RUSH: Jay in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, hi, and welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh. It’s a pleasure to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’d like to give a quick shout out to Nancy, Kevin, Sue, and Steve from the WILK network, the home of Rush Limbaugh. My question for you, though, you mentioned trickle-down economics, and this is coming from a conservative who looks at you as somewhat moderate. The trickle-down economics hasn’t seemed to have been working the past few years. The gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger. I’m not suggesting that we need to tax people, but I’m saying that the trickle down theory doesn’t seem to be working anymore and I’m wondering why.
RUSH: It’s not true. Forget the gap. You are being misled by looking at the gap. There’s nothing you can do about the gap between anything unless you want to penalize the top. What you have to look at is, are all income levels rising? And they are. Now, the Heritage Foundation puts the data out, the Tax Foundation puts the data out, and they use what are called quintiles. They divide income ranges into five different ranges. You can find during the eighties, all the way through the nineties, you can find after the Bush tax cuts of this year, after Clinton raised them again, you’ll find that after-tax income went up for every quintile — well, maybe it didn’t at the bottom. That’s always a crapshoot at the bottom, but you get caught up looking at the gap, that’s a class envy game. That’s a typical liberal game. But the gap between the rich and the poor, there’s a simple reason for that. When you have money, it’s easier to make money. When you invest a large sum, it’s gonna amount to much more than a small sum is. It’s just mathematics. It’s not mean-spiritedness, it’s not unfairness.
There are all kinds of reasons why some people have more than others. Some inherit it, like the Kennedy family. Others bust their rear ends. Others are tightwads and don’t spend it. Others are conspicuous consumers. Others put what they earn at risk and lose it and go back and try to earn it again. It’s the ebb and flow of the free market. You can’t take a static snapshot of this economy, look at the gap between the rich and the poor that’s a static snapshot and somehow say that there’s some unfairness going on. The unfairness exists when the government gets in and starts trying to equalize or fix all this. People move in and out of these quintiles, by the way, all the time. You’re born poor, you don’t stay poor in America, and if you’re in the upper quintile, you’re not always there. People lose everything, and we never hear about the rich that lose it all. But they do. You’ve got some reckless people that throw it all way on a wild hare investment or what have you. Or you’ve got some people with kids that just eat up everything they’ve got, they spoil the kids rotten. There are too many variables here to get caught up in this rich and poor.
The thing you have to understand about the gap between rich and poor, what you have to understand is that tax cuts, the Reagan tax cuts, the Bush tax cuts were tax cuts for all Americans. They were not just tax cuts for the rich. They were tax cuts for all Americans. The capital gains tax cut that Bush implemented caused untold, unpredicted amounts of revenue to roll in to Washington, DC. At the same time, people were increasing their wealth. With Obama’s tax cuts, the government gets richer while people get poorer. There’s still going to be a gap between the rich and the poor. What if Obama narrows it? How’s he going to do it? He’s not going to narrow the gap by elevating the people at the bottom. He’s going to take from the people at the top. Everybody’s going to get poorer under Obama. This is as simple as two plus two equals four. But if it hasn’t been taught to you, two plus two equaling four is a mystery, too.