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RUSH: To Minneapolis. This is Kristin. It’s great to have you on the program, Kristin. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you today?

RUSH: Fine. Thanks very much.

CALLER: Good. I just wanted to share a little story with you. I’m one of those five million Americans who are unemployed, and yesterday I called the unemployment office to see what benefits I would get from the stimulus package; and, of course, being a government agency they didn’t know that much. But they did tell me that I would get $25 extra in my paycheck weekly, my unemployment check. And I thought to myself, ‘You know, something is not right here.’ You know, if they’re going to give — what is it? — $13 or $16 to working Americans, but unemployed Americans they’re going to give $25 to? Something’s not right here and people should be outraged at that.

RUSH: But it makes total sense. The unemployed are not being paid nearly as much as the employed. It’s only fair the employed get a smaller increase than the unemployed, because their baseline is lower. What is your unemployment check? Do you get it every week, every month? How do they come?

CALLER: I get it every week.

RUSH: Do you mind my asking what the total amount is?

CALLER: It’s $459 a month and I get taxes taken out of it, too. So…

RUSH: So $459 a month gross?

CALLER: No, I’m sorry, a week, a week. I get $459 a week.

RUSH: That’s over $2,000 a month.

CALLER: That’s a lot of money. It’s a good amount of money.

RUSH: Well, for not working, it is!

CALLER: Plus, I get to be in bed. Yeah.

RUSH: I know they deduct taxes from it. So what is that?

CALLER: They offer you the option. You don’t have to have to have taxes taken out, but I choose to.

RUSH: Because you have to pay taxes on your unemployment compensation, eventually.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: All right. So you choose not to, or you choose to?

CALLER: No, I choose to have the taxes taken out. Yes.

RUSH: Okay, so what is your net unemployment check every week, then?

CALLER: It’s $459.

RUSH: Oh. That’s the net?


RUSH: That’s after taxes?


RUSH: What is the gross?

CALLER: I don’t know offhand. I don’t get stubs or anything because I have it direct deposited, I don’t look that up, but now I’m going to get an extra $25 now. I mean, I think that’s a good amount of money.

RUSH: Look, I may have to revise my answer here is why I’m asking for these numbers.

CALLER: (laughs)

RUSH: So $459 a week is the net, after taxes.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: That’s $24,000 plus some idle change every year.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: After taxes. How many members in your family?

CALLER: It’s just my husband and myself.

RUSH: Is your husband unemployed?

CALLER: No, he isn’t. He has his own business, and we have employees. He has employees that work for him.

RUSH: He has employees?


RUSH: All right. So you guys, with his… Now I see what you’re talking about.

CALLER: Well, as an American I just think it’s not right that people that are working are getting short-changed.

RUSH: It isn’t right. Of course it’s not.

CALLER: It’s absurd!

RUSH: God bless you for calling. God bless God for seeing to it that you got through, because this is a perfect illustration of my theorem about what this is all about. The unemployed — the people who are technically not working and not doing anything — are being paid more by the government to stay in that circumstance than people who are working.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: People who are working and fit a certain profile get 13 bucks a week, which is — what is it? — $52 a month. Whatever. It’s less than a thousand dollars a year.


RUSH: Plus they’re going to have to pay taxes on it next year ’cause the rates haven’t been changed. So the people working — you’re exactly right — the people who are working, who are getting their fingernails dirty, the people who are going out there and hanging in there, despite the obstacles —

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: — get a measly 13 bucks and your increase in your unemployment check is $25. I’m telling you, that’s purposeful. They want to make it more attractive to be on unemployment than it is to work. Mark my words.

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