RUSH: In California today, voters are going to go to the polls to decide the fate of six ballot initiatives. Four of them would, if they pass, raise taxes on Californians. The Governator is not there. The Governator is in Washington along with Jennifer Granholm to celebrate the announcement by Obama today of these new auto emissions rules.
They’re going to add about — well, if they’re going to say $1,600 to the cost of the American family, double it at least by the time we get to 2016. Schwarzenegger has pushed heavily for all six ballot measures. They are designed to close California’s $15 billion budget shortfall. But as the Heritage Foundation points out in a great story called Californication: ‘Even though Schwarzenegger’s legacy depends on the passage of these initiatives, he will not be in California tonight to see the results. The Los Angeles Times reports: ‘His absence in the face of widely forecast defeat drew mockery from his foes.’ Instead Schwarzenegger will be in Washington, DC, where he is scheduled to join President Barack Obama at the White House to celebrate the federal adoption of auto emissions standards that mirror standards previously adopted by California.’Now, this is being called a win for California.
The LA Times here is saying that the Governator succeeding in getting California emissions adopted for the nation is a big win for California. Well, that may be, folks, but it is a huge loss for the rest of the nation, and it may just be the first of many losses for the rest of the nation. Heritage Foundation points out today that for decades, California’s been a leader in public policy innovation. Stick with me on this ’cause this is where the rubber meets the road here. A generation ago, 25, 30 years ago, California was at the forefront of a taxpayer revolt that eventually helped elect President Reagan and usher in three decades of prosperity. California is still exporting its public policy ideas.
So how is California’s experiment with the green economy going? Do you know what Channel 4 in LA has discovered? LA is called the greenest city in the country (laughing) and they have discovered that the street lights are on 24/7. The street lights are on in the daytime, and customers and citizens have been complaining about this waste, and the city hasn’t been doing anything about it, they’ve been looking to blame the contractor or blame the department of public works or some such thing.
But it’s even better than that. LA, the greenest city in the country, California with all of these great auto emissions standards, California imports more energy than any state in the country. When you drive through that state you’re going to see solar panels everywhere, and you will see windmills everywhere. You are going to see cars on the highways everywhere. You’re going to see traffic everywhere as you know it, and yet California imports more energy than any state in the country. As a result of that, it has some of the highest energy costs in the country, including the second highest commercial sector energy prices. Only Hawaii, which is ocean bound, has higher rates. Now, in addition to all the greening that’s gone on in California resulting in the largest amount of energy imports in the country, California’s unemployment rate hit 9.3% last December. That was up from 4.9% in December 2006. There are now one-and-a-half million Californians out of work. The state has the fourth highest housing foreclosure rate in the nation. California has lost more businesses than any state in recent years. California is facing a $40 billion budget deficit. In some small towns, unemployment is now running close to 35%, rivaling unemployment rates during the Great Depression. And what is the benefit to the environment of all of this? Absolutely zilch, zero, nada.
All of this economic pain supposedly for environmental gain has resulted in zero environmental gain. This is the exact same formula that the Waxman-Markey energy tax legislation offers the United States, cap and trade. It is the exact same thing this nation is headed for. It has been a disaster for California; it will be a disaster for the nation at large and as a whole. But you know how insistent Californians have been. They’ve got their own fuel emissions standards; they have their own fuel mixtures and blends. California imports more energy than any state in the country.
Now, you might say, ‘Well, yeah, but, Rush, they got more population.’ Well, they’re also the greenest. They have embarked on policies to reduce the need to import. What is the whole impetus behind Obama’s cap-and-trade program? To reduce our dependence on foreign oil, to make us less susceptible to people who hate us and what’s California showing us? It’s a microcosm of what is ahead for the United States of America. They import more energy than any state in the country. Unemployment through the roof; budget deficits through the roof; six ballot initiatives today, four of which would raise taxes. The governor out of town; doesn’t want to be anywhere near there when the results come in tonight.
The polls indicate that these things are going to go down in flames, that despite all, Californians don’t want to pay higher taxes, even the majority lib population out there because they’re starting to say, ‘It’s not our fault, it’s not our fault. The fact that we’re not paying enough taxes is not the reason why you people in Sacramento can’t control your spending.’ So all of these liberal do-good ideas, all of these feel-good things, all of these proposals and ideas that are going to make California the beacon of the country and show us the way on energy independence, have all failed miserably. Schwarzenegger is in Washington today to join Obama in spreading the same kind of energy policy nationwide that California has adopted for years, and this is being called in the LA Times a big win for California. Nothing could be further from the truth.
RUSH: Liberty Township, Ohio, this is Adelee, nice to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I was just calling you to say that Europe uses nuclear power so if we were actually trying for energy independence we wouldn’t be going for the wind or the solar. If we are trying to follow what Europe does, we’d be using nuclear power.
RUSH: Well, especially it’s a good point about France. France is big into nuclear power, but you raise a good point here, Adelee. There’s a way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil tremendously and there’s a way to reduce the use of coal and that’s nuclear. Oh, no, we can’t have nuclear. Why? Because nuclear, well nuclear, we’ll all melt, radiation, we’ll die of radiation poisoning. We know that because of a movie called The China Syndrome in which Jane Fonda starred. That movie killed the nuclear industry and it was done on purpose. But there is an added reason why we don’t go nuclear, and I want to take you back to my example. Obama is going to have us all driving putt-putts — they get 35 1/2 to 39 miles a gallon — by 2016. The purpose: use less oil, use less gasoline. This is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We don’t like those sheiks in the oil-producing states in the Middle East and we don’t like being vulnerable so we’re going to go driving little putt-putts. At the same time we do this, guess what we’re going to do? We are going to save the planet from whatever this hoax climate change is. But then, understand something. When we’re all driving these putt-putts and using less gasoline, that is going to equal less sales tax revenue, gas tax revenue, both to the feds and to the states. Any time you use less of a product, the tax take from it is less, so one of two things is going to happen. They’re either going to have to raise taxes, which is the next step to come, raise taxes on gasoline.
Folks, this is the point. It is not that anybody at this press conference today, from Obama to Carol Browner or anybody else, they don’t care about being dependent on foreign oil. There are ways that are much more efficient and make much more sense than 35 or 39 miles to the gallon in a putt-putt to reduce our use of foreign oil. They want the use of oil to continue. They just want the money for it. They don’t want the sheiks getting the money, and they don’t want foreign oil companies getting the money; Obama wants it. Washington wants the money. This is the first step, the universal or a national fuel efficiency standard is the first step toward them shifting the expenditure of dollars for oil overseas to Washington, one way or the other. Another thing that’s going to happen here is that we’re not going to use less oil. If we do, then you’re going to see an appropriate contraction and decline in your standard of living and in the overall national economy.
You do not grow an economy by making things more expensive for average people to utilize. You do not grow an economy by raising the cost of living and with tamping down the standard of living. You don’t do that. What you do is you encourage and facilitate the growth of government which is going to be collecting all of the revenue that would normally be used as disposable income in your own family. They’re going to get it. The states are going to get it, the federal government is going to get it, and you’re going to have less of what you earn because you’re going to be spending more of it, even though you’re told today that you’re going to have to drive a car that gets 35 to 39 miles a gallon and, voila, you’re going to be using less gasoline. If you think that’s going to add up to a lot of savings, you wait. We’ve already seen the evidence. In North Carolina they had a drought, so they reduced water usage. They did the same thing here. Had a drought, you can only use water once a week. Then they found out wait, wait a minute, our taxes from the water utility are going way down, so they raised the rates, water prices, if you will, utility prices in North Carolina and Florida, after they enforced less usage. Same thing is going to happen here.
In fact, it’s already happened in California. When people already started buying putt-putts on their own and started using less gasoline, didn’t take long for Sacramento to realize that their gas tax revenue was down. So they started talking about how to raise taxes, and in California today, after all of these brilliant, massive economic improvements, after all of this cutting-edge environmental improvements, all of these green adds, windmills and solar panels and new formulations of gasoline, California today, which imports more energy than any state in the country, and today there are six ballot initiatives, people going to the polls in California and four of them are to raise taxes after all of these steps were taken to save the state, to save the planet, to save the country, to save on our environmental expenditures. And it just hasn’t worked, has it? So what you’re seeing in California today is a little microcosm of what’s headed our way, now specifically since Obama and Carol Browner have announced this silly nationwide CAFE standard tailpipe emissions limit and mileage of 35.9 miles per gallon.
Now, I know some of you saying, ‘Rush, what is wrong with cars that pollute less?’ Nothing. There’s not a thing in the world wrong with that. But that’s not what this is about, folks. None of what Obama says is his motive is his motive. His motive is designed to get you on board and in love with the idea of how much he cares about saving the planet, the country and you. This is all about increasing revenue to the states and the federal government while at the same time taking money away from you and having a little bit more control over what you do. If you want to drive a putt-putt you ought to be able to drive a putt-putt, but if you don’t want to drive a putt-putt you shouldn’t have to drive a putt-putt. Once they make us all start driving putt-putts then they’re going to say you can’t get the big TV you want or whatever it is. There are going to be limits on it because it’s destroying the country or the planet or somehow it’s unfair to those who can’t have it, you name it. There will be limits.