RUSH: This is Sarah lurking in parts unknown in Minnesota. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks so much for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, madam.
CALLER: Well, I wanted to tell you that I’ve been a longtime listener. This is my first time calling any national talk show. But after hearing Barney Frank’s comments on Monday I just can’t sit back anymore. I really think I’ve reached my limit.
RUSH: Which comment? Was that where he said it’s not his job to help you make money?
CALLER: That’s exactly right.
CALLER: That comment just really incensed me more than anything I’ve heard lately because we have noticed… My husband and I own and operate a small business in Minnesota. It’s a restaurant. With a recent minimum wage increase we are forced to give a raise to our kitchen employees, most of whom — all of whom — make well over 30 to $40,000 a year just in tips alone. And because of that… You know, we’re a luxury business. We had a downturn in our business because of the economy. We were force to do close for a couple weeks due to flooding this spring. We reopened before that. We are struggling to keep our head above water and with this new increase that was not necessary, we feel like we are becoming slaves to working in our business.
RUSH: Yes, it was necessary to get Democrat votesssss.
CALLER: Yes, I get that. (chuckles) It’s very discouraging. We have been in this business for nine years, we have been honored to be the employers. We have run our business and treated our employees like family and at this point we are finding ourselves looking for ways to extricate ourselves from the burden of employership.
RUSH: So what are you going to do?
CALLER: I don’t know. I’m so upset. You know, we already this year had to cut two full-time salary positions with benefits equaling over a thousand dollars.
RUSH: You have to understand something. You may not put it in these terms, but once I explain it to you, Sarah, you can understand it. To people like Barney Frank you’re a demon. You are a villain. You are raping your workers. You are not fair to them. That’s why they have to raise the minimum wage, so that you will pay them something they can live on because you are dastardly! You’re an employer. You’re a business owner and you take it all for yourself and you don’t care about your employees, and this is what Democrats have been telling their voters for years. So the minimum wage comes along to punish you. Barney Frank can say, ‘We’re not here to help you make money,’ but he’s certainly there to help you give it away when it’s unwarranted. And, of course, it’s always the unintended consequences that always end up bugging everybody.
Now, let me find a story here. And, by God, I’m going to do this fat stuff before I get to the end of the program today, but I’ve got to find — Ah! It’s got to be in this stack. Hang on, folks. Hang on just a second. It’s from the Weekly Standard blog, and I got this last night. (sigh) Oh, I didn’t print the second page so I can’t credit the guy who wrote it. I’m sorry about that. Oh, maybe I did. No, I didn’t. This is from the blog at the Weekly Standard. ‘Remember when it was rumored that some [adult beverages] in New York City were costing as much as $10? Now, of course, cocktails can cost as much as $20 at a trendy District bar. But in this economy, things couldn’t possibly get worse, could they? According to the beverage giant Diageo, the answer is yes.’ I hope I’m pronouncing that right: D-i-a-g-e-o.
Diageo owns Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray and Captain Morgan. They’re a big distiller of adult beverages. Get this: ”The US Senate is considering a proposal that would dramatically raise what they call ‘lifestyle taxes’ to pay for a huge federal health care program. Under this proposal you would be paying more for some of the simple things you enjoy, such as a soft drink and your favorite alcohol beverages. The proposal calls for a staggering increase in federal taxes on alcohol beverages of up to 229 percent! … Small businesses — your local wine, grocery, convenience stores and restaurants — will see sales [plummet]. An estimated 160,000 people in the hospitality industry will lose their jobs — in an industry that has already lost 540,000 jobs over the past year.
”The last time the federal government raised taxes on distilled spirits nearly 100,000 people lost their jobs. … Nearly 60 percent of the price you pay at the store for distilled spirits already goes for federal, state, local taxes and other government fees. Do not let the government add more to an already hefty tax burden.’ Now, you can go to ‘AxeTaxesNotJobs.com, which elaborates on the pernicious effects of regressive taxes even further.’ But these guys think that all they’ve gotta do is raise taxes on the ‘lifestyle stuff’ and the money is going to keep coming in because you’re still going to go out and do your lifestyle stuff. A great example here is the yacht tax, the tax on building them. It was a tax on millionaires and yachts and, of course, people stopped buying yachts and the people that made ’em got laid off.
It’s up to a 229 percent tax increase on distilled spirits and adult beverages — 229 percent, folks! (interruption) Mmm-hmm. Well, I know, the cigarettes, alcohol, bootlegging and this sort of stuff. But that’s it, the unintended consequences. They never look at these things in a dynamic way. They always look at these things in a very static way despite — despite! — all the evidence of human history. Look at… The reason why people are making a mad dash, first-time homebuyers are making a mad dash… I know a guy. I was talking a guy today. His house, he wanted to put it on the market. Didn’t do it, didn’t do it. He put it on the market five hours and got the price he wanted, because the government is subsidizing up to 10 percent of the mortgage or $8,000.
There’s a tax incentive to buy a house. It’s spurring activity! If the Democrats were right about static activity, you could give away eight grand or subsidize $8,000 a purchase and it wouldn’t matter to anybody. It wouldn’t incentivize anybody to buy. But of course it does. By the same token: if you add $8,000 to the agreed-to price of a house or add 10% to it as a tax, how many people are going to be rushing out to buy houses? It just isn’t going to happen. So they’re raising taxes on all these lifestyle things, and they do it thinking they’re punishing the rich.’ They are punishing our restaurant owner in Minnesota, Sarah, because she’s evil. She’s a demon. She’s a business owner and she uses the employees and she doesn’t respect them and she doesn’t treat them well! She underpays them. This is a standard operating template that the left uses.