RUSH: Let me read a little to you here from this story on March 21st, three days ago, from the Connecticut Post. ‘Hollywood has its bus tours of celebrity homes. New York City has its bus tours of mob hits. So why not pack a bus with community activists, invite a representative from every media organization in the free world and see the Fairfield County mansions of the ‘filthy rich and most recently infamous’ — American International Group executives. After all, these are the people who packed their wallets with millions in taxpayer bailout bonuses for helping take their company and the US economy down the tubes, organizers said. And that’s exactly what the Working Families Party and ACORN did Saturday morning.’
Now, listen to this, though. The writer, ‘Unfortunately, traffic and the slow-moving caravan of news media that followed only allowed the bus enough time to stop near the estates of two Fairfield AIG executives, both who promised to return their bonuses after their names were disclosed. The media, from as far away as Montreal, Germany and the Netherlands, outnumbered the demonstrators by three-to-one. And the demonstrators played to the boom mics, clicking camera shutters and whirling videotapes with a noisy but well-mannered demonstration outside–‘ and they give an address here of one of these executives’ houses. ‘The protest took place under the watchful eyes of nearly a quarter of Wilton’s 44-member police force and four private security officers.’ Then they talked about the place they first stopped and they describe the house. ‘The Colonial home, surrounded by neatly trimmed rhododendron bushes, appears to have been expanded at least three times. Between Wednesday’s naming of Poling and Saturday’s bus tour, the executive hired two security guards and lined his yard’s border with small white flags warning of an Invisible Fence for an unseen guard dog.’ And then it just goes on and on and on and on and on.
They finally talked to a protester, Asaad Jackson from North Hartford, ”This is nowhere even close to what it looks where I live in north Hartford,’ said Jackson seeing a half-dozen huge homes, some housing their own swimming pools, gazebos and backyard patios; another has its own fenced-in, regulation-size, blacktopped basketball court waiting for a quick pick-up game. ”It’s like comparing a rosy red apple to burnt toast, and that’s not even the best metaphor,’ said Jackson, 24, who teaches African percussion and the trumpet in Hartford.’ Where, on the street corner? Couldn’t they name the institution where he teaches it? ‘Aside from the mansions, there were the police cars. Several parked at the street entrance, another parked outside Poling’s home. The only time Jackson says he sees police in his Hartford neighborhood is when they’re looking for someone.’ I’ve covered about half the story here. No, Mr. Snerdley, there is very little outrage about this among people willing to publicly express it.
Here’s the end of the story. ‘The more he saw Saturday, and the more he heard, the more incensed he became. ‘Because the American taxpayer now owns 80 percent of AIG, they should have full access to anything and everything they own, including their country club memberships, their recreation facilities, their built-in swimming pools, but we’ll do it on a schedule,’ he said. ‘America has stopped being a country that cares about its people. It’s all about greed.” That was one of the protesters on the bus. ‘The bus loaded up again. The media caravan aligned behind it,’ and because they spent so much time, they bypassed the next executive, and drove to the headquarters of AIG Financial Products in Wilton, Connecticut, to continue to protest. It’s a banana republic. This is banana republic-type stuff.
In fact, I read some stuff over the weekend, I don’t think I printed it out because it’s all premature right now, but from some left-wing blogs. That term was actually used by a left-winger. This is absurd, he said, I mean there are banana republics that wouldn’t think of doing what this Congress did last week on the retroactive 90% tax increase on AIG bonuses. There are some people, they’re starting to talk about it, but with the people you mean, Snerdley, the opposition? Nope. They’re scared to death of being demonized and vilified.
All right, let’s go back to the phones. People have been patiently waiting. Betty in Everett, Pennsylvania. Great to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Yes, Rush. Thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, ma’am.
CALLER: I enjoy your show.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Quick question. Do you not think that this thing with AIG taking back the bonuses is setting a dangerous precedent for the future, as to the government interfering —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. You mean AIG giving them back or the government taking them back, which do you mean?
CALLER: Well, basically the government’s forcing them to give it back, and if they can tax their money at a hundred percent, where does this stop? At what point does the government maybe go further down the road and say, and we wouldn’t we even be talking about AIG not taking government money if the government can say, well, AIG has to give their money back, those executives made too much money, well, at what point —
RUSH: Well, Obama’s already talking about it. He wants control of the financial sector, and Barney Frank today was talking about legislation that would tie executive pay to performance, federal legislation. The Obama administration is wanting to do everything it can to take over and regulate as much of the financial industry as it can, the banking business, and even other businesses, but your larger question I think is very good. Let’s look at something here in progress regulation. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 the top marginal tax rate was 70%. When he left office it was 28%. When Bill Clinton came into office he got the top marginal rate back up to 39.6%. The Bush tax cuts came along and they lowered them back to 35%. The Bush tax cuts will end after 2011, I think. At which point Obama is not going to extend them, so it will go back up to thirty-nine six. Throughout all of this the Democrats have done everything they can to make sure they do not mention the number 40. They know they’re on thin ice raising taxes here, so the 39.6, that was the first incremental step, just let the Bush tax cuts expire. Now you are right. Look at what has happened. Using mob rule and populist psychology, they’ve got the figure at 90% now. They have the figure at 90% and nobody’s objecting! The people who are now faced with the 90% tax rate, rather than fight it, are giving the money back. So there is no 90%, there’s a 100% tax rate now. They were paid money contractually. They’re giving it back to avoid the hassles of working with government. The Constitution now doesn’t exist. Ex post facto doesn’t exist, bills of attainder doesn’t exist. If the Constitution can be tossed aside this easily, then they can throw any part of it aside.
CALLER: It’s illegal what they’re doing.
RUSH: Totally. But nobody’s stopping them and nobody’s upset. In fact, they’re ginning up national support for all of this. So whereas they were afraid, Obama was afraid to actually talk about raising taxes to 40%, look what they’ve done. They’ve thrown the figure of 90% out there. That was the top tax rate when JFK started lowering taxes, and his rates got ’em down to 70, his cuts got ’em down to 70. So 40 years ago we had a top marginal rate of 90%, we had a whole bunch of rates, the top one was 90, but there were all kinds of tax shelters. There were all kinds of incentives to put your money someplace to avoid paying the 90%. Those things don’t exist anymore. Now they’ve got that 90% number out there, and nobody’s objecting. So, yes, you’re right about your contention.
CALLER: And would you please at some point in one of your shows address how hypocritical Obama is being on almost every level. That’s all, I won’t keep you anymore. But I think you need to do a show on just how many hypocritical things he is doing and the Democrats are doing.
RUSH: Well, we could do that, but I think it’s worse than hypocritical. Hypocritical doesn’t begin to describe it. And, by the way, hypocrisy is not an indictment of Democrats. Democrats are hypocritical every day, and they’re never held to account. Hypocrisy only damages Republicans. We’re missing the boat if all we want to say about Obama is he’s hypocritical. Obama, while everybody stands around cheering, is taking away individual liberty and freedom as quickly as he can, while smiling and laughing about it on Leno, smiling and laughing about it on 60 Minutes with Steve Kroft while his mindless Obamabots are out there cheering for him at every town meeting and so forth. He’s taking away freedom, incrementally each and every day, making another big grab at it. That’s not hypocrisy. That’s tyranny.
RUSH: We have a little snippet here — it’s a montage, actually — of a report on the ACORN protests of AIG executive homes on Saturday on the NBC Nightly News with the reporter Mike Taibbi.
TAIBBI: While no one says that a populist rage is unjustified, there are those who argue that beyond a certain point, it’s unhelpful. And while some say the real problem isn’t millions in bonuses but the billions funneled to AIG’s corporate partners —
TAIBBI: — it’s easier to scream about one company and a roster of its executives.
PROTESTERS: Money for the nee-dy! Not for the gree-dy!
TAIBBI: Or to stage a bus tour of some of those executives’ homes as happened today in Connecticut, and to aim that anger at the big picture, an economy that wouldn’t be stabilized even if every penny of every bailout bonus was paid back ten times.
RUSH: That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. None of this is all raw emotion. You can give people the facts left and right about the size of the bonus. In fact, it’s even worse than that. You can say, ‘Yeah, $165 million in bonuses versus 700…’ What is the other number that’s being passed around? What was it, two or three billion for something or other. Anyway, 165 million sounds larger than two or three billion, because 165 sounds bigger than two or three or even eight or even ten. So you have a bunch of ignoramuses in this country whose emotions are being played, and they’re being ginned up and they’re joining these protests and so forth. Nobody is going to do anything to stop it.
Nobody’s going to stand up and oppose it, especially if most of the people on the protest tour are minority and most of them are very poor. Nobody wants to be critical of either group. So you have to sit there and so I understand where they’re coming for. I know where they’re coming from. It’s a shame and so forth. (interruption) Well, Snerdley, I agree that somebody better stop it now, but I don’t know who’s going to stop it? The Obama administration… (interruption) The president is not going to speak out against this. The president is encouraging this. The president could stop this with a snap of his fingers. The president loves this. It’s his group! ACORN got stimulus money to do this kind of thing. It’s his group. This is where he trained: ACORN. This is exactly the kind of chaos that his administration wants.
They’re doing everything they can to take over as much of the private sector and regulate it as they can, as soon as they can. There’s no mystery about it. The real surprise is it’s not the country you and I grew up in. I told you, we’re a bipolar country now. There’s so many people looking at this, they see what it is, and they’re not at all bothered. Even the ones who are not particularly in favor of something like this, they think it’s just going to pass. It’s only because of the dire straits the economy is in. Things will eventually straighten out. They don’t have the slightest concern about it that they’re willing to voice publicly.