Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: John in Pinehurst, North Carolina, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Man, Rush, I never thought I’d be picking a fight with a guy that I’ve listened to since I left the Army active duty in 1989, but sometimes, boy, you confuse me like you’ve never confused me before.

RUSH: Well, let me see if I can straighten it out.

CALLER: Well, I’ve never… I’ve listened to you for that long. I remember once I talked to you. How many callers do you get from Pinehurst, North Carolina? I mentioned that you and Bush were on the green that day on Pinehurst and I didn’t even notice you were there.

RUSH: Yes, I remember that day well. I played well that day. So did he.

CALLER: There you go, and I invited you for lasagna. The wife makes a lasagna. She’s Italian but you never showed up. What the heck? More for me.

RUSH: Well, I had to skate outta there, I had to get back after golf.

CALLER: There you go. Look, the auto industry was not… I own an automotive recruiting company. For 13 years I’ve worked this industry. The government does not destroy the auto company like you said a few minutes ago. The auto industry was destroyed by exactly what Dick Lutz [sic–Bob Lutz] said. He’s the product czar at General Motors. He’s the guy that’s really in charge of styling for all the vehicles, and I believe he’s a former president or head of Chrysler Corporation. But Lutz said in the eighties Ford, GM, and Chrysler made junk — and I mean, they made junk.

RUSH: I’m not denying that. Look, I’ve talked about this, especially General Motors. They had Chevrolet. They had Cadillac, and every model in these brands looked alike, just different pricing, a little different trim. They were making cars that nobody wanted, but they’re coming back.

CALLER: One more thing. Go back to 30 years ago when CAFE standards were initiated. If General Motors, in fact, if — Where I think — I’m not calling you a hypocrite, but darn it, you really are missing it from a Republican, and I don’t want to be called a seminar caller by you because for 20 years I lived by the Republican Party, and today you could hold a gun to my head and I’m not voting for a Republican. I’ve never in my life voted for a Democrat, and I don’t want to begin, but the Republican Party betrayed people like me.

RUSH: I understand that.

CALLER: But the Republican Party doesn’t understand people like me.

RUSH: I also know Bob Lutz, who you’re talking about at General Motors. I met him last May. I met with him. I’ve known him a long time and I talked about these problems, and, believe me, he has a different story than you do about this.

CALLER: One more thing, can I mention…?

RUSH: But a lot of people aren’t going to vote Republican this time around, and I understand why, but that’s not why you called.

CALLER: Well, that’s kind of what — here’s the last thing. When a man of your wealth — yes, your wealth — no matter what happens, you can afford it. What about guys like me out there? I’ve had years where I’ve made big six figure and years that I haven’t, and, all in all, me and my wife are fairly financially stable, but do you know how expensive life is, or how much it costs to pay for health care, and why…?

RUSH: Yes, I damn well do because I do pay for it myself!

CALLER: Well, exactly.

RUSH: Let me tell you something.

CALLER: But when I talk about your wealth —

RUSH: No, no, no. Let me tell you something about this wealth business. I’ve been broke twice in my life. When I was 31 years old, I was making $17,000 a year. I have been fired I forgot how many times. Seven times! So I’ve been there. This constant refrain that I’m ‘out of touch,’ is just bogus. That’s another thing that really bugs me: this movement within the Republican Party to claim that the middle class is in great suffering and pain. I understand if you own a house, and your value of your equity in your house is plummeting, that you’re worried, and I understand that totally. What you need to hear is the truth of why it happened, so that you can make plans in the future. These are cycles, and everybody in every country and every society goes through them, and ours are not nearly as bad as people around the rest of the world are. I know health care is expensive. That’s why I’m focused not on making it more expensive, but on making it cheaper, and how do you do that? You do it with conservatism! I’m by no means out of touch on this. If the health care industry were priced like every other industry is on the patient’s ability to pay, then we’d fix the problem, and that’s the direction we have to head in.

But if we’re going to keep this notion that everybody’s entitled to have whatever they want medically paid for by their neighbors, then we are finished. We are finished as a country; we are finished as a society. You can talk about my wealth, but let me tell you something, sir. I don’t depend on anybody else for anything, and it was one of my objectives when I grew up. I didn’t want to be obligated. I didn’t want to be dependent. I didn’t want to owe anybody. I don’t buy into insurance plans because it’s a hassle! Now, I know a lot of people don’t have that freedom. I used to not have that freedom, either. But I do now because I worked for it — and if I can do it, a lot more people can do it than think they can, and that’s conservatism again. People are much better than they know. They have much more potential than they know. But when you’ve got a Democrat Party and a movement telling them they suck, telling them they can’t get anywhere because the deck is stacked against them and the people stacking the deck are Republicans and so forth, then you are diminishing the country; you’re diminishing the future, and you’re destroying people’s lives.

That’s what today’s liberalism and Democrat Party is doing. You want to fix health care? You make it like buying a hotel room. We have all kinds of choices. You can go to a Motel 6 and you can go to a Ritz Carlton. Depends how much you want to pay. Why is health care any different? Health care’s different because the government’s been involved in it for so long. They’re trying to make people dependent on government and people in government for power, and wait ’til they start doing that with other businesses, too — with energy, and everything else. We’re faced with real, real challenges here, and the debate over health care is not how ‘we Republicans’ can best make sure everybody gets insured, because that’s just accepting the Democrat proposal and their position. Our target ought to be: How do we make this reasonable? How do we reduce costs? And there are countless proposals out there. It’s the same thing with public schools. Most people despise ’em. Most people, particularly in urban neighborhoods, would love to get their kids out of these rotten schools — and every time they have a chance to send ’em to a private school, they jump at it.

Who stands in the way? The Democrat Party, the teachers unions, who are interested in maintaining substandard schools with substandard education so they will have jobs. I’m not the problem, sir. I’m not the one standing in anybody’s way. I’m trying to tell people how to get out of the rut. I’m trying to show them that they can. I’m trying to demonstrate that it’s possible, and it’s possible if you understand certain conservative principles that are indeed rooted in freedom, self-reliance, and achievement. Not whining, not moaning, and not complaining. Because you can whine, moan, and complain all you want, and then what are you going to do after that? Wait for somebody to come in and tell you that they’re sorry and offer you some solution to it? The solution to the health care mess is just out there, the same as the solution to public schools: vouchers. People are spending property tax money through the nose to prop up a worthless education system!

Let ’em take the money that’s being taken from them; give them control over how to spend it on their own kids’ education, and you watch how it changes. Ditto health care. The solutions to the problems that ail this country are found in capitalism and the free market, the true agent of change. Not from Washington with people despising policies rooted in nothing fundamental, policies that are simply designed to make people think Washington cares and Washington is ‘doing something.’ Well, how many years have you heard politicians run for office whining and moaning and telling you they hear you, on the mess that is health care? The Clintons in the nineties. ‘We got 37 million uninsured. We’re going to fix this.’ Today it’s 47 million uninsured, they tell us. A lot of that, people are choosing to be uninsured because they’re young, and they want to spend their money on other things. But that’s not good enough for Democrats! They’re going to be mandating coverage for everybody, if they get their way. Has the problem been solved? Or is it getting worse?

The health care problem in this country is getting worse, while people are voting for people who are making it worse because they hear these people saying, ‘I’m going to fix it.’ Well, the people in charge of fixing it have no interest in it getting fixed, because, if it gets fixed, you don’t need them. You can rely on yourself. This health care debate is one of the most infuriating things I witness every day, because I get so sick and tired of people buying hook, line, and sinker a lie. ‘I’m going to get everybody covered. I’m going to make sure everybody gets health insurance in this country. We’re going to make sure it’s not just the rich.’ It doesn’t happen, does it? When you have government telling private industry how to operate, this is exactly what you get, and it’s going to happen in energy. It’s already happening in a number of other industries, too. It’s happening in the auto industry. You bring the auto industry up. I’ll tell you what Mr. Lutz told me: He can’t make the cars he wants to make, because of these CAFE standards! (sigh) It’s frustrating as hell.

I said, ‘Well, why don’t you fight? Why don’t you guys, all you auto companies get together and fight this hoax?’

He said, ‘Because we gotta give the customers what they want.’

I said, ‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, the customers believe this stuff.’

That’s right. The American people have bought hook, line, and sinker this hoax of manmade global warming. Carbon dioxide, which we exhale, is a pollutant! How stupid can anybody be to believe this? The Good Lord created us. Are we pollutants? We are destroying the earth? That’s what the Democrats and liberals and environmentalist wackos want you to believe. The very fact of our existence pollutes the planet so we are sinning and we have to be made to pay! What’s that? Higher taxes. More liberals in power telling us how we must atone. Well, screw that, and screw them! You want to revive the auto industry? Let people that ought to make cars people want build them.

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