RUSH: I was just talking to Snerdley in his office here at the top-of-the-hour break, and he said he couldn’t sleep last night. And I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Because of your show.’ ‘What about my show was so frightening?’ He said, ‘Obama’s statement on what small business need to do.’ I mean, he was asked a question by Jake Tapper. I think for the first time I became speechless for a couple seconds yesterday when I heard this. Jake Tapper said, (paraphrasing) ‘What small businesspeople say is it’s not that they can’t get loans, they can. It’s that they don’t know what’s coming down the pike policy-wise to make it harder for their business to grow, cap and trade coming, if there’s going to be health care, tax increases,’ and Obama said, (paraphrasing) ‘No, no, no, I’ve talked to a lot of small businesspeople and they tell me they can’t have access to credit.’ And it got me to thinking. Here’s a guy who has to go out and talk to small businesspeople because he doesn’t know anything about it. He doesn’t have one person in his cabinet that has private sector experience in business. Well, John Kerry ran a muffin shop, yeah, but look at how that turned out. That didn’t turn out well. There’s not one person in his cabinet. All they have is a bunch of theoreticians.
And these people live in their own world, and they look at the real world, and they start criticizing what they think about it doesn’t work. They’ve never been in it. Whenever he walks into a room we have the most inexperienced and unqualified guy as president. I don’t care what room he walks into, he never even was a full-fledged professor. So if he walks into a smoke room, brandy and cigars, he’s still the most inexperienced, unqualified guy in the room. He happens to be running the country. That quote was sort of frightening. He says small businesses, they need to borrow money to expand payroll. You never do that. My gosh, you hardly ever borrow to make payroll. If you’re having to do that you’re in deep doo-doo already. But you never borrow money to expand payroll. Business circumstances cause that to happen. And he says he’s talked to small businesspeople who said, yeah, they would love to do that but they can’t get loans, which is not true.
So today, I get up, and I’m bombarded with news that the left is just livid at Obama, from the Huffington Puffington Post to an MIT professor. They are livid. And you know why? Because Obama’s got an interview coming out with Bloomberg on Friday in which he says, yeah, it’s okay, I have nothing to say against these big bonuses at JPMorgan Chase for Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs for Lloyd Blankfein. Blankfein’s bonus is nine million, and Jamie Dimon’s is $17 million. And Obama said: ‘I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen. I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.’ And his supporters are just livid because they think he’s sold them out because he just not long ago was calling these bonuses obscene and was wanting to punish all these executives and he had a pay czar out there that was gonna make sure that this didn’t happen. So the Huffington Post is fit to be tied.
This MIT professor, Simon Johnson, says: ‘Taken separately, these statements are undeniably true. But put them together in the context of the Bloomberg story — we have to wait until Friday for the full text of the interview — and the White House has a major public relations disaster on its hands,’ meaning, with its base. ‘Does the president truly not understand that Dimon and Blankfein run banks that are regarded by policymakers and hence by credit markets as ‘too big to fail’? This is the antithesis of a free-market system.’ We bailed these people out! They’re the ones surviving because of the taxpayer. Free market system? ‘Not only were their banks saved by government action in 2008-09 but the overly generous nature of this bailout means that the playing field is now massively tilted in favor of these banks.’
So it appears that Obama has chosen JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs as his two preferred banks, and they’re going to be fine, and they’re going to be able to pay bonuses whenever they want. And this Mr. Simon — professor, sorry — Professor Simon Johnson at MIT: ‘The incentives for the people running these megabanks is now to take on reckless amounts of risk. They get the upside (for example, in these compensation packages) and — when the downside materializes — this belongs to taxpayers and everyone who loses a job. Being nice to the biggest banks will not save the midterm elections for the Democrats.’ And here’s the exact quote from Obama in the upcoming Bloomberg piece. Here’s the question: ‘Let’s talk bonuses for a minute: Lloyd Blankfein, $9 million; Jamie Dimon, $17 million. Now, granted, those were in stock and less than what some had expected. But are those numbers okay?’
Obama: ‘Well, look, first of all, I know both those guys. They’re very savvy businessmen. And I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That’s part of the free market system. I do think that the compensation packages that we’ve seen over the last decade at least have not matched up always to performance. I think that shareholders oftentimes have not had any significant say in the pay –‘ blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, not happy. They are not happy out there. Let’s listen to a couple sound bites. This will help you to understand why people are upset. Obama blasted bonuses last year. This is March 18th, 2009.
OBAMA: People are rightly outraged about these particular bonuses. But just as outrageous is the culture that these bonuses are a symptom of, that have existed for far too long, a situation where excess greed, excess compensation, excess risk-taking have all made us vulnerable and left us holding the bag. I hope that Wall Street and the marketplace don’t think that we can return to business as usual.
RUSH: Now, that was on the South Lawn of the White House before he was leaving for California for something. He blasted the bonuses and then December 13th, last year, on 60 Minutes, Steve Kroft said, ‘At three of the biggest banks they’re expected to total $30 billion. That’s roughly what it will cost the government to finance the surge in Afghanistan.’ And President Obama is furious.
OBAMA: I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of, you know, fat cat bankers on Wall Street. The only ones that are going to be paying out these fat bonuses are the ones that have now paid back that TARP money, and the people on Wall Street still don’t get it. They don’t get it. They’re still puzzled, why is it that people are mad at the banks? Well, let’s see. You know, you guys are drawing down 10, 20-million-dollar bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it’s gone through in — in decades? And you guys caused the problem? You know, we got 10% unemployment, why do you think people might be a little frustrated?
RUSH: So, the left heard all that, and of course his base hates corporations, his base hates bonuses, hates these people. They believe the banks are the ones that got us all into trouble. And so they expect Obama to hammer them. He comes out and says, ‘I know these guys. These are savvy businessmen. I don’t begrudge people success or wealth.’ A little known factor, by the way, ladies and gentlemen, JPMorgan Chase is just one of many Wall Street firms who are fed up with donating money to Democrats in exchange for being made the whipping boys for all these problems. So JP Morgan Chase has declined Democrat Party solicitations this year and instead has given $30,000 to the Republicans. Now, could that be a factor? Could Obama be that petty? Could he see that JPMorgan Chase is not going to give any more money to Democrats, ‘Oh, I gotta go back and make these guys think that I’m their friend.’ I wouldn’t doubt that at all. So for you people on the left, those of you who are fit to be tied — and I’ll tell you some of the headlines at the Huff Po are just livid: ‘Chicago Team Sinking Obama Presidency.’ ‘Meghan McCain Disagrees with Palin’s Double Standard on the R-word.’ ‘Andrea Mitchell Mocks Palin with Notes Written on –‘ by the way, so did Gibbs.
You know, are these people a bunch of kids? Gibbs went out there with some stuff written on his hand, amid stories that there’s no laughter in the pressroom anymore because Gibbs is not forthcoming with any news, and it’s much more serious and somber in there because nothing’s working. He has to take this little petty shot at Palin which does nothing but elevate her, but this is the office of the president of the United States, to be engaging in this kind of stuff shows you who these people are, how small-time and how petty. So all you people on the left, Obama’s done a 180 on you, and I know you hate corporations, I know you hate these banks, you hate high bonuses, you hate big time compensation, you hate the free market, and here’s Obama out there praising it. So I want to take you back, October 29th just before the election in 2008, Charlie Rose Show, had Tom Brokaw on. And they had a conversation trying to figure out who Obama is.
ROSE: I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is.
BROKAW: No, I don’t either.
ROSE: I don’t know how he really sees where China is.
BROKAW: We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.
ROSE: I don’t really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?
BROKAW: You know, it’s an interesting question.
ROSE: He’s principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational speeches.
BROKAW: Two of them. And I don’t know what books he’s read.
ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?
BROKAW: There’s a lot about him we don’t know.
RUSH: Ah, these guys were covering their bases just before the election in case he turned out to be exactly what he is. So you got people running away from this guy in droves here, and here are the Republicans ready to ride into the rescue on February 25th on his health care televised mumbo jumbo.
RUSH: A groundswell, ladies and gentlemen, is building. Paul Krugman of the New York Times has weighed in on his blog with Simon Johnson of the MIT and the Huffington Post. ‘The lead story on Bloomberg right now contains excerpts from an interview with Business Week which tells us: ‘President Barack Obama said he doesn’t ‘begrudge’ the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay. The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is ‘an extraordinary amount of money’ for Main Street, ‘there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.’ ‘I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen … I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”’
Krugman writes: ‘Oh. My. God. First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses.’ That can be traced right to the liberal federal government, Mr. Krugman. ‘And more specifically, not only has the financial industry been bailed out with taxpayer commitments; it continues to rely on a taxpayer backstop for its stability.’ He goes on to call Wall Street banks ‘wards of the state,’ that they have nothing to do with the free market anymore, and he says, ‘If the Bloomberg story is to be believed, Obama thinks his key to electoral success is to trumpet ‘the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies.’ We’re doomed,’ writes Paul Krugman. Whoa ho-ho-ho-ho-ho. Don’t discount and underestimate, ladies and gentlemen, the viciousness of this anger at Obama from his own side.