activist judges on the bench.
RUSH: This is Greg in Bountiful, Utah. Nice to have you. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s a pleasure to talk to the most influential conservative in America.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that, sir. I really do. Thank you much.
CALLER: Thank you. Hey, I wanted to… We’ve got a school voucher vote coming up here on Tuesday, and I kind of wanted to get your take on vouchers. Obviously, I have mine, but I’d sure like to hear yours.
RUSH: This is a school voucher thing?
CALLER: Yeah. It would be a statewide school voucher thing where parents would get, you know, if you choose to take a school voucher, you get about $3,000, if you’re real low income. If you make more they cut it down to $500, if you make quite a bit of money. But then you can put your kid in a private school, and the schools still retain the full $7500 — approximate $7500 — allotment even though the child is not there. But, of course, the NEA has dumped a lot of money in this and is fighting this tooth and nail. For me it comes down to we all know kids are falling through the cracks in public schools, and my thing is the parents know their child best, and someone in the school district doesn’t know that child. So why not let that parent make the correct choice for their children? Of course, you got the interest groups fighting it tooth and nail to block it, and, you know, putting out misinformation and so forth.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. This issue was first brought to light successfully in Wisconsin — and do you know who the primary beneficiaries of this school voucher program would be? When you go to Washington, DC, or New York, sometimes a philanthropist will do this, will offer X-number of people tuition at a private school. Do you know who the first parents are to show up? Parents in the inner city public schools. Minority parents.
RUSH: Because, you’re right. They know that their kids are going to rotgut schools and there’s nothing being done about it and they’re the first ones that want ’em out. Now, let me get the numbers straight on your thing. They’re going to give a maximum $3000 voucher?
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: What’s the $7500 figure you mentioned?
CALLER: The $7500 is about per pupil how much the school gets per pupil, and that’s —
RUSH: You’re talking about the public schools?
CALLER: Yeah, the public schools. Sorry. The average… I think the average private school runs about $4500 for their tuition.
RUSH: Okay, so the voucher will partially defray the cost of tuition at the private school?
CALLER: Yeah, or most of the costs, or all of the costs in some cases.
RUSH: Well, it can’t, because if it’s $4500 bucks and they’re giving you a voucher for $3000, and that’s only if you have, you know, low income. The higher your income, the smaller the voucher, right?
CALLER: Right. Yeah. But like I said, the $4500 figure is an average. There’s some private schools that are a little bit below $3000.
RUSH: Oh, oh, oh, okay, okay. Well, I’m all for this. What do the polls out there say on this?
CALLER: Right now the latest one I heard is it’s mostly against. I haven’t followed the polls too well on it. I don’t put a lot of stock in them. They’ve been wrong here frequently —
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: — so I just kind of ignore them. I think it’s either going to be close or it’s going to fail.
RUSH: Well, it depends on how it’s being sold. You know, it’s a great concept theoretically, it’s a great concept in practical application, but in something like this, the public school system, in a lot of people’s minds, is sacred. It’s something sacrosanct. It’s something that you don’t mess with because it’s part of America — and, I guarantee you, the NEA and the teachers unions are probably running all kinds of scare ads —
CALLER: Oh, yeah.
RUSH: — about what this will mean, and these schools don’t want to lose the $7500 per student.
CALLER: Well, the thing is they’re not. What the legislature did is this, set up a separate fund. The school teachers are saying they’re diverting money which is totally untrue. They had the statehouse surplus. They set up a separate fund so it will be a do-not-harm thing and so the schools still get the $7500, even though the student isn’t there anymore. They still get the full allotment for that child not being at that school.
RUSH: All right, now, why has this come up out there? Are there serious concerns in Utah about the public schools statewide?
CALLER: Well, some of the schools are having — I mean, we’ve got one school district, the Ogden school district I guess had something like 49% dropout rate. I believe that was out of high school.
RUSH: You gotta be kidding me!
RUSH: Ogden? That’s where the Osmonds grew up!
CALLER: Yeah, it is, but, this isn’t No Child Left Behind, but there’s this thing called the UBSCT [Utah Basic Skills Competency Test] out here. It’s basically kind of a state exam to show how well they kids are doing. They’ve had 25% or 50% failing it.
RUSH: Look, here’s what’s going on. Here’s what’s going on. We were just talking about this before I took your phone call. A guy called and said, ‘The liberals will lose the war on terror to get the White House.’ Amen! They will sit by and let the education of America’s children be the worst it can be, rather than promoting it as the best it can be in order to keep their union in power, and in order to keep Washington’s control over the curricula. Make no mistake about it. You lose those students from the public schools, and you lose a chance to propagandize, and you lose a chance for more control over more students. The idea that they care about education more, it’s like anything else that they claim they care about, whenever they say they care about the kids or they care about education. They care about them and their election power, and that’s what every issue to them is about the next 13 months.