RUSH: ‘In the end, backers of a cigarette tax increase for children’s health couldn’t assuage voters’ worries about monkeying with the state constitution — an issue stoked by a record-shattering $12 million TV blitz financed by the tobacco industry.’ We’re talking Oregon here. ‘The result was a shellacking of Measure 50 — voters trounced it by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin in Tuesday’s special election — and a stinging setback for backers of the effort to extend health care to 100,000 uninsured Oregonians,’ by raising taxes on cigarettes. ‘Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a leading backer of the plan, said he still thinks most Oregonians support an expansion of children’s health care but were heavily influenced by the advertising. ‘What happened was, the tobacco industry bought the election,’ Kulongoski said in an interview Tuesday night with The Associated Press. The tobacco industry’s ad campaign focused on what it called the ill-advised move of enshrining the tobacco tax in Oregon’s constitution, while other ads questioned whether all of the money would go to provide health care for children.’
You know, you people in other states — and I’m going to applaud you people in Oregon, you’ve done the right thing. You might not have done it for the right reason, I don’t know. The right reason is, you going to continue to tax tobacco, a product whose use is limited more and more every day. New York Times had a story the other day, had it in the stack, didn’t have a chance to get to it, they’re really moving fast in certain parts of the city in stopping smoking in homes. Everybody thought when I first mentioned this, ‘Come on, Rush, they can’t do that, they’re not going to go that far.’ That’s what you said when I warned you back in 1995 when the Sierra Club came out and started targeting SUVs, ‘Come on, Rush, they’re not going to pull that off. You’re just being a lot alarmist here.’ Nope. I may be alarmist, but it’s true.
Don’t doubt me. They’re not going to be able to raise the money, these states and the federal government, to keep raising these cigarette taxes. They’re not going to be able to raise the money down the road because it’s going to become too expensive to buy, and you can’t smoke ’em anywhere anymore. It’s getting to the point, without banning it, this is just silly. So the people of Oregon, I don’t know if that was in their minds when they voted or not, or whether it was what the governor says here, just the ad campaign. I think trying to enshrine this tax increase in the Constitution, that was probably an overreach, and I applaud the people of Oregon for seeing that and turning it down.
There were other elections yesterday. In Utah, ‘Voters on Tuesday killed the nation’s first statewide school voucher program that promised tax dollars for private tuition, no matter how much a family earned or whether kids were in bad schools.’ In another of the most closely watched questions on state ballots Tuesday, ‘New Jersey voters rejected the state’s plan to borrow $450 million over ten years to finance stem cell research.’ This is amazing. The people in New Jersey turned down essentially a tax increase. What they’re not telling you here is this is embryonic stem cells. ‘The Utah measure…’ we had a caller that called about this not long ago, ‘…was the first voucher election in the U.S. since 2000, when voters in Michigan and California rejected efforts to subsidize private schools. … There have been 10 state referendums on various voucher programs since 1972,’ all of them unsuccessful, according to the National School Boards Association. This is an issue that’s going to take a lot of work, because the public school system is so entrenched. One of the stars on the flag may as well be for the public school system. That’s how people look at it. It’s as much a part of America as apple pie and moms and razor blades in candy on Halloween. So it’s going to take a lot of work to get this voucher stuff done.
In Michigan, ‘Michigan voters are soon going to decide whether a nativity scene belongs on public property.’ It’s going to be real interesting to see what happens here. Usually these things lose, which is why liberals have to take things to court instead of having votes. ‘Does baby Jesus have a place on public property? That’s what voters in Berkley, Michigan, were deciding Tuesday as they went to the polls to consider a measure–‘ Well, this was yesterday’s story, so I’m not sure if we know what the outcome of this was. But this is just another in a long line of attacks on traditions and institutions that have been — and Christmas is a national holiday to boot. Now, all of this might sound like bad news, and sometimes, there is joy in bad news. (interruption) What are you shaking your head in there about? None of this sounds like bad news to you? The voucher thing? Well, you mean the voucher program where a tax increase was refused? Let me check that. Tax — yeah, would have been a tax increase. That is a positive sign. Good eye, Mr. Snerdley. Even I missed that one. So there’s joy in bad news. If you know how to spot it, if you know how to look for it, nothing, I mean nothing, folks, gets our country, our spirit, our ingenuity jump-started like issues, real issues, not talking-point issues, not the kind of blubber that is coming out of the mouths of Democrat presidential candidates.
So oil knocking at $100 a barrel, it didn’t get there today. The crude market’s closed. But it got close, and of course, we’ve got the Drive-Bys. They’re now fanning out and positioning themselves at gasoline stations next to the pumps, walking up to drivers with the microphones and camera and begging them to explain how they are suffering, how terrible it is, and how poor they are because these prices have gone up. But, the higher price is what makes us and takes us closer to finally realizing we are going to have to produce more energy. We’re going to have to drill for our own oil. We are going to have to have more refineries. We are going to have to build nuclear at some point. The higher the prices of these things go, and when the price starts affecting supply — right now there’s not a shortage of gasoline. There’s no shortage of gas. There’s really no shortage of oil. A lot of the oil price is the speculation market, commodities market, but nevertheless, as the price goes higher, it takes us closer to, quote, unquote, alternatives, and when we hear news about the ChiComs drilling for oil with the Cubans in the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico finding the biggest field that they’ve got also in the western Gulf of Mexico, and we can’t drill in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), we can’t drill in the Gulf ourselves, at some point, something has to give, and the higher price leads us that way.
Now, the subprime market, the subprime problem, the mortgage problem, the credit crunch roiling the markets. Well, let’s look into Congress, the Congress that started the problem by demanding that lenders make riskier loans. You know what the root of the problem is? The root of the problem is a bunch of liberals in Congress, and probably some Republicans joined them, trying to go out and buy votes with people that had no business being qualified for a loan being told, the lenders being told, ‘Go ahead and qualify those people.’ We want everybody to experience the American dream. So people started borrowing money that they couldn’t afford and they got these adjustable rate mortgages, and guess what, the adjustable rate mortgages are adjusting upwards. Minorities hardest hit, of course, once again, their guardian angels in Washington putting them in the sewer on the promise of, ‘We’ll make these evil lenders that have been red-lining you, we’ll make ’em give you the money.’
The dirty little secret is, folks, and I don’t want to burst anybody’s bubble here, but let’s say you have a $500,000 mortgage on your house and let’s say that you used the subprime market. Let’s say you didn’t put any down. Let’s say you found a way — and there are ways to do this — to get a mortgage on house without any money down. Do you know how much equity you’ve got in it? Zilch. There are ways to do it. (interruption) You mean there aren’t ways to do it now? There were ways? It can be done. As a powerful, influential member of the media, it’s done. People are playing games with this all over the place. I’m not talking about FHA. But, okay, if you don’t like that example, $500,000 mortgage, $500,000 house, let’s say you put $20,000 down just for the sake of it. Do you know that you don’t have any equity in that house until you sell it? You don’t own it until you’ve paid it off. One of the big myths about home ownership, ‘I now own my home.’ No you don’t, the person that lent you the money owns it until you pay it off, and then you go to sell it, you bring in a higher price than what you bought it for. Yes, you’ve got a prophet, but what are you going to do? You gotta flip it. If you sell your house, you gotta live in something else, and chances are you’re going to buy a more expensive one, you’re going to get another mortgage.
You don’t own anything that you’re paying for. You own it when you have finished paying for it. The people that loaned you the money own it. It’s not a big deal. I don’t want to burst anybody’s bubble here, but I don’t think this is taught in econ 101, and I don’t think that most of these people in the subprime market have the slightest idea what they were getting into here. But, nevertheless, this gives us an opportunity to look at the people who actually came up with this plan, demanded that these lenders make these loans, and that’s our good old Congress. Now, the Republicans lost the Virginia statehouse, and they lost the governor’s seat in Kentucky. Well, that’s not good, and a lot of people are unhappy about it, but it does have a potential positive aspect to it, and that is, as Republicans who are less than conservative and who are less than defined as to what they want this country to be, you have Republicans who are more and more liberal, are trying to sound more and more liberal, are going to keep losing, it’s going to finally be figured out by Republican candidates that they’re going to have to develop backbones, they’re going to have to shape up and stand for better, smaller government. That’s what wins elections.
I know in Kentucky the key issue was corruption. The Republicans have a problem with this sometimes. In the case of Congressman Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana), it was still no big deal. ‘He was like a sharecropper’s son. He had all these economic problems. Look at where he’s risen to, I mean, we can’t hold him to the same standards, look at where he came from, plus he’s a minority,’ blah, blah, blah. But the corruption issue, that’s a tough one. With the Democrat Party there’s no such thing as corruption because they have no standards that they try to live by, so corruption is something you can’t stick to them. Dennis Kucinich wants to impeach Cheney. This is fabulous, because he’s a presidential candidate, the darling of the anti-war left and his own party giving him the leprosy treatment today because he’s embarrassing the hell out of them. The Iraq war, going our way, good news. Pelosi, speaker of the House, good news, Dingy Harry still running the Senate. Good news, Chuck Schumer’s in the tall grass after that Mukasey vote. We got Ted Kennedy — you want to talk about great news — Ted Kennedy detailing the agony of drowning from the floor of the Senate! You can’t tell me that’s not good news. Good news, the Clinton machine is falling apart, for now, over this debate muff that she made, and they still haven’t been able to make this go away. So there’s positive news out there, folks, if you look at it in the right way.
RUSH: By the way, the voters in Berkley, Michigan, did ‘turn down an amendment to the city charter yesterday that would have allowed a nativity scene to return to the lawn outside their city hall. The charter amendment failed by 55-44% margin with 4100 votes cast, 4136. Some residents of the town were outraged that the city and a local clergy association cut a deal with the ACLU to move the nativity scene, which had been displayed on public property for about 25 years, away from government grounds and onto a patch of grass outside a church. The display spent its first Christmas at its new location last year but those who want to return the nativity scene to public property petitioned to get the measure on the ballot where it was defeated,’ essentially by the ACLU.
One other interesting thing happened. ‘A referendum before New Jersey voters yesterday,’ this one I particularly love, because essentially New Jersey has just changed its constitution to allow ‘idiots’ to vote. ‘The fourth measure in the referendum that the voters of New Jersey went in yesterday on, asked voters to replace a section of the state constitution written in 1844 that describes people with mental illness as ‘insane’ and calls people with developmental disabilities ‘idiots.’ The description will be replaced with ‘a person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting.” (laughing) So it’s nice to know now that intelligent voting will be taking place in New Jersey, right? (laughing) ‘[R]eplace a section of the constitution that called people insane and idiots with this: ‘A person who has been adjudicated by…” That means ‘found not guilty,’ for those of you in Rio Linda, ”by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting.” They can’t.
Oh, and other good news: one thing out of North Carolina. There was a big property transfer tax rejected all across the state. ‘Wake, Durham, and Orange County officials see a pretty clear message when voters in other counties as make it clear they won’t accept a new tax to help pay for the cost of growth. In 16 counties in North Carolina, including Chatham and Johnston, voters on Tuesday rejected by big margins the idea of taxing property sales to pay for growth.’ It suffered a sound, sound defeat. The results were lopsided everywhere, by a three-to-one margin in most of these counties: ‘no’ to tax increases anywhere.
RUSH: Taxes. I have demonstrated in the last 20 minutes what one of the cutting issues in the 2008 presidential race is going to be: taxes. Everywhere there was a tax-increase related measure on a ballot yesterday in a state, it lost, and it lost big. In a liberal state like Oregon, 60-40, a proposition to raise the cigarette tax to pay for children’s health care, down to defeat, 60-40. Cigarette tax. Most people don’t smoke cigarettes. It still went down! North Carolina, they wanted to institute a tax in 16 counties called a property transfer tax. This is essentially a tax that you would be charged when you sell your house. You’ve already paid property taxes out the wazoo. You’ve paid any number of closing costs, all these other taxes that are tacked on to every aspect of your life, and then they want to have a tax on you when you sell your house. The purpose of the tax would be to fund growth and development. Well, hey, let’s stifle it in the home market. So that went down to defeat.
A tax increase that would have provided school vouchers in Utah, that one really wasn’t close, either. Now, there a number of different factors there, because I think a lot of people like the idea of being able to send their kids to private school, but they don’t want any tax increases on anything right now. So what do the Republicans have to do? We’ve already got the Democrats on the immigration issue. It is a winning issue for the Republicans, if they’ll just have the guts to come out against amnesty and get serious about border security. Number two is taxes. You’ve got Rangel, who has proposed this massive, incredible tax increase, 2.9 trillion, I’ve heard people say it would be over ten years if nothing was changed about it. You had a story in the Washington Post today that the whole business of making the economic changes necessary for global warming will cost people through the roof, the green agenda is in trouble, and that’s an albatross around the Democrats’ neck.
What is it when you strip it and reduce it all down? It’s taxes! It is clear the people in this country are overtaxed and they think they are overtaxed, and they know they’re overtaxed, and they’re fed up, and they’re not going to go for it even on taxes on cigarettes. When they have a chance to vote on it in state elections, they reject it big time, a liberal state like Oregon. It wasn’t long ago, just last year, that I told you that 800 people a day were moving to Florida, and they were leaving places like Long Island and the Rust Belt, where taxes, property taxes, income taxes, the tax on the pothole in front of your house, everything is going up, and they simply can’t afford to live there anymore, so they were moving to Florida, to the Riviera up there, the panhandle and then the Tampa-Sarasota area. Guess what’s happened, folks? Those 800 people may still be arriving, but more than those 800 are leaving! They are leaving primarily from south Florida and they’re moving to places like North Carolina, and you know why? Taxes!
Now, we don’t have an income tax, a state income tax in this state, but property taxes — actually, mine went down. I got my bills the other day. (interruption) Did yours go down too? No, no, no. It was pretty substantial. Well, maybe 2%. I’d have to run the percentage. But it went down, Snerdley. I’m not going to sit here and complain and moan about it. Yours went down 200 bucks? He’s throwing a fit in there. I know, 200 bucks to you is like a quarter. (laughter) But anyway, this is true. The point is that there are lessons here for the Republicans to learn. To get sucked into all of the issues that the Drive-Bys put out there, the Democrats, it’s not going to be about the Iraq war, this election is not going to be, I’m telling you. It’s not going to be about America’s being embarrassed in the world. This is going to be about America’s future and rebuilding it and grasping hold of what needs to be grabbed hold of to right the ship and turn it the right way. These issues are just made to order. You can link Hillary to Rangel’s tax increase very easily, because she’s going to do it. They’re going to raise taxes. They can’t wait to even do it, they can’t wait. They’re so eager to do it. They can’t even stop talking about it. They’re creating all kinds of ammo. Illegal immigration, lots of things out there that are on the ballot. Plus, we’ve shown them how to take the Clintons off stride and not end up in Fort Marcy Park, yet.
John in Indianapolis, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how are you?
RUSH: Fine. Thank you.
CALLER: Hey, I wanted to ask two things. First of all, I wanted to tell you, did you hear about the huge upset in the mayoral race in Indianapolis, where our Republican challenger who only had $51,000 in his coffers for the campaign, beat the Democratic incumbent, a two-term, who had several million dollars, on the basis of fighting crime, and, of course, the overwhelming property tax increases that were tried to be put upon the citizens of Indianapolis. They tried to raise mine. I was listening to you; they tried to raise my personal taxes by over $10,000.
RUSH: Your personal property tax?
RUSH: On the house?
CALLER: They made it $24,000. The elderly came out in droves and kicked this guy to the curb. The one thing that the man said, who won the election, that I thought you would appreciate, was that ‘money does not win elections.’ I know you would probably take issue with that, but in this case it really was true, Rush. He had no money, and, as one of the commentators said after the fact on the television, they said that he won’t be beholden to anyone because he had no significant contributors. His name is Greg Ballard. He just walked in, saying that this is wrong, he’s a former Marine. We like to say that, you know, Indianapolis called in the Marine. The people of the city were just outraged when the city council and the mayor tried to push through huge tax, property tax increases on us. And we elected a Republican for the first time in eight years. The other thing about this, Rush, is that the town council went to Republican. This was especially significant, since during these tax debates in the spring, our town council decided to lock the public out of the room, would not listen. The Democrat-led town council would not allow the public to come in and voice their opinion on one occasion.
RUSH: What happened to the sunshine law? Well, who knows. I mean I think things go right out the window when it’s convenient. But I knew you’d get a kick out of this election. This is a big deal.
RUSH: What’s your new mayor’s name?
CALLER: Greg Ballard.
RUSH: Greg Ballard, and he’s a Marine.
CALLER: And, by the way, the Indiana Republican Party did not necessarily come alongside him. They didn’t do a lot like spending money or anything like that. He only had television ads in the last few days, which, by the way, our Democratic mayor had gone completely negative in all of his ads talking about his inexperience, et cetera. This man has come from nowhere Rush with no money —
RUSH: What is Greg Ballard’s position on the artificial noise piped through the speakers at the RCA Dome during Colts games?
CALLER: All I can think, is if it helps us win against the Patriots next, that’s just fine. Rush, I want you to say hello to my brother who just survived brain surgery. He had cancerous brain surgery out in Portland, Oregon, he’s a listener to your show, his name is Tom and his wife Sherry, would you say hi to them for me?
RUSH: Yeah, Tom and Sherry, great to have you in the audience. That’s great news about him, by the way. You shared a whole lot of great news with us in the scope of a very short phone call.
CALLER: Yeah, it’s a big election.
RUSH: Now, this concept about the money. You’re saying what you said to me because I’ve repeated the Jesse Unruh remark that has now become lionized in politics, that ‘money is the mother’s milk of politics.’ There’s no denying that on balance, you need it. In a city election, you don’t need to run out all over the state, you don’t need to buy television time all over the state in order to be heard. Local media can do a lot for you, and —
CALLER: The local media, Rush, they were — last night, I watched all three channels. I couldn’t sleep. And they were mourning the loss of a Democratic mayor. They were not celebrating the new guy.
CALLER: And you could just tell it. I mean it was all three of our local people, they didn’t care —
RUSH: Oh, I understand all that, but here’s the way money did matter in your election. It always will one way or the other. The money in this election, that you’re talking about, the mayoral race in Indianapolis, was the taxpayers’ money, the people’s money —
RUSH: — and that’s where it was a factor. So it’s always going to be there.
RUSH: Whether somebody has the money to spend or not. I know you’re talking about the power of the message.
RUSH: As opposed to not having the money to get it out.
CALLER: He had $51,000 versus multi-millions on the part of the Democrats, and that’s what I’m trying to get at here, Rush. I want you to understand that — and I know you do — I want your listeners to understand that the people, when they get fed up, when they’re tired of something, they will go and vote the person out.
RUSH: Exactly, regardless of what the ads are, regardless of what they’re told. This is why your call could not be better timed, because it came right after our little tutorial for Republican candidates out there, especially the presidential candidates, gearing up here for their primaries and the general.
RUSH: Michael in Jackson, Mississippi. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Rush, mega dittos from the new Republican Mississippi. We swept every single statewide office, except for one. It’s the first time that’s ever happened in Mississippi.
RUSH: Yeah, and it’s after Hurricane Katrina!
CALLER: Yes, and, you know, we have the best governor: Haley Barbour. You know, while Louisiana’s been wringing their hands over trying to do something, he’s been actually doing something. We’ve got all kinds of new buildings up, new casinos. I mean, there has been so much construction in Mississippi. We’ve got our bridges back up. We haven’t been sitting around waiting on the federal government. We’ve had Mississippians getting out there and rolling their sleeves up and getting the work done.
RUSH: I know. That’s why we haven’t heard any news about it. That’s why the news continues to focus on New Orleans. There’s no bad news on Mississippi. It’s all really good news.
CALLER: Oh, it is.
RUSH: However, Louisiana’s going to get its act together, because Bobby Jindal’s just been elected governor over there, and he’s a Republican. I’m going to be talking to him tomorrow afternoon for the next issue of the Limbaugh Letter.
CALLER: Well, our new secretary of state said within the first 60 days, his priority is to have voter ID in Mississippi, and that we’re going to work on having no benefits for illegal aliens in the state of Mississippi. That is all going to be top priority in our new administration.
RUSH: I’ll tell you what. Go ahead and do this, but don’t brag about it, because people are going to be moving to that state like left and right.
RUSH: You want ’em to go to North Carolina out of Florida. You want to keep it quiet what’s going on.
CALLER: Well, I better keep it quiet. But I’ll tell you what. You know, I’ve been listening to you ever since you had your TV show.
CALLER: I rank you with Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan’s my all-time hero.
CALLER: So you and Ronald Reagan are my two greatest conservative heroes that I’ve ever been lucky enough to listen to.
RUSH: Well, I thank you very much for that.
CALLER: I’ll also tell you that I’m a gas-guzzling guy. My wife has a big old H2 that, I’ll tell you what: If she has a wreck, my children will survive. I have a Dodge with a big old hemi. (laughing)
RUSH: You know, I gotta tell you something. I love you, man. You’re my kind of guy.
CALLER: I have a 1979 Corvette that has 420 horsepower, so I’ve got gas-guzzling machinery over at my house.
RUSH: I’ll tell you what, what I was watching this NBC pregame show at halftime out there going green and turning the lights out, I got on the Internet and I started looking at 12-cylinder automobiles that I still don’t have. If Cadillac made one, I would have bought it Monday.