RUSH: Have you seen this poll out of CBS News? It’s amazing. Most Americans oppose cutting funding for health care reforms. Do you believe that? I don’t believe it, either. So we dug deep out there. We dug deep in this poll to find out what the samples were, and here you go. There were 1,031 respondents in the sample. The total Republicans: 298; the total Democrats: 345, and the total independents, 388. Folks, you don’t even have to read the article. All you have to do is look at the actual way that this thing has been sampled. It was 28% Republicans, 32% Democrat, and 40% independent, and they didn’t stop there. They weighted the poll to give the Republicans even less of a say, same thing that they always do, and therefore they’re able to come up with a poll result: ‘Most oppose cutting funding for health care reform.’ This is all just a game. Everything in Washington is just a game.
There is a Politico story today: ‘Has Obama Set GOP Entitlement Trap?’ They’re all concerned, is Obama gonna really snooker Boehner here on this budget proposal? Is Obama just gonna play these guys like a Stradivarius? Meanwhile, we are looking at the utter bankruptcy of our country down the road and these people in Washington in the press corps look at this as just a game. ‘Senior congressional Democrats were plenty nervous on the eve of President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget presentation, fretting that Obama would suddenly gain his nerve and decide to take on the issue … of entitlement reform. They needn’t have worried. White House officials assured their friends on the Hill that Obama wouldn’t broach the subject, Democrats told Politico, and on Monday when he presented his budget the president conspicuously avoided addressing entitlements, despite citing them as the country’s major fiscal problem. … With Obama refusing to offer his own plan for entitlements, congressional Republicans — as the president noted — rushed in to fill the vacuum.’ Talking about entitlement cuts. Is this the trap? Has Obama brilliantly outsmarted these guys once again? Oh, oh. The DC press corps so hopes so.
Obama in his news conference: ‘I was glad to see yesterday Republican leaders say, ‘How come you didn’t talk about entitlements?’ I think that’s progress.’ ‘One senior Democratic congressional aide of the House GOP plans to release the first detailed proposals to reduce entitlement spending. ‘They are suckers. They have painted themselves into a corner.” Obama didn’t mention entitlements, Republicans rush in to fill a vacuum, and the Democrat congressional aide says they are suckers. ‘When asked whether he was abrogating his responsibility to lead, Obama replied, ‘This is not a matter of you go first or I go first. This is a matter of … ultimately getting in that boat at the same time so it doesn’t tip over.’ But Obama isn’t anywhere near the water’s edge yet,’ much yet the boat. ‘Most Democrats … have no intention of jumping into the debate anytime soon. When asked what Obama should do when the GOP releases its proposal, one Democratic aide, snapped: ‘Nothing.” Just let the Republicans sink, ’cause after all, they are suckers. Glenn Thrush at Politico, the stenographer here on the story about the game, it’s all just a big game, everything looked at through the eyes of Obama, just like our old buddy Nic Robertson from CNN reporting from the belly of the beast in Egypt about what the people there think of Obama.
Now, we have a crisis here. I think everybody that pays attention to this realizes we have a debt crisis. Do you realize Bush’s first budget, $2 trillion, it’s almost doubled now. And when it comes to budget cuts, we’ve still got some tweezers, and we’re picking scabs on the margins of all this. We’re not getting into the nuts and bolts. I don’t even mean before you get to entitlements. You’re talking about a $3.7 trillion budget. Even cutting a hundred billion, yeah, it’s a cut, I mean it’s a start, but folks, it really isn’t much. We have a genuine crisis here. When Lincoln faced a crisis — they said Obama’s the next Lincoln, he’s the next Reagan, he’s the next JFK, he’s the next Hoover, he’s the next whoever — when Abraham Lincoln faced a crisis that shook the country, did he ignore it? Did the press run around marveling at the games Lincoln set for his opponents, or the traps? Did Lincoln bait Congress into dealing with slavery for his own political gain? No, he didn’t. Yet we’re told that Obama’s the next Lincoln. Lincoln didn’t punt on the biggest issue of the day and try to set up a trap. FDR didn’t punt after Pearl Harbor in 1941. He didn’t wait for Congress to tell him to declare war after Pearl Harbor. Well, FDR set traps elsewhere, but on things of crisis magnitude, he was there.
Truman didn’t wait for Congress regarding the Marshall Plan. JFK didn’t wait on Congress to push tax cuts to the moon program. Reagan didn’t wait for Congress to dig the economy out of the Carter mess. None of these presidents who have had greatness attached to them or to various things that they’ve done did not punt on matters of real importance. They didn’t sit around and set traps and then chuckle about it with their friends in the press corps. George W. Bush did not punt on economic recovery or dealing with the acts of terrorism after 9/11, or Social Security reform. He attempted to tackle this. But punting, voting ‘present’ and then have your slavish media write stories about, ‘Has Obama set an entitlement trap for the Republicans?’ Dealing with things is not the Obama way. Obama uses the biggest issue of the day as a political trap. And everybody knows what Obama’s doing with the budget and entitlements. This is a small, petty political animal who puts his own needs above all the others. He’s a trillionaire.
Barack Obama is the first trillionaire in American history. He treats the federal budget as his personally. I’m not talking about the Air Force One trips and the vacations and stuff. He uses the federal budget as his own money — well, look, that’s not the way to put it. But he thinks it’s all his money to spend and do with whatever he wants. If you want to rail against the rich, you gotta put Obama at the top of the list there, the first trillionaire, lives high off of our tax dollars. Food prices. Have you seen the wholesale price index? It’s up. The inflation everybody feared, it’s here. It has been for a while, actually. Now it’s showing up in the official measurements. Food prices and shortages are causing a lot of the upheaval around the world. People in Washington want it to be something else. They want it to be an uprising for freedom, an uprising for democracy, an uprising for all the wonderful things, but it’s largely to do with food prices, shortages, a number of other things.
By the way, 95% of the American media oppose defunding Obamacare. That ought to tell you where we are in this. Ninety-five percent of the media oppose defunding and they’re running polls here that say the majority of Americans oppose cutting funding, which is ridiculous. Clothing prices are gonna go up 10% in the spring. Cotton primarily is the culprit. But natural fibers along with synthetic fibers, prices are on the rise. Inflation is starting to settle in. And we still, everything’s looked at through the prism of Obama and is he winning, will he shellac the Republicans, will he once again humiliate and embarrass the Republicans?
This is from The Politico piece: ‘Under pressure from about a hundred conservatives –‘ after the Democrat congressional aide says the Republicans are suckers for being sucked into a discussion on entitlements, ‘Under pressure from about 100 conservatives to tackle the issue — possibly through a new privatization plan that was part of the party’s midterm blueprint — the GOP leadership knows it is taking the first bite of a wormy political apple. ‘None of the options polls well,’ lamented one Republican insider.’ Imagine Lincoln saying that. None of these options poll very well. ‘Democrats are likely to portray whatever the GOP produces as the Son of Privatization.’ The Democrats are running around predicting, almost hoping, for a shutdown. In fact, if you look at what Obama’s doing he’s planning for one. All the Democrats are gearing up for a government shutdown. They think that this is the way to get themselves back on top and to set the narrative as it has always been. We got Pelosi saying Republican policies hurt women and children the hardest. The cliches are everywhere. The old playbook has not been updated. It’s all they know to go to and they fail to understand the mind of the public. They fail to understand just how insistent the public is that all this be gotten control of.
RUSH: As far as the media look at it everything Obama is doing is a game. We have audio sound bites. They’re trying to play the Clinton game again. Last night on television, Howard Fineman appeared to talk about the president vetoing the plan, the Republican spending plan and so forth. ‘What’s going on here, Howard?’
FINEMAN: What’s gonna happen is the House Republicans will pass Draconian cuts. The Senate, which is still controlled by the Democrats, will not accept it. Then you’ve got a situation coming up on March 4th about whether the government is gonna shut down for lack of funds for this year. The government could shut down! The president is anticipating that and trying to get ahead of the politics of it. That’s what’s going on.
RUSH: Okay. ‘So you think the president’s already given up too much of the budget this year, Howard?’
FINEMAN: It’s very interesting to watch. As you say: Offense on this year, defense on next year. Because, yes, he’s trying to reach independent voters. The progressives see that, and they think that things are going in a bad direction for them. They think it’s bad now, they think it’s gonna get worse for them down the road, and they’re right.
RUSH: So, you see be the whole thing here is a game — and all of you who voted in November, this isn’t a game. This is real. This is your future, this is your kids’ future, this is the future of the country as you know it. And now you hear the press willingly, almost admiringly praise Obama for coming up with this brilliant game to get the Republicans to go first on entitlements just like Bush went first on Social Security, proving that the Republicans don’t care about the little guy and the elderly and the sick. They want to kill ’em all! They want to get them out of the homes that they live in and the hospitals and so forth and so on. You know, Shakespeare said, ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.’ Obama is the last of these. The media is doing its best to force greatness upon Obama, because there is no greatness, no genuine greatness. But you hear Fineman and all these other people, Glenn Thrush, ‘Is Obama really spinning a web to trap these Republicans? What a great guy!’
They’re thrusting it on him. He hasn’t earned any of it.
RUSH: There’s more on this budget cutting stuff. Washington Post: ‘House Speaker John Boehner dismissed concerns Tuesday about the potential for federal job cuts, saying he thinks the government can’t afford to keep so many workers. The Ohio Republican was asked at his weekly news conference about the prospect of federal job cuts if a House GOP plan to trim $100 billion in government spending passes. ‘Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs,’ Boehner said. ‘And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We’re broke. It’s time for us to get serious about how we’re spending the nation’s money.’ The reporter who asked the question noted, however, that the government might have to pay federal unemployment assistance to laid-off workers, potentially adding more costs. … ‘If this is the attitude of Speaker John Boehner when it comes to saving existing jobs, it’s no surprise he’s moving forward with Draconian spending cuts that will cost even more,’ said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.’
Democrats are howling. This is exactly what they want. This is what they are setting up. They think that this is gonna redound to their benefit like it did in 1995. They think that all of these federal budget cuts the Republicans propose are gonna come back and just ruin Republican electoral chances. They haven’t the slightest understanding of where the public is on this.
Dana Milbank, also in the Washington Post, he’s got a column here on what Boehner is doing. (paraphrasing) ‘The dirty truth is that Boehner would stall the economy to help Republicans in 2012 with federal layoffs.’ Yeah. So the Republicans, whatever they’re doing here is designed to slow down the economy ’cause that will help them in their election efforts in 2012. How do you stall an economy that isn’t moving? How in the world do you write a piece that the Republicans want to stall the economy when we’ve had two years of a president who has taken aim at the economy? And he has hit the bull’s-eye, for crying out loud. No economic growth, now inflation is settling in. There aren’t any new jobs. Spending is through the roof. The deficits are rising.
The reality is there’s no way to pay off this debt that we are in now, there’s literally no way it will ever be paid off. There has to be another objective. The economy is not moving. There is no recovery. Still hasn’t started. And yet the Republicans are trying to stall the economy for their own election benefit in 2012. It just isn’t gonna play, Mr. Milbank. You guys, this is 2011. This is not 1995. It’s not 1980. You’re dealing with a public that is far more informed than you think because they know what you’re not reporting. They know what you’re not telling them. They already know it and your attempts to effect their negative outreach here is not going to work.
RUSH: Let me put this in perspective. Eight hundred billion dollars in stimulus spending wasted. Not one dime in return for it. A hundred billion dollars in cuts. One-eighth of it is a disaster? Come on, media. Get with it. You’re better than this.
RUSH: Rolling Meadows, Illinois, this is John. Thank you for calling, sir. You’re next on the Rush Limbaugh program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s an honor to talk to you. I’ve been listening to you since before you had a toll-free number.
RUSH: (laughing) We did. I remember we did not have a toll-free number when we started.
RUSH: We made the callers pay. That’s right.
CALLER: The reason I’m calling was to add on to what you said earlier about we added 200,000 new bureaucrats in Washington, and John Boehner says on cutting that: If some people lose their jobs, then so be it.
RUSH: So be it.
CALLER: Well, Nancy Baloney turned around and took bits and pieces of it, made it sound like he was talking about the general public and said maybe — her quote — you know, so be it so I am but not for the people who are losing their jobs. She made no mention that it was bureaucrats, and that just ticked me off so much. I was just aggravated beyond control.
RUSH: It’s the same thing. You remember how the Democrats took Newt Gingrich out of context when he was talking about Medicare, and they claimed that he wanted Medicare to ‘wither on the vine.’ They made a TV commercial out of it, and it was not at all what he was talking about. Look, what you heard Pelosi say, the Newt example I gave you, is more evidence that there’s not a shred of honesty associated with liberalism. They can’t be honest about what they believe, they can’t be honest about their agenda, and they have to lie about ours. Pure and simple. And that’s what Pelosi was doing. They’re at their wits’ end. They’re trying to recapture power using an old playbook and an old series of templates.
Here’s what Pelosi said, by the way. She said, ‘Just today, Speaker Boehner said that if jobs are lost as a result of Republican spending cuts, ‘So be it.’ So be it?’ Pelosi, D-Calif., asked incredulously. ‘Democrats do not subscribe to Speaker Boehner’s verdict that if jobs are lost in this Continuing Resolution, ‘So be it.’ Maybe ‘So be it’ for him. But not ‘So be it’ for the people who are losing their jobs. Instead, we support President Obama’s budget to ‘out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” There’s no such thing in Obama’s budget as any out-anything. The only thing we’re outdoing is out-debting anybody else, including the Western European social democracies, but he was talking about…
The thing she’s leaving out here, and it’s pretty important: Since Obama was inaugurated, 200,000 federal workers have been hired. Two hundred thousand bureaucrats have been hired. Boehner simply is saying (paraphrased): ‘Look, if some of these people lose their jobs as a result of trying to get the budget under control, so be it.’ Ms. Pelosi, how many millions of Americans have lost their jobs because of your policies over the years, and Obama’s? For crying out loud! Your policies have led to unemployment — and if not by design, then it’s even worse. It’s by virtue of stupidity! So they create this mess, the mess has to be fixed, and the people that roll up their sleeves and try to fix it are gonna be tarred and feathered as the mean-spirited extremists.
Part and parcel. As I say, it’s the same page from the same playbook over and over and over again. There’s a difference this time. The general public is far more informed and educated than even Pelosi is about what’s going on in this country. They are far more educated about what the Constitution says than is Pelosi. They are far more informed than average journalists are about what is happening in this country. Now, we’ve had people that work for government who call here. These 200,000 jobs that Obama created in the federal government are high-level jobs. Obama’s out there hiring top-level bureaucrats. Pelosi claimed being unemployed is great for the economy, remember that? She talked about employment benefits being a great boon.
Unemployment benefits stimulate economic activity! Remember that? So why is she worried that some people might lose their jobs? It was Pelosi running around saying unemployment is good, because unemployment benefits are paid. (summarized) ‘Unemployed benefits allow entrepreneurs. Artists don’t have the worry about health care and benefits associated with jobs now. They can go ahead and sit in their pajamas in their basement and draw on their canvases and be totally creative and not have to worry about anything.’ So unemployment was good. Unemployment compensation was great! It was an economic stimulus. It freed the creative juices. Now, all of a sudden, she’s dead set opposed to it. Well, we know the answer to all this is that every bit of what she says is calculated political garbage.