Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: It is sad and funny at the same time. It was predictable, a lot of people did predict it. They were right. What is going on on Capitol Hill today is a testament to the cluelessness of the people in charge of supposedly saving this economy. It is absolutely absurd to watch all this go down. Barney Frank is mad that the money is not being spent to buy out mortgages. He’s mad that the money is not being lent by the banks. He’s mad that the money is not being used as it should be used. The one thing about this is the central planner that they hired on this — the central planner, Hank Paulson — he’s just doing what he was empowered to do.

He’s in charge. He is a dictator when it comes to this bailout money. They gave him the power. I don’t even know why they have the right to call him up there and have him explain what he’s doing. How many times have I read to you the preamble, sections 1 and 2, the purpose of the bailout legislation? I don’t know how many people have not noticed this, but the Secretary of the Treasury was given 100% power. Isn’t it amazing again that these guys in Congress — the House of Representatives and the Senate who passed this bill, wrote it and set it up — are now acting outraged that there hasn’t been any oversight. They’re the ones that are supposed to have been doing the oversight.

So just like Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath, just like any other calamity when a bridge collapses or anything else, the people in charge of it get to set themselves up as spectators; surprised and shocked that this is happening and how come nobody told ’em? — and they get away with it. The architects of this disaster are now questioning the man they gave total power to run this whole show, as though he’s screwing up. They didn’t want the hot potato. They wanted to get the credit for signing up and getting the $700 bill out there, but they threw it off on Paulson, and what Paulson basically did is go, ‘Whew! Now some of my close friends are not going to have sell their houses in the Hamptons and won’t have to move to Yonkers.’

Basically, what you have here is Wall Street has taken over Washington. Paulson knows it. Everybody else knows it. And these guys are now questioning Paulson as to what he’s going to do and he’s going up there and taking the heat, but he knows in his back pocket he’s got the legislation that granted him total power to do whatever he wanted. Congress is just… I mean, I’ve never seen such an exercise in self-loathing. It’s hard to watch — and I have been watching it because, my friends, it is my job. I’ve been watching it. They spent… Have you heard the latest policy from Obamaism? (interruption) Well, there’s a whole bunch of them, Mr. Snerdley. But Obama wants — He talked about this with McCain in the meeting yesterday, ‘ending corporate welfare’ as they sit there and debate whether or not to send $25 or $50 billion to the auto industry.

But yet they’re going to ‘end corporate welfare.’ We’re not ending corporate anything! We’re in the business of nationalizing as much of these business as possible. Congress spent the last six years doing what? Blasting the 2002 resolution of force agreement against Iraq that they authored; and if you remember, they demanded a second vote on this. The Democrats were reading the tea leaves going into the midterm elections in November in 2002. The Democrats said, ‘You know, we’re not on the right side of this Iraq thing. The American people are all fired up and want to go in there.’ So they demanded — even after they had granted the president authority to use force at the time of his choosing, they demanded — a second vote.

Tom Daschle and Kerry did, so that they could get on record, be on record to have everybody in the country know they supported this. Yet for the last six years, they’ve been acting like they had nothing to do with it, like Bush lied to them, like this is a total Bush operation. They wrote this $700 billion bailout bill. Most of them passed it, signed it, voted for it without having read the whole thing. Now they tell us that they are stunned that there hasn’t been any oversight? I don’t know where the oversight is when you grant the Treasury secretary full power to do with this 700 billion whatever he wants to do with it, because he is empowered here to ‘ensure the economic security of the American people.’

They have expressed extreme disappointment that they passed the Bush tax cuts. They’re lashing out at the central planner they created and empowered. Public approval ratings of Congress are at practically an all-time low. And even Congress doesn’t seem happy with the decisions that they have been making. This is just a joke to watch them. We’ve got some audio sound bites coming up, but it is literally a joke. And I tell you, folks, in all candor we could sit here and we could do Will Rogers and we could make fun of them (and we do), but this is quite a teachable moment. Because there’s so many people in this country, so many voters, so many average citizens think government is the solution to their personal problems, local problems, state problems, federal problems.

The government can handle it. The government should do something. Every time the government’s empowered to take care of a crisis, they make it worse! It doesn’t get solved, and yet people continue to somehow buy into the notion that government is the solution to these problems. It’s not. The individual entrepreneurs are — and poor old Mark Cuban, he had it dead on right yesterday at that post at the Huffington Post and he’s all upset because not one member of Obama’s economic team is an entrepreneur, and he said entrepreneurs are the guys that are going to be the key to the economic recovery. I said, ‘Mark, entrepreneurs are the targets of Barack Obama.’ They’re the ones that are going to be paying all these new tax increases. They’re the ones Obama does…

He wants to limit their ability to ‘access the American dream,’ quote, unquote. Of course there are not any entrepreneurs around Obama. He believes that government, central planning is the focus. So many people put their blind faith in the government to take care of things, eliminate problems, and now this is a joke, what is happening with all of these supposed bailouts, what’s happening in the states. The city of New York, the mayor there wants people to limit the amount of salt that they use? This is just getting beyond the point of absurdity. It really is. At some point, you sit here and you desperately hope that enough people will realize that when the government says they’ve got the answers, they don’t.

But I’ve been thinking this for 20 years, and we’ve had spurts where people have realized it. We always seem to go back to the default position that government can handle it. This is a collection of fools. This is a collection of zombies.


RUSH: These are uncertain times. These are times of great concern. When you don’t have any stability out there, when you’ve got volatility, I don’t care how much money people have, there are any number of ways you can lose it. If you’re in the muni bond market, what if the issuers of the bond say sorry they’re no longer AAA, what did they get rated down to AA or single-A, I mean they can do anything. Look at all the investments that people had in stock and look at the price of the stock, it fell. These kinds of things can happen. The AAA muni bond market is still pretty strong and still pretty solid, but when you have this kind of instability, when you have this kind of incompetence masquerading as a physician fixing what’s wrong with you up on Capitol Hill, nobody’s confident what’s going on here.

This Treasury secretary hasn’t the slightest clue what he’s doing. Bernanke doesn’t know what he’s doing. We gave him $700 billion, half of it’s been used. Everything we were told was not true about it. We were told we couldn’t wait. We were that this bailout had to happen or it was over now and we’re hearing the same thing about the auto industry: If we don’t get this, it’s over. All this crisis stuff. I was thinking the other day, I was watching — I’m going to name names — but I was watching a bunch of different business channels out there during the original debate over the $700 billion. I can remember some of these info babes and anchors going on and on and on, sounding just like they owned the companies on Wall Street and owned banks. ‘We’ve got to do this. We’ve just got to do this. I’m talking to X, and I’ve talked to this person, I’ve talked to them, we can’t wait.’ These are journalists on business channels. ‘We can’t wait. This must be done. The effects if we don’t do this, we don’t even want to think about.’ And so the first vote failed, it took a week or so to get the next vote, everything was chunking along just fine, country didn’t go down the tubes, people didn’t get laid off, institutions didn’t crumble, people weren’t jumping out of banks.

By the way, there are some protesters outside Wall Street today, little cardboard signs that say, ‘Jump, you SOBs.’ Some people want ’em to start jumping out of the windows on Wall Street. But, look. So we got the $700 billion. It cost $850 billion to get the 700 because they had to give some of these guys in Congress sops, as in pork, to get them to authorize it. So the Treasury secretary single-handedly empowered to use the money, he has given out 200 to 300 billion of it. There has been no noticeable change in the circumstances that warranted the bailout, and in fact, ladies and gentlemen, the original purpose of the bailout, which, among other things, was to buy up these toxic assets, i.e., worthless paper, it was last week that Hank Paulson, the Treasury secretary, the central planner, the single most powerful man in America by virtue of the bailout legislation, went out and had a press conference, ‘By the way, we’re not going to buy up the toxic assets. We need this to bailout the credit card companies,’ the same day that American Express asked for a bailout for their credit card default and then other companies are getting in line.

So the original purpose — remember, now, if we didn’t do this, it was over. If we didn’t do this, the United States of America was finished as we know it. We had all these information people on television, ‘We’ve got to do this,’ when the first vote was taken, the Republicans were not getting on board, these info babes and anchors on some of these business channels were excoriating these Republicans. Remember this? Okay, so the original purpose, buying up toxic assets and freeing up banks and lending institutions to lend, it hasn’t happened. We’re not going to buy the toxic assets, and they’re not lending any money. Instead, we’re now bailing out states, credit card companies, maybe auto companies. And the guys who wrote the legislation are having investigative hearings today to find out what the hell went wrong. How are we still a nation? I want to know how we are still functioning, based on what they told us.

So, damn right, Snerdley, there’s a whole lot of people, maybe want hands-on suffering, but you don’t have to suffer in an exact sense in order to be disquieted about this or a little bit concerned. Because with this kind of incompetence and this kind of instability, this kind of volatility, you got an incoming administration, and nobody knows yet just how soon further crippling policies will be enacted, such as tax increases, raises in the capital gains rate, nobody who runs a business, large or small, can plan out cost of labor or any other fixed costs for the future because they have no idea what these clowns in Washington are going to do. When we have the private sector of this country having to wait day by day to find out what these muddle heads are going to do with the nation’s economy, tell you that there’s a lot of instability out there and a lot of people are concerned, and a lot of people are worried about losing what they’ve got. When you hear the state of New York saying — I mean, what’s happening in that state, what’s happening in that city, the ideas they’re coming up with to raise money, there are people saying, ‘Well, what if they just decide to say they’re going to take half of everybody’s assets, they’re just going to take half of everybody’s net worth,’ what’s to stop ’em? What’s to stop ’em? You can shake your heads and say that’s outrageous. Do you know how bad this credit thing is?

These guys have been living on borrowed money and borrowed time for all of these years, personal, business, government. The dirty little secret here, we don’t have nearly the capital to underwrite all the debt that has been taken on by people in this country from individuals to businesses to banks, to corporations, to states, to what have you. When we hear that the Federal Reserve loaned somebody $2 trillion two weeks before the $700 billion bailout, they loaned two trillion, we don’t know to who, we don’t know to how many, we don’t know why, and we don’t know what the repayment circumstances are, and they won’t tell us. Two trillion. The annual federal budget is three trillion. The Fed just loaned — where did they get it? Cash reserves? It’s either going to have an inflationary effect or deflationary, and neither circumstance is good. And now we have all these businesses telling us they’re going to collapse if they don’t get bailed out. I don’t blame anybody for having concerns here over the lack of stability, and when you see what these guys in Washington are doing, and when you take a look at what the mayor of New York and the governor of New York, what their ideas are to raise money, and this idiot, Schwarzenegger, what his ideas are to raise money out in California, while at this time, all these people are still planning on moving ahead with the global warming agenda, which is going to cost people even more freedom and liberty and taxes.

This, to me, looks like the governments, many of them, state, and, of course, the federal government, just trying to take over as much — we say freedom and liberty; I think they’re trying to get their hands on as much money as they can. Remember, their attitude is that all money in this country is theirs. I told you last week, they look at the whole federal budget and they look at what programs cost them. What does it cost them to allow us to have an IRA? What does it cost them to have us not be taxed as income, our health benefits, paid for by employers, what does that cost them? Why do you think they’re messing around with 401(k) revisions? They’re looking at what all of these tax breaks, incentives, what have you, all of their policies, all their programs, what does it cost them? They’re up there plotting ways to get their hands on as much money as they can. And so no matter how much or how little you have, when you know this, you sit in trepidation every day and say, ‘What are they going to come up with next to take what I’ve got?’ Because one thing we know about every damn one of these people up there, they’ve got what it takes to take what we’ve got.


RUSH: I just checked the e-mail: ‘Rush, Rush, Rush, it sounds like you think the bailout isn’t gonna work.’ It’s not. I’m sorry for being so unclear about this. It’s not that I don’t think it’s gonna work, it’s that I know it’s not gonna work, and the reason it’s not gonna work is because Bernanke and Paulson are fighting the market, and the market will always win. The market is the market, and it will always win, and they can’t manipulate it. Folks, if anybody had figured out a way to manipulate the market, do you realize there would never be anything other than 100% growth and prosperity for one and all, at all times. If anybody were able to manipulate the market to make that happen, he would be president for life, and then they would clone him, and his cloned offspring would be presidents for life. No government has ever been able to guarantee prosperity. No government has ever been able to fix the market.

The market takes care of itself. And until all of this pressure, all of this desire to manipulate — and there’s more going on here. This is not just altruistic. This is not these congressional leaders and financial leaders trying to save the country. This is a bunch of people trying to use the government’s pile of money to save their own bacon. It’s no more complicated than that. But when they do that, when they use other people’s money to shore up their own businesses, then you see what falls out of that: utter, total chaos. There is no guarantee that any entity, be it a human being, a small business, a large business, or an animal, there is no guarantee that that entity always enjoys prosperity, never encounters problems, and doesn’t fail, and never gets fired, or never goes broke. Those things don’t exist because every entity sees itself having all kinds of problems, challenges to overcome, some of them are worse than others, some fail, some get killed, some die off, what have you.

This effort to manipulate all this is just gonna make it worse and the people doing the manipulating know it’s going to make it worse but to them there’s something more important in the short run and that’s saving themselves. Members of Congress do it every day to save themselves from decisions they’ve made. Greatest example is this. Most recent great example is this. They write a piece of legislation, $700 billion to save America’s economy, they put one again in charge of it, the Treasury secretary, they give him dictatorial control, total authority no oversight, and today they’re doing hearings wondering where the oversight is and why this guy is doing what he’s doing and he doesn’t even owe them an answer, in truth. He was given total authority to do what he wants.

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