RUSH: My friends, if we have yet to persuade you that the tax deal, as it’s being called, should not happen — Snerdley, are you convinced now? He’s begrudgingly admitting I’m right, just blow it up. Earlier this week everybody was all hot to trot. ‘Wow, the Democrats are destroying themselves. Wow, the Democrats hate Obama. Wow, we’re gonna get our tax rate –‘ whoa. Folks, we don’t want any part of this, especially now.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: And the telephone number is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com. Open Line Friday. We dispense with most of the rules on Friday. Big one says you have to talk about something I care about or you don’t get on the air. Today, you don’t have to talk about something I care about. You can ask any question you want, you — I don’t care. If you want to stick it to the stick-to-the-issues crowd and ask me about football, feel free, have at it. Again the telephone number, 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
If you don’t know anything else about the tax deal, just listen to this. ‘Senators on opposite sides of the battle over ethanol subsidies said Thursday an extension of key ethanol tax credits appears to be a part of the emerging Capitol Hill deal on the Bush-era tax cuts. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who supports the corn-based fuel, told reporters that an extension of the credit for blending ethanol into gasoline is included. ‘I believe it will be in there…based on some discussions.” Chuck Grassley says, yep, it’s gonna be in there. Tom Harkin says, yep, it’s gonna be in there. This is Washington as we’ve always known it. This is nothing more than pork. Both senators, both sides of the aisle throwing in a subsidy here, this is more pork spending. This is not representative of anybody having heard the results of the election or not getting the point of the election, and what’s being lost in all this, this word ‘stimulus.’ I have been warning people all week, there’s no stimulus in this bill that is going to work. Obama’s using the term ‘stimulus,’ and he’s doing it strategically. Others are using the term ‘stimulus’ to describe the tax rates staying the same.
As we’ve pointed out all week, there’s nothing stimulative about tax rates staying the same. That stimulus has already occurred within the immediate years after taxes were cut back in 2001 and 2003. There’s no new stimulus that’s gonna come from extending. There’s no stimulus associated with a one-year, 2% tax rate cut in the payroll tax. There’s no stimulus in the estate tax being raised from zero to 35%. So where is the stimulus? Why does Obama keep talking about stimulus? Well, take a look at all the spending in this bill. This ethanol is just the tip of the iceberg. They’re loading all kinds of spending into this bill, and that’s why Obama’s calling it stimulus. Effectively what he’s getting here is a second stimulus bill. The Republicans are going along with this notion of keeping tax rates the same. Taxes ought to be cut. As such, they are going up. At the end of the day, if you take everything into account here, taxes are going up. What with the tax credit continuing for people that don’t even pay taxes, the death tax going from zero to 35%, this tax deal is becoming a Christmas tree and they’re putting all these pork deals on as ornaments and presents underneath it.
One of the reasons that we’re being told we gotta do this, ‘Well, we got this deadline coming up, Rush, you know, the end of the year Congress leaves.’ The IRS commissioner has said, ‘No, no, you gotta do this now, don’t wait ’til January. You’re gonna screw up our computer codes. We’re gonna have to rewrite everything if you do this in January-February.’ Let me tell you, I part ways with people that say if we don’t do this now the sky will fall. With what’s happening it’s time to back off. This is not at all what this election meant. The Democrats are still running the show. I cannot explain to you why they’re having the reaction they are, the F-bomb being dropped all over the place. Last night, you watched the Senate or House — well, I’m sure you didn’t — but Snerdley did and he said he had to turn it off. He has never heard the kind of anger, hatred, and vitriol aimed at the rich as he heard aimed at them last night. People like Bernie Sanders were practically foaming at the mouth talking about how the rich are stealing the wealth that they have from the poor. They are stealing your kids’ wealth and your grandkids’ wealth. The rich are doing all of this. The rich are waging war against the poor, and it’s all about tax rates being extended.
Of course I think it’s a setup for something else down the pike. I do think that they’re working on a death tax. Does the name Steve Schwarzman mean anything to you? Stephen Schwarzman is a Republican. He has been involved in Republican fundraising, but he founded the Blackstone Group. The Blackstone Group is a humongous investment vehicle. Pete Peterson, a former Commerce secretary with Nixon is part of this group, and they’re huge. He’s a Republican. Steve Schwarzman is leaving the country. He’s announced he’s moving to Paris. He says half the country is doing it right, but we’re not. It’s a direct comment on Obama. The move is not permanent but he’s getting out of the country the next three to six months to conduct business. He doesn’t like being a target. Carried interest is how the Blackstone Group makes its money and that’s an area for tax increases Obama is targeting, carried interest, the hedge funds. So he’s getting out of the country. He has the means, the ability. He’s not renouncing citizenship, but he’s just getting out. He wants to go someplace else to conduct business.
I heard that, and I heard last night, I had to look it up for myself. I was a little shocked by it because I didn’t associate Schwarzman as an activist Republican. He’s a fundraiser, but I thought RINO, I thought typical New York moderate Republican, but I never met him. I don’t know. I don’t know him personally. But he’s leaving the country. And this vitriol against the rich, that is mounting. (interruption) I didn’t hear it, Snerdley, I don’t think they really want a war, but they are waging war. He said the rich are waging war against the poor and the vehicle for them saying that is these tax rates staying the same. They were so, I guess, convinced that tax rates on the rich were gonna go up that they’re having a spoiled rotten little kid reaction. But it must indicate that something else is on the way, such as a wealth tax, a tax specifically written to attack already earned income, already taxed income, in other words, portfolio tax or net worth tax, whatever you want to call it. I wouldn’t be surprised. Those are the people that have the money, it’s like we talked about yesterday. Where are they gonna go get money? They can’t go get money from the pension fund, they’re underfunded. They have to go to where the money is, they have to go to the real money and that’s people who have earned it and people who have it.
Now, one thing these people can’t figure out, you know, this notion of keep taxing the wealthy, where does wealth get created? I think Obama and these people sometimes are really so naive, they think that no matter what they do the golden goose is always gonna be there, a corporation’s always gonna be a bottomless pit of money, that the rich are always gonna have a bottomless pit of money that they can tax year in and year out and that they’re never gonna kill the golden goose, when they’re in the process of doing so. Now, Bernie Sanders, the only admitted socialist in the House of Representatives, and a lot of other Democrats are just beside themselves, when in fact this deal is giving them a lot of what they want or claim to want. There’s a lot of pork in it, more added each day, ethanol just the latest. There are no tax cuts. Look, there is a tax cut, the 2% payroll tax cut for one year, but that’s it. There aren’t any tax cuts. The only way you can look at it as a tax cut is if you were convinced that the rates were gonna go up, and now they’re not gonna go up, you had it in your mind the rich are gonna pay 39.6, now they’re gonna get the same rate of 36, ah, it’s a tax cut, it’s the way Washington budgeting works.
But we’re on this deadline now that we’ve gotta do this two-year extension of current tax rates. And, by the way, Obama says he’s gonna raise the upper rate come hell or high water at the end of these two years. This is just an election year move to come back during his reelection, get his leftist base back on board by once again going after tax increases for the rich during a presidential campaign. He’s poised to do just that during the course of his run for reelection. Now, you can’t say that keeping the tax rates the same gives any useful predictability or economic help to anybody because nothing’s changing. The first of the week people go, ‘All right. My taxes aren’t gonna go up, all right, all right.’ Why should we settle for that? We won the election. In the process of settling for that, why start adding a bunch of pork? You’ll note the Democrats did not change their leadership and neither did we — neither did we. And the committee chairmanships, they’re all being picked by Boehner, and they all understandably are his loyalists and so forth. Fred Upton is gonna run the House Energy Committee, and they say he’s had his come-to-Jesus meeting here on lightbulbs.
But the thing that bothers me about that is here’s a guy who has to be taught at his age the notion of constitutional and market freedom, free market concepts? ‘Oh, yeah, I get it now,’ says the new chairman of the committee. The economic benefit here, if we do this deal, is going to be minimal, but if Republicans announced loudly and clearly that their intention is to ensure a longer term lock-in on the rates, or even cut them, then it would help settle some of the anxiety. But right now there is no Republican position. Everything we’re hearing is what the Democrats think and what they want. Where is the Republican vision? Have you heard them say it? Have you heard Mitch McConnell articulate the Republican vision here? Have you heard Boehner? Have you? I’m asking. Did McConnell talk about tax cuts? Of course not. That’s what I mean, where is the Republican vision here? I mean they won the election. Here we’re on a deadline, we gotta get this done before Congress ends this year. We gotta get this done, and the deadline’s coming, and Democrats are adding, Obama’s adding all these pork projects, more ethanol subsidies.
That’s not what the election was about. They could go a long way helping themselves making it clear they’re not gonna buy a two-year deal with a certain tax increase in 2013 for hundreds of billions of dollars including new ethanol subsidies. What kind of deal is this? ‘Okay, yeah, we’ll take it,’ say the Republicans, ‘We’ll take two years of the same tax rates and then we’ll take increasing tax rates in 2013 and the ethanol subsidies, yeah, what else do you want?’ It’s hard to break old habits, folks, especially in Washington. Even the Republican leaders have been part of this system for decades. False deadlines, foolish deals, they become the rule. And it need not be. I now hope this deal fails. I say it directly and officially. If the deal fails, the Democrats are in control, so it is they who will be raising taxes. Let the tax rates go up on January 1st. Let ’em go up. Wait for our cavalry to show up and deal with this the right way. They had two years to deal with this. They’ve had the two years of Obama’s presidency to deal with this and they haven’t, on purpose. They want the tax rates to go up. We’re selling for nothing. Really, it isn’t any great shakes that we agreed to two years of the tax rates not changing.
How about permanently the tax rates not changing? Then we’ll talk to you. Two years? And we got 13 more months of unemployment benefits. The only you can describe that 13 months is look at all the spending that is. That’s new spending, three years now of unemployment compensation benefits in exchange for a 35% death tax, a 2% cut in the payroll tax, and two years of tax rates on income not changing. They had two years to deal with this. The new Congress coming in will fix it, if the GOP leadership will allow it. If the economy continues in its recession, as I said yesterday, what is this double-dip stuff? To have a second recession you have to get out of the first one. We’re still in the first one. If this recession continues, it’s because of Obama’s anti-capitalist policies, and the Democrat Congress’ inability to deal with the budget and tax rates. Put it off on them. Why should we bail them out? This is their mess.
Now, we sign on to the mess continuing and at the end of the day we get credit for the mess. Where is the Republican vision on this? Where is the Republican vision on taxes? Is this it, status quo and tax rates, more spending? Where’s their proposal for a FairTax, a flat tax, where’s their proposal for tax cuts? Obama’s got a plan out there they floated all of a sudden, lower tax rates immensely and get rid of all deductions. Who is it that has control of taxes right now? Who is it that has the perception that they are the ones with all the ideas on taxes? It’s the Democrats. This is not what this election was about.
RUSH: I just watched a guy on Fox, he’s talking to Michele Bachmann, and he said, ‘Keeping these tax rates the same — that’s a tax cut, right?’ And she was kind of befuddled, she’s trying to make a different point, and he jumps in there: ‘It’s a tax cut, right? It’s gotta be paid for, right?’ No! Gee whiz! Nothing changing! ‘We gotta get this done.’ Notice the timeline on it: ‘We’ve got to get this done before the Republicans come in and have control of the House in January.’ That’s what everybody’s saying here: ‘We gotta get this done before the cavalry arrives.’
And I’m not so sure. I might be a heretic for saying this, but I’m not so sure the current House leadership is all for that, because coming in in January with a deal not done and going for something better, tax cuts and so forth — that may be more than they want to start chewing here early on in the new Congress. I’m just guessing. But why, if you’re in the House leadership, why in the world would you want to do this now, instead of waiting for when you control the joint? When you control it by a huge margin? Why would you want to do that? (New Castrati imitation) ‘But Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Limbaugh, your side wants to do this because they see the Democrat Party destroying itself, and so do we out there in the New Castrati!’ The Democrat Party is not destroying itself. The Democrat Party — we’re learning what they stand for.
I’ve asked the question: Can anybody tell me, where’s the Republican vision in all this? Can somebody tell me what the Republican core values are in all this? Have you heard anybody express to the voters, the Republican side, ‘Here’s what we’re trying to do with this deal, here’s where our core values are represented in this deal’? And we got the Drive-Bys asking Obama, ‘What are your core values? Where you gonna go to the mat?’ The Democrats in the House are throwing F-bombs around. Some of these people — we got the audio sound bites that are hilarious to listen to. I mean, these guys are literally going insane because they think they’re being sold out. And based on the way… I mean, they’re getting their ethanol subsidies, they’re getting new spending on unemployment, no taxes are being cut. It’s hard to figure out why these guys are so livid, really.