RUSH: Karen in Lansing, Michigan. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How’s it going?
RUSH: Pretty, well, thank you.
CALLER: The reason I’m calling is to maybe show you a different point of view. My husband worked for one of the Big Three for 33 years as an electrical engineer. And in that time he put in an average of — and I’m saying sometimes more — 60 hours a week. He very, very seldom ever, ever, ever got something called overtime. Even worked Easter Sunday once to make sure a car platform was going properly. He worked constantly. As he did that, you would never see a union person work overtime. They would stand in line to wait to get out the door at five o’clock. And as the union people got more and more benefits year after year, we watched our benefits go down further and further and further.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, hold on, I need to understand something here.
RUSH: Your husband was not a union member?
CALLER: He was not a union member. He was an electrical engineer. He was very low management. And he would put an average —
RUSH: Oh, okay.
CALLER: — of 60 hours a week in, even Easter Sunday, and he did not get paid overtime. He also did not gripe. That was his job. At the same time, you would watch the union people never work a bit of overtime unless they got paid and stand at the door and wait to get out at five o’clock because that’s what the union said. As the union demanded more and more benefits, such as insurance for their pets, which thank goodness they didn’t get, my husband’s benefits dropped. The more the union got, the less we got. And we saw this happen year after year after year. The automobile industry is in trouble because of government and because of unions. Unions don’t give up. Unions demand, governments demand. They want CAFE standards, they want emission standards, they want everything, and the average person in that company works. It’s not their fault. It’s not even Big Management’s fault. It’s union’s fault; it’s government’s fault.
RUSH: Okay, you sound very passionate about this out there, Karen.
CALLER: I am very passionate about it because I lived it for 33 years. And now after 33 years, my husband retired, we sit here and go, ‘Okay, what’s next for us?’ You know, we will survive. I don’t honestly want to see a bailout —
RUSH: No, no, no, no, no, wait a minute. Retired, so I’m sure he gets his salary in full in retirement, at least 80% of it, plus his pension, what are you worried about?
CALLER: Well, I’ll tell you what, because I don’t think, if this works the way everything else works, unions will not give up, but a person like my husband will. He doesn’t have that great of a pension, trust me. It’s not like the unions.
RUSH: I’m sure, but doesn’t General Motors pay him 80% of his salary even when he’s not working?
CALLER: No, that’s not true. That is not true. That is not true. He does not get that, absolutely not.
RUSH: Oh, it’s only the unions that get that.
CALLER: Yeah, it’s not my husband. My husband worked hard. He does not get that. And so our fear is, I mean we have mixed emotions, you know? Part of us goes, ‘Don’t bail ’em out, let the union finally have to give up everything, get ’em off the job bank.’ And the other part of you goes, ‘Okay, if they do do a bailout or if they bankrupt, do we lose our pension, half our pension?’ We will probably lose all of our health insurance. I’m very blessed to have an adopted little boy. I’m worried about his health insurance. I’ll survive. But there’s a lot of things that we look at now and go, ‘Yes, we saved money, we scrimped, we saved, we did not take huge vacations, we don’t own second homes or motor homes. But the truth of the matter is, what will be there?’ Either way, I mean the bailout may help for a while, but truth is, if they do bankrupt, we will be the first to lose. It won’t be the union people, it will be us.
RUSH: I’m digesting this. I feel very sorry for everybody that’s in a circumstance like this. The greatest country in the world, and to have this kind of fear about tomorrow…
RUSH: I want you to look very closely at what is happening with this United Auto Workers, the General Motors, Ford, Chrysler bailout and all this, ’cause this is a union bailout. Snerdley said to me at the break at the top of the hour, ‘I know where this is headed. I know exactly where this is headed. What’s going to happen is the government is going to take over all of the union legacy costs — the pensions, the health care, the retirement pay for all of the retired autoworkers. Once that happens, then the deal is done then they can go do the bailout and everything is hunky-dory.’ I said, ‘That ain’t going to be what’s going to happen.’ What’s going to happen? The first thing out of my mouth today when the program opened: There’s going to be a bailout. It’s going to happen when Obama gets in there. There’s going to be some kind of little bridge.
They’re going to take TARP money. They’re going to do this. It’s going to happen to get ’em to Obama’s inauguration. Bush going to kick the can down the road, make sure that they don’t go belly up on his watch. Then what’s going to happen, folks, is the genuine nationalization of these companies. The federal government is going to take an ownership stake, and it’s going to be significant, and the management of these companies will be more than happy for it to happen. Then what’s going to happen after that…. Remember, now, we’re going to have to — you know, Obama is who he is and his ideology is what it is, and that ideology will be peppered throughout the bureaucracy, the House and the Senate. What’s going to happen is at some point down the road (a year or two, whatever) the unions, the United Auto Workers is going to own the automobile industry.
They are going to have more than one seat on the board of directors of these companies. They’re going to own a significant percentage of the automobile industry. This will be done by government simply transferring the ownership that they have taken by virtue of their bailout to the United Auto Workers, and this will be done under the rubric of class envy, that it’s about time that the people who really made this company what it is, the people who build the cars, it’s about time they shared in ownership, about time they got what has been rightfully theirs all this many decades. And then, what I want you to pay special attention to is: ‘Walmart, you’re next, ’cause this is what is gunning for you.’ Now, they won’t be able to claim that Walmart needs a bailout, because right now Walmart is run very responsibly and McDonald’s, too.
Some companies out there are turning a profit. People are going in and buying things from these places because they can afford them, for a host of reasons. But as you know, if you look at the Democrat Party enemies list, it is almost all corporate entities, plus me, and they don’t like Walmart ’cause it ain’t union. They also don’t like Walmart ’cause people that patronize Walmart get a better bang for their buck than they do from government social programs. People love Walmart. Barney Frank wants people to love him, love government. There’s a little jealousy there. But they’re not unionized. So that’s where we’re headed. Elections have consequences. They matter. Now, I want to tell you something else. I asked you before the previous hour came to a screeching halt to remember the fear that was in Karen from Lansing towards the end of her call.
Forget for a moment what she said about her husband nonunion engineer working for General Motors who didn’t earn as much and never got paid overtime. Her husband is retired, and they have a little pension. She’s worried about bankruptcy. If they go bankruptcy people like her and her husband are first to go in a reorganization. Bankruptcy, you figure out who you can pay and who you can’t. Bankruptcy reorganization basically figures on who’s gonna get paid among the creditors and who isn’t. And who’s gonna get paid, you know, what percentage of the dollars that they’re owed and had this sort of thing. And she fears that she’s going to go — and she fears her health care is going to go, and she has an adopted son and she’s afraid his health care is going to go.
She’s living in fear, and it distresses me greatly to live in the greatest country, the most prosperous country on earth, for people to have this kind of fear because government involvement has made pricing of various things so high that people can’t afford it without government, or a company benefit. It’s a crying shame what has happened. There’s no concrete, logical reason why health care should cost what it does. If health care were a pure free market thing, it wouldn’t. I mean, there’s no reason a hospital bed should cost $1200 a night and yet you can go to a motel, hotel, and get one for $89, $150. See, hotels can’t charge $1200 a bed because there’s nobody paying them for it besides the customer. They have to price themselves based on what the customers can pay.
It’s the same thing with restaurants, same with everything else. Now, there are levels of hotels, there are levels of cars, there’s levels of homes and so forth. There’s a market for everybody who has whatever they have to spend. In health care there is no such market. It costs what it costs, and it has nothing to do with you, has nothing to do with your ability to pay. Government once again has made it that way, government being involved. It’s going to get worse. The fear that was in Karen’s voice, the things that she’s afraid of, it’s not just autoworkers involved here, folks. If the economy collapses, as it could, from all of this spending, everybody is going to be poor and without health care. It’s not just the autoworkers. It is all workers. It’s all businesses large and small, all citizens of this country.
Where do you think this money is coming from? The Fed lends two trillion to people, we don’t know who. Who’s going to pay it back? What are the terms? Two trillion, where did they get it? The annual federal budget is three trillion, and there’s a deficit of 600 billion with that. Now it’s gonna be almost 1.6 to maybe two trillion in deficit next year. Where’s this coming from? It’s not all coming from other countries buying our Treasury bills. They’re printing money. They have to be printing money. Where is this coming from? You can’t keep doing this. You can’t keep printing money like this. You cannot keep spending money like this, refusing to draw lines. No discipline whatsoever, a total avoidance of reality. I’m convinced liberals don’t know where money comes from.
They say it’s there and there’s more — wherever they need to go get it, they get it, printing press or taxes or wherever. You just can’t spend and spend and spend with government taking over percentages of this business or that sector without destroying the economy at some point. And the problem is that the government’s doing exactly the wrong things. It continues to increase regulations on companies that are going bankrupt. It continues to protect union contracts that are unrealistic because the companies are going bankrupt. I don’t care what the deal in the past was. If the company’s going bankrupt, all bets are off. The government continues to promote no growth fuel policies that are now having an impact on our economy by making us poorer — and that, I fear, is their intent. Have you seen…? Let me find this in the stack very quickly.
This stuff that’s going on out in California, and they’re so happy about this. Their pollution board out there just passed the most restrictive carbon emissions bill in the country. It is going to force businesses out of business, and these government bureaucrats out there think they’re doing great things to save the country and the planet from global warming. They stay, ‘Look, one state alone can’t do it but we’re going to lead the way.’ They’re going to lead the way in businesses shutting down. California is already — the governor is — talking about needing a bailout. We spend a fortune on the poor. We spend a fortune on the unemployed. We spend a fortune on people without health care. Short of nationalizing our entire system, what else can we do? And what’s the return we’re getting? We’re spending a fortune on the poor, and we have, and there’s still the same percentage of people who are poor.
We keep extending unemployment benefits. We are robbing people of their incentive to go out and make a job, to create a job. We’re robbing people of the inherent entrepreneurial spirit they might have, because we’re giving them unemployment benefits, extending them. If we nationalizing everything, we’re going to be poorer. Here’s another critical point, too. We conservatives have been warning for years about the consequences of runaway government. We have been warning for years about the destructive consequences of environmental regulations and taxes. I read today that Obama has appointed Algore to head up a ‘green’ inaugural ball, and Algore has convinced Obama that — I don’t know that he had to convince him, but this Kyoto thing and cap-and-trade, Obama can’t wait.
He’s going to totally redo our energy program, plan, policy, to go totally ‘green,’ and that’s a misnomer because green does not mean more energy. It doesn’t mean cleaner energy. It doesn’t mean cheaper energy. It means less energy; it’s more expensive. We have been warning for years, we conservatives have, about the destructive consequences of all these regulations and taxes. It is we conservatives who have been trying to fight these job-killing, business-killing, dollar-killing policies. Other than a short period of governance under Reagan, the left in this country has reigned supreme. Of course and they make the same arguments they made in the past. ‘We need more money, we need more money. You know, this didn’t work because we didn’t have enough funding and that didn’t work because we didn’t have enough funding. We need more funding, more regulations.’
You can trace the demise of the free market, you can trace the reduction here in prosperity and so forth, you can trace it right to a particular ideology: liberalism. These are the people that populate government at all sectors. Government kills jobs, kills incentive, kills innovation, kills prosperity, and it kills business. Capitalism works. It really works. The rest of the world is going capitalist. Thirteen percent flat tax in Russia. The ChiComs cutting business taxes. Sweden, arguably the most socialist nation in the world, is cutting taxes. The French are cutting taxes. German is cutting taxes. We are going in the opposite direction. We’re headed toward a Western European-type socialism, and they have seen the error of all that, finally, and many of those Western European socialist nations are turning the corner. We need to try capitalism, folks, because it works.
RUSH: If I’m right, if I’m right, folks, and if, down the road, what Obama does is basically take over a percentage of the auto company, nationalize and then transfer it, out of goodwill, to the unions, he ought to be transferring it to us, ’cause it’s our money that will be buying these companies. See, everybody forgets this. The government doesn’t have diddly-squat except the money they print, and that is destructive. The other money they have is what they tax from those who produce in this country. They’re gonna take that money and they’re going to nationalize a portion of the auto industry and then they’re going to give that to the union. This is my theory. This is not written anywhere. We’re going to be the ones that own these companies. And whatever happened to sacrifice? The only people not being asked to sacrifice here are union leaders. You United Auto Workers people, you’re going to sacrifice, when this is all said and done. By sacrifice I mean, there will be some legacy concessions that will be made at some point, it will happen. Union leaders, though, won’t ’cause union leaders take your money from you and then donate it to Democrats. That’s why we support the workers but not the union.
An innovative idea, ladies and gentlemen, in Pittsburgh — wrong stack. Hang on. I’ve got so many stacks here. Wrong stack. I just had the damn stack here. This show is wearing me out today. That’s how good it’s been. I feel like I have played in the Ravens-Steelers game that’s coming up Sunday. Here it is. ‘Public Schools officials may change a policy that makes 50 percent the lowest grade students can receive – even if they do zero work.’ You think this is just accidentally stupid? This kind of stuff is being done by design, ladies and gentlemen. The lowest grade, 50% even if they do zero work. ‘The policy is meant to help students recover from a bad grade or the odd missed assignment. But the district’s teachers complain that some students refuse to hand in assignments because they’re content to get the ’50 percent’ grade for doing nothing.’
I know how I was in school. Boy, if they had this rule, that’s what I would do, I’d do zilch! I’d do zilch and get a C for it? A C was an M when I was in grade school, but for doing nothing? Well, I didn’t do anything in school anyway, and when I didn’t do anything, I suffered for it, oh, man. ‘Proponents of the policy say students who aren’t given a chance to recover from low grades lose incentive to improve them.’ Not given a chance to recover from low grades? What do you mean not given a chance to recover from low grades? There’s a simple way to recover from low grades. Get better ones. It’s a sitcom.