RUSH: This morning in Washington, DC, the Republicans’ standard-bearer, Senator McCain, spoke to the National Federation of Independent Business and eBay 2008 National Small Business Summit. He said this to a business summit.
MCCAIN: Americans are right to be offended when the extravagant salaries and severance deals of CEOs, in some cases the very same CEOs who helped bring on these market troubles, bear no relation to the success of the company or the wishes of the stockholders. Something is seriously wrong when the American people are left to bear the consequences of reckless corporate conduct while the offenders themselves are packed off with another 40 or 50 million for the road. If I’m elected president, I intend to see that wrongdoing of this kind is called to account by federal prosecutors; and under my reforms, all aspects of a CEO’s pay, including any severance arrangements, must be approved by the shareholders.
RUSH: That’s our standard-bearer, folks. That’s John McCain. I’m sure he’s not talking about Charles Keating. (doing McCain impression) ‘That never happened. You don’t bring that up on this show, Limbaugh. You’ve been given your memo. It never happened. I was exonerated, exonerated!’ Okay, fine. Snerdley made me bring up Keating anyway. I wasn’t even thinking Keating. (doing McCain impression) ‘That’s better. Don’t ever say it again.’ Okay, back off. Bad enough, I don’t have to mention Keating. You’re talking to a bunch of business guys telling them how they don’t have a right to earn whatever the market will bear and that you as president are going to police it. The last president I knew that tried this was William Jefferson Blythe Clinton.
Do you remember what Clinton did ’92-’93? (doing Clinton impression) ‘I’m sure you do, Limbaugh, ’cause I don’t question your memory. Let me just tell you what I did, because I’m here anyway. I knew I had to get the favor of the little people. They were in that recession. There wasn’t a recession, but I made ’em think there was a recession. It wasn’t the worst economy in the last 50 years, but I made ’em think it was, and they all bought it, do you remember that? I remember how mad you were, Limbaugh. Anyway, I said, we’re going to tax a corporation that makes over $1 million. That corporation cannot deduct anything more than what they pay that guy, $1 million, and so we’re going to reduce corporate pay. But I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I knew my corporate buddies were not going to get reduction in pay. I just knew that they were gonna come up with a new way of paying it, like bonuses and stock options, and that’s exactly what happened. And look what it got us. Now everybody doesn’t like stock options. And, by the way, Limbaugh, don’t forget to remind them, I exempted athletes and actors, my posse.’ Exactly right. The last time any president tried to get this involved in the private sector was Bill Clinton. And Clinton, I don’t think Clinton ever said it this forcefully or direct. Now, in light of McCain sounding just like Clinton, only worse, Obama got wind of this. He was in St. Louis, and he responded. This is the web thing I was watching earlier.
OBAMA: I’ve said that John McCain is running to serve out a third Bush term, but the truth is when it comes to taxes, that’s not being fair to George Bush. Senator McCain wants to add $300 billion more in tax breaks and loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and he hasn’t even explained how to pay for it.
RUSH: It pays for itself, tax cuts pay for themselves.