RUSH: One other little item here. I want to go back to the tobacco settlement. It’s all related. This is all related to liberalism. It’s all related to Big Government, it’s all related to a bunch of socialist liberals who want to intrude every possible way into your freedom and your liberty. Do you remember all these big-time tobacco settlements where the tort lawyers, in some cases, got fees of a billion dollars, divvied ’em up, some lawyers ended up with $200 million in these cases? What were we told the tobacco settlements, in other words, going out and fleecing Big Tobacco for killing all these people and lying about it with the product, nicotine and all that? That money was going to do what? It was going to fund education; it was going to fund health care, seminars and education on not smoking and so forth.
From Columbus, Ohio, this is from AdAge.com. ‘Ohio has dismantled a foundation that paid for a statewide anti-smoking campaign, prompting the advertising agency that handled the account to lay off 27 employees May 5. Northlich, Cincinnati, has handled the creative and media efforts for the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation since 2002, winning a review against other shops in late 2007. ‘It’s a tragedy that such a successful program may not continue,’ Northlich CEO Kathy Selker said in a statement. ‘I can’t begin to express the depth of the personal and professional commitments our people made. … When you know that 40% fewer teens smoke today than when we began this program, you know we’ve made a true difference.’ As job losses mount in Ohio, legislators raided the foundation’s coffers to find extra cash to fund a $1.5 billion economic-stimulus package.’
So Ohio’s in deep doo-doo budget-wise, they raid the tobacco settlement foundation to fund an economic stimulus package which causes people that work at the foundation to get laid off. ‘Lawmakers took $230 million of the $270 million in the foundation’s endowment.’ The tobacco settlement gave this foundation $270 million, the state of Ohio came along and took 230 million of it. ‘Just $40 million will be left to fund anti-smoking efforts in the state, and any efforts will now be controlled by the Ohio Department of Health. State officials estimate that after meeting contractual obligations for 2008, less than $25 million will be available for anti-tobacco programs,’ out of the 270 million. What are we to make of this? Well, I want to first talk to those of you out there who think, who are misguided — we were talking about this yesterday. We’ve been conditioned, we’ve been told, we have been warned, we need to hate every great institution in this country. We gotta hate every big corporate interest; we gotta hate Big Oil; we gotta hate Big Tobacco; we’ve gotta hate Big Retail, Big Drug, Big Pharmaceutical, big everything. Big Food, hate ’em, Big Insurance, they’re trying to screw us, Big Medicine, they’re trying to shaft us, and we’re to love government. That’s who we can love.
Government is out to genuinely help us. If you buy that notion, if you thought politicians had your best interests at heart, just check this story in Ohio. To hell with the smoking settlement, to hell with the anti-smoking foundation, screw it. Politicians in Ohio saw a pile of money and said it’s ours, we’re taking it, and you people that work in the foundation, too bad, go get other jobs. This happened in most states. This is just the most recent state where this happened. I don’t have a figure at my disposal, but it wouldn’t take more than an educated guess to assume that most of the money in all these tobacco settlements that were supposed to go to health care programs never made it there. They were appropriated by state legislatures for their budget operations. The Big Tobacco settlements were big. I mean some of these, in Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, they were huge. But you know the Big Tobacco settlement, you know all that was? It wasn’t about your health, and it wasn’t about anger at Big Tobacco for killing people with their product. It wasn’t about that. It was about government taking their profits. It was about a bunch of lawyers and state governments working together — Connecticut — to take the profits of Big Tobacco. And they succeeded in doing it, with all these lawsuits, class-action and otherwise, by demonizing the tobacco companies. And they succeeded. I mean, look, smoking, smokers, despised. There’s a visceral hatred for people who do this.
We ought to be giving these people medals. These are the people paying for health care in this country. The taxes they pay on tobacco products, they are funding health care for your little Johnny while you’re out there thinking that they’re the worst scum on earth. You ought to be thanking them. They’ve been so demonized that they’ve been able to find juries that would allow the government to come in and just take the profits of a company, socializing the profits of corporations. This thing in Ohio is an illustration of the point: $270 million in the Big Tobacco settlement goes to this foundation to fund anti-smoking programs in Ohio. Guess where the money has ended up? State government. Those were profits from Big Tobacco that the state of Ohio has appropriated. The way this was achieved was to claim that the money would support anti-smoking efforts and keep little Johnny safe and keep little Sally safe, and we’ll do it for the children, and we’ll get rid of Joe Camel.
You put a dollar bill on the floor and I guarantee you the first person to pick it up is going to be some government official, bureaucrat, an elected official, a staff member, or something. Mark my words. Same thing is happening with global warming. You are being conditioned into buying into a hoax. They’re making you feel guilty. You can assuage your guilt by changing lightbulbs, unplugging your stupid Sunbeam toaster, unplugging your cell phone charger, going out and getting a bunch of new lightbulbs, and thinking you matter. All the while they’re going to raise taxes on you.