RUSH: Boy, the libs are out in full force in my e-mail. ‘How dare you say that Pelosi, Reid, and Obama want people unskilled and dependent?’ For crying out loud, about the only thing that’s gonna grow the Democrat Party is unemployment. The only thing unemployment stimulates is the Democrat Party, pure and simple. I can’t say it any plainer. I hit you right between the eyes with it. Unemployment stimulates the Democrat Party. Unemployment grows Democrat voters.
Welcome back, Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network and the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies. Telephone number, 800-282-2882 if you want to be on the program.
Look, everything since 1965, every Democrat welfare initiative, folks, has been to grow a bigger and bigger crop of Democrat voters who are dependent on the government. Europe has had a permanent underclass for a long time. That’s why the communist, socialist base is so tremendously strong in Europe and has been since World War I. The whole point of these social welfare programs is to create more Democrats, because that’s who these people end up depending on for what meager existence they end up with. Now, the Democrats in the United States have wanted to accomplish that here, a permanent growing underclass, and they’ve been working on it since 1965. And they’re well on their way to accomplishing it. This is why the numbers are who they are. There’s five to six, maybe ten years to stop this and turn this around.
Look at every initiative: Welfare in general, money for not working; food stamps, making it even more painless not to work and more money for each child; aid to women with dependent children, more money for every child, a substantial amount of money per child, and a disincentive to get married. The Democrats in this country have wanted to accomplish all of that here. They’ve been working on it steadily and steadily and steadily, and now they’re trying to create more government dependency from the middle class with endless unemployment benefits. Nobody in their right mind, nobody daring to be honest with you would tell you that extending unemployment benefits is going to grow employment. Nobody in their right mind would tell you that unemployment benefits and their extension is stimulative to the economy, yet they do. The only way they can say this is under their breath, behind closed doors they say stimulus for our economy, meaning for our party. Let’s go back to Bernanke here and his four to five years to lower unemployment. He said something very interesting here.
BERNANKE: You’re absolutely right. Between the peak and the end of last year we lost eight and a half million jobs. We’ve only gotten about a million of them back so far, and that doesn’t even account the new people coming into the labor force. At the rate we’re going it could be four or five years before we are back to a more normal unemployment rate, somewhere in the vicinity of say five or six percent.
RUSH: Ain’t no way. But, we’ve only gotten about a million of them back so far. I thought Bite Me and Obama out there are saying we’ve saved or created three million jobs, right? And here’s Bernanke: We’ve only gotten about a million of them back. What happened to those three million that Obama created? Now, run the numbers on this. If we create 200,000 jobs a year — and in November we created 39,000, I mean you could take it up to 500,000. If we create 200,000 jobs a year, that’s five years for a million jobs, is it not? That doesn’t count, as he says, people entering the workforce. So five years to create a million jobs. We’ve lost eight to ten million jobs. I mean you run the numbers here. It doesn’t happen in five or six years, and that, by the way, an economy creating that many jobs, I mean it’s gotta be cooking. A million jobs a year, that’s seven years, and it’s a dire circumstance. It really is.
But do you see anybody reacting that way? Is anybody reacting as though it’s dire? No. What are we doing? We’re not trying to put people back to work. We’re extending unemployment benefits. And the same time, you know, Obama’s out there trying to prevent extending current tax rates, which themselves are stimulative. It’s just we’re not talking about stimulating the same thing Obama is. He’s trying to stimulate the Democrat Party while at the same time stimulating the decline of the United States. Here’s more Bernanke, Scott Pelley said, ‘Well, some people think that the $600 billion –‘ this is the Quantitative Easing Two ‘– some people think that’s just a terrible idea, essentially printing all that money.’
BERNANKE: What I think they’re doing is they’re looking at some of the risks and uncertainties associated with doing this policy action. What I think they’re not doing is looking at the risk of not acting. This fear of inflation, I think, is way overstated. We’ve looked at it very, very carefully. We’ve analyzed it every which way. One miss that’s out there is that what we’re doing is printing money. We’re not printing money. What we’re doing is lowering interest rates by buying Treasury securities and by lowering interest rates we hope to stimulate the economy to grow faster.
RUSH: Yeah, it hasn’t worked yet. Fear of inflation overstated? That’s the Fed chairman. Retail gasoline pump prices have hit a 26-month high. Now, of course Obama’s drilling moratorium had nothing to do with that. But isn’t it Christmastime? And look at this from CNN: ‘Motorists Could See $3 Gasoline at the Pumps by Christmas.’ Well, a lot of it’s the dollar, but it doesn’t matter, people that pay the three bucks are not gonna care why. It’s still gonna be three bucks, Merry Christmas. And Congress is talking about upping the gas tax. ‘Barring a steep drop in crude prices, U.S. motorists can expect to see gas prices exceeding $3 per gallon, if they are not seeing such prices already, according to a new survey of filling stations. … The retail margin for retail is less than six cents per gallon. Retailers will have to raise prices at the pump to make up for,’ their own price increase, the wholesale price. He says they’re not printing money but if they’re not, where’s the money coming from to buy $600 billion of debt? Is it just laying around in a closet at the Fed? Where is this money coming to buy these Treasuries? I mean, it’s just a question from an average, ordinary guy that doesn’t understand all this stuff. Where did they get the money? Here’s Obama. He’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the Forsyth Technical Community College. He did a speech out there, and we got three sound bites. Here’s the first of three sound bites of what he said.
OBAMA: Republicans want to make permanent the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. I have argued that we can’t afford it right now. But — (applause) — but what I’ve also said is we’ve gotta find consensus here, because a middle class tax hike would be very tough, not only on working families, it would also be a drag on our economy at this moment. So I believe we should keep in place tax cuts for workers and small businesses that are set to expire. We’ve got to make sure that we’re coming up with a solution, even if it’s not a hundred percent of what I want or what the Republicans want.
RUSH: This is another thing, this idea that tax cuts for certain Americans stimulate the economy but tax cuts for other Americans don’t. How does that work? He just doesn’t get it, folks, it’s just not in his DNA.
OBAMA: We are the home of the world’s best universities, the best research facilities, the most brilliant scientists, the brightest minds, some of the hardest working, most entrepreneurial people on earth, right here in America. It’s in our DNA. Think about it. People came from all over the world to live here in the United States. That’s been our history. And those were the go-getters, the risk-takers who came here. The folks who didn’t want to take risks, they stayed back home, right?
RUSH: What in the world is he trying to say? What in the world is he talking about? He’s trying to define, I guess, American exceptionalism. He’s trying to say this is what it is to him, a bunch of go-getters moved here, and the people that wouldn’t want to take risks didn’t come here. It’s capitalism and freedom that define American exceptionalism. He talked about DNA, it’s just not in his. And now he lectured Americans on borrowing, this guy lectures Americans on borrowing.
OBAMA: So 50 years later, our generation’s Sputnik moment is back. This is our moment. If the recession has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot go back to an economy that’s driven by too much spending, too much borrowing, running up credit cards, taking out a lot of home equity loans, paper profits that are built on financial speculation. We’ve gotta rebuild on a new and stronger foundation for economic growth. We need to do what America has always been known for: building, innovating, educating, making things. We don’t want to be a nation that simply buys and consumes products from other countries. We want to create and sell products all over the world that are stamped with three simple words: Made in America.
RUSH: This guy has borrowed and spent all the money — a Sputnik moment? Fitting if he would describe some communist event, talk about our Sputnik moment.
RUSH: Checking the e-mail again. People want me to elaborate here on this five to six to ten years to turn it around. Something… Let me elaborate on this. I mentioned that we have… If you look at a pie chart of the budget, if you look at discretionary spending, there’s not very much of that. Discretionary means we have our choice about it. The mandatory spending — entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, all those things that are said to be unchangeable — are gonna have to change. I’ll give you an example. The Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty, went to the mat with bus drivers. They went on strike. The bus drivers in Minneapolis were demanding that after 15 years of service, they’d get health care and pension or something like that for the rest of their lives. I think he broke the union in opposing this.
That kind of stuff is unsustainable. It can’t happen because the people who are paying that are the citizens of the country, and the citizens of the country are paying these public employees more than they make. You go to California, Illinois, New York with all these unfunded or underfunded pension requirements. None of this is real. None of this can happen. We don’t have the money for it. It is not logical. The problem is these deals have been made. We don’t have the money for it. We don’t have the money to continue to spend what we’re spending on Medicare or Medicaid or Social Security. We just don’t. Now, Social Security started with FDR under an entirely different premise than what we have today.
It started out much smaller and was to become supplemental. Now look what it’s become. It can’t be sustained this way. These are things that are gonna have to be dealt with, but not by some blue ribbon commission of old has-beens that have no skin in the game. Elected officials are gonna have to have the guts and the courage to do this themselves, and they’re gonna have to do it relatively quickly or we’re gonna lose control over it. You can’t pay people not to do anything. How many of you have a job where, when you quit…? In the first place, all you have to do is work 15 or 20 years at the place and then you get a pension of 70 to 80% of what you earned plus your health care for the rest of your life?
It just doesn’t happen because it’s not sustainable, and the places — businesses like automobile companies — that have made these deals, look what they’re doing. They’re off-loading the pension plans to the government, which is us, the taxpayers. These kinds of things are going to have to be to be dealt with. You look at Bush. Bush tried, after his victory in 2004, to spend some political capital on Social Security reform, and nobody was ready for it at the time. I think they coulda done a better job of selling it. You have a program called ‘Social Security,’ and then you put the word ‘privatize’ in there which allows Democrats to demagogue the upward and downward movement of the stock market.
You had very little chance of getting it passed. But the guts of the plan were as sensible as anything I’ve ever heard. It made perfect total sense, and it would have ended up with every Social Security recipient having a larger benefit at the end of the day than leaving it in the government’s hands totally — and it was yours! You kept some of it, invested it in a private sector account, and it would grow much faster than the so-called growth in Social Security, and it ended up being yours. It was demagogued. Why? Why are the Democrats opposed to fixing it? Because that tampers with the number of Democrats there will be.
The more self-reliant people there are, the fewer Democrats you’ll end up having. Pure and simple. But these things, folks, are going to have to be dealt with. For this to get righted, nothing is going to be off the table. Nothing should be. You could do 10% across the board on virtually everything. There are certain things you could eliminate. For example, there are things we can’t afford. Cut ’em. Just cut ’em. We’re gonna have to at some point. We either cut them or they don’t get paid out. But one way or the other, when you don’t have the money, it isn’t going to be there. And printing it — QE2, QE3, 4, 5, what have you — is not a solution to the problem.
Why don’t we ever hear about how many jobs are going to be LOST if the rich have to pay higher taxes?
We always hear about how many jobs are created if the government does this or government does that. You know, people who own businesses (you’ve heard ’em; they call here all the time) will sell their yacht and they will cut payroll. But whatever else they have to do, they will cut payroll. Now, keeping the current tax rates in place as opposed to raising taxes will do a hell of a lot more to keep this economy from slipping into a depression than the Democrats’ phony stimulus bill because it will provide some certainty and some confidence. People will be able to know, whatever the temporary nature of these tax rates is. Whatever it is, they’ll be able to start making some plans.
Right now nobody knows what the hell’s coming, and with this guy, you don’t know what’s going to get reneged on anyway. But there are serious, serious problems, and the length of time here that we have to deal with it is shrinking. Why don’t we see any polling of the business community? Ask how many employees they have had to lay off to pay their taxes. I would love to see that poll: ‘How many employees have you had to lay off in order to pay your state and federal taxes — workers’ comp, whatever it was — every other payroll?’ We get polls about everything under the sun, but why not that? ‘How many jobs have you eliminated at your business in order to pay taxes?’ Ho-ho-ho-ho! What a poll that would be.
Denver, North Carolina. Carmen, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Rush, it’s a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: I had a quick comment. You’ve sort of been addressing this along the way. I think you’ve kind of made my comment for me but I’ll make it anyway.
CALLER: I think if you view how Democrats legislate and make decisions in terms of how many votes they think they can secure, extending tax cuts for everyone seems to be tacit agreement on their end with our position that a tax increase in this economy would be bad for everyone. I think this for one reason in particular. They’ve been telling us forever that the tax cuts that Bush gave were for the rich and it’s only the top two or three percent who get the benefit of these tax cuts. But if they lost that 2%, say, totally in terms of votes, they really wouldn’t lose sleep over that. I think if that 2% trickles down into affecting 40% or more, and the economy affecting those people, then they have a problem.
CALLER: So what you’ve been saying sort of goes the other way though. You’ve been saying that you think they want people to be dependent on government. I do believe that but I guess my question then becomes — in addition to my comment if you don’t mind me asking a question —
CALLER: — which side do you think they’ll fall on then? Do you think they’ll let the economic reality that bleeds into the political reality win the day or do you think that they’ll take the ideological stand and not really give a crap what happens to the rest of us? (giggles)
RUSH: Well, I’m gonna need some additional time to answer this question. I have a break coming up in five seconds. But there’s another alternative that you haven’t mentioned that takes priority over either of those.
RUSH: There is another priority in addition to the two our previous caller from Denver, North Carolina mentioned (Only Snerdley could find a call from Denver, North Carolina. I didn’t even know there was a Denver, North Carolina. At any rate…) and that is getting elected. Before they can wreak this damage, they have to have the power to do it. They got shellacked. Now, look, if they are willing to compromise — and of course they’re making a big, big voice deal out of hating it — they are the majority. They do not have to go with this extending of the Bush tax rates. And if you listen to their rhetoric, their rhetoric is that these tax rates for the rich are counterproductive. If you listen to what they say and take them at their word, only tax cuts for the middle class grow the economy.
Giving the rich more and letting them keep more doesn’t help anybody but the rich. It doesn’t grow the economy. Now, they profess to want to grow the economy. That’s what they claim. If they really believed that extending current tax rates for the rich was going to be destructive, then they wouldn’t do it because the economy in 2012 is still gonna be theirs, because it’s gonna be Obama that’s in the White House. In fact, this is something, folks, to get prepared for here. What Obama and the Democrats know is that extending these tax rates is going to benefit the economy. The Republicans, on the one hand, are gonna get blamed for this. On the other hand, Obama’s gonna get the credit if the economy rebounds (which it will at some point) if he is still in the Oval Orifice.
Get ready for that. The media can’t wait to write that story. So the real question is: What do we want? Do we want what’s best for us politically which would be (chuckles) Obama continuing to be mired in trouble, or do we want what’s best for the people of the country? We want what’s best for the people of the country. We’ll deal with Obama on another matter. The Democrats, if they really believed that maintaining tax rates for the rich was gonna harm the economy — if that was something they firmly believed — they wouldn’t cave on this. And, by the way, what does Obama have to do with this anyway? This is not really… What’s he have to do with it? Congress writes tax law. So if the Democrats want to stop this, they can do it. (interruption)
I know. I know, he promised the liberals he’s gonna put an end to all this stuff. But my point is, at the end of the day, they know this is gonna help the economy. They know that what they believe is deleterious for the economy. It’s just that they like that. Having the economy in bad shape grows Democrats. Putting more people on unemployment grows the Democrat Party. Creating dependence does it. That’s been their agenda since 1965, even longer than that. Folks, the modern-day Democrat Party does nothing but lie, mislead, camouflage, and mask itself. Obama should not have any negotiation role in this deal. The White House has no role in taxing, according to the Constitution. Now, he can veto it or sign it, but they don’t have to bring Obama in on this.
I mean, if the Democrats really cared about the unemployed, they wouldn’t tax their benefits, would they? You know unemployment benefits are taxed? Social Security benefits are taxed. Who raised taxes on the unemployed and Social Security recipients? The Democrats did. It’s a relatively new phenomenon, too. They can’t help themselves. They have to wring taxes out of everybody. But Obama really has nothing to do with the negotiation. At the end of the day, he doesn’t have to have a role in it. But they want him to have a role in it because they want Obama to be perceived as the powerbroker here, the guy around whom all these decisions are made, good or bad, because they can’t afford to have him in the office diminished any more than it already is. So they’ve got them… They’re in a noose here. They’re in a noose, folks. They got shellacked. They’re in a total…
They are the majority. If they didn’t want to extend these tax rates, they wouldn’t. They’d make the Republicans come back and start anew and do it all over again next year with Obama ready to veto it. They could stop this from happening. Why are they compromising? That’s why all these libs are going crazy over this cave-in. Why are they compromising? It’s because they can read the tea leaves and they have a lot of Senate seats exposed, up for reelection in 2012, and before they can do anything else they have to get elected. That’s their job. The first priority is to get elected; wrecking the country comes after that happens. You can only wreck the country if you have the power to do it. (interruption) I don’t care if ‘noose’ is a hate crime, I’m gonna say it: It’s a noose. They’re in one, and they made it.