RUSH: From the Weekly Standard blogs, February 6th: ‘Barack Obama is Not Making Sense — The White House has its signals crossed. President Obama flew to Williamsburg, Va., tonight to address the House Democrats. Originally the speech was supposed to be off the record. But the White House decided to let the cameras in so that the president’s appeal for the economic stimulus bill could be heard around the world. And what an appeal. Obama lambasted Republican critics of the stimulus and heaped scorn on the Bush administration for piling up the national debt. He said the stimulus bill could end the ‘tyranny of oil,’ whatever that means, and made fun of Republicans for questioning whether some of the spending in the bill is actually stimulative.
”What do you think ‘stimulus’ is?’ Obama said. ‘It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.’ (Just an aside: Obama is wrong. Stimulus is short-term spending to increase aggregate demand during an economic downturn. When the economy recovers, the stimulus spending is supposed to stop. The spending in Obama’s plan doesn’t stop after the economy recovers. Quite the contrary. Most of the spending is long-term.)’ It doesn’t start until 2010, 2011, and it is going to prevent the kind of private-sector recovery that is genuinely needed here for a genuine recovery. Now, this report says: ‘Obama’s performance was fiery. He went way off script. He seemed genuinely angry. He’s already blaming Republicans for holding up the [bill] — even though the GOP leader in the Senate says he has no intention of filibustering the bill.’ Republicans haven’t held up anything here! The Republicans can’t stop any of this.
Republicans can’t do one thing to stop this, folks. The sooner everybody understands that, the better off we’re going to be in understanding what’s certainly happening here. ‘The speech to the House Democrats is just part of Obama’s stimulus counteroffensive. He published an op-ed in today’s Washington Post [on Sunday] and delivered equally strong remarks this afternoon at the Department of Energy. The White House has recognized that the debate over the stimulus is spinning out of control and that the bill is in serious danger. So they’ve retooled their message to make it more aggressive.’ Confusion is the order of the day. The polling data for the stimulus shows now support for it is at 37%, and Obama’s approval numbers are down from close-to-80 to 60%. Now, 60% is nothing to sneeze at, but the rapid rate at which his approval number is falling is not a good sign for the Bamster.
It’s not a good sign for those who have suspended disbelief, who are extending the benefit of the doubt. It’s not a good sign here. From the Washington Times last Thursday, Joseph Curl: ‘President Obama, fresh off his first Washington apology tour, grew combative Wednesday, asserting that America voted for him, not the other guy, and demanding that lawmakers ‘put aside politics’ — well, Republican lawmakers, anyway.’ ‘I won.’ ‘I won, you lost; so you put aside your politics and agree with me,’ is basically what Obama is saying. It has to be said again and again. I don’t know why he… Well, that’s not true. I do know why he wants Republican support. I still find it extremely laughable and humorous that they want Republican support for this bill. Folks, if this bill is the panacea that he says it is, he ought to want to hog all the credit for his party, and use the fact that Republicans don’t support this as a way to kill ’em off politically in 2010 and 2012.
But they know this bill is not what it’s purported to be. It’s not a stimulus bill. It’s not a jobs bill. It’s not an economic recovery bill, and they want Republican cover on this so that both parties take heat for it when (and it will happen) the majority of the American people get fed up with this, that it’s not what was promised, that it’s not what they were led to believe is going to happen. They’re going to get mad at all of Washington again. Obama wants the Republicans on board so that they can take the heat, and if they’re smart, they will continue to oppose this on principle grounds. They will oppose this just on principle alone. It will set them up for success later on down the road, and who knows? It might have some effect in actually stopping some of this at some point. Not stopping all of it, but maybe in conference committees remedying some of the outrageousness here. But it’s worth opposing. It’s worth opposing simply for the fact of being honest to yourself and remaining true at your core beliefs and your principles, because that’s going to come back and be rewarded much later on down the road in future elections.
We go to Milwaukee. Jerry, nice to have you, sir. Welcome.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. For one, I support your position in opposing Barack Obama when you think he’s wrong. Any time a president’s wrong, you should oppose them and doesn’t matter what the policy is. But on the stimulus plan I believe this is a good plan because the problem is simply people aren’t buying, and companies are afraid to say build factories because of lack of consumer demand. So that’s why you need the government to create stimulus in the economy. I don’t agree with all these programs, a lot of them I disagree with, but this recession, or even maybe a depression in the future, is going to cost us trillions of dollars in lost productivity and we’re not going to get anything from that. This plan will cost about $40 billion a year on interest on the debt. This recession is gonna cost us trillions of dollars over the next few years. So we have to take immediate action.
RUSH: Yeah. And we should take immediate action. Unfortunately, this isn’t it. What do you mean when you say that people aren’t buying companies?
CALLER: Well, companies, obviously when a recession happens the aggregate demand goes down. Now, if there’s less consumers buying, even if it’s like three-to-four percent, that affects companies, that affects your decision if you’re going to build something, like build a factory to produce a product. Because if you see that demand going down, you —
RUSH: Wait a second. Would you tell me how in the world this stimulus is going to get Americans to start buying companies?
CALLER: Well, what it does is this.
RUSH: There aren’t going to be any companies left to buy, the government’s going to own ’em all.
CALLER: Well, it gets money through the economy. For example, you have private contractors who are paid by the government, they go out and they buy a car, or they go buy something else. That gets more money flowing through the private economy, too, because it’s a guarantee that money will flow.
RUSH: Your first scenario is going to be changed by this. The people who are not spending money are still not going to be spending money. Obama had it right. He said, ‘How can people spend money if they don’t have it?’ This is not gonna put money in people’s pockets. This is going to take money out of people’s pockets. Where do you think this money the government’s going to spend is coming from? Who is it that produces the wealth in this country? It’s not the government. All they can do is redistribute it or print money, which is going to lead to inflation. This argument that government can promote great economies, folks, if this were true, the greatest communist countries in the world would be thriving empires today. The Soviet Union would have not have crumbled, China would not be in trouble, Venezuela and Cuba would be ruling the western hemisphere. There’s nothing speedy about this. All this money you’re talking about doesn’t get spent for two years, Jerry. You’re being sold a bill of goods, and you’re buying into it. But as economic theory this has been disapproved over and over and over again, in real life, in real countries, by real governments who ended up harming real people by depriving them of the money necessary for the economy to function. I think it’s 75% of the US GDP is the average American engaging in commerce, and it’s not happening right now because this administration is frankly scaring the hell out of them.
This administration is telling people it’s going to get worse, even Obama just said it up in Elkhart, Indiana. Even with his stimulus package it’s going to get worse out there, it’s a catastrophe. Why, we’re never going to recover. Recessions have an average life span of 5 to 11 months, if you leave ’em alone. The way to deal with this, Jerry, is to let the failures fail and let the successes prosper. We are propping up the failures. We are guaranteeing the failures. We are going to continue keeping people in debt, people that can’t afford a house should be foreclosed on. People that can’t afford to keep their businesses open should be shut down. If you artificially prop them up, you are adding more debt into the whole mix, and more debt is what got us in the problem we’re in now. Propping up losers because it will buy you votes does nothing more than that. It does not revive an economy. It ultimately is a more compassionate thing to do for the losers.
People who are already in problems because of debt, they can’t pay their house, they can’t pay their mortgage or the business or whatever it is, if you artificially prop ’em up, that is still a level of debt that continues to exist throughout the system. Somebody has to pay for it. If the owner of the house, if the occupant of the house isn’t paying for it, somebody is, probably you and me. And that’s debt. At some point, it’s all gonna come — that’s what’s happened to us now. And to compound what happened to us now with more of the stuff that got us into this trouble is irresponsible, and that’s where we’re headed. There is nothing stimulative about this bill. After seven years of FDR’s New Deal, unemployment was still at almost 15%. It just doesn’t work. There is no time in history where it has worked.