RUSH: Here’s Grant in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hi, Grant. Great to have you with us on the phone today.
CALLER: Hey, how are you doing?
RUSH: Very well. Thank you.
CALLER: Good. Hey, I hear you talk a lot about how people who can’t pay their own way — you know, you gripe about people that go to the doctor and the hospital and stuff like that and can’t pay their own way. If you’re in an accident or you break your leg or you’re hurt working and you can’t pay the co-pay or you just can’t pay for it outright, what should happen to people like that?
RUSH: In the first place, to correct your premise, I do not gripe about people who can’t pay their own way. Today and yesterday, for example, I spent countless minutes explaining why that’s the case when it comes to health care. It borders on the criminal what has happened in the health care, the artificial elevation in price versus value. There’s no way a Band-Aid costs $300 bucks in a hospital, that’s what it’s going to cost you because somebody else is paying the bill and there are a lot of people that go to the hospital that don’t pay so those who do pay have to pick it up. The point I’m trying to make here about all this is that all of this debt that people have taken on, the government, financial institution, banks, all these with high leverages, 30-to-1 debt ratio, I mean it’s absurd to have only one dollar on hand for every 30 dollars you owe, that’s going to come home to roost someday, it elevates the price of houses, it elevates the price of every good and service. When you go buy a car, you’re really not buying a $35,000 car, you’re buying whatever monthly payment you could afford. When you buy a house, you’re not buying a $250,000 house, you’re buying a mortgage with the monthly rate you can afford, and the house is not yours for 25 or 30 years, depending on the length of the mortgage.
If everything was priced in such a way that you could only buy it if you paid the full price, I guarantee you the price of everything would be lowered. Now, there are exceptions, obviously. People cannot go out and buy houses by writing a check, and most people can’t go out and buy cars. Debt’s a good thing. I mean it’s using other people’s money for development, to increase the quality of life is fine, but when debt extends to buying debt to buy more debt so that with that debt you can buy more so-called securities, which, the last thing they are these days is secure, this just has a rollover yo-yo effect here that elevates the price of everything, so that when you do break your leg or you do have something catastrophic, you’re out of luck, there’s no way you can pay for it. But 50 years ago people could.
RUSH: Forty years ago people could, before the government got involved. The problem here is not insurance companies. The problem is people who don’t pay and government who makes up for it by taxing everybody else and hospitals who have to raise their prices. Now, I know what the root of your question is. Basically, I’m a pick ’em up by the bootstraps guy, and you think you hear me speak and what you’re thinking is ‘let everybody fend for themselves come hell or high water’?
CALLER: Well, I’m kind of gathering that, yes.
RUSH: No. Quite the opposite. I think that those in this country who are capable should be left alone to reach whatever height they choose. If you want to have a life where your income is $20,000 a year, that’s your business and fine. Don’t blame anybody else when you don’t earn $30 or $40 if you’re satisfied with $20. At the same time, I think that the notion here that people’s lives are improved, their self-love, their self-appreciation is enhanced by their achievements, by the things they accomplish. If you just give capable people things, they’re not going to achieve it, they’re going to come to expect it and they’re going to reach a comfort level at some point that will limit them further in working on their own behalf, but they’re also going to resent the fact that a lot of people have more than they do because they think the system is rigged when it isn’t. There are plenty of people in our society who are sick, who are, for whatever reason, incapable of helping themselves. We’re a compassionate people, and I and a whole lot of other Americans will go out of our way to help our fellow citizens who literally can’t help themselves. What bugs a lot of people is to see entirely capable people give up on life and decide to become dependent on whatever their elected official or government can do for them, because we look at that, I look at that, Grant, and I look at the people in government as helping to destroy those people’s lives.
See, I believe we all only get one life. We all only get one chance. And it’s so precious. We’re so busy living our lives, we don’t stop to think how fortunate we are to be alive and what that means. We don’t stop to think how fortunate we are to be human rather than, say, a dog or cat. We’re too busy. We live our lives in the greatest country on earth, a country that offers and has since its interception, more opportunity, more freedom, more prosperity than human beings in history, any human beings in history have ever known. It is simply unnecessary for Americans to check out. It is unnecessary for capable Americans to give up. It is unnecessary for capable Americans to feel down on their luck as Americans because everybody has bad luck.