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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: An amazing story. What was it? Just last Thursday night I was on Leno, and I had a little discussion with him about Social Security and Medicare. Jay is a nice guy, don’t misunderstand here. But he is an example of the kind of people who think if the government’s giving people checks, that it’s compassion, that it’s really good. And he was saying, ‘What’s wrong with it?’ I said, ‘Jay, they’re bankrupt! They’re bankrupt, and they’re destroying the future.’ So we get this today: ‘Big job losses and a spike in early retirement claims from laid-off [seasoned] citizens will force Social Security to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes the next two years.’ First time that’s happened since the 1980s. ‘The deficit’s $10 billion in 2010, $9 billion in 2011 will not affect payments because Social Security has accumulated surpluses from previous years totaling $2.5 trillion,’ which is BS.

There is no Social Security surplus! ‘It will add to the overall federal deficit. Applications for retirement benefits, 23% higher than last year while disability claims have risen about 20%. The recession hit many older workers suddenly. They found themselves laid off with no place to turn but Social Security. ‘If they were younger we’d call them unemployed,’ said an economics law professor at University of California Berkeley,’ which means that the unemployment numbers are higher than are being reported. So job losses and early retirements hurt Social Security. And remember there was no COLA increase, no cost-of-living increase in Social Security. I can’t believe the Republicans didn’t make hay out of this, because while there’s no cost-of-living increase in Social Security, members of Congress got a raise — and they voted themselves even more money for other things.

Now, this story I referenced at the beginning of the program today, and I am still stunned that it ran in State-Controlled Associated Press. ‘This year, New York’s deep-pocketed rich were required to dig even deeper to help shore up state finances. They now pay higher taxes on their income and on limousines and yachts, more to enter a horse in a race and more to dabble in real estate.’ No, we wouldn’t want people to ‘dabble in real estate’ in a recession, would we? Oh, no, no, we wouldn’t want any of that. Who the hell ‘dabbles in real estate’? Anyway, I don’t want to get distracted by that. ‘Meanwhile, many are losing millions [the rich] from the closing of business tax loopholes and those making over $1 million are losing tax deductions others get. It even costs more to hunt foxes or pheasants and have their taxes prepared.

‘A half-dozen states in this recession-driven movement are nervously eyeing New York to see if it’s wise to demand so much from people rich enough to have a second home in less taxing states — and for whom a change of address can be its own tax break. Early data from New York show the higher tax rates for the wealthy have yielded lower-than-expected state wealth.’ Lower than who expected? ‘Gov. David Paterson, who had always warned targeting the rich could backfire, fears that’s just what happened.’ He never did! It was Bloomberg that said it would backfire. Paterson never said it. ‘Paterson said last week that revenues from the income tax increases and other taxes enacted in April are running about 20 percent less than anticipated.’ These doofuses, what do they expect? The evidence is all over the place!

You tax an activity, you slow down that activity. So you tax income you’re going to slow down the earning of income. If you tax yachts, you’re not going to sell as many. They look at the private sector as a never-ending golden goose that they could just constantly go out and grab money from and money from, and now, Oh, no! Oh, no! Tax revenues are down? How can this be? ‘The concern about millionaire flight has prompted some states, including New York, New Jersey and California, to increase the highest tax rates only temporarily. For New York, it’s the second temporary increase for high earners since 2001. The first one ended as scheduled after three years. But Paterson and economists warn that came as the economy began to grow fast into another boom, something that isn’t expected now because Wall Street — which historically provided 20 percent of state revenues — is perhaps permanently downsized.’

And, by the way, who’s leading the charge to do that? It’s not the vast right-wing conspiracy that has permanently downsized Wall Street. It’s not the vast right-wing conspiracy that wants to cap executive pay or anybody else’s pay on which tax revenue is based. No, it’s Bam! It’s Nancy Pelosi. It’s Henry Waxman and every single damn Democrat in the country. Detroit, Michigan, may have to declare a government shutdown again. ‘So far this year, half of about $1 billion in expected revenue from New York’s 100 richest taxpayers is missing. The state budget office says losses suffered in the recession could be largely to blame, and it may still come in next year when filers exhaust their extensions. Those seeking extensions nevertheless had to pay in April at least as much as they owed in 2008.

‘The six-month extension for the balance ends in October, but given the hard times many filers likely didn’t earn much more than a year ago. State officials say they don’t know how much of the missing revenue is because any wealthy New Yorkers simply left.’ Well, I do. (laughing). I do. I can tell ’em. ‘[A]t least two high-profile defectors have sounded off on the tax changes: Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano, the billionaire who ran for governor three times and who was paying $13,000 a day in New York income taxes, and radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. Golisano changed his official address to Florida, and Limbaugh, who also [lives in Florida], announced earlier this year that he was relinquishing his home in Manhattan.’

Ladies and gentlemen, on the days, just to tell you that I work in New York, I don’t pay anywhere near $13,000 a day. I wish it were. That is why I have not gone. Thirteen thousand dollars a day in New York income taxes, I wish that’s what it cost me. That is why I have not been to New York one working day this year, and I will not go. ‘Donald Trump told Fox News earlier this year that several of his millionaire friends were talking about leaving the state over the latest taxes.’ I played golf with Trump back in the spring and he told me the same thing. He named some names. ‘Golisano, who created 5,000 jobs from his Rochester payroll processing company, Paychex, bristled when politicians said he was bailing on New York in the spring. ‘If anything, New York state has bailed out on us,’ he said. And it’s not just the well-known leaving.

‘Nancy Bell is moving her Science First manufacturer of scientific products from the Buffalo site her father founded in 1960 [also] to Florida, which aggressively courted her and her two business-partner sons. They are building a new facility there and, with the state’s help, had 1,000 applications for 20 jobs. … ‘Overall, as in most states, revenues are down at the higher income levels,’ said Joseph Shapiro, spokesman for the Maryland Comptroller’s Office. The … Tax Foundation said that through the early 1990s, several states maintained double-digit income tax rates for the higher earners. Those rates were dropped, however, in the boom of a fast-growing economy. States also realized that having a higher tax rate than their neighbors would cost them talent, lose jobs and hinder economic growth…’

The liberals know this. It doesn’t matter. It’s power. It’s control that they want. ‘The foundation said the taxes can undermine growth, and notes even states that increased taxes on high-income earners — New Jersey, Maryland, and California — face shortfalls comparatively worse than others.’ Yeah, we’ve told ’em this for decades. This is why the left had to work so hard to rewrite the history of the eighties and Reagan’s tax cuts and the burgeoning revenue they brought. Because, see, folks, it’s not about revenue generation. Oh, they’re worried about it now! It’s about power, it’s about control. I’m still stunned the story ran, though. I’m amazed. (interruption) Mmm-hmm.

”You can say, ‘The millionaire is evil,’ but they don’t just put their money in a coffee can,’ said Christopher Summers, president of the nonpartisan Maryland Public Policy Institute. ‘They employ people … That fact is, you need rich people to keep working hard so they will invest,” even though they’re evil. You can say they’re evil. You can say they’re evil, but, damn it, we need ’em! Damn it, we need ’em. Jay Leno has over 200 cars. I wonder how many people he pays to clean ’em and maintain his storage facility. I wonder what kind of economy Jay Leno single-handedly is supporting with his car collection. Yet he asked me, ‘Gosh, Rush, I mean how big a piece of pie can you eat? When’s enough enough?’ And in capitalism, the question is not, ‘When is enough enough?’ In capitalism the question is constant productivity, increased productivity, improvement, a rising tide lifting all boats. Capitalism is also what enables brilliant people to answer the question: ‘Okay, President Reagan, Cold War: What are your thoughts?’ ‘Simple. We win; they lose.’

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