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RUSH: Folks, I’m telling you, every story, just like it was Friday, every story is unbelievably hilarious if you look at it from the right perspective. It’s a sitcom and we haven’t even gotten to Obama’s radio address on Saturday or his appearance on Meet the Press yesterday where he’s going to do his impersonation of FDR, all his stupid public works stuff. For example, the highway program. ‘Oh, yeah, we gotta upgrade our highways.’ When Eisenhower did the Interstate Highway System, it was done for the first time. We’ll get to that in due course.

This is from AP-Obama: ‘It’s a tough economy out there.’ You parents, listen to this, now. This story is an attempt at offering you guidance over the holiday season here. ‘It’s a tough economy out there, even for a kid. And many parents are wondering how to broach the subject. Should they shield their children from the hard times and spend like there’s no tomorrow,’ as they have been, ‘Or is it better to share the reality that more families — often their own — simply can’t have it all, even at Christmas? It can be a real dilemma. ‘I’ve explained the situation, and I’ve also avoided it,’ says Mimi Chacin, a mom and business owner in Miami whose husband lost his job in advertising. The family is doing OK. And in fact, the children’s cooking classes Chacin teaches have remained full so far — a sign, she says, that many parents are still willing to spend on some extras for their kids. ‘I find myself not wanting to put them under that stress, but also sitting down and explaining that things aren’t easy for anybody right now,’ Chacin says of her sons, ages 9 and 4. Rita Cortese, who owns a Plato’s Closet store, part of a chain of teen-oriented secondhand clothing shops, has been hearing more of these conversations among parents and their children in recent months–‘

And then there’s this. ‘Emily Collings, an 18-year-old college freshman from Washington Township, N.J., who works at the store, says she’s noticed friends spending less money on themselves and others, and even making gifts for the holidays. She lives at home and also has had more frank conversations about money with her parents. ‘We always talk about it,’ Collings says. ‘And they’ve told me that it’s not going to be so easy for me to say, ‘Mom, I’m going out tonight. Can I have $20?” Okay, Plato’s Closet, brand named, general used clothing store, right? So it’s like Salvation Army type stuff. Maybe because I have foregone the joys and the ecstasies of having my own children, maybe I am this out of touch, but I can tell you, folks, I’ve always vowed when I got older I would never be a fuddy-duddy, I would never say, ‘Well, the way things were…’ you know, like your parents always told you they walked ten miles to school with no shoes in the snow, that kind of stuff, I always vowed I would never do that, but the concept of this is starting to make clear now how it is we elected Obama.

There’s a tough economy and parents are asking should they shield their children from the hard times and spend like there’s no tomorrow, or should they share with them the grief? I can’t relate to it. This kind of question would have never been asked growing up. We were not poor, we weren’t upper class affluent, but here’s another: ‘At BabyEarth, a Texas-based baby products retailer that focuses on higher-end, eco-friendly products, officials say they’ve seen a slowdown in sales growth in recent months, but that sales are still increasing. ‘Even in this economy, parents are still shelling out $900 on Orbit Strollers, $12 for spiffy BPA-free glass bottles, $395 on organic crib bedding and even $300 for organic crib mattresses,’ says Cathy Hale, a spokeswoman for the company. ‘Eventually, they will grow up and face the same stress and challenges we all face,’ Hale says. ‘What’s wrong with spoiling them now? These sweet-spirited innocent years are so fleeting.”

Oh, so I guess we’ve done a turnaround, it’s important to spoil kids ’cause their futures are bleak. It’s important to spoil ’em, especially when they don’t know they’re being spoiled. These are babies in the crib. Now, the point of all this, ladies and gentlemen, is, at least my point is that this is tantamount evidence that if we’re in a recession and people are thinking like this, then most of the people who are being interviewed for these stories — and I don’t know what cross section of the American population this represents — but if we are in a recession and people are still thinking this way, then most people have no idea what a real economic downturn is, and they still don’t, because this cannot be that bad if people still have this attitude about how to deal with their circumstances while in it.


RUSH: I checked the e-mail during the break. ‘Come on, Rush, do you have to nitpick everything parents do? You’re not a parent. It’s none of your business. Do you have to nitpick everything? Okay, so some parents are worried about what to do with their kids during tough economic times. You can’t relate, so shut up about it.’ Now, ladies and gentlemen — see, this is the whole point. The whole point is, if parents can go out and spoil their kids during a recession and bad economic times, it ain’t bad economic times! This is the point. Peggy Noonan wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago, it’s amazing, we’ve got all these horrible stories about how rotten it is out there and every time you go outside, it looks the same. There are cars on the streets, there are people in the stores, the lights are on, peoples homes are heated, or air conditioned — ahem — as may be the case. People are driving around. Christmas lights are everywhere. It looks the same.

Now, here’s why this is important. It’s why I’m going to tolerate those of you sending me these caustic, mean-spirited e-mails of disrespect. After 20 years, I still can’t believe that some of you regular listeners have the audacity to question me — ahem — a little Obama impersonation there. Seriously, if things are so bad that parents can choose to go out and spoil their kids to shield them from how bad it is, it ain’t bad. But if you think it’s bad, you’re gonna sit around and you’re gonna let Obama take over as much of this nation’s private sector to fix it, when it ain’t bad, as he wants. We’re talking here about attitude versus reality, perception versus reality. The perception is that we’re in soup lines. The perception is that it’s the Great Depression, 25% unemployment, nobody has any hope, nobody has any future. Yet every time you go outside, everything’s the same. ‘But, Rush, but, Rush, look at all the unemployment from last month.’ I know. I know. A lot of it’s in the media. (clapping) And a lot of it is from businesses downsizing, getting ready for what they think is a big wallop coming from Obama, and if they heard him on television this weekend, they’re right. There’s a huge wallop coming from Obama.

I’ll give you an illustration. It’s an innocent little story. Here from AP-Obama entitled: ‘Obama Hopes to Avoid Clinton Health Care Missteps — President-elect Barack Obama and his aides are determined not to repeat the mistakes the Clinton administration made 15 years ago in trying to revamp the nation’s health care system. That means applying some of the lessons learned — moving fast, seizing momentum and not letting it go. The strategy begins with giving people the chance to highlight their concerns and experiences. Daschle invited people around the nation to hold what amounts to house parties from Dec. 15-31. Obama’s transition team will gather the information from those meetings and post the material on its web site, change.gov.’ Anyway, let me get to the meat and potatoes here of this. The meat and potatoes is that Obama wants national health care. He wants socialized medicine. In order to get it, two things have to happen. One, you have to think it’s over in the private sector. You have to think that things are so bad that the only way we can preserve our nation is with government taking things over. Because we can’t count on GM to give us our health care, and we can’t count on the window company in Chicago to give us our health care. And we can’t count on our own bosses to give us health care ’cause they’re rotten SOBs.

Nope, the only people that can do this are government, ’cause they care about us. Tom Daschle, who’s Obama’s Health and Human Services, whatever he is. ”Details kill,’ Daschle said. ‘If we get too far into the weeds, if we produce a 1,500- or 1,600-page bill, we’re going to get hung up on all the details and we’re never going to get to the principles. Let’s not put it down, let it lie there for months and months and figure out a time when we can get back to it later.’ … Daschle did not provide any details about how the incoming administration would pay for expanding coverage. Instead, he made the case that not dealing with health care would worsen the economic problems because companies such as General Motors spend more on health care than steel and Starbucks spent more on health care than on coffee.’ It doesn’t make either circumstance right. It kind of gives us a heads-up on what’s wrong, doesn’t it? You’ve got a coffee company spending more on health care than coffee and you got a car company spending more on health care than they spent on steel, i.e., to make cars. Okay, so you see it’s not working. We can’t count on GM. Why, now we can’t even count on Starbucks, and we can’t count on a window company in Chicago. The laid-off workers have had to take over there. I don’t know how they’re going to pay themselves, but they still have taken over.

So you see, it’s so dire, and while it’s dire, you have the opportunity of not telling your kids. You go out there and buy a Wii at Walmart on their website today. You could go out and buy a Nintendo. You can take ’em for a Happy Meal 15 times a day because McDonald’s is showing a profit and it’s cheap. You can shield your kids from every bit of misery, but it’s dire and stressed and we need health care and we need it now, it’s so bad, screw the details. Just do it. You wonder what the reaction of the Obama voter is gonna be. ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,’ tongues on the floor licking it all up. ‘Yes, yes, give me my health care, and give me my Wii, and give me my window company job, and give me this and give me that and make it better.’ Obama, ‘No, no, no, no, it’s not going to get better, it’s gonna get much worse.’


RUSH: Here’s Judy in Detroit. Nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. It’s, Jody, but that’s okay.

RUSH: Snerdley, he also spelled Las Vegas wrong a moment ago. He still hasn’t gotten over the Cowboys losing to the Steelers yesterday. He’s so distraught it’s distracting him.

CALLER: Well, not as distraught as my husband is being a Lions fan, but I say our elected officials are not our servants, hence my call and not my child’s servant, either, and I think a lot of the problem is these children feel that they’re entitled, and the parents buy into it. They think that they’re entitled to college, which I don’t believe. I have a 23- and 25-year-old, two girls, they both paid for their own college —

RUSH: Wait a second, now, wait a second, wait a second, wait a second. Kids are kids. Were they born feeling entitled?

CALLER: They might have been, but that was changed early on.

RUSH: No, not yours, no, no, no, you said kids feel entitled. They feel entitled to college, they feel entitled to a big house when they’re 25 —

CALLER: Oh, yeah.

RUSH: Well, who made ’em that way?

CALLER: Their parents.

RUSH: All right.

CALLER: And their grandparents made their kids feel that way.

RUSH: But why, why do their parents and grandparents do it? Why did they all of a sudden take a 180 and spoil their kids to the point that the kids have no understanding of the reality of the life they face?

CALLER: Well, I think the older generation wanted better for their kids so they worked very hard to give their kids what they couldn’t have, and somehow that got skewed along the way and turned into entitlement.

RUSH: You and I are very close on thinking on this, but I think it’s pretty common. I think every generation of parents has hoped that their own kids have a better life than they had. What has happened here — and I don’t know how many generations, maybe two — no, no, no, it cannot be 50 years because I’m 57 and it was not this way when I was a kid, there has been an effort, by the way, it’s not just in the homes, this has been practiced in the schools, too, wherever you find kids, there has been an effort to eliminate all suffering and discomfort. Whenever there is suffering or discomfort or hurt feelings, the parents, everybody, oh, no, no, no, no, we can’t allow this to happen, there can be no suffering, there can be nobody with hurt feelings, nobody can be upset. It started innocently enough with education where there were differences in kids’ scores and so forth, that led to, we can’t have that, that’s humiliating others, and I think this whole idea, it’s embodied here in the lead of the story, parents are confused now, okay, we’re in bad economic times, do I shield my kids from this?

CALLER: Absolutely, they’re not going to learn. Everybody has to suffer to learn to some extent. I don’t want to see my kids on the street, you know, homeless by my stretch, I’d be happy to help ’em but you have to teach ’em to work, you have to teach them to have self-respect —

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: — to be good citizens.

RUSH: See, I’m —

CALLER: — educate themselves.

RUSH: I’m sitting here as host of the program and one of my responsibilities as host of the program is to make sure that whatever happens on this program is not boring. Now, wait, now, wait, I got a point here. Twenty-five years ago, for you to call and say this would have been so understood by everybody to be the way it is, the way it should be, that it would be considered boring. Today I wonder how many people have heard what you just said and are thinking, ‘Wow, you know, that makes a lot of sense, I never thought of it that way.’

CALLER: Well — (laughing) — that’s the thing.

RUSH: It’s all starting to make sense here. There has been a slow encroachment of our culture. Obviously it’s not that slow. It’s gotten to the point where things are — well, a lot of us do not recognize things the way they are, and this election seems to have opened our eyes even more.


RUSH: Fran in Reno. Nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. First off I want to wish you a very merry Christmas because I know I won’t talk to you again before Christmas.

RUSH: Thank you very much. Same to you.

CALLER: Thank you. Also, you know, sitting here listening, waiting to talk to you, there’s 101 things that a person could talk to you about.

RUSH: The best bet is to stick with the original thing you called about.

CALLER: That’s what I’m going to do, and that’s about our kids nowadays. The problem with our kids nowadays is the parents. Because the parents feel they’ve gotta give ’em everything that they didn’t have before. And like when it comes to Christmas, you ask them for a Christmas list, and they want iPods, they want Wiis, they want laptops. What happened to the old Christmas list of, oh, I’d like to have a doll or a car or a truck, you know.

RUSH: Yeah. I know. I think this is a sign of American prosperity. We had a story earlier, in case you missed this, folks, one of the reasons here that Fran is calling, we had a story earlier: ‘It’s a tough economy out there, even for a kid. Many parents are wondering how to broach the subject of the tough economy. Should they shield their children from the hard times and spend like there’s no tomorrow on their gifts and so forth? Or is it better to share the reality that more families, often their own, simply cannot have it all, even at Christmas? It can be a real dilemma.’ I read that and I knew there are parts of this country that I am indeed — proudly I will admit I’m out of touch. I do not have children. I have five nephews and nieces, and sometimes they suffer. Their parents tell ’em no sometimes. They all love coming down to see Uncle Rush. They all love Uncle Rush’s arcade room; they love Uncle Rush’s swimming pool; they love Uncle Rush’s cook; they love Uncle Rush’s macaroni and cheese and chicken strips and Uncle Rush’s 55 televisions.

One day this past summer, it was asked of me if the two eldest could come down for a weekend, I said sure. The other three wanted to come, parents said no, can’t go. Two of them threw a fit. (crying) There was agony because the parents don’t like to see their kids suffer. But, the original answer was stuck to. And the two kids — this is interesting — the two kids that were allowed to come did not lobby for the other three to be able to join them. (laughing) They went and patted them on the head, ‘It will be okay, you’ll get to go next. You’ll be able to go Thanksgiving.’ People don’t want to see their kids suffer. Look at this from ABC News: ‘For more students nationwide, the grading alphabet ends at ‘D,’ as school districts eliminate policies that allow children to be given failing marks. At public schools in Grand Rapids, Mich.,–‘ here we go, Michigan again. ‘–high school students will no longer receive ‘F’s, but instead will earn the letter ‘H’ when their work falls woefully short.’

‘H’ stands for ‘held.’ Now, first we got rid of the red pencil. Remember, it wasn’t long ago teachers could not use a red pencil in grading papers because that was too threatening, too intimidating to the students. Now ‘F’s. And the headline of this story: ‘Are Students Coddled?’ Yeah. They are. It’s just different. It’s not just trying to give ’em things that you didn’t have as a kid when you were growing up. It’s the idea they shouldn’t suffer, and that’s not good because they’re gonna suffer. I mean everybody suffers. The worst kind of suffering is self-inflicted, and everybody does that to themselves. Everybody makes themselves suffer. You know it and I know it. But there are things that happen in your life that you don’t do to yourself that are still gonna cause you pain. It’s impossible to go through life not feeling emotional pain, physical pain or whatever. This effort to shield young kids from this has been going on a long, long, long, long time. It’s not good because reality is going to hit them as adults and they’re not going to know how to deal with it.


RUSH: I have been rethinking this ‘H’ business, the ‘H’ instead of an ‘F,’ then this stupid idiot kid flunks, instead of saying it’s an ‘F,’ they get an ‘H,’ the grade is ‘held.’ This actually could be great preparation for when your kid gets a mortgage and then is unable to pay for it and expects the bank to not foreclose on him. It’s an excellent way to prepare him for his future, or hers, as a future homeowner who has no business owning one. Democrats will see to it that somebody will pay for your house. That’s what this is all about.

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