RUSH: Sean in Parkville, Maryland, Open Line Friday. You’re next. Nice to have you with us. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Very well. Thank you.
CALLER: Hey, I just want to tell a story. I am a little bit of a liberal person. I — I do find a lot of humor in what you do, though. I’m willing to, you know, see the humor in what you do sometimes. Uh, I really like your Bill Clinton impersonation a lot. I wish you would do it more.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir. Appreciate that.
CALLER: But what I’m calling about today is about taxes, and I was telling Snerdley that the way that I look at it, really — in my opinion — there’s really nothing stopping a business from hiring an individual right now. I know we have a disagreement on the fact that if the government raises taxes, it does not give a business an incentive, and that may be. It may not be an incentive but there really is nothing barring or stopping them from hiring individuals to do work right now. I mean, they could choose to do that if they wanted to.
RUSH: Well, no, no, no. Wait. I know what you’re trying to say, but in taking you literally, which is where I live, I have to disagree with you. There are things stopping them. But what your point is is that if they wanted to they could. They could throw all this concern out the window and start hiring people if they wanted to. You’re trying to say that they’re not hiring people for a reason that is what? Are they selfish? Are they greedy? What?
CALLER: I think we have to put that question to them and let them answer that question. I think for you and I to answer that question since we’re not the businesses, that’s kind of silly.
RUSH: Well, but I am.
CALLER: Let them answer that question.
RUSH: I am a business.
CALLER: Oh, okay. Well, why don’t you tell me. I mean — I mean you have people, but I’m sure you’re not doing major hiring, Rush. I mean, you’re a radio program. But there are businesses that produce goods and services.
CALLER: They have to constantly hire or fire or whatever but I don’t think you fall under that category, though.
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: Now, I do want to make one other (point).
RUSH: Now, wait, wait. Wait, just a second now. Wait just a second. You have just done something very interesting, and I’m sure you do it throughout your daily discourse in politics, your whole life. You have just told me, without knowing a shred, all about my business. You have just told me what I don’t do, what I don’t have, what kind of business I am ’cause I’m just a radio show. You have told me everything in the world about my business, and formed an opinion based on it when you don’t know anything about my business. How many employees do I have?
CALLER: Don’t know.
RUSH: Well, okay.
CALLER: How many do you have?
RUSH: But it’s just a radio show. I’m not trying to trip you up here, don’t misunderstand. There’s no wrong answer here. Just take a guess. You said it’s just a radio show. So how many employees do I have?
CALLER: Uh, let’s say 200.
RUSH: Two hundred. Well, if I had 200 employees, that doesn’t go with what you originally said: ‘You’re just a radio show.’ That’s a lot of employees for a small business to have.
CALLER: Well, I agree but I would think —
RUSH: Or do you think it’s not a lot?
CALLER: I think you would expect me to say a low number so that’s why I actually (garbled) high.
RUSH: I wasn’t expecting anything. No, that’s why I…
RUSH: No, no, no. No, no. There was no wrong answer. I’m not trying to trick you. I’m not trying to set you up for anything. This is a fascinating conversation, because literally you started out by saying everything you thought you knew about my business but you don’t know anything about it. There’s nothing wrong with that. You couldn’t, you’re not part of it.
RUSH: But you think you do, which tells me that you think you know a lot about a whole lot of other things that you don’t really know about and then you’re drawing political conclusions and opinions based on what you think you know.
CALLER: Don’t we all do that?
RUSH: I try not to.
CALLER: Well, you try not to but don’t we all it? I mean, inadvertently.
RUSH: There you go again. You’re telling me how I behave.
CALLER: No, I’m not. I’m saying, ‘We all do.’ I didn’t say ‘you.’ I said, ‘Don’t we all?’
RUSH: This is classic of a liberal. You think you know everything everybody else is doing and thinking and saying and then you assign a motive to it.
CALLER: I don’t think that. You’re saying that I think that.
RUSH: No, I’m reacting to you. (laughing) I’m reacting to you doing it. I’m not doing it. (laughing)
CALLER: Well, anyway, Rush, another point. Could I make one other point? I’ll make it quick?
RUSH: This will be your first one.
CALLER: (laughing) Okay. The other point that I wanted to make is that if taxes are raised and businesses are not gonna hire, why don’t we extend that to workers? If taxes go up then why don’t all workers stop? Is that right? Why don’t we challenge all workers with a right-leaning ideology to just tell their employer they don’t want to work anymore because the taxes are too high for them? Why don’t they just stop working when the taxes do go up because evidently that’s what they’re opposed to? So why don’t they stop working?
RUSH: Tell me what point you are trying to make with this.
CALLER: Well, the point I’m trying to make with this is that —
RUSH: What part of conservatism are you trying to refute here?
CALLER: I’m not trying to refute any part of conservatism.
RUSH: Sure you are.
CALLER: I guess I’m trying to —
RUSH: You’re trying to tell me that all conservative workers should, what, quit?
CALLER: Well, no. I mean, I — I would think that they would want to do that. Because, I mean, businesses don’t want to hire there’s no incentive so what’s the incentive for people that work whose taxes are going up? There really is none, right? I mean, it’s the same thing. If you raise the taxes all in the regular working person just like me, I mean, what’s the incentive for me to work? Why should I continue to work if businesses won’t hire?
RUSH: Well, a lot of people have opted out of work because of that. A lot of the rest of the people work even harder to overcome that obstacle that’s placed in front of them.
CALLER: Well, just like a lot of people have opted out of working a lot of people continue to work. I mean, I do.
CALLER: Why? Because I need to live.
RUSH: Okay. Then why doesn’t that apply to anybody else?
CALLER: I never said it didn’t.
RUSH: Yeah, you did because you said other people could just quit if taxes go up. Quit. Why not quit instead of paying higher taxes?
CALLER: I’m saying put your money where your mouth is if you’re really upset about taxes.
RUSH: I am putting my money where my mouth is —
CALLER: I’m not talking about you, Rush. It’s a figure of speech.
RUSH: — by standing up to people who get to keep more of what they earn. Wait a second.
CALLER: I’m talking about the people of the United States on your side of the ideological spectrum.
RUSH: Why do you want people automatically to keep less of what they earn?
CALLER: I want people to keep what they earn.
RUSH: I want people to keep more what they earn. You want ’em to quit.
CALLER: I’m not making the decision as to whether people keep more or less of what they earn.
RUSH: You’re throwing down a challenge. You’re throwing down a gauntlet or something. What do you have against people keeping more of what they earn?
CALLER: Absolutely nothing.
RUSH: Well, then why are you a liberal?
CALLER: Well, I — I wouldn’t say that I’m a liberal. I have liberal views.
RUSH: You started out by saying you’re a liberal. You started by telling me everything about my business, you don’t know how many employees I’ve got, you don’t whether I’m hiring or not.
CALLER: Nor do I care.
RUSH: You do, because that’s why you called.
CALLER: Nnnno, I was — I was trying to draw a comparison to what’s going on in the country. You’re the one that brought up the whole thing about your business. I wasn’t talking about your business at all.
RUSH: I did not bring up my business. You did. (laughing)
CALLER: You did!
CALLER: You asked me! I was talking about business in general.
RUSH: No! You told me everything about my business and then I stopped and asked, ‘Wait, how do you know this?’ Look, I have a flawless memory here. You’re not gonna be able to slither out of this.
CALLER: I’m not trying to.
RUSH: Yes, you are.
CALLER: So say you.
RUSH: I’m still waiting for you. You are consumed here with some kind of a… I don’t know, I wouldn’t call it bitterness, but what is it your anger? What are you hearing people say that’s making you angry when this employment tax talk is happening?
CALLER: I’m not angry. What I am is I’m upset. I wouldn’t say angry.
RUSH: All right, what are you upset about?
CALLER: People are saying that if taxes go up, businesses are gonna stop hiring. Well, businesses stopped hiring a long time. They actually laid people off. We lost 13,000 at my company.
RUSH: No, that’s not what people are saying. People are not saying if taxes go up, business will stop hiring. Businesses aren’t hiring now.
CALLER: Please, Rush! Please! You’ve been saying that. Are you kidding me? Do you need to go back into your (garbled) archives?
RUSH: Folks, by the time this ends, I’m gonna have called him.
RUSH: By the time we finish with this, he’s gonna tell me I called him and why am I bothering him.
CALLER: I’m not gonna tell you that.
RUSH: (laughing) That’s where we’re headed.
CALLER: Anyway, Rush, let’s leave it on a good note. I like your Bill Clinton impersonation. Continue to do that ’cause I think it’s kinda funny.
RUSH: I know. I understand what you mean by that.
CALLER: We’ll just have to agree to disagree on the facts but I was just trying to raise a point and I think I did a good job of doing that.
RUSH: It’s a shame we disagree, though, because you’re wrong and you have a basic misunderstanding of things that’s forming the foundation of your incorrectness. It’s a shame. I would love to answer you. You started out asking some interesting questions. The problem is you proceeded to answer them, and you don’t know the answers, which tells me that you’re forming a whole lot of conclusions based on things that you don’t know subject to your political bias, which makes you a lost cause. But you needn’t be. I mean, you say we disagree on facts. You haven’t mentioned a fact yet. You’ve mentioned a bunch of opinions and you’ve thrown out a bunch of challenges and questions, but you haven’t mentioned a fact yet.
And we’re out of time, so facts go by the wayside. Thanks for the call.
RUSH: You know that’s what liberals do best. I mean this guy was — and I like the guy, now, don’t misunderstand. I wish I coulda gotten through to the guy but unfortunately I put the guy on the defensive. I wasn’t trying to do that, but he was full of business should do this; conservatives should do this; employees should do that, and that’s what liberals do best, is they ‘should’ people to death. I mean you liberals are the champs at ‘shoulding’ people. Businesses should do this; conservatives should do that; Newt should do that or whatever. But, boy, you don’t like it when people start shoulding you. It was classic, wasn’t it? Telling me everything about my business that he doesn’t know, and he’s already formed an opinion about it. (interruption) Yeah, if they’re raising taxes why don’t you quit work? No, we’re trying to stop them from raising taxes for the sake of everybody. None of this is based in selfishness. Those of us who hold the position I hold love the country. We’re thinking of everybody here. We want greatness for everybody, how many times have we gone through this? We’re not at war with the country. We are at war with the people who want to harm it one way or the other, internal or external, doesn’t matter.
RUSH: Ron in Forest Hills, New York, you’re next on Open Line Friday. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, it’s Ron from Forest Hills, Queens, New York, and the home of Geraldine Ferraro who I’m sure is listening to you right now.
RUSH: Right, and John McEnroe and a number of others.
CALLER: A few. I just want to go off on that one fellow who was talking to you about how he knew your business better than you did basically. He made the point that, why don’t we just stop working? Well, I have a friend who’s a dentist in Germany, and every year about the beginning of November the government tells him you’ve made enough money, that’s it, you’re done, so he stops working, him and his buddies stop working. All he does is see people for emergencies, if they have a crown or something, that’s it.
RUSH: Some people have, even in this country some people —
CALLER: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I’m sure that when the tax rates were 90% back in the fifties when Kennedy came into office people stopped working when they bumped up against the marginal tax rate —
RUSH: Not even taxes. Here in this country, doctors, Medicare doctors, they’re quitting, they’re quitting Medicare work.
CALLER: So that fellow was absolutely wrong. People do stop working when tax rates do go too high.
RUSH: And they stop being productive.
CALLER: Yeah. I think I have a little bone to pick about the strategery that goes on. All I ever hear about or 90% of what I hear about is how the tax rate is going to go up from 36 to 39.6%, a 10% increase.
CALLER: Well, why don’t people talk about the low-end people? I mean it’s gonna go up from 10% to 15%, which is a 50% increase.
RUSH: That’s right.
CALLER: So my question to you is, what do the Democrats have against poor people and African-Americans? ‘Cause that’s basically the people that are gonna be affected the most.
RUSH: That is an excellent question, and I have been asking it for years. If I were African-American in this country I would be asking for the last 20 years, ‘When are you guys gonna deliver? You have been promising me every four years that you’re gonna get me out of this bondage that the Republicans keep me in, you’re gonna end discrimination, and every four years I still have the same complaints.’
CALLER: The second greatest lie I think of the twentieth century, the second greatest lie of the twentieth century was that the Democrat Party is the party of African-Americans.
RUSH: And the poor.
CALLER: It’s just a lie. It’s just an absolute lie. If you go back to the beginning of this country —
RUSH: Absolutely right.
CALLER: — how the Democrat Party, the party of segregation, the party of Jim Crow, the party of Jefferson Davis, the party of Planned Parenthood, you can just go on and on —
RUSH: Hell, the Ku Klux Klan was a bunch of Democrats and even one of them got into the United States Senate, for crying out loud.
CALLER: The Democrats have finally figured out, they’ve taken a new tack and said we’re not gonna do it that way, we’re gonna do it a different way. We’re gonna say, ‘Yes, you’re equal, but you need extra points on your test to get hired. Yes, you’re equal, but you’re not as smart as a white person or an Asian.’
RUSH: The way to put this is the Democrat Party is the party of keeping you poor and keeping you downtrodden. Without that, they are nothing.
RUSH: Florida Keys, Allison, thank you for waiting. Nice to have you here.
CALLER: Thank you, sir. I’m so upset I’m still shaking. I’m calling to respond to the idiot with whom you were speaking earlier, the one who said that he doesn’t understand why businesses don’t just hire, why they need incentives.
RUSH: Yeah, right. I can see you, I can just see you fuming out there, Allison. All this time you’ve been waiting to get on air to talk about that idiot — he-he —
CALLER: I’ve calmed down some since I first spoke with Mr. Snerdley, but like I said —
RUSH: Well, what upset you about the guy?
CALLER: Well, it’s clear, he has no clue what he’s talking about. He has no business experience. It’s not incentive. It’s called cash flow. If you don’t have cash flow you can’t make payroll. You can’t just pull payroll out of the air.
RUSH: It’s called customers, isn’t it?
CALLER: And that’s another thing. In order to have customers you have to be competitive, you have to be able to give them a price where they can then hire you. But everything is going up, don’t tell me there’s no inflation. Between the taxes and the insurance and the permits and all the other regulations that we have to follow and pay for, our materials costs are going up, the gas is going up so that the trucks — it’s ridiculous what we pay for gas every month, still it’s going up, and if we raise our prices in order cover our costs, then the customers can’t hire us, they can’t afford it, and some of them, if they do, then they can’t turn around and pay us so we’ve got several accounts right now that haven’t been paid. And I’m sitting here at my desk right now trying to figure out who not to pay myself so that I can make payroll, I can pay my guys. The owner of this company hasn’t been paid in over a year.
RUSH: Now, how do you do that? How do you decide who you’re not going to pay?
CALLER: It’s tough. A lot of them I’ve ended up putting on credit cards so that I have the rollover. And I pay a little bit on the credit cards, but my big vendors, I’m able to keep them paid with the credit card so that we can still get materials from them every month —
CALLER: — you know, they still work with us, but now the credit cards are mounting and it’s strictly business, you know, it’s not I’m not going out and buying TVs and stuff on this thing. No, we’re trying to keep this business running. And then you’ve got people like whatever the hell his name was, I mean how can he be so stupid?
RUSH: Because he’s a —
CALLER: I can’t even say he’s ignorant, because common sense, you would see it eventually, but he’s stupid.
RUSH: No, he told you at the outset, he’s a liberal. Therefore he knows everything.
CALLER: And then he turns around and makes the statement —
RUSH: The reason you’re not hiring anybody is because you’re selfish. You could hire if you want to, you just want to keep the money for yourself. That’s what he thinks.
CALLER: And pay ’em with what? Bad checks?
RUSH: You’ve got a stash of money that you’re not using. You are a business.
CALLER: No, no, no, that’s Obama, Obama has the stash, remember?
RUSH: I’m just telling you the way this guy thinks. You’re a business; you’ve got a stash of money; you’re rich; you drive a Bentley; you’ve got a big house; you have a boat to go along with your car. You’re selfish. You could get rid of the boat and hire workers, if you wanted to, but you’re selfish and greedy. That’s what all of that meant.
CALLER: You’re being generous in saying what he thinks.
RUSH: Well, yeah, popular use of the term, but that’s what they believe and they’re coulda woulda shoulda people. You coulda done, you shoulda done. He doesn’t know the first thing he’s talking about, but he thinks he knows everything about you.
CALLER: How can he draw a breath for so many years that he’s able to dial a phone and yet he doesn’t pick up on any of this stuff? Doesn’t he go to the grocery store ever?
RUSH: Well, now, what do you mean? Whoa, whoa, whoa, now, I want you to explain to people what you mean by that, doesn’t he go to the grocery store?
CALLER: If you go to the grocery store, you have to pay for what you get, and —
RUSH: No, you don’t —
CALLER: — if you pay attention the prices on the things that you buy have been going steadily up.
RUSH: You don’t have pay for it if you don’t want to. Food stamps.
CALLER: Yeah. And he made the point about incentives himself, you know, why should I do this, I have no incentive to work, or quit your job, don’t pay taxes, you know —
RUSH: I think what you’re illustrating here, Allison, is that particular caller really does not understand free market economics. He understands command-and-control economies.
CALLER: How can there be so many people that don’t understand it, that just want to sit with their hands out and have somebody give it to them and they don’t have to do anything for it. Where does it come from? Who makes this money? The government doesn’t.
RUSH: I’ve been doing this 23 years. I could go insane because I could think after 23 years there ought not be any liberals left, right?
CALLER: This is true.
RUSH: Then I could think of myself as an ultimate failure. So I’ve have to figure out how is it that what is so easily understandable, what is just nothing more than common sense escapes these people. People have written books about this. There have been psychological dissertations about it. And the best I can come up with is you’re not dealing with people who think. You just said that, too.
CALLER: Yes. In order to have common sense you have to think. They don’t think and I’ve come to the conclusion some of them aren’t even capable of thinking. And you can’t fix that.
RUSH: No, you can’t.
CALLER: Ignorance you can take care of, you can try to educate people, but when they’re stupid, that’s it, it’s over. You figure, okay, they’re ignorant —
RUSH: I know, stupidity is a frustrating thing. What do you do about it, because by definition stupid is stupid. Dumb is dumb. I mean you can’t turn a pencil eraser into a washing machine. People are what they are.
CALLER: So how do you get through to people eventually so that —
RUSH: Well, it does happen now and then.
CALLER: I’m trying to make payroll here.
RUSH: I probably have a better record than most of getting through to people and converting people. That’s why I’m considered such a threat and so dangerous. But you’re not even talking his language, when you said out there, ‘What does he not understand about making payroll?’ it’s Mars-Venus, people like him don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about. What do you mean, make payroll? To him you’re just making an excuse. You’re just complaining about how hard it is. You’re the business owner and you’ve got all the money and you’re the one that’s selfish. If you really wanted to hire somebody you could, and then you throw payroll in, ‘What do you mean, payroll?’
CALLER: On the 15th of every single month you have to pay 941 taxes, the federal withholding —
RUSH: And you should be damn happy you have the chance to pay those taxes, that’s what he —
CALLER: And Medicare. I have had to not pay myself several times or delay my paycheck by two or three weeks so I can pay —
RUSH: You know how he reacts to that?
CALLER: — because the government will not wait. We get paid on the 15th regardless. You can go hungry, you can go into foreclosure on your house, but we get paid.
RUSH: Do you want to know how he reacts when you say, ‘and I don’t even pay myself,’ you want to know what his reaction is?
CALLER: I must not need it.
RUSH: No, well, you don’t have to pay yourself. You have a big stash of money. You’re actually paying yourself before anybody else gets paid. You’re just greedy that you don’t want to have to take away from what you already have.
RUSH: I’m telling you that’s how they look at it. Businesses exist to create jobs for people and give them health care and when you don’t see it that way, you’re cold-hearted, cruel and mean spirited. You’re unfeeling. It’s just that simple. I can tell you you’re going nuts out there trying to understand this, and a lot of people are like you, going nuts trying to figure it out. But keep in mind, that guy that you’re talking about, in the eyes of the media he is the smartest man in the world. He’s got the compassion; he has the perspective and so forth. That’s what frustrates you, too. I’m glad you called.
RUSH: Folks, you know, very seldom do I point out something I think is brilliant. I know you think it’s a lot, but… That liberal caller everybody’s reacting to? He has the same level of economic understanding as our president has. That guy may as well have been Barack Obama. I kid you not. That’s it. If you want to understand Obama, that guy was Obama. That guy has the same degree of economic literacy as Obama has got. Pure and simple. The golden goose is always gonna be golden. Business is always gonna have money. Businessmen, businesswomen are selfish and greedy. They could do all of this if they wanted to.
But since they won’t do it, we gotta do it for them, and so we have to spend the money. We have to give people unemployment checks. We have to do it because they won’t do it. That’s exactly who that guy was. It may as well have been Obama calling us from Afghanistan instead of calling Hamid Karzai. And here! Here’s Barney Frank. This is last night on PMSNBC, The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell. Question: ‘You got a lot of people in the top tax bracket in your district in Brookline and Dover or Wellesley. How do you explain to them that their tax rates ought to go up in your district when everybody else should get a cut?’
FRANK: (mushily) It’s not the case that everybody who is doing well begrudges making a contribution. Many of these are fairly sophis-ch’icated people, and they understand if someone is making $500,000, so $250,000 of that will be subjected to a, uh — a tax increase from 36% to 39%. That’s 3% of $250,000, an increase of $7,500 in the taxes paid by someone making half a million has zero economic effect. It’s just a miscon-ch’eption that the Republicans will try to peddle, that everybody is selfish.
RUSH: Is it me or is it getting harder to understand him? I think it’s getting worse. Whatever ‘it’ is, it’s getting worse. Well, I think he needs a drain in his mouth for one thing. That would help. But anyway, higher taxes are your ‘contribution’ to government. Higher taxes are your ‘contribution’ to government! All right, here’s Gil in Philadelphia. Welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you here.
CALLER: (unintelligible) 16 times dittos, captain, O my captain.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: Listen, I own a small engineering firm here in Philadelphia, what’s left of it. Two years ago I had ten employees. Now I’m down to a handful. The truth of the matter is that I would hire more people if there was a marketplace for their labor. I mean, if I can sell my people’s labor, I make money. I have every incentive in the world to hire people, but there’s no marketplace.
RUSH: Right. So what you’re saying is you only hire people if you need them?
CALLER: Well, if the marketplace needs them.
RUSH: Well, that would be you ’cause you’re doing the hiring. So, in other words, you don’t hire them ’cause you’re a nice guy and you don’t hire ’em because you’re trying to give them health care.
CALLER: That’s absolutely correct. That’s not my motive at all. My motive is the profit motive, and if it isn’t there I can’t afford to hire them. In my opinion, one of the problems with liberals is they don’t understand the difference between money and wealth. Wealth is generated when people go to work and provide a good or service to each other.
CALLER: Money is just what exchanges hands. It’s a claim on labor. And when the marketplace won’t support the goods or the services, if nobody’s there to buy them, then the economy doesn’t grow. It’s that simple.
RUSH: Well, of course you’re exactly right, but I think you’re being charitable in explaining liberals and wealth. To liberals, wealth is what you inherit.
RUSH: Or what you can score from somebody, from some government or something. Nobody ‘earns’ wealth. That’s just inconceivable to them. I mean, somebody who has multimillions can’t possibly have earned it. Somebody had to give it to ’em or they had to steal it or there had to be something screwy about them, because they can’t conceive of anybody paying somebody that amount of money — other than an athlete or a movie star. You’re right, at the end of the day, about sophistication levels of understanding of economics. You know, economics is one of those things that is so complicated, it seems, but it’s nothing other than logic. Economics is just logic. But the logic has to be explained to you the right way, and when it is — when you have a good economics teacher, professor — you have lights going off in your head like crazy. So many things make perfect sense when explained properly, ’cause they’re just logic.
Mathematics is just logic, and look how tough that is for people.
RUSH: Now, to liberals wealth is also what you redistribute to buy votes. (laughing) To Pelosi, Pelosi’s idea of earning money, folks, is tweaking the tax code to help her husband avoid paying taxes. They’ve all got their own definitions of it, but it doesn’t include helping you, only them.