RUSH: I want to talk about money first, the fact that nobody has any. We have just bailed out Greece and the European Union. The borrowing window at the Federal Reserve is open, almost $1 trillion. Now, you might be saying, ‘What do you mean, we? I read that the European Union…’ The European Union showed up at Ben Bernanke’s borrowing window, and guess what? We’re loaning them a trillion dollars, but it’s unsecured. There’s no collateral. If they go belly up, guess who’s paying for it, folks? You and me. Now, we haven’t even gotten to bailing out California yet, and they’re in worse shape than Greece. They’re printing Euros to handle all this. Nobody has any money. We are witnessing right before our very eyes what happens with unchecked, uncontrolled socialism and worse.
Everybody’s talking about the Greek politicians and how they’ve overextended themselves with passing out all these benefits, as I have been saying on this program about some people in this country for years, since this program began. It’s one thing to blame the politicians but you cannot exempt the Greek people. They’re the ones who demanded it. They’re the ones who wanted the state to support them with lifestyles that are unsustainable. If the private sector is not producing enough wealth for people to enter it, go into a job or career and share in the spoils and hopefully grow the private sector, if all of their existence is in the form of this government check or that government check or this government program, at some point it collapses because there isn’t any money. It’s become a cliche now, but it’s actually true. Margaret Thatcher brilliantly said, ‘The problem with socialism is you run outta other people’s money.’ They’ve run outta other people’s money in Greece, they’ve run outta other people’s money in the UK, they’re about to run out of other people’s money in Spain and Portugal, and we essentially are out of other people’s money because we’re in the red, too.
It’s one thing to sit here and get mad at Greek politicians or anybody EU or our elected officials, but let’s not exempt the people who demand this stuff. Let’s not exempt the citizens who willfully accept 40 million people on food stamps. The city of Los Angeles has just said they don’t have the money to fix sidewalks. No more money to repair sidewalks. However, a record number of Americans are on food stamps. Well, you don’t get reelected and there aren’t any votes to be had by fixing sidewalks. But there are votes to be had by giving people money to go out and buy food or whatever they can scam at the local Kwik Shop, grocery store or wherever else they happen to be redeeming their food stamps. So it’s a vicious, vicious cycle. Right in front of our eyes we are seeing what happens and we’ve seen it throughout world history. We’ve seen it in Soviet Union. Communism, socialism, it cannot sustain itself, communism morally as well as economically, Socialism, morally and economically as well. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, one of the two, they’ve asked for some more money, $8.4 billion.
When does this stop? Barney Frank said they’re essentially now public utilities. The government’s taken them over, whatever they’re running. And now guess what the Congress is saying they have to do? We must investigate what happened to the stock market last week. We must hold hearings to find out how it dropped a thousand points in 20 minutes. Whoop-de-doo. So the very people who caused these problems or participate in causing these problems, we have to have a blue ribbon committee, a blue ribbon panel to look into all this to find out exactly what happened.
RUSH: More money stories. The Associated Press: ‘A Miami woman who exhausted her unemployment aid needs to pay bills. A Phoenix job-seeker wants a greater sense of purpose. A Boston woman has heard that hiring is picking up. The economy absorbed a flood of 805,000 new job-seekers last month — the sharpest monthly influx in seven years. They were driven by economic need, renewed optimism and evidence that more employers are hiring. They’re right. Companies added a net total of 290,000 jobs in April, the most in four years.’ It was actually under 70,000 in the private sector when you take out the census workers and so forth. ‘Yet so many people poured into the workforce that they drove up the unemployment rate from 9.7 percent to 9.9 percent.’ We went through this all last Friday. There’s so much excitement out there, people realize there are jobs to be had so they’re now entering the job market, willing to be counted again, and that means the unemployment rate goes up.
‘Hundreds of thousands more will likely join them in the coming months, drawn by the improving economy and the possibility that Congress won’t continually extend unemployment benefits.’ And there you have it. They’re not looking for work because they’re no longer disheartened, they’re looking because their benefits have run out or are about to run out. So the purpose of this story is to set up the reason for higher unemployment numbers. They’re going to continue to pound this into everybody’s skull so that when the unemployment rate continues to go up, we are to believe it is excellent news because it means the economy’s coming back and that people are entering the job market because they now are excited about the prospects of finding a job, when the truth is, the benefits have run out. If the benefits had run out in Greece, they wouldn’t be in the mess that they are in. There are a lot of people guilty here in bringing about the demise of Greece. But there is one thing overall that is responsible for it, and it is called socialism. It is called statism. It is called laziness. It is called entitlement mentality, expectation on the part of people who vote for people who will send them gifts and send them money without any concern or thought of where is this money coming from.
RUSH: No, Snerdley. You keep going back… (interruption) Have you ever tried…? (interruption) He’s saying, ‘Rush, you’re going to be in real trouble here if you start blaming the people for these financial problems.’ I’m not blaming ’em all, but look at Greece, the people rioting. Have you ever tried to take candy from a baby? (laughing) Have you ever…? (interruption) Well, Snerdley says he has. Yeah. I tried to take a toy away from the dog and the dog goes bananas. I’m not saying that citizens are dogs. ‘Limbaugh Says Greeks are Dogs!’ I’m not. I said a few minutes ago that they’re babies. You know the old saw about trying to take candy from a baby.
RUSH: Robert Samuelson is, as you know, one of my sometimes favorite columnists in Washington Post and Newsweek: ‘The Welfare State’s Death Spiral.’ Here’s the pull quote: ‘The welfare state’s death spiral is this: Almost anything governments might do with their budgets threatens to make matters worse by slowing the economy or triggering a recession. By allowing deficits to balloon, they risk a financial crisis as investors one day — no one knows when — doubt governments’ ability to service their debts and, as with Greece, refuse to lend except at exorbitant rates. Cutting welfare benefits or raising taxes all would, at least temporarily, weaken the economy. Perversely, that would make paying the remaining benefits harder.’ So we are in a death spiral, here. No matter what we do, we make it worse. That’s how bad it is. That’s where Greece is — and you have to be a little surprised that a lot of people in this country, even liberal Democrats cannot look at Greece and see our future there. But apparently the golden goose, the golden goose to this regime is now the government and its printing press and its ability to borrow. That’s the golden goose, not the private sector or growth and productivity create revenue. Nope. The government has now become the golden goose.
RUSH: Now, with this administration you have to keep an eye on other things that they are up to, like the EPA, cap and trade. This bunch is duplicitous and they are aggressive, and they are messing with everybody’s money. Folks, this business about Greece, it really isn’t about Greece. It’s about liberalism and it’s about liberals. I got a news report here Bloomberg: ‘EU Preps $645 Billion Fund to Fight Wolf Pack and the Debt Crisis.’ No, no, no. What this is is a news report on the failure of liberalism, yet that is not mentioned at all in this story. Until the world comes to grips with the exact nature of the problem, nothing will be solved beyond a short-term bailout of public sector leeches who are themselves equally to blame for this mess in Greece who will at some point continue sucking the life out of those who actually produce something. Except they don’t look at it that way, they don’t see the people actually producing things that they’re sucking dry; they simply see the government as the golden goose. That’s where all the money is and they just want their share of it.
These are loans that are not secured. It is you and me making these loans to the EU, not the EU making loans to Greece. Now, folks, just as global warming was never an environmental story (it was a story about liberals lying in order to seize power), Greece is not a business story. Well, I mean it’s a business story, but like global warming, Greece is most importantly a political story with political lessons to be learned. Think of liberals like this: Think of them as spendthrifts with other people’s money. What ought to be a proverb, if it isn’t already, is: ‘Never lend to spendthrifts.’ Liberals run Greece. Ergo, never lend money to the liberals running Greece! They’re the ones that have gotten it in trouble. You are simply kicking the can down the road and enabling the public leeches (we have our share of them here, too) to continue to suck dry any legitimate source of revenue, any legitimate source of productivity.
The loans that the EU extends to Greece are not going to be paid back as long as Greece’s political power structure remains what it is. Would somebody explain to me how in the world they’re ever going to pay this back? They’re in their own death spiral. You see the austerity programs, the riots that are caused because the leeches think that they’ve been promised a good life without having to work hard. They voted for these people to continue this, and now all of a sudden those people are going to institute austerity programs? ‘No, no, no, no! Maybe you institute austerity for my neighbor, but not for me.’ So forget promises, forget loan agreements. There’s no banker that would loan money this way (unless they were commanded to) who would still have a job at a bank. This is a bottomless pit. Nothing is real. Nobody has any money. The Germans are in this mess now, too.
Angela Merkel just lost a little election in a certain part of Germany. She’s got a mess because they’re in the same situation. They’re trying to act like the big guy that’s going to be loaning the money when they don’t have any, either, to speak of. What are the chances that California will emerge from its de facto bankruptcy and diffuse its pension time bombs? It’s not a business question. Where is California gonna come up with half a trillion dollars simply to make their pensions solvent for the public employees and the state teachers? Where are they gonna get the money? This question can be answered not business-wise. It can be answered with a political question. What are the chances political, principled conservatives will quickly come to power in the state legislature and governor’s office? That will be the solution.
What are the odds of that happening in California? If they’re less than 50-50, you have your answer. It doesn’t matter. It’s not a business question; it’s a political question. The people who have caused the problem, if they stay in power, there’s no chance it’s going to improve. There’s no chance it’s going to get better. Ditto Greece, ditto Washington, ditto New York, ditto Albany. If the people who caused the problem or people who think this like them stay in power, you can forget it. You can have all the financial tables you want and you can look at all of the loan rates and all the minutia in the world involving it. It’s political, it’s ideological, and if the same people who cause the mess stay in power, then no solution. It’s very simple.
California is screwed if liberals are left in charge. Greece has no hope if the socialists continue to run it. Ditto the UK, ditto Spain, ditto Portugal, ditto us. Ditto the United States of America. A trick question for you: Will the financial crisis in Greece spread to the United States? (interruption) That’s right, H.R.! I’m always excited when the staff actually listens to the show. It’s already here. The crisis in Greece is already here. It is called liberalism! It is called socialism. It’s not somebody’s irresponsible business acumen. It’s liberalism! It is political. Liberalism, socialism is guaranteed to destroy the creation of wealth, and we see it happening all around us. We don’t have to wait for dominoes to fall because anybody with a brain understands the United States is going bankrupt right now on its own. Greece is a wake-up call to move faster, to limit the damage that’s already underway.
Now, had Obama — and I know this is a myth, it’s dreaming and it isn’t going to happen, but just to make the point. Had Obama cut taxes, cut spending when he came into office, Greece wouldn’t be so scary to US investors. But we’re broke! We have no margin of error here. We miss one more paycheck and we’re evicted, that kind of no margin for error. The parents won’t lend us any more money and the credit cards are maxed out. Remember when Newsweek had that — and, by the way, Newsweek (on the market, for sale) lost $28 million after a revamp to make it more relevant to the average American. They don’t have a clue at Newsweek who average Americans are. So Newsweek is for sale. They lost $28 million. Their most famous cover story in the past 12 months: ‘We’re All Socialists Now.’ They shoulda retitled it: ‘We’re All Greeks Now.’
Who’s been running Newsweek? Liberals! It’s content, content, content. They can have all the financial gurus they want in the front office. They can have all the savvy investors trying to invest whatever they get from the advertising revenue, but they’ve got a political problem: They’re all liberals, and liberalism simply kills the golden goose by definition. It can’t do anything else. TIME is next. The New York Times is already on that road. Hello, LA Times. Well, you’ve seen the stories about all of these newspapers that are losing money and losing advertising and losing readers and so forth. Lib-er-al-ism! Not poor business decisions and content. Not just the content of the paper but the thinking of people that run the damn place. So you know what’s going to happen at Newsweek?
I guarantee you what’s going to happen at Newsweek is some billionaire who can afford to lose $28 million a year to pad his ego is going to come in and buy the thing and turn it into his own personal journal of opinion. That’s what’s going to happen. (interruption) Well, I don’t have $28 million to lose, Snerdley. This is the point. Nobody is going to make money with Newsweek. That’s the point. They’re liberals. Nobody’s going to make money with it, and they’ve sowed their wild oats. They prayed for crop failure but they got it anyway. Newsweek is old hat. It’s old-fashioned. That’s not the future. Newsweek? You know, when this program started, folks — a little inside baseball business. When this radio program started its national syndication August of 1988, hardly anybody thought it would work and it was not because of me.
They just didn’t think that syndicated radio would work other than at nighttime because everybody had to be local, local, local: Issues, phone numbers, topics, you name it. But still there were some general managers of powerful radio stations in the top-ten market that were worried. They offered to buy the program. They offered to pay us whatever we wanted for it and never run it, to put it on the shelf. That’s what somebody’s going to do with Newsweek. (interruption) Oh, yeah! Snerdley, if I told you the name you wouldn’t believe it. Well, you probably would believe it. There were three of them, actually. It was a business decision. It was to pay us the money to keep us out of the market and to keep us from becoming a problem, if we succeeded. So you buy it to shelve it.
So somebody essentially is going to do the same thing with Newsweek. They’re gonna buy it and either shelve it or they’re going to turn it into some propaganda arm for whatever cause they believe in and get their cocktail party invitations and get their accolades from their small, little group of elite liberals. It would be even a badge of honor to lose money with it. Liberals! I don’t care where you go, folks: If liberals are in charge of it (with the rare exception of Goldman Sachs) it’s in trouble. So will Greece hurt the US economy? Yeah, but so will cap and trade. So is Obama hurting our economy. So is the health care reform act. Everything that they’re doing is hurting the economy. And Greece sooner or later will, too, because they’re never going to be able to pay back what we’re lending them and they’re unsecured. There’s had no collateral.
As long as liberals are running Greece there is a 100% chance that Greece will default on these loans. Don’t doubt me. As long as liberals are running California, there is a 100% chance they will go under. Ditto the United States at large. The business climate around the world has been polluted with a political contagion known as liberalism or socialism, statism, whatever you want to call it. Budgets will never be fixed, loans will never be repaid, and nobody cares. Because their thinking is by the time it all comes due, they’re outta office. They will not pay the consequences, and they’re gonna skim enough off the top of all this to live really luxurious lives until the dam breaks. Financial stability will never be achieved as long as liberals are in charge because they lie and they can’t stop spending other people’s money even when other people have no more money. They just print it. Never lend to a spendthrift.
RUSH: A little interesting tidbit here about Elena Kagan, Supreme Court nominee today. From 2005 to 2008 she was a member of the research advisory counsel of the Goldman Sachs Global Markets Initiative. She worked at Goldman Sachs. Now, shouldn’t that be enough to disqualify her from the hard left? If not, why not? Oh, I get it. She’ll simply say she was working behind enemy lines, like Obama wrote in his book.
RUSH: I mentioned something on Friday on this program that one of the worldwide lending agencies, the International Monetary Fund, had advised Greece to get out of the health care business, the government to get out of the health care business. Over the weekend the New York Times did the same thing. Yes, you heard correctly.
Greetings, my good friends and Rush Limbaugh back at you here on the EIB Network. 800-282-2882 if you want to be on the program.
‘Another reform high on the list…’this is from the New York Times over the weekend ‘…is removing the state…’ i.e., Greece, the Greek government, ‘… from the marketplace in crucial sectors, like health care, transportation, and energy and allowing private investment. Economists say that the liberalization of trucking routes — where a trucking license can cost up to $90,000 — and the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe.’ I’m not making this up. The New York Times, one of the biggest advocates of socialized medicine in this country, one of the biggest advocates of Obamacare is suggesting that one of the things Greece can do is get out of the health care business, privatize it, privatize transportation, and privatize energy. You gotta have $90,000 for a truck license. A trucking license costs up to 90 grand.
Now, the point here is we are headed where Greece is. The IMF, European Union, and the European central bank have all said — the New York Times agrees with this — you gotta get out of the health care business. The only way to lower prices in energy and health care and transportation is to get the government out of it and have private investment. This buttresses my point. To fix what’s wrong we need conservatism in Greece. We need to get rid of socialism and liberalism. But where are we headed? We’re headed right down the path that Greece is on. The New York Times and all the libs are advocating that Obama take over energy, that Obama take over health care, that more and more people ride public transportation.
‘Among the most significant features of the plan, a Greek government official said, would be a measure making it easier for the government to lay off some of the many thousands of public sector workers, whose low levels of productivity and high wages are a big contributor to Greece’s debt problem. Until now, the government has not been able to lay off civil servants, whose employment rights are in effect constitutionally guaranteed.’ I know it sounds like the Twilight Zone here. ‘Union and government officials said Greece had also pledged to raise its value-added tax to 25 percent, to freeze civil servants’ wages and to eliminate public sector bonuses amounting to two months’ pay. They said the government intended to increase taxes on fuel, tobacco and alcohol.’ But get ’em out of health care, get ’em out of transportation, get ’em out of energy, and make it easier for the government to lay off some of the many thousands of public sector workers whose low levels of productivity and high wages were a big contributor to Greece’s debt problem. I’m stunned! So the solutions are well known to everybody. The solutions are known to the people who create the problem. The people who got Greece in this mess know what the solution is, and the solution is to get rid of liberals and their ideas. The solution is conservatism. At some point the same thing is going to be said in this country. It’s just going to be very interesting to see who says it, outside of this program.