RUSH: Both Senators McCain and Obama made campaign rally appearances today before flying back to Washington to vote on the Senate version of the bailout bill tonight. Obama was in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and McCain was in Independence, Missouri, close by the Harry Truman library. McCain said, (paraphrasing) ‘Look, the blame game is for later. We have to fix this.’ I don’t know how you can address this without affixing blame right now. All of this talk about earmarks and inflated spending that Senator McCain talks about doesn’t connect without mentioning why we got here in the first place. Obama was out attacking Halliburton, usual left-wing Democrat riffs, and he was just all over the ballpark, blaming Wall Street, McCain blaming Wall Street and so forth. There may be some culpability up there. There’s probably enough blame to go around a lot of places, but the vast majority of the blame for this lies right square, smack-dab in the heart of the place that broke it, and they are now in charge of fixing it. The Senate bill, by the way, we have posted a link to the Senate bailout bill at RushLimbaugh.com. It is 451 pages.
You might recall this whole thing started as a three-page outline written by the Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson. It’s now ballooned to 451 pages, and I’ll give you just a little bit of it here, from the beginning. But first, something from DeMint’s office. Apparently what the Senate is doing is adding some tax cuts, tax breaks, AMT relief and other things that are designed to appeal to Republicans in the House to get them to vote for this, and the Democrats are adding a mental health and addiction bill named after the late Senator Paul Wellstone in order to attract House Democrats so as to put this thing over the top. Now, DeMint’s office, ‘What’s all this have to do with the bailout?’ Nothing. But the tax package is quite popular with renewable energy incentives largely supported by the GOP and the mental health bill is popular and largely supported by Democrats. So take the most unpopular bill in years, wrap it in two popular bills from the left and the right, and dare anybody to vote no. DeMint’s office says this is what the Senate is doing today. Weren’t the candidates and The Hill leaders just promising a few days ago that the bailout shouldn’t be used as a Christmas tree for unrelated programs?
I read a post by Mark Steyn today, claims that he found that there’s an earmark in there for wool research or wool producers or some such thing. I’m not sure if he means — he said the bailout bill — I’m not sure if it’s the bailout bill or the continuing resolution, just the government spending bill. Regardless, there’s no question that 451 pages, this Senate bill’s gotta be loaded with a bunch of stuff that doesn’t have much to do with the bailout. Here is section two of the Senate bill, Purposes. ‘Purposes of this act are to immediately provide authority and facilities that the secretary of the Treasury can use to restore liquidity and stability to the financial system of the United States.’ Now, what exactly is the financial system of the United States, and why does one man get the job of restoring it? As if it needs to be restored. For example, does this mean that Secretary Paulson could impose tax cuts? Can he impose tax increases? ‘Provide authority and facilities for the secretary of the Treasury to restore liquidity and stability to the financial system.’ Number two, purposes of this act: ‘To ensure that such authority and such facilities are used in a manner that, A, protects home values, college funds, retirement accounts, and life savings.’ Really? I think tax cuts would accomplish that. But the Senate bill authorizes the Treasury Secretary to ‘ensure the protection of home values, college funds, retirement accounts, and life savings’? The Treasury Secretary’s part of the government. He’s not elected, but nevertheless the government’s going to ensure all this stuff?
I take you back to the preamble of the United States Constitution where it says protect the general welfare, not ensure it. Folks, there’s a word for this. It’s called socialism. When the federal government’s going to ensure all these things for you and make sure that there’s no risk, make sure that you’re never going to lose any value here, which they can’t do. I mean physically, financially it’s not possible. They could not accomplish this. But the fact that the bill says that he’s got the authority to do it puts a lot of power, useless power, by the way, could do a lot of damage, but nobody can guarantee the value of everybody’s home, investment, or what have you. What if you have a home that gets termites and you don’t take care of it? I could give you all kinds of examples here that would make this impossible. I don’t know how any one person could do this. What if I don’t repaint my house? What if I didn’t fix a hole in the roof, do I simply call the Treasury Secretary and say, ‘Hey, I need the hole in the roof fixed because the property value’s going to go on down here if I don’t get it fixed, and your job is to ensure this.’ Well, my home is part of the financial system of the United States. That’s not defined, either.
Section B of Purposes number two: ‘Preserves home ownership and promotes jobs and economic growth.’ So the Treasury Secretary has the authority to preserve home ownership and promote jobs and economic growth. Now, how do you preserve home ownership? I’m not trying to be a simpleton here, folks, but the way you preserve home ownership is to pay your mortgage. So does this mean that if you can’t pay your mortgage, you call the Treasury Secretary and ask for a mortgage payment in order to ensure the financial system of the United States? I know it’s happening, and this is the problem! How’s the Treasury Secretary going to create jobs? Preserve home ownership and promote jobs and economic growth. We’re putting all this in the Senate bill, and the House bill did the same thing, in the hands of one guy. Now, we know it’s going to be Paulson through January 20th, but we don’t know who it’s going to be beyond that. What if it’s Franklin Raines? What if Obama wins and puts Franklin Raines in there as the Treasury Secretary? How’s he going to preserve economic growth? If somebody had figured out the trick to that, there would never be any downward cycles, would there? It cannot happen, folks. It’s simply not possible.
There are cycles. And you can go to the — a little oxymoron here — you can go to the best-run central planning governments, you go to Cuba, you go to China, you go to Soviet Union of the past, you can go to any of these places and you tell me — go to Korea, go to North Korea — you tell me where economic growth is constantly occurring, even in the capitalist system that we have, or maybe had, the cycles were ever present, they are natural. Who is this miracle man, why is he given the power to do all this? This isn’t his job, it isn’t his business. It makes me wonder what the hell country we’re living in. Section C of Purposes number two: ‘The Treasury Secretary has the authority to maximize overall returns to the taxpayers of the United States.’ (laughing) If this could work, if this did work, it would have been done throughout the course of human history, and nobody would have ever lost their shirts or anything else. So we’re now shareholders in the government. We didn’t elect this guy, so how is he accountable to us? Can we fire him? What kind of statement is this? Maximizes overall returns to the taxpayer of the United States.
And finally, Section D, Purposes number two: ‘The Treasury Secretary will provide public accountability for the exercise of such authority.’ Well, we didn’t elect him. There can’t be any accountability. Anyway, this is what it is. Jon Kyl was just on Fox saying it’s going to pass the Senate tonight, that there’s not any doubt about this. They’ve put the sweeteners in it for the House Republicans and the House Democrats so that they will pass it. Both the presidential candidates received thundering applause when they announced that they would immediately be returning to Washington to work on this following their rallies and yada yada yada.