RUSH: Palos Hill, Illinois, and Jerome, you’re up first. Nice to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Yeah, Rush?
RUSH: Yeah. Hi.
CALLER: I’d just like to know why this time of economic recession where a lot of people are laid off that you’re against extending the unemployment benefits.
RUSH: Well, I’m not against extending unemployment benefits. I’m against extending them for 13 months to now three years. See, I happen to believe that the longer people are paid not to work, the longer they won’t work, and the longer people are out of work the more unskilled they become, more out of practice they become. I happen to believe that there is dignity in work. I think a lot of men derive their self-worth and their identity from their work and from their job, and I think the Democrat Party wants as many people out of work as possible so that they will depend on the Democrat Party for what little they get. The Democrats don’t care about you. The Democrats care about your vote. I think it’s robbing people of their dignity. I think it’s destroying people’s lives. And it’s your fellow citizens paying you not to work, it’s not the government, it’s not some nameless state official, it’s the taxes of your fellow citizens being paid for this.
CALLER: Could I tell you something, please?
RUSH: Sure, by all means.
CALLER: Okay, I’ve been listening to you for 20 years now, right? I’ve been spreading your message and everything to many people and all that but now I find myself after 23 years being laid off from a company that went bankrupt and now it’s probably dissolving. And what happens is after my six months being laid off they send me a letter that I was gonna be extended automatically but by a year it’s over, so it’s not going to be three years like you’re saying. If I do get the extension then it will be that other 13 months like you’re saying. But right now it’s only like about a year, at least over here in the Chicago area.
RUSH: No, it’s for everybody. You can get unemployment benefits up to 99 months, which —
CALLER: When I first went down there, they told me 99 weeks. And then we start getting these letters, and I don’t know if it’s because each state has —
RUSH: Okay, look, let me stop. Can you hold on for a while here? Because I do want to talk to you about this because —
RUSH: — I understand the hardships. I’ve been unemployed seven times. I know what you’re going through. So I want you to understand why — you’ve been listening for 23 years — I want you to understand why I have this attitude about it.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: All right, so hang on, don’t go away.
RUSH: Jerome in Palos Hill, Illinois, are you still there, Jerome?
CALLER: Yes, I’m here, Rush.
RUSH: All right, now, Jerome, let me start out here by saying that I don’t expect much of what I say to you today to have any impact on you because it’s not gonna address the immediacy of your problem which I fully understand.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: You’re outta work. I’ve been there. And you want to know what I have against unemployment benefits.
CALLER: Well, see, I know how feel. I usually agree with you like 99% of the time, but in this case where there’s a big recession and the unemployment numbers are real high and there’s millions of people out of work out there, mathematically it’s gonna take a longer time for the people to get employed and —
RUSH: Right. Right. Okay, you’re swerving into my point here. Let me first ask you, how long do you think unemployment benefits should last? How long should you have them?
CALLER: Normally I would agree with you like you said, you know, the six months, maybe one extension. But in this time of, you know, like here I am almost a 50-year-old man, thought I had a few more years before I would retire, and then you’re out of work and the people that want to employ older people, you know how they got the stats on you and everything, even if you’re perfectly healthy, I mean there’s age discrimination out there and everything, but normally I would agree with you, but our company was around during the Great Depression, but it didn’t make it this time, an eighty-nine-year-old tool company.
RUSH: Right. I understand all this. I want you to listen to me for just a second here, and then I’ll get you back in here for your reaction. The reason this is even an issue, Jerome, is because Barack Obama has destroyed this economy, that’s why this is an issue. The reason why we’re even discussing the morality of unemployment benefits is because this president has destroyed the economy and continues to do so. It’s not your tool company, it’s not this or that; it’s an economy that is stagnant at best. We didn’t have to delve into these kinds of things when unemployment was at or below 5%. We had people on unemployment then, as recently as two or three years ago. We’ve always had people on unemployment. But we never had to deal with the issue like it is now. This is a distraction from a much larger issue, and the problem that has to be solved, Jerome, is how do we get the government to get their hands out of our pockets so that people will be motivated to expand businesses and grow.
One of the reasons your company’s out of work, closed up shop, is because there’s no reason for them to exist, there’s no reason to grow. They can’t. They don’t have any customers. Now, nobody opposes basic unemployment. Nobody opposes a basic safety net. Nobody. I don’t. The issue now, Jerome, is that we have a government that’s destroying the forces that create wealth and create jobs, and the answer to that is not 13 months more unemployment. When I hear these people, Jerome, talk about the best economic stimulus we can have is extended unemployment benefits, I want to retch. He is consigning American citizens to a life of meaninglessness and hoping they will end up being forever voters of the Democrat Party. We have a government working against you, Jerome, and your prospects for finding a job, destroying the forces that create wealth and jobs, fund the safety net, seek to transfer wealth to the government by expanding government and shrinking the private sector. And this is the problem.
The solution is not extended unemployment. If we keep doing that we’re going to prolong the problem instead of solving it. And we’ve been doing it for two years, and they’ve just added a third, Jerome, it’s not done yet, but that’s what’s being debated. We used to extend unemployment benefits in increments of 13 weeks. Now they’re holding us hostage here for 13 months. The way you address unemployment is not by extending unemployment compensation for two years, but by creating a growth environment. And there’s not one Obama policy that does that. His tax policy doesn’t promote growth. His spending policy doesn’t promote growth. There’s not one thing this man is doing to promote growth. I am as upset at this as you are, albeit for different reasons. You see, Jerome, I cringe getting phone calls from people like you. It is so unnecessary. This is being done right before our eyes.
And here’s another thing, my friend. The federal government has no money. We don’t have the money for this. All this money being spent today is going to become a huge burden on future generations. Future generations have to pay for all this, benefits being conferred today. So there’s a moral element to this. How much do we spend today to destroy tomorrow? Look overseas, look at Italy, look at Greece, Ireland, Britain, that’s us in ten years, give or take five, where we have a permanent unemployment rate of 14%, with people living forever on unemployment assistance. That’s no future. That destroys the country. Now, I know none of this addresses your circumstance. None of this that I’m saying is going to make up for the loss of your job.
But the more support that we have for this policy then the greater the risk that we’re gonna lose the country. Your problem will not be solved by unemployment checks. Your problem is just being delayed and put off. The only thing that’s gonna solve your problem is a thriving and growing economy, and these never ending unemployment benefits extensions delay a growing and thriving economy, putting more unemployment taxes on employers is only gonna make them avoid hiring more people. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle. So I don’t have any problem, Jerome, with you having dollars in your pocket. I don’t look at you as a freeloader. I look at you as an American whose life is being destroyed, and I’d rather not see that. It’s not your company that’s doing it to you. Your company didn’t want to go out of business. Your company doesn’t like this. There’s no benefit to them here. They don’t have jobs, either, now.
CALLER: Right. Well, all I can say is, you know, I agree with about 99% of what you’re saying, but now that I find myself in this situation and all the circumstances and everything, like I said, because of my age and I’m not in the best health, either, that they’d rather hire some kid or somebody who doesn’t really know anything or somebody that just came across the border than a guy like me.
RUSH: That’s another thing. But this, sadly, isn’t new. What were you doing at this company?
CALLER: I used to just be like a regular order picker, work on the dock, forklift. The last ten years I was working in the warranty department, I did warranties that came from all over the world.
RUSH: Do you have anything that you really love to do, that you haven’t been able to do because you’ve had to work?
CALLER: Yeah, I would like to have something where I could help people, especially people that really need help, you know, ’cause I know how it feels when you’re in a situation where nobody really understands. I guess because some of us have to experience it, you know, like people that are very patient, you know, usually because they’ve been in situations where they needed somebody to be patient with them.
RUSH: Well, I understand that. That’s born of your immediate circumstance. But prior to all this happening —
RUSH: — we all have in our lives jobs, and when we finish the job, a lot of us, that’s when we get to what we really like. Was there something like that for you? I don’t know what it was. I don’t want to put any ideas in your head, but while you’ve been driving forklifts and taking orders, is there something out there, a hobby or a dream or anything that you would really, really have loved to have done, or be doing now? You don’t have to answer me now, but if there is, if there’s been that, what I would do is take the occasion of this opportunity, take your unemployment benefits check and see if you can apply it to that —
RUSH: — and find a way to earn some money doing that. I know this is easily said, but there are a lot of people who have done it. Here’s one of the downsides. I happen to get a note from a good friend of mine who was at a coffee shop and overheard a conversation between two young people who were unemployed, and they were talking about how happy they were with the extension of benefits here so they wouldn’t have to go back to work, they were thinking of cutting back on a lot of expenses and trying to save up their unemployment checks to start a business.
RUSH: Now, that’s not how this is supposed to work. This is exactly my point. This is a disincentive for people to find work, and what people need to do is find work, and finding work is only gonna be possible if we have an expanding, thriving, growing economy.
RUSH: It’s a vicious circle. But in the meantime, you know, that’s not something that’s gonna happen overnight or even next month. So you’re motivated to do something, you want to help people. You don’t find yourself now in a position to be able to do so because you yourself are out of work. But there are plenty of places I’m sure in Palos Hill, Illinois, who are already doing things to help people that probably need other people like you. It may not pay anything, but you can at least live off the best you can what your unemployment check is and at least then go do something that will make you feel as though you are being productive in one way or another, because you’re satisfying a desire that you’ve got to help people.
RUSH: In the process of putting yourself in the market that way, you never know who you’re gonna meet and you never know what opportunities are gonna come knocking on the door, and they will. They always do.
RUSH: At some point whenever something disappointing happens or something earth-shattering, shocking turns our world upside down, at some point you get over the immediate emotional crash of that and realize that you still have to get up every day and do something, and you don’t sound to me like somebody who wants to sit around. That’s what bothers you about this. And you don’t sound like somebody who wants to have your vote purchased this cheaply. I know you don’t if you’ve been listening to this program for 22 years or what have you. So the best thing you can do is if they’re gonna pay you money, unemployment compensation, use it, live on it as best you can, put yourself out there, focusing on what you would like to do and at least get some satisfaction out of your life that way rather than being down on yourself, which you shouldn’t be, by the way, but a lot of people in your situation blame it on themselves or, if not, they still get down on the circumstance. Turn it into a positive as best you can because you just told me there’s something you want to do. And that’s tough. I mean change is tough. Change is always tough. We all have our formulas that we settle into, our patterns, and anything that interrupts that out of necessity is an obstacle. But it’s there to be overcome.
You listed all the things that you think are going against you. Your health is not the best, your age, you got these young guys coming along that can be hired cheaper and so forth. But there are some positives you need to look for in yourself and find, and you just named one for me, and then focus on those. There two things you have to do. You have to eat every day, and you have to pay your taxes. Even on your unemployment compensation checks you’re gonna to be paying taxes. So take the occasion of your circumstance here and try to make the best of it that you can, and look around you ’cause there are a lot of people in your circumstance who are trying to do just the same thing. And we still live in a place where that can be done. They haven’t destroyed the country yet. They haven’t destroyed the economy yet. A lot of people are trying to keep that from happening.
I understand exactly where you are and I know that what I’m saying here to you does not add up to a dime for you. I just wanted you to understand why, since you called and asked me, I’m saying the things about this that I am. It’s ultimately because I want the best for every American, and I flinch when I see people’s lives being bought this way on the cheap by a political party led by a shameless president who tells you he cares about you, tells you he’s gonna have policies to grow the economy, and in two years he’s done nothing but bring it to a screeching halt and put it into reverse. It makes me mad. You’re an American citizen and you don’t deserve to have this done to the economy and to the country in which you live, which you are a vital cog, turning you into not that. I wouldn’t let them if I were you.
RUSH: Just to rehash some old territory that you people who have been here regularly know. I’ve been unemployed a long time a lot of times, and I came out of it better. When I was unemployed the first time, I didn’t want unemployment checks. It was embarrassing to me. I didn’t want to admit it. To me there was a stigma to it, and the radio business is famous for being a revolving door and people were losing their jobs — at least it was this way — for reasons had nothing to do with their work. It was just the vagaries of the business. But at some point (I could probably isolate two or three occasions) I finally got so fed up I vowed that one of my objectives was, ‘I am never, ever gonna be dependent on anybody for anything I need, not one thing.’
That became an objective. Now, it was a broad based goal. My goals were never finite. I never said, ‘In five years I’m gonna be there, six years I’m gonna be there.’ I just had this one giant goal objective, that whatever I did I was gonna be among the best that ever did it; and I figured everything else would come into focus, fall into place if that happened. And then as things started to fall into place and I said, ‘Okay, I’m not gonna dependent on anybody for anything.’ It’s not that I didn’t want to have the embarrassment associated with it; I just didn’t want to be dependent because I didn’t want to be obligated. I didn’t want to owe anybody anything financially in any way, shape, manner, or form. Everybody has help, we all get assistance on the climb up.
But I never, ever assumed that anything was forever. I never assumed that just because something was, that it was always going to be. And in the process here of my own learning or education, it became more and more obvious to me that nobody else was gonna be as concerned about me as I was. Nobody was gonna have the interest in me — my life, my success, or my failures — as I was. So I wasn’t gonna farm that out. I wasn’t gonna put my future in somebody else’s hands, ’cause who knows how they’re gonna end up, and who knows how to relationship you’re gonna have with people like that is gonna end up being. You know, you could ask the unemployed some really tough love questions if you wanted to.
If you did, people would accuse you of being heartless and with no compassion. But I’ve always said that most of the limitations that we have are those we put on ourselves. It’s like this guy Hunter Smith for the Redskins, ‘a lawsuit generation’ he says he’s part of. Everybody wants to blame somebody else for what happens to them and then if we can, sue ’em. One of the things in my business is you had to move, sometimes just to stay lateral you had to move, sometimes just to stay employed you had to move, but certainly to move up you had to move. I mean geographically move. Pull uproots, stakes, wherever, and replant emphasized somewhere else, knowing nobody. Brand new place.
That was just what this business always was — and, you know, I never assumed when I was 35 or 40, that the place I was working was always going to be there. So I determined at some point I wanted to be the business. The only person I knew I could count on was me. I knew I could count on me being here and being solid, whatever year in the future you wanted to name. But I couldn’t tell you that about somebody else ’cause that’s their business. So everybody learns different things, takes different things from their own experiences, and it tells me that there is a whole lot of human potential untapped because too many people have it drilled into their heads they can’t do stuff, can’t do this or that.
RUSH: Yeah, I’m going to get to this new car lawsuit, but that’s another thing. Now we got this stupid, idiotic group, this Center for Science in the Public Interest which found some malcontent parent, some irresponsible parent out there to join this lawsuit against McDonald’s out in San Francisco because of baiting the children to eat unhealthy McDonald’s stuff with toys in the Happy Meal. Well, we might as well just put a stop on every bit of economic activity we’ve got, and it’s always the American left doing it. We don’t have a wealth tax, folks, we have a productivity tax, and the more productive you are the more taxes you are gonna pay, and that is how these people in Washington do their best to make sure as few people become wealthy and independent as they can.
RUSH: Walt in Garner Valley, California, it’s great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, this is your buddy Walt. Last time I talked to you I got you all excited. And it’s kinda funny that you’re excited before you take me on the phone.
CALLER: But I just wanted to say, people that are rich should be able to keep their money. I’m not rich. It’s not right and I’m tired of the government, this class warfare, and I wanted to say real quick: You know, I had to retire at 50, and there are jobs out there, you gotta ‘cowboy up’ and do ’em. And what I do for fun is I deejay. I was gonna make some money on it but mostly volunteer stuff. You’ll remember who I am when I get done.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You do volunteer deejay work?
RUSH: Is that what it’s come to now?
CALLER: Pardon me?
RUSH: Is that what it’s come to now, deejay work is volunteer work?
CALLER: Well, this is for fundraisers, for the Lions Club, for some churches in the community. I did something, I did a thing for the Pendleton Marine Corps on the beach. I played music for the VFWs.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: I’m the guy that asked you to come out in the Support the Troops thing and you said you couldn’t do it put I might be doing another one for the Marine Corps at Pendleton. Could you come out for that one?
RUSH: Camp Pendleton?
CALLER: Camp Pendleton, sir.
RUSH: I —
CALLER: Hey, you know what? People in this country whine and cry, and these kids are putting their lives on the line.
CALLER: After I did that thing on the beach I came home and I was depressed because all of these young kids are going over to Afghanistan and Iraq — and I’m not against the war, but they’re all gentlemen, and beautiful women. They were all just great kids. They’re heroes in my book.
RUSH: Oh, the least you can do is deejay for ’em. I know.
CALLER: Yeah. I made their day. I mean, they were great.
RUSH: That they are.
CALLER: But if you do want to do it, come out. You just go out to Anza Circle K and ask for Big Walt, and you’ll find me, but we’d love to have you come out and talk.
RUSH: The Circle K in where?
CALLER: In Anza, California. Anybody that knows anybody goes to Circle K.
RUSH: In what California?
CALLER: Anza, east of Temecula.
RUSH: Ohhhh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Yeah.
CALLER: Yeah. Hey, and I give you a 98% approval rating.
CALLER: Two percent I don’t agree with.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: (laughing) But you’re a good guy.
RUSH: Thank you, Walt, very much. Appreciate it. Roger, Jacksonville, Florida, you’re next. Make it count. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, how’s it going, Rush? I got a question for you because I haven’t heard it out there in either TV or radio. It’s about the temporary job agencies, how they’re killing the job market, and I haven’t heard anything about that.
RUSH: I haven’t, either.
CALLER: Well, I was employed for 12 years with the same company. They opted to go with the temporary job agencies for the simple fact that they don’t have to pay benefits whenever they go to the temporary job agencies.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve heard of this.
CALLER: And job agencies is only charging like $15. Okay, so now if I want a job I have to go and sleep with the devil basically and not have any benefits or anything, and they’re not temporary because people are on it for three, four years. They don’t use ’em for temporary services.
RUSH: Well, there is an alternative.
RUSH: And that is get a job that a temp can’t do.
CALLER: Well, I’m 48, and I’m gonna go back to college and see what I can’t do there. But for right now, I’m 48; nobody wants to hire me for the business I was in.
RUSH: What was that?
CALLER: I was in warehouse business. I worked in a warehouse and I made almost a thousand dollars a week doing it, and they decided they was gonna downsize, basically, and got rid of the guys that had been there awhile and just hired a bunch of temps to come in and work for us. And now the company is making beaucoup bucks because they don’t have to pay benefits, paying less money. You know what I’m saying? And I’ve never heard anybody discuss this before.
RUSH: Well, I’m sure they have. People are discussing various aspects of this phenomenon all the time. What…? I’ve got 20 seconds. What do you think is the purpose of your company there?
CALLER: The purpose of the company was to make — for them to make more money and not have to pay benefits because of the health care plan ’cause that’s exactly what was told to me. They were scared of the health care plan, so that’s why they got rid of everybody and they don’t have to pay benefits.
RUSH: Soooooo! It all comes back to Obama. It didn’t happen before he showed up, did it?
RUSH: Who’s next? Dan in Albany. I’m glad you called, sir. Thank you for waiting and welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, Dan here, and mega dittos and we miss you here in New York, especially your tax revenue.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much. (laughing)
CALLER: Hey, I was talking to Snerdley, and I sell multiple products from gloves and abrasives into an industry that’s in dire need of people, and that is welders. Even though I’m a Penn State grad and have my MBA and things like that, it’s ironic that we have veered so far away from the trade. Believe it or not, we still do and make a ton of things in this country, and welding is a wonderful way to make a living working for someone; and with all the energy prices going up and the Marcellus Shale here in New York that’s going to come to fruition at some point in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and all the natural gas and Canada. There are not enough certified welders in this country. They are begging people to get in this industry, and easily if you’re working in your own business, the sky’s the limit — and if you want to work for somebody, it’s still a great paying job, and you’ll always have a job. Or I should say, ‘For the most part,’ as long as the demand’s there you’ll have a job.
RUSH: Well, what does it pay?
CALLER: It just depends. If you work for somebody, you know, with overtime and stuff like that you can be 50 plus. Down here in the state below us in Pennsylvania where I’m originally from it’s all Texas and Louisiana plates. It’s all people that are certified pipe welders from the gas industry down in Houston and Louisiana. There’s no one up here that can do it. These guys are all contractors probably making a hundred, 150 plus.
RUSH: Wait a minute. Are you telling me that people who live in Houston and Louisiana are traveling to New York for jobs?
CALLER: The work’s here, because of the natural gas line here in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.
RUSH: Wow. People really do that? They move for jobs?
CALLER: Yes, it’s surprising, isn’t it? Because I’m originally from Pennsylvania and been to Minnesota, and now New York. I like these liberal states.
RUSH: Well, what kind of training do you need to be a welder?
CALLER: Well, there are certain, you know, going to schools, you know, welding schools, and practice and getting hired and getting certified. There’s people that… It’s a whole step-by-step process. I don’t know exactly every step but I sell into it and I know they’re hurting for welders at all levels, from certified to just regular general fabrication shop.
RUSH: Well, I guarantee you there are people listening to this that are shocked.
CALLER: I know they are.
RUSH: What about…? Are you a union welder? You said you had an MBA. Are you a union welder?
CALLER: I don’t weld. I sell products to that market.
RUSH: Oh, you sell products. Well, okay. Okay. Do the unions make it hard to get into the welding business?
CALLER: No. Not really.
RUSH: They don’t?
CALLER: Here in New York, a lot of it is unionized, but the jobs are still here.
RUSH: Well, you have to do what you have to do if you want to work. What is it, between 14 and 20 bucks an hour, would you say is what a welder makes?
CALLER: I would say working for somebody, yeah, maybe even a little more, because of the unionization and not counting benefits on top of that — and then they can get overtime pretty much, you know, quite a bit. But what you don’t realize is most of these guys then have shops in their house or things like that that do work on the side. So at the end of the day I don’t know what their total revenue or income can be.
RUSH: Interesting. The sky’s the limit. I would never have thought that, because I don’t have any experience in that field, kind of work, but thanks for that tip. I appreciate it very much. That’s Dan in Albany.