RUSH: We’ve got Jimmy in Chicago next. Great to have you, sir. Welcome to Open Line Friday.
CALLER: Hey, how you doing, Rush? Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Same to you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, buddy, I first tuned in to you in ’92. I come from a real long line of Democrats here in Chicago, and they were after the Republican Party all the time, but my buddies turned me on to you in ’92, and I’ve been listening ever since. Thank you for the education you have given me.
RUSH: I appreciate that. You’re more than welcome.
CALLER: Hey, I want to ask you a question about the energy bill. I was thinking about this when you were talking about it. All right, they want the cars to get like 35 miles per gallon. All right, what about the poor people in this country, when they — you know, they out drive jalopies, you know, and they can’t afford a new, car, will the government give them a new car so they can bring home their big screen TV.
RUSH: No, the new cars that are manufactured starting in 2012 have to have the new miles-per-gallon rating. They can’t give all the old cars — the number of old cars on the road versus new cars sold every year is large. I mean there’s many more old cars on the road than there are new ones every year. So you can drive an old clunker for as long as you want ’til it won’t go anymore, then you sell it and get a new one, then you got a problem. Now, your new car is going to comport now, or comply. Now, here’s the interesting thing. General Motors yesterday, their guy who — one of their senior vice presidents for design and so forth, they’re introducing the latest iteration of the Corvette, and I forget the model but, this thing, it’s a monster, 620 horsepower in a V8. They claim 15 street, 24 highway. It’s a muscle car. By 2012, GM says, they may not be able to sell it. It may not qualify. People want muscle cars like this, and this just may be the first of the muscle cars to go by the wayside. The only way GM could do it — and they don’t make that many Corvettes. This baby is going to cost a hundred grand. The only way General Motors could do it would be to manufacture a bunch of cars that get more mileage than what the government says so that it would offset the mileage of the Corvettes that were sold. Which means, if there’s going to be a strategic decision for them, if they want to continue to manufacture the Corvette as a muscle car, they’re going to have to manufacture a whole bunch of teensy-weensy little worthless jalopies that nobody wants, hoping they can convince somebody to buy them, so there’s this offset. You know, this energy bill, you bring it up, and one of the things about it, the global warming argument I think can be won in the hearts and minds of the American people. But it’s going to be very difficult to defeat it legislatively, as this energy bill makes clear. But, look, this is 2007. The new CAFE standards go into effect on 2012. So we’ve got five years here, and just like, you know, in a budget bill, project a budget three years, four years out, but it’s not cast in stone, they do the budget every year. And they can come back and change this or adapt it before the 2012 CAFE standards go into play. There will be a lot of lobbying pressure to avoid that. However, it’s — the shape of the automobile industry is going to change drastically. You know, these big muscle cars that people like, and you see out there, may be mandated out of existence by your federal government.