RUSH: This is Katie from parts unknown in the Northeast. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Fine. Thank you.
CALLER: Hi. I spoke to you once before. I’m a conservative. I’m also a newspaper reporter. I’m now an unemployed conservative newspaper reporter. It has nothing to do with my politics because nobody knows about it. I have to keep it a deep, dark secret.
RUSH: Right, I remember.
CALLER: Yeah. Okay, I have a question for you. I was just driving home, and I —
RUSH: From where?
RUSH: From where since you’re out of work?
CALLER: If I told you it would be too embarrassing.
CALLER: Well, it was —
RUSH: Now, that’s —
CALLER: No, it’s not like that. I’m not — I’m never going to (unintelligible) myself quite yet. Anyway, I heard you say something before that just really annoyed me. You said something about unemployment and about all these extensions for unemployment, that all these extensions are discouraging people from looking for work. You have got to be kidding. You’ve gotta be kidding. You believe that people are sitting back and, you know, like, enjoying all this time off when nobody has any idea if we’re going to be able to get a job?
CALLER: I mean, granted — wait, wait! Let me finish, okay? Granted, my particular industry is dead, okay, and they committed suicide. I understand that. But my brother just got laid off two weeks ago, okay, and the business he was in, Comcast, laid off their entire workforce, in that floor.
RUSH: Yeah, and they’re buying NBC!
CALLER: I don’t give a damn. I mean, all I care about is, like, how am I going to get a job? How is he going to get a job? I mean, how are we going to work? I still have a mortgage to pay. I mean, come on, Rush. It hasn’t been that long since 2005.
CALLER: Wait, wait, wait. It hasn’t been that long since you got fired.
CALLER: Would you stop snickering? It’s really —
RUSH: I’m not! No!
CALLER: It’s pathetic.
RUSH: I feel like your husband! I’m trying to get a word in edgewise.
CALLER: My husband died.
RUSH: You won’t let me speak.
CALLER: Look, I —
RUSH: I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about —
CALLER: You’ve got more money than God, okay? Are you starting a newspaper?
CALLER: No, of course not.
RUSH: Why would I invest in a dying industry?
CALLER: Because newspapers are important! It’s important for people to get good, solid information that they can rely on.
RUSH: Yeah, and they’re not, which is why so many of them are losing subscribers, circulation, advertising dollars and all of that.
CALLER: Yeah, I know that, okay? But so what? I mean, you’ve got money to waste.
RUSH: (laughing) Gee whiz!
CALLER: Come on! I mean, don’t be so damn cheap!
RUSH: Whoa-ho! (laughing)
CALLER: Oh, and, by the way, one other thing. You always keep saying that, you know, this whole big thing was supposed to be that you wanted Obama to fail.
CALLER: Damn! I said that on Election Day! You must be like listening to me or something! And I said it for the same reason. Everybody’s, ‘Oh, you’re so evil,’ and stuff.
RUSH: Are you accusing me of stealing that from you?
CALLER: Yes. Sometimes I wonder.
RUSH: How could I have possibly stolen it from you?
CALLER: Because we talk about this stuff.
RUSH: When I don’t even know you?
CALLER: Because we talk about this stuff on AOL. AOL still has chat rooms, and they have conservative chat rooms, and we talk about this, and I said it on Election Day, and people I know never —
RUSH: I don’t go to AOL chat rooms.
CALLER: Yeah, yeah. Sure you do.
RUSH: Do you think I have time to waste as well as money to waste —
RUSH: — running around on AOL chat rooms?
CALLER: Sure. Sure.
RUSH: Man, this is incredible!
CALLER: Because to be honest, you are pretty smart.
RUSH: I’m under assault here!
CALLER: You have to sit back and listen.
RUSH: I’m under assault! You have accused me of saying unflattering things about the unemployed —
CALLER: You did say it!
RUSH: — and you haven’t given me a chance to respond to them.
CALLER: Excuse me: You did say it.
RUSH: Now you’re accusing me of plagiarism!
CALLER: Hey, how can it be plagiarism, okay? We’re speaking. Why? Because it’s written? Okay, it’s considered to be spoken, chatting, even though it’s written. Okay, I am sort of like, look, I think you do, like, a lot of really amazing and good stuff, okay? But it’s like —
RUSH: Well, thank you. Thank you. I —
CALLER: You have to remember — yeah, okay, don’t get too flattered, okay? You know, you can’t like sit back, okay, and make all these, like, ridiculous, like, statements about people who are unemployed as if they’re sitting back on vacation, you know? We’re not like you in Palm Beach, or wherever the hell you are. I mean, you know, like, don’t you ever like to get fired?
CALLER: I mean you know, like the 87 times you got fired? I mean, remember us —
RUSH: Katie? Katie? Katie, just give me 30 seconds. I can do it in 30 seconds.
CALLER: I can count. Go on. One, two —
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: — three.
RUSH: I’ve been fired seven times.
CALLER: That’s all?
RUSH: That’s all.
CALLER: Really. I’m surprised.
RUSH: How many times you been fired?
RUSH: Okay. Well —
CALLER: But it was for political reasons.
RUSH: Well, who cares the reason? I’ve been fired seven or eight times. I’ve lost count. Now, as to —
CALLER: Well, ’cause, mine is more interesting —
RUSH: As to the unemployed —
RUSH: — I can cite for you countless stories that I have reported on this program, reported by State-Controlled Associated Press, on people who are no longer looking for work and they’re happy about it and they are finding —
CALLER: How can they…? What do they do for money?
RUSH: They’re getting their unemployment compensation benefits! And they’re —
CALLER: And what do they do when that runs out?
RUSH: They haven’t faced that yet.
CALLER: Oh. There are some people that aren’t going to be able to get extensions for unemployment. I saw that on Fox News earlier today.
RUSH: Yeah. I don’t believe that. I think they’ll extend it. This is what Obama wants. Obama wants as many people totally supported by government as he can get. That will fulfill his agenda. But there are people… Look, Katie, there are people —
CALLER: I’m scared to death.
RUSH: Well, you know, you have ambition. There are some people who have been looking for work so long that they’ve given up because there’s nothing to find out there.
CALLER: But how do you give up when you need money, okay? I’m not the right socioeconomic, melanin-content-skin color in order to be able to get white welfare. It’s not going to happen for me. What do I do?
RUSH: Wait a second. What are you saying now?
CALLER: Oh —
RUSH: That’s a racist comment you just made!
CALLER: No, it’s not!
RUSH: I hope Jesse Jackson’s not listening here.
CALLER: Look, I’m sorry. I mean, what am I…? I’ll kill myself before I do welfare, okay? That’s never happening. All right, but what am I supposed to do? I’m like, I’ve won awards for my reporting. I’m a damn good reporter, okay? I am great when it comes to digging and to stuff and everything — and, no, I don’t want to work for Fox News.
RUSH: Are you willing to move?
CALLER: I have a house and I have a brother. And my brother is not going to move, and my husband —
RUSH: Well, Katie, this is going to sound cruel to you, but realize something: Most of the limitations we put on ourselves are the ones we put on ourselves. Most of the limitations we face in life are those we place on ourselves. If you’re not willing to move, your chances for work are severely restricted. That’s just the way it is.
RUSH: I asked Katie for 30 seconds, and she gave me four. (laughing) So, Katie, I know you’re still out there. I tell you what, in the monologue segment at the beginning of the next hour a few short minutes from now, I’m going to reply to you — and I want you to listen, and I want you to listen carefully. Because you need to learn a few things out there. And, yes, I am going to speak to you in that way, and you need to learn that there are things that you don’t understand about human nature.
RUSH: Now, unemployment. This is responding to the lovely and gracious Katie — who in her obnoxiousness gave me, the host, in a five or six minute call maybe 30 seconds. She accused me of plagiarism, of being idly rich, and being unproductive. (laughing) She said I have enough idle money to waste it on a newspaper. She said I have more money than God in Palm Beach or wherever I am, ‘wherever the hell’ I am. She called because she said she was outraged. She’s driving around, she’s just been fired, and she’s working real hard to find another job — real, real hard — and she heard me say that there are people who are not anymore looking for work, that they’re totally happy with their unemployment benefits. ‘How could you possibly say that? I don’t believe you really believe that.’ Of course she preceded all this by saying she was a conservative. Katie, you ought to see my e-mail and the reviews on you. (laughing) Yeah, she’s out there, ‘Stop snickering and laughing at me!’ She’s shouting at her radio now, wherever she is.
All right, unemployment. The idea that there are people who want to work that can’t find work is undeniable. We’ve been talking about this for months. I have been arguing for policies, folks, that would expand hiring. I’m deeply troubled by what is happening to this country, all the misery that is being created. This is all happening by design. This on purpose. It infuriates me! Now, that being said, there is no question that there are also people who are less likely to look for work if they can receive government benefits for months at a time. Months at a time! Let’s think about this: Why is it unreasonable to believe that there are some people who play the system? We know this is true in all entitlement programs, food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid — yes, even unemployment. People scam the system left and right. The government itself just announced yesterday that they found $98 billion of fraud in Medicare alone. We know the fraud that goes on in the food stamp program. What is it, 49 million of the American people are on food stamps?
Now, the reason that Katie doesn’t have a job might be because she’s obnoxious. It’s entirely possible. Human behavior is what it is. If you subsidize more of something you’re going to get more of it. If you destroy more of something you get less of it. If you’re going to subsidize people not to work, they’re not going to work. It’s just that simple. Look, I have to be honest here, folks. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t faced tough times at least once in their life. That’s the nature of life. We in America have grown spoiled because we are the land of plenty. We used to be the country of boundless opportunity, economic and otherwise. We used to be a country where your dreams were your only limit. But now dreams are more than likely just to be dreams if this administration keeps on doing what it’s doing.
It’s the nature of life to face tough times. Everybody has to deal with unemployment or tough economic times. You have to deal with the death of loved ones. It’s the nature of life. It’s not perfect. As a society, we try to give a helping hand. We all pay into unemployment insurance. But to say that government programs are the only way out now and that nobody who uses them takes advantage of them, often to their own detriment is to ignore human behavior and the facts. You see, the truth of the matter is the left wants everyone subsidized in some way, and the fight over national health care is just the greatest example. They want us to have to rely on government for our well-being.
Now, I want you to stop and think about something. One tiny little computer glitch practically shut down the nation’s air travel system. There have been numerous cancellations, flights are delayed, other flights are grounded, a computer glitch! These people obviously did not back up the system on Carbonite. But beyond that, it’s the government again. There are people stranded in airports! A computer glitch that lasted a few seconds, and look at all the chaos it’s caused — and, yes, you know what’s coming next: These are the same people that are going to try to tell you when you can and can’t have a mammogram or any other aspect of your health care. The problem with all of this, Katie — unemployment extension, all of it — is, yeah, we’re a compassionate society; and, yeah, times are tough. But the problem is it creates dependency. It drains the individual of motivation.
See, I love people. I love the individual. I love the power of the individual to overcome whatever obstacles in life there are. But if we disincentivize that kind of work — if we disincentivize the power of the individual, if we beat people down and tell them that the only way they’re going to have any kind of a life at all is to have some sort of subsidy from the government — we’re going to destroy what was the greatest country on earth and we’re going to destroy the greatest economic pie, the greatest sense of opportunity, freedom, liberty that any in the world have ever known. And that is what distresses me so much. I love people. I want the best for everybody. This life has treated me wonderfully, the life I’ve been blessed with. This country has made things possible for me and for everyone else that’s lived here, unknown to other people. I want to do much more than buy a newspaper in a failing business. I want to try to reinstill in people a sense of self-worth, the old can-do American spirit. We’re nearing one of these times where I predict soon that at the top of the best-seller list are going to be books on the ‘power of positive thinking.’
We don’t need to read a book to learn how to fail. We all know how to do that. But look at the success books there are and how they sell — how to succeed at this, how to succeed at that — ’cause that’s hard. It takes individual effort and help from other people. But it still requires individual effort. But there must be some motivation for that effort. There has to be some reason for it. And if that reason, if that spark and that spirit is being flushed out of people — if it’s being put out like a fire, which it is — then the very thing this country will need to come out of this recession is being destroyed; and that is individual ambition, motivation, desire, inspiration, ambition, dreams. Without that we’re not going to come out of this, and those things are under assault — a daily assault, surrounding chaos. ‘The swine flu is going to kill us! The earth is going to die! We’re killing ourselves with global warming,’ which is a hoax. ‘The swine flu is out there, other diseases are forming right before our very eyes! If you eat the wrong thing you’re going to die! If you go to the wrong hospital you’re going to die. If you don’t get that test you’re going to die. If you get in that car you’re going to die or you’re going to kill somebody.’
Everything in the news today is about destroying the human spirit and creating dependency out of woefulness and hopelessness. And the irony is that everybody elected somebody they thought was instilling hope in everybody. Hopelessness is the result of Barack Obama! It’s despair, tumult, chaos, by design. We even have news stories such as in the Los Angeles Times on ‘funemployment.’ It is about people who have found fun, Katie, being unemployed. There have been numerous stories about the unemployment circumstances, and this is all in support of Obama, by the way. ‘Unemployment’s not bad! Why, people are learning basic values again. They’re learning to share. They’re learning to do with less. They’re learning thrift; they’re learning to save.’ There was a story out of Seattle that the people who got laid off by Boeing were much happier than the people who weren’t, that you were better off to have been fired than to still have your job at Boeing because it’s so bad.
There have been stories about how the homeless (numbers of whom are the on rise, by the way) are actually in some cases happier than people who are working. Don’t tell me that there is not a move on to convince people to stop trying. And it just breaks my heart. We are a compassionate society. I understand people are facing very tough times, but I also know how we get out of it. And I also understand what Obama and the left are doing. They are not only trying to transform our society, my friends. They are trying to transform the people from earnest, positive, innovative people to dependent, compliant servants. They want you believing that your only hope is the government. They want you turning to the government for more and more. It is their desire to perpetuate their power in perpetuity, forever. Because the more people that depend on Obama personally or the government for the basics of life, the more people that will continue to vote for those people out of fear those basics will not be provided by different people, a different party.
When you extend unemployment benefits to more than 52 weeks, more than one year — and they’re talking about over 70 weeks now of total unemployment compensation — you are subsidizing a certain percentage of nonactivity. That is, people who are not going to as actively seek work or create businesses as they might otherwise do. Katie had one thing right. One thing. What do you do when you have no money? When you have no money, you scrounge for it. You take any job you can. You move, you go wherever. But if there’s just enough in the form of unemployment and in food stamps and whatever other programs somebody can glom onto — if there’s enough total there to allow a subsistence — after a while human nature kicks in. Remember all the stories we’ve had over the years, folks? There was a business off the coast of North Carolina that took people out to feed some kind of exotic fish (I don’t know what’s out there) and the fish, whatever it was, after not too long a time became totally dependent on those tourist boats coming out and dropping the chum overboard. They stopped learning how to fend for themselves, because it wasn’t necessary.
Mammal nature, human nature, whatever. It’s what it is. And what we are doing by extending unemployment compensation and what we are doing by killing the job market is destroying the spirit of the United States of America, and it’s happening on purpose. I’m not saying people don’t need help and I don’t want to be misunderstood about this. Remember, we conservatives count and define compassion by the number of people who no longer need this kind of assistance. Our objective is to get them off of it. That’s real compassion. Self-reliance, there’s nothing more optimistic and more fulfilling than that and yet self-reliance is a concept that’s even smeared and looked down upon.
‘Self-reliance? Why, that’s easy for you to say.’
There is no denying, none, that these programs are being used by Obama and the Democrats to advance an agenda in lieu of cutting taxes and regulations to create real jobs, real wealth. There’s the no denying there are recipients who take advantage of these programs. There’s no denying there is a media that is facilitating all this by writing stories about the glory and the virtue of being unemployed. The only crooks in this society are not those who have jobs and run businesses. Some crooks live off of government. Some crooks are in government. But our media wants you to believe that the only crooks wear coats and ties; go to work in big, tall buildings; work at big corporations or small businesses. In other words, the boss! They’re the only crooks. Wrong-o, folks. There are crooks on the streets, there are crooks in government, there are crooks in our Congress, there are crooks in every state capital, and there are crooks scamming government programs.
RUSH: All right, to the phones, Courtney in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Hi.
CALLER: How you doing, Rush?
RUSH: Very good. Thank you.
CALLER: Listen, I had to call. I’m a first-time caller, but I been listening to you for years. I even watched you on television years and years ago.
RUSH: Thank you, my brother.
CALLER: Now, this lady that called you. I mean, that made me so upset that I don’t know what to do. I’m not a Republican.I’m not a conservative. I’m a registered Democrat. But I vote for whoever is addressing my issues. I might vote for a Republican or Democrat, a Libertarian, it depends on if they’re addressing my issues. But that lady, I believe she only called you… She was making an excuse for what you said to call you to show how jealous and envious she was of your success. That’s all it was, Rush.
RUSH: Do you think that’s what it was?
CALLER: I know it was. That lady was arrogant and obnoxious, as you said, and she’s a sycophant. It’s a shame. I mean, she’s just jealous of everything that you have. Look at what she said to you. ‘You got more money than God,’ this and that and blah, blah, blah, and she won’t even move to find a job!
CALLER: I think it was just envy and jealousy. I really do. And, Rush, I’m telling you, I don’t agree with almost anything you say, really, I agree with some things.
RUSH: (laughing) But now I got an ally because the woman was so obnoxious and envious!
CALLER: Rush, I’m telling you, I’m happy for you. I hope you get double or triple the money you’re making. I’m a capitalist. I’m an entrepreneur. It’s just views that I don’t deal with, but that upset me. I said, ‘Look I’ve never called the show, but I gotta call now.’ So the best of luck to you. That lady needs to go sit down and look at herself and look in the mirror.
RUSH: You know, that may be… Well, never mind. (laughing)
CALLER: I really believe that’s —
RUSH: I caught myself on that. You know, look, you have a great point, Courtney — and I am fully aware that many, many people would love to be me, but I did not think she was one of them when I was talking to her. (laughing)
CALLER: No, she would like to be you, too, but she’s jealous and envious. That’s all it is. She’s jealous of your intelligence. She’s jealous.
RUSH: She was kind of snarky: ‘Palm Beach or wherever the hell you are.’
CALLER: She was terrible. She was terrible. She might be from Philadelphia, because you got a lot of those snotty people like that here, too.
CALLER: Especially the fired reporters — and you know the Inquirer and the Daily News here in Philadelphia is up for sale. They’re going up for auction.
RUSH: Yeah. I am well aware.
CALLER: So you told her right. Why would you invest in a failing business like that?
RUSH: What do you do for a living? I got 20 seconds.
CALLER: I’m retired. I worked for AT&T for 35 years. I retired in 1999. I’m 66 years old.
RUSH: Oh. So you’re clipping coupons?
CALLER: Oh, very much so.
RUSH: (laughing) Right on, my man.
CALLER: Which is stuff she won’t do. She won’t do that. She’s too good for that.
RUSH: No, no, I didn’t mean those kind of coupons! I meant mutual bond coupons!
RUSH: Dave in Sutton, West Virginia, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. How you doing?
RUSH: Fine, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: I was calling about the obnoxious woman that was talking about nobody wanting to stay on unemployment. And every time I’ve been on it I try to stretch it out as far as I could.
RUSH: You do?
CALLER: Well, whenever I work a whole year they take so much taxes out of me I figure that’s just a way to get it back.
RUSH: Do you know…? By the way, I’m hearing a common thread here. The woman from the Bay Area said, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m going to go access some of this mortgage money. It’s mine.’ Actually it’s not. It’s her kids’ because we’re printing the money. But you figure that it’s your money anyway so you’re going to stretch it out and use as much of it as you can while you’re not working?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: So he’s calling because he wants Katie to know that he is exactly the kind of person she denied exists. And you’re doing that in support of me?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
CALLER: Seventy percent of the people I work with are the same way.
RUSH: (laughing) But you don’t work.
CALLER: Yeah, I work. But, I mean, I tried to get my boss to lay me off this year during hunting season, but he wouldn’t do it.
RUSH: Oh, okay, okay. You tried to get the boss to lay you off during hunting season but he wouldn’t. (laughing) Oh, the salt-of-the-earth people in West Virginia! How do you feel being represented by Robert Byrd, by the way?
CALLER: I don’t really care that much for him.
RUSH: You know, he set a record. He’s the longest-serving US Senator in history.
CALLER: He’s in there way too long.
RUSH: Yeah. It probably would take less time to count the roads, bridges, and streets not named for him in that state than it would to count the ones that are. There’s the Robert Byrd Highway; there’s the Robert Byrd Expressway; there’s a Robert Byrd on-ramp and off-ramp; there’s the Robert C. Byrd library in about 14 different cities; there’s the Robert C. Byrd radio tower. Everything. Have you ever driven through that state? His name is on everything except the cities — and there might even be a Byrd, West Virginia, by now. I don’t know.
Fairfield, Maine, Jeff. Welcome to the EIB Network. One minute. Sorry to do that to you.
CALLER: Hey no problem, Rush. Mega dittos, pal. I just couldn’t not call once I heard Katie’s call, and I wanted to kind of give a little glimmer of hope out there. Unemployment can be a blessing in disguise — and I’ll explain that. If you’ve got an entrepreneurial attitude instead of a victim attitude, it can help a person try something new that they like a heck of a lot better and have more potential to achieve than the comfortable job that you’re already got.
RUSH: Right, right, right. I understand what you’re saying. So the unemployment gives you a little cushion to go out there and entrepreneurially you’ll maybe start your own business.
CALLER: Well, not so much the unemployment benefit, but the fact that you’re unemployed and you actually have to do something can spur you into doing something better.
RUSH: Ah. Yeah, but, see, that’s the old motivation. It’s what I was talking about. A lot of people lose that after so many years or months of being unemployed. That’s a great point, though. I’m glad we were able to squeeze you in before we had to go to this time-out.