Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: So if you’re sick at home in bed, if you’re not feeling well today, I don’t blame you. We sit here and we watch the daily assault and potential destruction of the America you and I grew up with. Greetings, my friends, and welcome. It is the Excellence in Broadcasting Network, your host, the all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing, all-feeling, all-concerned, practically all-everything Maha Rushie here at 800-282-2882. The e-mail address is ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

We have a lot of e-mails today from people who are fed up watching these CEOs being grilled by the real culprits in this economic decline. And, folks, I feel compelled to tell you what’s really going on here. I know the CEO stuff is a bunch of BS. There were no strings attached to the money they got. There were no strings attached. Go back to the original TARP legislation, and you will read, as I have shared with you countless times prior, the Treasury secretary at the time, Paulson, today Geithner, and what a disgrace, what an absolute disgraceful performance he made yesterday. The markets, everybody looking for specificity, to come out with a concept, not a plan, stock market down 400 points yesterday, the world markets are down, and I maintain all this is being done on purpose. But regardless, this guy Geithner did not look like the only guy capable of doing this job as they said that he was as a means of overlooking his tax-cheatedness during his run-up to the confirmation. There were no strings attached to the money.

I just watched something fascinating on one of the cable news networks. You had the Ken and Barbie cookie-cutter anchors sitting there grilling, amazingly now, a financial reporter, business reporter from the Washington Post, a guy named Pearlstein, I’m not sure how to pronounce it, and this guy from the Washington Post, which stunned me, was actually talking sense about Wall Street bonuses and so forth, and these two anchors are so caught up in the hatred of capitalism, so caught up in the hatred of Wall Street, so caught up in spreading the Obama agenda — it was on MSNBC — that it was comical to watch. These people on TV have been caught up just like many Americans have, they want these people strung up and quartered. They want these CEOs hanged. They want these CEOs literally put in jail and punished, and they haven’t the slightest idea of why, other than it’s class envy, the rich get rich, the poor, poorer. It’s the stuff that Democrats have been promulgating for years. And the reporter from the Washington Post was trying to explain that it was not the CEOs who paid themselves bonuses. They paid bonuses to employees down the line, and he gave the following example. Take your average Wall Street firm, and overall, it may be losing money, but in one department, the currency trading department, the people running that department are showing huge gains. They’re showing huge profits. Their annual salary may be 50 grand a year. They are incentivized with bonuses. So they did get bonuses because their divisions, their departments did great guns, even though the overall company was down.

And these two anchors are going on and on, ‘Well, the company wouldn’t even be in existence if it weren’t for taxpayer dollars, there shouldn’t be any bonuses paid with taxpayer dollars,’ and this reporter, you could see how frustrated he was trying to explain basic common sense to these people, but they are such slavish devotees of Obama that the common sense of it was just impossible for them to grasp. You have to understand the CEO business, and it breaks my heart to see these guys up there groveling. These guys all voted for Obama. They all voted Democrat. Every damn one of these guys, practically. But now they’re expendable. These CEOs are nothing more than the latest enemies that the left needs. The Democrats in Congress have more responsibility for this economic crisis that these clowns on Wall Street do. I have no brief for these clowns on Wall Street. Don’t misunderstand here. You give me the private sector versus the government and I’m going to side with the private sector most of the time and I’ll deal with the excesses, let the private sector handle its frauds and its cheats and its excesses with the court system, but when government gets involved in this stuff, it never works right, it gets bloated, and we’re at a dangerous point here.

What we are facing is a full-scale assault on capitalism. This money was given away with no strings attached. It is not proper for members of Congress now to call these people up, ‘What the hell did you do with the money we gave you?’ They’re the ones that didn’t have any oversight attached to it. They’re the ones in crisis mode who doled out the $350 billion, said, ‘Here, save our economy.’ Now, with no strings attached, and they still have to come up there and grovel like every other CEO. The automobile guys had to go up there and grovel. It is painful to listen to the opening statements these Wall Street people are making. ‘Please forgive us. We have lost touch with the American people. We do know we have an image problem. We’re going to be working really, really hard.’ It’s like they’re up there talking to a firing squad. And as far as they’re concerned, they probably think they are, because now they’re totally in the tank, you know, they put their hand out, they took this money, and so guys like Barney Frank and the rest of them get to tell ’em how to run their business and tell them what a bunch of low-rent slimeballs they are in the process, which is what’s happening.

But this, ladies and gentlemen, is not about the destruction of the reputations of these CEOs. The CEOs are simple fodder. This is a full-scale assault on the capitalist system. You destroy the reputation not of the executives, but of the entire system. These CEOs are simply there as symbols of capitalism, and they have put themselves in this situation, talk about bending over forwards and grabbing the ankles, this is what they are doing today, it’s what they’ve done, they represent, as far as the Democrats and the media are concerned, the failure, the excess, and the immorality of the entire US capitalist system. This show today is designed to convince as many Americans as possible that the capitalist system produces nothing but cheats and frauds, like these CEOs are being portrayed. The left is constantly in need of a demon. They need an enemy to go point out what it is they oppose. They never explain their own plans, Geithner didn’t yesterday. Obama doesn’t get specific.

They’re trying to hide the specifics of the stimulus bill, the Porkulus bill. They never get specific in what they believe in ’cause they can’t win that argument, so they have to demonize virtually everybody they find in opposition. They need enemies, and the Wall Street guys are enemies, and they all donated to the Democrat Party. They all voted, or the vast majority of them, voted for Obama, and look where it got ’em. They are now expendable, because it’s not Obama conducting the hearings, he can talk to them and say, ‘Hey, I can’t tell Barney Frank what to do, I can’t tell Nancy Pelosi what to do.’ So now they’re expendable.


RUSH: I just got another e-mail here. ‘Dear Rush: Do the Democrats…?’ Now, this is a valid question. ‘Do the Democrats really understand that they are destroying the source of the wealth that they want to redistribute?’ Yes! Yes! These people are not uneducated and stupid. They know full well what they are doing. They are destroying the engine that creates wealth, the private sector, and they are turning it to the government. And you say, ‘But, Rush! But, Rush! Where are they going to get the money that they want to redistribute if they destroy the…?’ Where are they getting it now? You think our taxes are covering all of this? Where are they getting it now? By mortgaging our future in debt to China and other countries and by printing it!

Damn straight they know what they’re doing. This is a full-fledged attack on capitalism, and the Democrats, the leftist Democrats have been seeking this for the longest time. That’s why they can’t stop themselves. This is Christmas morning every day for these people. There’s nobody that can stop them. These are things… Imagine yourself, and you have had this passionate desire for whatever it is, for years, and finally you get it — and it keeps giving to you every day. You are going to overdose on it, which is what they’re doing. For example, let me illustrate. It’s not okay to have a corporate jet if you took TARP funds. Yet jet purchases stimulate the economy, which is what President Obama and the Democrats claim this is all about: stimulating the economy and jobs.

Yet, it’s not okay to decorate your office if you took TARP money, and in this case the office was decorated without TARP money. But hiring contractors and decorators and buying furniture stimulates the economy. But if you do that and you’re a Wall Street titan, you’re going to be slapped down. Terry Moran of Nightline actually asked Obama last night, ‘Why don’t you just fire these CEOs at the banks?’ Can you believe that? A member of the mainstream media — I got the audio coming up. I’ll let you hear it in mere moments. ‘Why don’t you just fire the CEOs at the banks?’ With a compliant, uninformed, illiterate media like that helping to advance the cause… They are totally about ideology now. They are activists. You know, you have AIDS activists and you have gay activists and you have union activists, you have environmental activists.

The media today is a bunch of activists. They’re not reporters. They’re actors. ‘Why don’t you just fire the CEOs?’ and then Chuck Todd of NBC stands up at the press conference, the one on Monday night. ‘Well, don’t you think it would be better to tell the American people to spend their money here rather than spending it over there?’ This is obscene what is happening here. It’s not okay to give bonuses if you took TARP money. But of course bonuses lead to spending in New York City, which stimulates the economy. New York State rivals California in budget problems. The limitation on CEO salaries in New York City and throughout the state, is going to cause a drastic reduction in revenue to the state. The feds don’t care. The states have more of a concern about their budgets than the feds do, ’cause states cannot print money, but the federal government can.

These clowns do not care. They claim they want to stimulate the economy, and yet every action they are taking is reaming private sector activity by design. We had the story yesterday, General Motors. They are forced to ‘restructure’ and present a plan that Congress approves of by March, if they are to hold onto their bailout money. So what do they have to do? General Motors says, ‘Well, look, we’re going to have to fire 10,000 people and slash the salaries of several others,’ all white-collar, all nonunion. I thought that what Obama and the Democrats were doing was about creating jobs. It seems to me that virtually everybody involved here is losing jobs, is losing money, and is having the federal government come in and control more and more of their operation.

Now, Obama, Obama is out there bragging today that the CEO of Caterpillar has promised — and Obama’s going to Peoria tomorrow for big dog and pony show here. That’s where Caterpillar is. Obama says that the Caterpillar CEO said, if this stimulus passes, I’m rehiring some workers. Drudge has made it a siren headline on his page. Now, how stupid do they think we are? They laid off 22,000 people at Caterpillar. How many exactly will be rehired? This is an abject fear in corporate America of Washington, DC, and the federal government. The Caterpillar CEO, the Intel CEO, they all can see what’s being done to the Wall Street bankers today. They don’t want to be called up there. They don’t want to have their industries targeted. This is fear; it is extortion.

Of course, Caterpillar, you see, a lot of people think, ‘Well, if the stimulus package happens, it’s roads, it’s bridges. Hey, you need heavy equipment to build that stuff. Why, that could result in sales for Caterpillar.’ Well, yeah, but how much of this stimulus actually goes to infrastructure and shovel-ready jobs? From what we’ve been able to learn, 4% in the next two years. You know why the money is not going to be spent for the next two years? It’s going to start being spent in 2010, at the end of 2010. That happens to be an election year, ladies and gentlemen. This Porkulus bill is as much about patronage and putting Democrats in bureaucratic positions of power throughout the federal government, throughout the state governments as is possible.

Imagine if Washington were Chicago and Illinois politics. This is what the Democrats want to accomplish in San — well, they’ve already done it in San Francisco. But they want to accomplish it in every major city in this country. Every city totally run and controlled by Democrats, as it is the case in Chicago. A lot of them already are and you can see the state and the status that they’re in. Why this doesn’t make an impression on people is beyond me, but at some point, it has to. So Obama says Caterpillar CEO has told them the company will rehire ‘some’ laid off workers if the stimulus bill passes. Another thing this tells me is that Obama needs to go out and he needs the private sector to sell this stupid thing — and with the assault on capitalism that’s taking place, believe me, you run one of these major corporations, you do not want the government coming after you.

Your first responsibility is to keep your company going. It’s not to fight ideological and political battles in Washington. And so the Caterpillar CEO, he can see what’s happening. He promises to hire some workers back, gets a lot of great PR. He probably gets some stimulus money here for new equipment sales to do all this road building and bridge building and whatever other myths there are in this stimulus bill. So let’s review, question being: ‘Don’t the Democrats realize that they’re destroying the chief means of production of revenue that they want to redistribute?’ Yes, they know exactly what they’re doing. They don’t care if they print money and run huge deficits. Power! Power is what this is about, never-ending entrenched power. So it’s not okay to have a corporate jet if you took TARP money, but buying jets stimulates the economy.

You can’t have a jet. Too many people don’t understand it. It’s an excessive thing to do. People have no clue the support systems, businesses that are necessary to keep these damn things in the air. Talk about building them, you know how many people work at factories that build these guys? Their jobs just as decent as anything else. They may be producing a very expensive product, but they have jobs that are being paid, and they’re union people. Okay, so the airplane is built. Then it has to be completed. You have to do the interior. That brings in design specialists. It’s private sector stimulus. Then it’s gotta be inspected all the time. The federal government comes in, and the FAA is going to inspect the airplane all the time to make sure it’s air-worthy. But you don’t just put fuel in these things and go. You have to have a place to put fuel.

They’re called fixed-base operations. They’re just gas stations for jets. That’s where the corporate jets go, and they pay for jet fuel, and they buy jet fuel, and that helps the people selling it. And there are line personnel that have to empty the toilets and service it and tow it. The number of people it takes to put a jet in the air is an incredible number; then you’ve got the catering businesses that service these jets and this is all money that’s being spent. It’s all private sector money. But because it’s a corporate jet somehow it’s stigmatized and the contributions made to private sector stimulus in the process of buying, flying, and servicing one of these jets is totally missed by people. Just like these two idiot anchors on MSNBC today who could not be made to understand in plain logic how the bonus system works as an incentive to do well on Wall Street.

So, no jet. No redecorating your office. It’s not okay to give bonuses. However, it is perfectly fine to give money to Congress if you took TARP money. In fact, it’s probably required, under the table. If you’ve taken TARP money, you’re probably required to give money to members of Congress! Every single company whose CEO is at this hearing has given campaign money to members of Congress, including the Senate. Is that stimulus? Well, you might say it is. These people have to buy posters and signs and hire people to run their reelection campaign, but look at what is not prohibited. Members of Congress don’t say, ‘You cannot use TARP money to make contributions to us.’ That’s perfectly fine! They give out the money and somebody gives back, it’s perfectly fine.

And speaking of excess, how about all these junkets these people take on our money, places they could not afford to go on their salaries, hotels they could not afford to stay at on their salaries and we pay for it? Charlie Rangel to the Dominican Republic, all these other junkets these people take under the guise of official business, staying at five-star resorts, and nobody cares. Nobody seems to be upset about that at all, as though members of Congress and the Senate are our royalty. People that don’t produce a damn thing. People that do zip, zero, nada work, that makes this economy go. All they do is get in the way of it. Do you realize theoretically — we’ll never have the chance to prove it — an economy will never go into recession by itself.

The whole point of people engaging in commerce is growth. Everybody wants to sell their product for more. Everybody wants to earn more. Everybody wants a better life. If people are just left alone, a recession cannot happen, in and of itself. A recession is caused by something — and in this case, these poor schlubs at the CEOs of banks did not cause it. Government spending, irresponsible orders from government to banks, telling them they had to lend to people who have no business borrowing money. The banks then, in order cover what was worthless paper, came up with new inventions to try to give the paper value, and that didn’t work out. It became a self-repeating cycle. But if Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd had never gotten involved in seeing to it that ‘affordable housing’ meant that anybody who wants a house could have it whether they could pay for it or not, we wouldn’t be where we are today! Recessions are caused by intervention, obstruction, you name it. If left alone, economies do not go into recession.

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