RUSH: Now, economic numbers came out today, and the stock market reacted somewhat negatively to it — although right now the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up about 113 points. Here’s some of the numbers that came out today. And remember, the Drive-Bys love reporting bad news. Now, you might say, ‘But, Rush! But, Rush! You said this is gonna change after Obama was elected.’ I did. I did say it was going to change. But I forgot something crucial when I made that prediction, and what I forgot is this: Obama needs this crisis. Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, has been out there excitedly telling anybody who will listen that this crisis is too big to ‘waste.’ Well, if they want to use a crisis, what do they need? They need a crisis. So the Drive-Bys are either witting or unwitting accomplices here in spreading the notion that things are going to hell fast and, ‘Gosh, can’t we put Obama in there now? Can’t we just somehow get rid of Bush and Cheney, have them quit? That would make Pelosi president. She could defer to Obama! Can’t we just do that now?’ This is the kind of stuff that’s being reported. Some of it, of course, is satire, but some of it is obviously true.
Remember, all good humor requires an element of truth for it to be funny. So there were three things reported about the economy today that I want to try to put for you in a proper perspective. The first bit of news that was out today that was bad, jobless claims, the worst since 1983. And, of course, it was ‘unexpectedly’ bad. They were expecting bad news, but it was unexpectedly worse. Now, here’s what you have to know, though, and this is in terms of the functioning US economy. Do you know that from 1983 to 2008 (that’s 25 years) the American workforce has doubled in size? Did you know that? The American workforce, ladies and gentlemen, has doubled in size since 1983. Through all of that worst economy in the last 50 years rotgut we got from the Clintons, from all of the stuff we got the last eight years of Bush — we’re talking about eight years of failed government policies, and people have lost their jobs and incomes are going to hell and wages have fallen, all this horrible news — since 1983, we have doubled the workforce.
That means, in real terms, that these unemployment numbers today are actually half as bad now as they were then. There’s still a whole hell of a lot more people working in the economy today than there were in ’83 when there were similar jobless claims that were reported. So far more people are working today. The impact, therefore, on the economy is going to be much less. A little reported story today is that despite all this, personal incomes rose three times more than expected. It doesn’t mean they went up three times, just three times more than expected. And durable goods at the same time, the news was not good there. However, the numbers are from October — and October, you’ll recall, is when the world stopped. That’s when the October Surprise hit, and that’s when the first bailout stuff hit, and that’s when all the, ‘Oh, my God, we gotta get this done or we’re going to die! We gotta get this done. The country can’t survive another 48 hours! We have to do this now.’ Well, everything came to a screeching halt in October. Therefore the numbers, durable goods and so forth ought to be bad because everybody was told how rotten it was. All these numbers, by the way, get revised when you get to the end of the quarter, including economic growth as well.
Now back to the audio sound bites. Barack Obama, interviewed by Baba Wawa, a one-hour special. I think it was airing tonight. And they did some little highlights or excerpts from this interview on Good Morning America today. One of the questions that Baba Wawa asked Obama, ‘How do you feel when you read about the three heads of the auto companies taking private planes to Washington?’
OBAMA: Well, I thought maybe they were a little tone deaf to what’s happening in America right now, uh, and this has been a chronic problem not just for the auto industry, I mean when people are pulling down hundred-million-dollar bonuses on Wall Street and taking enormous risks with other people’s money, that indicates a sense that you don’t have any perspective on what’s happening to ordinary Americans.
BARBARA WALTERS: Should bank executives — it’s almost Christmastime — forgo their bonuses?
OBAMA: I think they should. That’s an example of taking responsibility. I think that if you are already worth tens of millions of dollars, and you are having to lay off workers, the least you can do is say, ‘I’m willing to make some sacrifice as well because I recognize that there are people who are a lot less well off who are going through some pretty tough times.’
RUSH: Okay, first off, the corporate jets. It’s a moot issue now because these guys have announced that they’re going to carpool to Washington for the next round of hearings when they present their term paper. Now, bank executives skipping their bonuses. When he says, ‘I think that if you’re already worth tens of millions of dollars and you’re having to lay off workers, the least you can do is say, ‘I’m willing to make some sacrifice as well because I recognize that there are people who are a lot less well off who are going through some pretty tough times.” Here’s the sad thing about that. This is as meaningless and as pointless as worrying where the moon is right now, except if you’re interested in tides. It is just pointless. You could take all of these bonuses, you could take the salaries of the Big Three and their bonuses and all these Wall Street firms, and you could pool that money together, and it wouldn’t lower the price of gasoline a dime. It wouldn’t help. It’s not going to elevate any employee’s income at any of these places. Yet people fall for this because ‘fairness, fairness, fairness’ is how the liberals pursue their agenda, because who’s opposed to fairness?
We had a guy yesterday, an autoworker call. ‘Look at the executives. You’re upset at my getting my pension at $2,200 a month? Look at these guys getting golden parachutes. It’s not fair. It’s not fair.’ Okay, well, I guarantee you this. Any of you who have this attitude, if your chief executive decides to give up his bonus and not even take a salary, it’s not going to matter a dime to you. It isn’t going to happen. Thomas Sowell writes in a story today. It’s an old Russian fable, and these two Russian guys, one of them has a goat and the other one doesn’t have a goat, and they’re walking down the street, and this one guy is very jealous of his friend that’s got the goat, and all of a sudden the guy that doesn’t have the goat runs into some lamp that’s sitting there on the side of the road. And he touches the lamp, and bammo! A genie comes out of the lamp, and the genie says, ‘Well, this is your lucky day. You have one wish. You can make one wish, anything you want, but just one,’ and his wish was, ‘I want my friend’s goat to die.’ That’s an old Russian fable, and it’s illustrative of all this.
Somebody has to explain to me how in hell it helps me if some bank exec doesn’t get a bonus. Somebody needs to tell you. How does it help you if a bank exec or an auto exec doesn’t get his bonus? Once again, we’re talking about a liberty issue. This is not about money. This is not about my supporting corporate people over working people. The moment we allow the president of the United States to start dictating who can earn what, it isn’t going to be long before the president and his government get down to where you are working and telling you what you can and can’t earn. This business of class envy was thought by political analysts and scientists to no longer benefit the Democrat Party, but it clearly does. It was one of the primary weapons that Obama used in the campaign, and it’s all based on this muddled notion of fairness. But the thing that’s really frustrating about it is, let’s look at the area of tax cuts and tax increases. You have people in the middle class, the upper-middle class who hear Obama say that he’s going to soak the rich, and he’s going to raise their taxes ’cause they’ve got more than they need. It just isn’t fair — and of course the people in the middle class just like they want corporation CEOs to get waxed, they want richer people than they are to get waxed and so when it happens they’re supposed to feel happy and they’re supposed to thank Obama for doing it. But at the end of the day there’s not a penny more in their pockets or in their bank accounts than before the whacking started.
All the whacking accomplishes is the government punishing achievers, while not benefiting the little guy who claims that he’s going to benefit from all this. It’s the same old thinking that if there’s a tax increase that comes along but yours don’t get increased, ‘I don’t care. It’s not my taxes. Fine.’ You’re next. When we as a voting population do not oppose some of these fundamental things that have to do with liberty and freedom, the pursuit of happiness, economic opportunity — when half the population doesn’t understand how all this works and simply thrives and thinks they’re going to get happy when somebody else they don’t even know suffers — then the only beneficiaries of this are people like Obama and Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and other Big-Government liberals who are getting what they want outta all this, and that is not even more money. You start raising taxes on people and the money to the Treasury shrinks because a lot of little guys are going to get laid off and fired. No, what they like about it is the cementing of power and specifically securing a little bit more loss of individual liberty and freedom because these people are about empowering themselves, and once they get it, holding onto it.
So you’ve gotta start asking yourself a question. Here’s Obama. ‘How come somebody who has tens of millions of dollars…?’ Not every CEO has tens of millions of dollars. Small businesses have CEOs. Not every CEO has tens of millions of dollars, and it’s not Obama’s business whether they have enough or not. It’s not the government’s business. It’s nobody’s business. It’s not your business whether somebody has enough or not. It’s not your right. You don’t get to determine what’s enough for anybody but your kids and your family. That’s it. Aside from that, what anybody else earns and what they have is none of anybody else’s business, and most especially the government’s. But now the door has been opened. It is the government’s business. Obama thinks these people have too much. They should not only pay more taxes, they should not get bonuses. They ought to automatically forgo them. It’s a sign of ‘fairness.’ Let me ask you this, folks. A CEO due for a bonus doesn’t get it on the basis that he’s got to understand people are hurting out there. So what do we want to do, spread the misery? He’s not going to get a bonus so he’s going to hurt, too? Is that the solution to this problem? Take away bonuses so other people suffer so everybody is suffering? Hello! Welcome to the objective of Barack Obama and the Democrat Party: spreading misery equally. They love the crisis. They love the suffering. They want to maximize it to help them themselves.
Another aspect of this. Obama says the CEOs gotta understand people are suffering out there, hurting out there. They gotta go out there and give up their bonus. Again, a CEO gives up the bonus; how does it help anybody else who’s suffering? It might well be, in fact, that the CEO will be less inclined to make charitable donations, which means people then would suffer. But with all these years of Democrat class envy from FDR on — and, of course, hating the boss and hating corporations — is a fundamental aspect of labor union leadership, you know, fostering that view on people. The Democrats are smart. They’re taking advantage of it and walking themselves all the way into the power bank and nobody’s stopping them.
RUSH: Stick with me on this for a second, folks. Obama says that these CEOs are out of touch. They have tens of millions of dollars and because they take bonuses. They really have no idea what it’s like out there. I would submit to you that CEOs are more in touch with what’s going on in America. After all, they run companies that sell products and services to hopefully a majority, mass millions of numbers of Americans. If you want to know who’s really out of touch, try this. How about congressmen and senators pulling down around $167,000 a year and spending trillions of dollars, which ends up destroying certain economic activity? It seems to me they’re the ones that don’t get it. It seems to me if anybody is living in a world that is totally devoid of reality, is people earning $167,000 a year and in charge of trillions of dollars to spend. We’ve got a track record of how poorly they do it! Year after year after year.
It’s like the House Bank Scandal. Remember that back in 1988? These guys could go to the House Bank and write checks for cash on money they didn’t have, and the bank covered it. This was going on and on for years, so their salary was irrelevant. If you want to talk about people that are out of touch with what life is like in this country, it’s not just members of the House and Senate. It’s also the Drive-By Media. I’m going to tell you what a real leader would be doing in this situation. A real leader would use what’s happening in the US economy as an opportunity to explain how free markets work. A real leader would be telling the American people the truth about how we’re gonna get out of this and that it’s up to them and that we’re gonna get out of your way. ‘We’re gonna lower your taxes; we’re gonna lower corporate taxes; and we’re gonna get this economy boomin’ and we’re going to start now, and we’re not going to wait for me to come up with legislation to spend a bunch of money on make-work projects.’ Capitalism. Free markets. Individual liberty. These are concepts that set people free. Great leaders in American that talked about setting people free: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan. We hear none of this from the Obama team. Quite the contrary.
RUSH: New York City. Steve, I appreciate your patience. Great to have you with us today.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Nice to speak to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Thank you. I just have a quick comment on the 2.5 million jobs that are supposedly going to be created.
RUSH: Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah! Wait now. That’s been revised. Two-and-a-half million jobs ‘saved and created.’
CALLER: Well, let’s assume that they’re going to be created and not saved. I want to know who among the 2.5 million unemployed are gonna actually take these jobs? Are they going to be out of work people from the financial sector, secretaries? Who’s going to take these jobs? Are they suddenly going to be trained in the areas of concrete and rebar and spikes and all these things that have to do with building roads and bridges?
RUSH: You’re not supposed to ask these kinds of questions. You’re supposed to sit out there and go (clapping), ‘Yeah! All right! We’re going to fix the roads and bridges and create two-and-a-half million jobs,’ and then you’re supposed to go buy a turkey and have Thanksgiving. You’re not supposed to ask these questions. You’re not supposed to have this kind of curiosity about Obama’s plans.
CALLER: Well, I understand that, and I understand I can’t say much about it, but that’s why I called you.
RUSH: Well, see, it’s an excellent question, but the assumption that people make is the people that already do this kind of work are unemployed already because we haven’t been doing the work. See, we haven’t been doing the road repairs. We haven’t been doing the bridge maintenance — and since we haven’t been doing it there are people who are already qualified to do this who, ‘because of the last eight years of Bush failed policies, have no jobs,’ and so they’re just waiting out there clamoring. They already have experience. This is the way you’re supposed to think of this. Your question is obviously quite good. Who’s going to be hired to fix up all these potholes? And what union are they going to have to join in order to get this done?
CALLER: And I suppose we’re going to have to make new equipment and…you know?
RUSH: I’ll tell you who it’s going to end up being. If you really want to know the answer, if you want to know who is going to get hired for these jobs, I need to take you back to the campaign to Zanesville, Ohio, where Michelle Obama was addressing a bunch of women in an audience where she specifically said (summarized), ‘Your town is dying. You need to stay. Do not join a law firm. Don’t even waste time going to college. Don’t go to hedge fund. You need to stay and help people.’ The people that Michelle Obama told to not improve themselves, just stay there and stay in Zanesville and make sure Zanesville doesn’t change, blah, blah, blah, blah, those are the kind of people that Obama will go out and try to find and hire.
CALLER: Well, I suppose so, but —
RUSH: Well, ’cause they’re not going to go to college and they’re not going to go to Wall Street, and they’re not going to go to service jobs. There’s a whole pool of people out there just sitting around, apparently. Your question is actually brilliant. Where are we going to get people to know how to do bridge work? Where are we going to get people who know how to do highway work? Where are we going to get these people? Who are they now? Are they the unemployed people on Wall Street? Are they secretaries? How are we gonna train these people?