RUSH: I think this is worth pointing out, ladies and gentlemen, reminding people: that is my observation of the TARP law as written. As far as I know, I am the only one who made anyone aware of what the Democrat Congress authorized in legislation authorizing TARP. Let me just read it to you once again. ‘Section 1. Short Title. ‘Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.’ Section 2. Purposes. Provides authority to the Treasury Secretary to restore liquidity and stability to the US financial system and to ensure the economic well-being of Americans.’ That was the law. That’s the bailout law. That Section 2, Purposes, says the Treasury secretary has the authority. He is a czar, he is a dictator — and we haven’t heard from Hank Paulson in two weeks or three. Where is he?
‘…Treasury Secretary to restore liquidity and stability to the US financial system and to ensure the economic well-being of Americans.’ That is a leap! Our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, doesn’t even say that. Here’s the longer Section number 2, Purposes. ‘The purposes of this act are, one, to immediately provide authority and facilities that the secretary of the Treasury can use to restore liquidity and stability to the financial system of the United States.’ What exactly is the financial system of the United States? And why is one man given the job of restoring it as if it needs to be restored? Does this mean that Paulson can impose tax cuts? Does this bill give the Treasury secretary the authority to impose tax cuts? He’s a dictator here!
Here is paragraph two of Section 2, the purpose of the act: ‘[T]o ensure that such authority and such facilities are used in a manner that, A, protects home values.’ Is your home value protected? ‘Protects college funds, protects retirement accounts, and life savings.’ Have you looked at your 401(k) lately? Have you looked at your life savings? Is anybody protecting any of this, as the TARP law empowered, directed, authorized the secretary of Treasury to do? Is it not getting worse? And isn’t President-elect Obama telling us it’s going to get even worse? Now, one thing you have to consider is that I think these dire forecasts, they’re shooting way low. So that when it doesn’t get that bad, guess who gets the credit? Lord Barack Obama, The Messiah, the Most Merciful. When it doesn’t get as bad as he says, ‘Wow, what a great guy! What a great president!’
At the same time, when he says how bad it’s going to get and how much worse it’s gonna get, that’s also designed to have you acquiesce to government and say, ‘Fix it! Whatever you have to do, fix it.’ And right along those lines, ladies and gentlemen, here’s the most amazing story. I found it today at Politico.com. ‘A majority of voters say their confidence in the federal government’s ability is falling, according to a new Public Strategies Inc./Politico poll. Sixty-two percent of respondents say their confidence in Washington has decreased over the past 12 months, while only 8 percent said their confidence has increased. Less than a third of those polled said their confidence in the federal government remained the same. The poll, conducted Dec. 17-21, surveyed 1,000 registered voters nationwide. … Despite the glaring lack of confidence, voters want action to aid the economy.’
See, this is how this works. They don’t think the government is succeeding. They don’t think the government works. But they want the government to do more because there has developed over generations way too much reliance and faith in the federal government that is totally unwarranted and unjustified by the facts and by the evidence. ‘When asked which issue should be the biggest priority, 45 percent listed an economic stimulus package with a focus on employing out-of-work Americans.’ Now, get this one: ‘Forty-two percent feared the government will not go far enough to increase taxes on corporations…’ Do you note the disconnect here? The number one priority, government priority, is creating jobs. But 42% fear the government won’t raise taxes on business enough! That’s depressing. That is downright depressing, that there are that many people in this country, apparently, who think their route out of this problem is increased taxes on business.
So I guess we’re to assume here that the purpose of this poll was to say the American people indeed don’t trust business, they trust government — even when they say in the poll they don’t trust government — to create jobs. Back to the Treasury secretary. Paragraph B. ‘Purposes of the act are to preserve home ownership and to promote jobs and economic growth.’ The stock market is down 229 right now. I would think with all this stimulus activity going on and all this great news about what’s going to happen in the future, the markets would be way up, but they aren’t. Paragraph C, the purpose, ‘maximize overall returns to the taxpayer of the United States.’ So the bottom line here is that the Treasury secretary — I think I’m the only one that continues to point this out. The Treasury secretary has sole authority to do all of this, and it’s going to be Geithner. Now, there’s a Kabuki dance going on between Bush and Obama over the remaining $350 billion. What do Bush and Obama have to say about it? The Treasury secretary has authority over this. Let’s go to the audio sound bites. Barack Obama, Monday afternoon, a montage of when he met Mexican president Felipe Calderon.
OBAMA: Today, uh, I called, uh, President Bush, uh, to trigger the second half, uh, of what’s known as the TARP program. I felt that it would be irresponsible for me wiiiiiith the first, uh, $350 billion already spent, uh, to enter into the administration without any potential ammunition should there be, uh, some sort of emergency or weakening of the financial systems.
RUSH: Should there be? There already is, and we have a bill to prevent it! The Treasury secretary’s in charge of it, and it’s getting worse. The original bailout hasn’t done anything. The budget deficit for the first three months of fiscal year ’09, which ends in January is going to be $418 billion. We’re on our way to a $1.2 trillion budget without Obama’s additional trillion-dollar stimulus package. By the way, the gasoline price is down. The oil price is $35 today, per barrel. The gasoline price depending on where you live is well under two bucks. Isn’t that a stimulus? Shouldn’t that be a stimulus? That oil price job and the corresponding gasoline price drop has the effect of a tax cut. Why aren’t the people spending? Why isn’t there increased demand? And that leads to another monologue I’ve got coming up and I can basically sum it up this way without having to go through a huge monologue.
Much of what we see as downside today is driven by a lack of confidence, a withdrawal of the average Joe and Jane from the marketplace. That’s all it is. Joe and Jane are not spending. And neither are Mrs. Rich Joe and Jane. They’re not spending, either. They have been convinced to not have confidence in the US economy, on purpose. So even a huge drop in the gasoline price, from just last August at four bucks to a-buck-sixty-five is not resulting in growth. That’s a huge increase in disposable income, and we got the stories. ‘Well, they’re saving it. They’re saving too much right now!’ Other times they don’t save enough. They’re saving too much. They’re not putting it into the marketplace. That was okay. The Treasury secretary has the ability to fix all this, and Obama wants the $350 billion now. Barney Frank has changed his tune. Last week Barney Frank was all for not releasing TARP without oversight, but now he wants to give it to Obama.
FRANK: It’s very important. And what we’re being told, apparently, is that because George Bush screwed it up, Barack Obama can’t get to use it. You listen to some of these people, and you’d think the TARP was an animal that had been going around biting people. The TARP doesn’t have a heart or mind. The TARP is a set of tools. The question is, ‘Will Obama do it better?’ We believe he definitely will.
RUSH: Really? Well, the TARP funds are the direct responsibility, sole authority of the Treasury secretary. It’s not Obama’s right to ask for it right now. Barney trusts the Obama people because they’re not barred by ideological restrictions.
FRANK: I trust the Obama people, and they are not barred by these ideological restrictions. You know, there’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans. Ehhhh, to some extent it’s whether or not you think the free market can be left entirely on its own and will do everything right or whether you need some intervention.
RUSH: The free market be left entirely on its own? When was the last time that was the case? The government’s been meddling in it for years and now it’s really stepped in it. What do you think the problems derive from, folks, if not the government taking over the private sector?
(playing of Barney Frank, the Banking Queen song)
RUSH: Sean in San Jose, California. Hi.
CALLER: Yes, Rush, it’s an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: You know, first thing I want to say before I get to my point, that being on hold on your program is actually one of the most enjoyable things. The tracks you guys play are downright hilarious. So keep that up.
RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate that. What is this ‘you guys,’ though?
CALLER: The entire EIB crew, I guess. Let’s put it that way.
RUSH: Okay. If that’s what you think happens, then I’m not going to waste time arguing. Yes.
CALLER: (laughing) The point I wanted to make is regarding Obama’s stimulus and what he’s been talking about with rebuilding infrastructure and doing all this stuff with the roads, construction, I think that’s actually going to lead to a huge spike in illegal immigration — and I think, you know, if you point to an example to that which is what happened in Atlanta which is the last big public infrastructure project we had to build the stadiums for the Olympics and things like that. There was a huge influx of illegal immigrants that came, and then since then the city of Atlanta has been dealing with huge problems with the immigration, with gang activity and all these problems. And, you know, to say that we are a country like we were in the twenties and thirties that a stimulus package of new construction is going to help every common man —
RUSH: I know —
CALLER: — I just don’t think that will stick.
RUSH: I get your point because these are still jobs Americans won’t do. Unemployment is not that high, not like it was in the Great Depression. However, there’s another element to this. I saw a story today — I haven’t gotten to it yet — ‘The US military is warning of the total collapse of Mexico.’ The potential total collapse of Mexico, as a government, as an economy, as a country. If that happens, where are these people going to go? One other thing I want you to think about. We’ve been talking about the TARP funds, and we’ve had audio sound bites today from Barney Frank and Barack Obama, who are eager to get their hands on the money even though it’s the sole property of the Treasury secretary. What are they saying? They say there needs to be new pressure.
Now, listen to me. Look at me on this. There needs to be new pressure on the banks to lend, because the banks are not lending. They’re not lending money because they’re so overleveraged. I mean, they’ll lend money to people who, without question, have enough assets the bank could steal if they defaulted, but the average American… You can buy a car, but the banks won’t lend. Now, Obama and Barney Frank, the Banking Queen, are all out there demanding that the banks lend. They want new what? ‘Oversight.’ They want new accountability. Isn’t that what got us in the problem we’re in in the first place, folks? A bunch of people in the Congress who know nothing about the financial business telling banks to whom they must loan money? Isn’t that how we got here, with the subprime mortgage business?
With people from Jimmy Carter through Clinton, on up to Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and ACORN, telling lending institutions they have to loan people to people who can’t pay it back? Well, now, aren’t we revisiting that territory here all over again? Isn’t the message from Barney Frank and these people to the banks, ‘You won’t lend money? You must lend money!’ Barney Frank knows better how to run a bank than a banker does. Chris Dodd knows better how to run a bank than a banker does. Barack Obama knows better how to run a bank than a banker does. They’re not lending money. Barney Frank and Obama would say, ‘Yeah, but we gave them money to lend.’ The Treasury secretary has the authority on how it’s used!
You guys didn’t write a law that says they have to lend it, because somebody could challenge that constitutionally. However, this is the danger. When the government gives you money, they do have some say-so over how you use it. In fact, in most cases, if somebody gives you money, they’re going to try to exercise some control over either how you use it, or when you give it back, or how you pay it back, one of those things. When somebody gives you something, you owe ’em, big time. Even though you think it’s not a loan, you get a gift, here in the areas we’re talking about, you’re in for it. But aren’t we creating, aren’t we just redoing the same thing that got us in all this mess in the first place, letting incompetent, unqualified members of Congress tell the banks what they must do and how they must run their business? So we’re not bailing out banks. It’s clear now we’re not bailing out banks. We are taking control of them. That’s what this is.
RUSH: The Associated Press today: ‘Tested before taking power, President-elect Obama privately delivered a pre-inauguration veto threat to fellow Democrats, saying they would not deny him use of the remaining $350 billion.’ Di Fi doesn’t want to authorize it, so he’s warning them of a veto. This is all designed to make him look like the centrist in opposing his party.