RUSH: Let’s talk about the economy. Neil Cavuto had a fabulous line yesterday. By the way, I’ve got some things to add to my stimulus package. Yes, folks, we’re going to get to all the political news here, but there’s a lot of stuff going on out there, and has been for the past week or so and the stack of all that stuff is just building and building and building. By the way, welcome, it’s the Rush Limbaugh, 800-282-2882 is the phone number if you want to be on the program, and… the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com. By the way, my voice is back all the way, and I want to thank all of you for all of the advice and all the suggestions, like go to the pharmacist, get a little blue tube, drop it in the boiling water, sniff it for a couple minutes making sure not to burn your face; the usual tea and honey. I didn’t do any of that, folks, because I know myself. All I did was Zicam. In case this was a cold, and it might well have been because I did have a cough with it, in case this was a cold, I kept it isolated where it was. It didn’t move down to the chest, did not move up to the head, and it’s gone now. It only surfaced last Friday, and here it is Wednesday. That’s all I did. It’s all I ever do when I think I might be getting a cold. That’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s how you’re supposed to use it.
But the economy: Cavuto’s great point yesterday. Here we have a stimulus package that has been rushed by the Federal Reserve, a massive three-quarters of a point cut, 75 basis points for those of you in Rio Linda — no, 75 basis points for all the rest of you, three-quarters of a cut for those of you in Rio Linda. The economy is actually pretty healthy, all things considered, especially when you look at unemployment. We’re at 5% unemployment, and Cavuto’s line yesterday, ‘Can you imagine what we would be doing if the unemployment rate were 8%?’ (interruption) Why are you shaking your head in there? I don’t care that they might hate what I’m saying about the political stuff, too. That’s the point of me opening the show. If somebody hates it, I’m not going to not say it, if I really believe it. In relative terms, we’re healthy!
In fact, get this story. This is from Reuters, and it’s out of Kansas City: ‘Despite the market woes whipsawing Wall Street on Tuesday, the mood of many on Main Street was unfazed as people across the United States said the downturn was overdue and likely to be short-lived. ‘I’m not scared,’ said retiree T.J. Smith, who moved to a Kansas City suburb a year ago from Florida. ‘I know we’ve got the most vibrant economy in the world. It will bounce back.’ That sense of optimism was shared by young and old alike, and across income levels. Some saw a steep slide in the stock market or commodity prices as a buying opportunity. Others were grateful for the Federal Reserve’s slashing of U.S. interest rates, which could translate into cheaper car and home loans. ‘It seems like a good time to buy,’ said Peter Harper, a 27-year-old student, as he walked into the office of a discount brokerage in midtown New York. ‘I’m trying to open up a brokerage account right now.”
This is fabulous. When is the last time you saw the Drive-Bys publish a story like this? Most of the time when you have economic circumstances like this, you got CNBC doing everything they can to drive the country into a recession. Even today, we started down in the Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 206.4 right now. Huge buying opportunities! I made the point yesterday, 1987, in a two-week period, the Dow went from 26 to 15 or 30, whatever it was, a two-week period in October of 1987. So you can look at the latest boom starting in 1987 at 1600, let’s just say, and went all the way up to 14,000. Would you not have liked to have been in on the market when it was at the 1600s? The same thing is going to happen here at some point. However low this goes, as the market corrects itself here, these are buying opportunities for people who want to play and dabble in the stock market, and pretty soon, whatever this ends up, at 10,000, 11,000, I have no idea, but whatever it ends up, it’s going to be at 14 or 15,000 again someday and it’s going to be up to 20 or something relatively like it in the out years that you don’t even consider right now down the line. It’s just been the nature of the market for its lifetime, and I’m glad to see all this positive, lack-of-panic news out there. I am stunned, ladies and gentlemen, that the Drive-Bys are reporting this.
RUSH: Yesterday, I announced my stimulus package, ladies and gentlemen, and it included many things. It included among those things: wiping out all mortgage debt that is overdue that might lead to a foreclosure, rather than giving people 800 bucks. The Clintons don’t need 800 bucks, for example. They keep telling us they’re rich. They don’t need the 800 bucks. A lot of people don’t need the 800 bucks. Take all the money from people that don’t need it and give it to all these people that are on the verge of losing their homes, pay off their bad debt. Get ’em back to square one. They’re still gonna make their mortgage payments at that point forward. Number two: wipe out all credit card debt! This is something that could choke off the economy in future years and really cause people problems. I’ve read these heartbreaking stories from California of people making a hundred thousand dollars a year, and because of the tough economic times and the subprime crisis, they have had to take public transportation to their jobs scooping ice cream downtown at the Scoopy Dip shop. They have $40,000 in credit card debt. Wipe it out for everybody that is overdue.
I don’t care what the balance is. It could be 25 bucks that you’re overdue. Anybody paying a minimum payment because that’s all they can afford, anybody not paying the minimum payment because they can’t even afford it. Wipe it out, just get rid of all of that. You think I could get elected? This is so easy. That’s just two elements of my stimulus plan, but wiping out that kind of debt would help. This goes much farther than Mrs. Clinton freezing interest rates for 90 days. This goes much farther than Mrs. Clinton freezing foreclosures for 90 days. My plan prevents all that. I would also, as I have been suggesting that Mrs. Clinton do, I would establish a floor right now on stock prices. I would say, ‘The Dow Jones Industrial Average cannot go below 11,000.’ I’d just write it into law. I’d just make it happen. I was doing show prep, and I ran across a story today. I think I should add something else to all of this in my stimulus package. ‘Work-Related Stress Can Kill You,’ according to a study. ‘Work really can kill you, according to a study on Wednesday, providing the strongest evidence yet of how on-the-job stress raises the risk of heart disease by disrupting the body’s internal systems. The findings from a long-running study involving more than 10,000 British civil servants…’
These are government workers. You know, I don’t want to insult anybody here, but if government work is stressful and can lead to a heart attack, what is real work doing to people? These 10,000 British civil servants ‘suggest that stress-induced biological changes may play a more direct role than previously thought.’ I can handle this in my stimulus package. Since my stimulus package gets rid of all debt, I am going to stop working. Nobody will have to work. Whatever your current income is, you will get it and you’ll get an inflation-factored raise every year. We will continue to provide your health care, and your Social Security, and all these things. You wondered what was going to happen to that, Brian. All that stays, and, in fact, you get your salary. Now you don’t get any new raises because you’re not going to be doing anything, but you will get cost of living raises. No work in my stimulus package. ‘But Rush, nothing will get done!’ It doesn’t matter! I want votes! We’ll deal with that after I get elected, when I have to repeal all of this. But in order get elected — or to get loved and be loved by a lot of people — that’s my plan. Now, we just heard that work-related stress can kill. ‘The more fit you are, the longer you’re likely to live, according to a large study of veterans. That applies to black men as well as white men.’
Whoa ho-ho-ho! So getting in shape does not end up with women and minorities being hardest hit. ‘The Veterans Affairs researchers found that the highly fit men in the study had half the risk of death as those who were the least fit. The study showed that as fitness levels went up, the risk of death dropped for both blacks and whites. When researchers looked at blacks and whites with heart disease, results were similar.’ Now, who can keep up with all of this, all this contradictory information? It was just a couple of weeks ago, a month ago we were told, ‘Exercise doesn’t matter. Maybe the more overweight you are, the better shape you are; you may live even longer than the skinny little reeds out there.’ Now we’re back to this old wives tale that, ‘If you want to live long, you better exercise.’ There was a story earlier this week exercise doesn’t mean diddly-squat. It was Gina Kolata in the New York Times. There’s all this conflicting information. So, my stimulus package will also include not only wiping out all debt — credit card, mortgage interest — and paying you your salary plus a cost-of-living increase adjusted to inflation every year; your Social Security, your health care, and eliminating your work.
I will mandate four hours of exercise a day so that you live longer. I will mandate it. There’s nothing required if you don’t do it. I will still mandate it.
RUSH: Lucy in Columbus, Ohio. Hi, Lucy.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I can’t believe I’m speaking to you, Maha Rushie.
RUSH: Thank you so much. Yes, it’s true.
CALLER: I just wanted to call. Your call screener was pretty tough, but he was right, to get to the point. I want to complain about the government bailout of these people with these mortgage problems.
CALLER: My husband and I have a five-year ARM on our home, goes up in November of 2009, and we moved from a large house to a small house so that I could stay home with my two children. I have some people that I know that are having this problem. And I am so tired of people whining, that they don’t get off their behinds and do something about their lives.
RUSH: Well, join the club!
CALLER: I know that. I was cleaning the house and I was listening to you, and I was starting to get so angry, and I couldn’t believe it. I thought, well, I’m going to try to call Rush, because, you know, he is agreeing about this, and I know a lot of your listeners agree. So I stood up and I got my phone, and I started dialing, and about maybe the 12th time, I couldn’t believe I got through, and I want those people to know that you make me sick. Do something. I have a job. I work out of my home. I got a job because it was a little tight.
RUSH: Yeah, I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s why they don’t like you.
CALLER: I don’t care if they don’t like you.
RUSH: Well, that’s why they think that they ought to get even with you. That’s why they think you owe them, because you have a job and you’re happy, you probably make more — or they think you make more money than they do. When they got these ARM loans and rates went up to the point they couldn’t afford them, they gotta blame somebody and they don’t want to blame themselves. I’ll tell you who’s really escaping blame on this. If you want to assign blame — and, you know, that’s good for a little awhile — Congress is behind this. Congress is the one who demanded all these banks start lending money to people that really were not qualified. That’s really the root of this. Now they get to stand around and act like bystanders and spectators just like they did with Hurricane Katrina. But these are the people in charge of making sure the money is there and seeing the levies get fixed and get fixed properly. They act like they had nothing to do with it. ‘Well, what happened here? We better get to the bottom of it.’ They never conduct investigations about themselves.
The New York Times today has this little story on all this: ‘Urgently, Washington Responds.’ And the Democrats, the alarm here, for me, anyway, in this story, the Democrats are all excited at the bipartisanship with Republicans and in the White House. Now, the Republicans want different things in the stimulus package than the Democrats do, and the Democrats are arguing among themselves on whether to use this as an opportunity to blame Bush and blame the Republicans in an election year. But they are impressed, the Democrats, in their air of superiority say in this story they’re impressed that conservative skepticism has been swept aside and they want to work, the conservatives want to work with the liberal Democrats in order to get this done. Now, what the liberals want the stimulus package to consist of is largely public works. Conservatives are insisting on incentives for business and investment. Senator Judd Gregg, New Hampshire, is disappointed that the discussion — this is a Washington Post story — started in the middle, because now there’s nowhere for them to go, meaning they started with compromise at the outset. But, look, this is an election year, and this is what politicians do, and part of the reason for my stimulus package bit was to illustrate this being absurd, using absurdity, or illustrating absurdity by being absurd.
I’ll give you another theory. I think whatever you think of the economy, the stock market going down, 300 points the last time I saw, and this is just politics, and you can make book on it every election year, if the Democrats are the out-of-power party, they’re going to talk it down, and the Drive-By Media is going to think that’s politics as usual. They’re not going to care that it might be false. They’re going to chalk this up as what politicians do, this is what parties do, out-of-power parties try to ratchet up fear and angst and anger and that’s what’s happening now. I think the political process, I think the ongoing efforts of politicians, both parties to get elected, actually contributes to negative economic activity, not just perceptions. Once they start talking stimulus package, Lucy, once the government starts talking about giving things away, and it comes from the White House and the Congress, just bend over and grab the ankles, understand it’s an election year, and in December you might be able to stand back up.