RUSH: So LeBron James, ladies and gentlemen, has followed me in moving to Florida, as did Tiger Woods. I’m talking about the move to the Miami Heat. I, of course, am the trendsetter. I am the one who’s on the cutting edge. It was in 1997 that I decamped New York City. I love New York City, don’t misunderstand, it’s just silly to pay their tax rate, which 12-point some odd percent on top of the federal bite. LeBron James and I would be paying over 52, 53% off the top, just state and federal. I think it’s partly one of the reasons why LeBron James came down here. It’s one of the reasons Tiger Woods lives in Florida, no state income tax, of course! Now, he’ll never say it, unlike I will say it, he’ll never say, doesn’t want people to think he’s a mercenary guy, he’s in this for championships, you see. But make no mistake about it, if you’re going to be paid $96 million a year in both places, and that’s the deal, for five years, and it’s going to cost you an additional $12 million to do it in New York, and then if you think to yourself, ‘I’m not big enough to carry a team by myself. I’m not Michael Jordan. I’m not Kobe. I need a support staff. I need Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh,’ then Miami is ideal.
These guys have been cooking this up from what I understand, Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron have been planning this for a couple years. I have no doubt, no question whatsoever that the tax bite is part of this. You remember New York, Sinatra, ‘If you can make it here you can make it anywhere.’ It’s true, too, by the way. And for people in the performing arts such as me, making it in New York’s a big deal. It’s a huge career objective and goal. Now, LeBron James is going to be in New York a number of times and he will pay the per diem taxes, they will make sure that he does on every Miami Heat trip into New York. But Florida is now where the achievers come to keep winning, led by me. I was first, now LeBron James has followed me here. What was it Governor Paterson said about me, something like New York’s better off without me or something like, ‘If I’d-a known that Limbaugh would leave New York, I would have raised taxes sooner.’ Well, okay, Governor Paterson, will you say that about LeBron James? If I had known that I could keep LeBron James off the Knicks I would have raised taxes sooner.
Spike Lee is two things. He’s a hemorrhoid and a fanatical Knick fan, and he combines the two when he’s at Knicks games. Ask Reggie Miller. So confiscatory taxes in New York, was it a factor for LeBron James? No question. Every time Miami plays the Knicks, every time LeBron runs up the court past Spike Lee or down the court past Spike Lee, the liberal director of the telecast has to wonder, ‘Was it the high taxes,’ because I know Spike Lee tried to get him to come and Spike Lee was like, ‘What happened? So anyway, interesting, LeBron James going to Miami. And the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, man by the name of Dan Gilbert, now, I can’t say that Dan Gilbert is a friend of mine, but he is a business associate. Dan Gilbert, among many other properties, owns Quicken Loans, and they have been a client and sponsor of this program. They’re headquartered in Detroit. I’ve been up there, I’ve met them and his staff a number of times, and they run the Cavalier operation out of that office. When I was there the last time, I think it was summertime, I was up there for an appearance and they had their draft board, they had something on the wall, they were very proud of it.
Dan Gilbert, I’ve never heard an owner speak of any player like this, and clearly there have been players in professional sports about whom owners could have spoken this way. But Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, basically said that LeBron James quit during all but one of the playoff games in this recent NBA playoff, just quit, did not want to win. He said, ‘Look, the curse that is Cleveland leaves town with LeBron James. The Cleveland curse goes to Miami now. We got a better chance of winning,’ said Dan Gilbert, ‘without LeBron James than we did with him.’ This is an open letter from the majority owner Dan Gilbert to the fans on a website of the Cleveland Cavaliers. ‘I personally guarantee the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA championship before the self-titled former king wins one,’ meaning LeBron James. Snerdley says, ‘How’s he going to pull that off?’ You watch, I’ll roll my dice with Gilbert on this. You talk about supreme motivation now.
At any rate, this was a really strange thing last night. I found a couple things LeBron James said very strange after all he’s given to Cleveland, all my talents, poured out my soul to Cleveland and he talked about the fans being good to him, too, of course. But basically the reason that I held out some thought that it was not going to be Miami, that he was going to stay in Cleveland is that if it were me, let’s give an analogy. I am going to leave the EIB Network. Let’s just say that, and I’m gonna go and take my talents and services and form another network somewhere else. I’ve been with the EIB Network 21 years, and everybody’s all excited about where I’m going to go and what it might mean for what station I’ll be on in whatever town in which they live, and let’s say I schedule a three-hour radio show to announce my decision. If I were going to leave the EIB Network, I would not schedule a three-hour radio show to announce it. That’s just not cool. One of the reasons I thought he wasn’t going to leave Cleveland was that this is not the way you do it. If you’re going to leave someplace, this is just not classy. So obviously I was wrong about that. Very rarely do I say that, very rarely indeed. Even in basketball, folks, and I know the stick-to-the-issues crowd is shouting obscenities at the radio and sending me e-mails, but it is what it is, and this is issue oriented, this is cultural, this is economic. Here’s what I said July 1st. This is the 9th. This is what I said July 1st.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Now, I’m going to make a prediction. (interruption) What, Snerdley, what, what? Yeah, okay. You’re making my prediction come true even before I make it. Snerdley said, ‘Well, there’s more to New York than the taxes. New York versus Miami, come on!’ Yeah, I’ve made that call, and where am I? In fact, for a guy like LeBron Miami is more — I mean, you got South Beach down there, you got Dwyane Wade down there playing for the Heat.
RUSH: And, by the way, American Airlines Arena is not in South Beach. You don’t play basketball in — South Beach is party central. When he said I’m going to take my talents to South Beach, well, what party talents is he taking to South Beach, because where he’s going to play basketball is in the American Airlines Arena, which is in Miami, it’s not in South Beach. I mean, it’s right across the body of water, you still gotta take a bridge to get over there. Here’s LeBron James last night announcing — this is after a three-hour, 20-minute Sports Center. This is his announcement.
JAMES: This fall I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.
RUSH: Whoa. And here is on the Scarborough show this morning on MessNBC’s talking to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.
SCARBOROUGH: He went to the Miami market, and fantastic, it’s a lot of fun down there on South Beach, so Willie Geist tells me, but it’s not the same as winning in New York, Boston, or LA, or Chicago. It just seems like a very strange choice if he’s interested in the history books.
BRZEZINSKI: All right.
ROBINSON: You’re right. I understand — I hear is there something about lower taxes in Florida?
RUSH: Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, the Limbaugh Echo Syndrome. I hear there’s something about lower taxes in Florida. So here you have, in the midst of the — do you believe this? The Obama administration has to go out and make a statement they are pro-business. If you have to go out and make a statement you are pro-business there must be some question about it, and we’ve documented for you all of these private sector titans, from Mort Zuckerman to Ferguson, professor at Harvard. Now John Malone of Liberty Media has chimed in, thinking of moving his company out of Colorado, giant communications company, because of corporate taxes. I mean it is pervasive, it’s spreading everywhere. The regime is, ‘No, no, no, we’re pro-business.’ Can you imagine, first time in American history an American president has had to call a press conference and do a public appearance to assure people that he is pro-business! Stop and think of that.