RUSH: John in Aurora, Illinois, welcome to the EIB, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s a pleasure to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I was hoping that I might make a wager with you and, to be fair, it was based on income. So I’m saying that the economy is going to have a major recession to a depression, within the next two to three years — and I base that belief on the housing market. A case where people are tapped out with equity; they’ve been living the good life, and now that spigot is shut off. Now they’re going to credit cards and they’re showing through the roof on defaults. I think it’s just a matter of time before this house of cards collapses. What do you thinks? [sic]
RUSH: Nope. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’ve been hearing things like this my whole life. I’ve been hearing the national debt is going to wipe us out. I’ve been hearing the annual deficit is going to wipe us out. I’ve been hearing the credit card debt and that people are not saving enough money, is going to wipe us out. I keep hearing that Social Security is going to wipe us out in 50 years unless we reform it. I think that the country is built on far more than a house of cards, and I wouldn’t enter into a wager lining this publicly because I choose not too violate federal gambling laws.
CALLER: (laughs) Yes, sir.
RUSH: (laughs) But what were you willingly to put on the line for this?
CALLER: I was going to put my $500.
RUSH: Five hundred dollars. Well, look, if you’re right, you can’t afford to lose $500.
CALLER: Well, I think that’s so, but I think the money I’d win from you would be well worth it.
RUSH: Do you think a president can stop the slide that’s imminent?
CALLER: No, Rush, and I think the housing market this time is something like the country’s never seen. It has never soared so high in the history, since they started keeping numbers. They can’t compare it to any time in history except Japan, where it happened in 1984, and theirs is still coming down.
RUSH: Well, I’m amazed that people can take the news on a day like this. See, I think you’re being helped along by the context and the attitude in which all of this is reported: the doom and gloom. For example, you make it sound like everybody who owns a house is going to go bust, because they’re going to lose their equity in it, then they’re going to turn to credit cards and they’re going to get cut off from those and then they’re going to be up a creek. Ninety-four percent of mortgage holders are making payments on time: 94%. Now, that might be better if it were 98, but the point is it’s not 50. It’s not 60. It’s 94%. So the roots of the so-called housing crisis, I don’t think they’re deep, and certainly it’s not as bad as it’s being portrayed. Most of the people who pay no attention other than scant attention, day-to-day reports on the housing market… Don’t forget, this housing market, the media was hoping for this bubble for the last two years. They kept talking, ‘The bubble’s gotta burst! It’s gotta burst in the housing market!’ Okay, so we had a little burst here in the bubble. ‘See?’ And they’ve set the table for this: two years of praying and hoping, just like they’re hoping and praying for a recession now. It’s irresponsible, especially with the GDP number that came out today: 4.9%. It’s like I said earlier, if the media were a drug company, they’d have been put out of business long ago for all the damage they’re doing and for how incorrect and wrong and poorly they’re doing their jobs.