RUSH: You may have heard of a guy by the name of Sam Zell. Those of you who are in the investment markets and follow real estate no doubt have heard of Sam Zell. By the way, for the Reverend Jackson and Ralph Nader: There is a revolution already underway. It’s called the Tea Party? Hee-hee-hee-hee. You guys have missed the boat. You know, their ship came in and they were at the airport. The Tea Party is well underway. Sam Zell is the current owner of Tribune Media, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. I don’t know what the status is, but he’s the guy who bought them. Sam Zell used to head up (one of his many holdings) Jacor Communications, which for a brief time was the syndication partner of this program, the EIB Network. Mr. Zell’s 80 years old, I think. He’s close to it. He lives in Chicago. He’s in his seventies, I believe. He lives in Chicago, and appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box today. His umbrella company is Equity Investments, and he’s the chairman, and they had him on this program. The guest panel is this New York Times business correspondent Andrew Ross Sorkin, and he’s there appearing with the two hosts and hostette on this program, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, guest panelist the New York Times, asked Zell, ‘If you could do one or two things right now to create some of that stability in the marketplace you’re talking about, what would you do first?’
ZELL: Repeal Obamacare first. I’d repeal Dodd-Frank second. I’ll tell the American people that we’re in tough times and we gotta hunker down and we gotta go forward — and we go forward slowly, predictably with lots and lots of conversation. Think about how much conversation and how much in hearings occurred as a result of these two bills that are just monstrosities.
RUSH: His point is there was no conversation; there were no hearings. The normal route and path taken in order to pass legislation in this country did not happen. They might have had some hearings on the financial regulatory reform bill, but not much. But there was none on health care. I mean, they literally rammed that through. There were no hearings, there was no meaningful conversations. That was simply a jam-it-through kind of job, and that’s the thing he’s talking about. So those two bills are monstrosities. Now, this next bite is fascinating because Andrew Ross Sorkin says, ‘Those are more important…?’ They look at Zell, they see in Republican conservative industrialist — although I don’t think he is but that’s how they see him — and, of course, Andrew Ross Sorkin from the New York Times working with the template (here comes this big investor, real estate holder, all this) and they think the thing to out of his mouth would be tax cuts. So Andrew Ross Sorkin, ‘Wait a minute! You think repealing Obamacare the financial regulatory reform bill is more important than taxes?’
ZELL: Absolutely. It’s the uncertainty of: ‘I’m an employer. I employ thousands of people. What are my costs gonna be tomorrow?’ I certainly don’t believe the BS that ‘deficit reduction.’ I went to Congress lobbying last year for the real estate industry three weeks before the passage of the health care bill. I asked the simple question to the first guy I met, and I said: ‘What about the 11th year? You guys have constructed this health care bill with six years of costs and ten years of revenue. What about the 11th year?’ and the guy looked at me and said, ‘I’m 80.’ I rest my case. You know, that’s… that’s… You wanna get scared.
RUSH: Let me explain to you. Zell’s looking at the ten-year health care bill; he sees what we’ve explained here — they got ten years of revenue, six years of benefits, to make it come in under a trillion dollars — and Zell says, ‘Okay, what happens in year 11?’ and this congressman who was intimately involved in creating it says, ‘I don’t care. I’m 80. It doesn’t matter to me.’ Those were not his words, but that’s how Zell interpreted it. ‘I dunno. I’m 80 years old.’ So his point being that this particular guy (who was very close and very actively involved in this) was not looking long term, had no concern for the impact on the country. It was just the latest piece of Democrat legislation to come down the pike and had to get passed — and it’s like state pensions: ‘I don’t care, I’m not gonna be around. I’m not gonna be around to deal with whatever happens here.’ So then one of the cohosts, Carl Quintanilla says, ‘Well, how much capital would be unlocked if it were repealed or if the court decided to knock it down?’ meaning health care.
ZELL: The future of the economy is all incremental. You can’t say, ‘Well, there’s gonna be $40 billion released or not released.’ It’s incremental. It’s every day business decisions. ‘Do I hire somebody else? Do I hire this? Do I open a new branch? Do I enter a new country?’ All those things require a level of confidence in the future, and more important — of equal importance — is predictability. Predictability. ‘Cause we’re being asked to bet on tomorrow. The government’s responsibility is to make the knowledge necessary to reduce the risk to us, and everybody else, of having to make those decisions.
RUSH: They don’t care about those decisions. Obama looks at the private sector as simply a golden goose: ‘Go do what you do, and we’re gonna take as much from you as we can every year. The incidentals of that are not of interest to us.’ So here you’ve got a guy talking about what he has to do to run his business and plan for it in the future — what role, unfortunately, government plays in this — and they’re gumming up the works. Their legislation, the two big pieces, are monstrosities. They’re not solving at any level the whole question of the ability to plan in the future. Nobody knows what the future holds. Like this guy, 80 years old, asked on health care: What about the 11th year? ‘I don’t care, I’m 80.’ So Zell is saying, ‘We can’t make long-term plans here. We don’t know what you guys are doing! We don’t know what we’re going to do. You don’t know what you’re doing.’ Zell’s essentially telling them they don’t know how business operates; they don’t even seem concerned about how it operates. Joe Kernen, the other cohost, says: ‘So you think that health care and Dodd-Frank,’ that’s financial regulatory reform, ‘are more important to repeal than it is to get this repatriated earnings from the tax structure that we have corporations?’
ZELL: These two pieces of legislation were extraordinarily poorly drafted, were rammed through a one-party Congress. It’s causing havoc all over the place. I run a personal, family business — a family office. We’re literally dealing with the question right now of registering with the SEC for my family office. Why? What, is the SEC worried that I’m gonna go broke and they’re gonna — and I’m too big to fail? Doesn’t make any sense. But it’s a result of passing 2500-page bills that nobody’s read.
RUSH: Amen. So it’s a mess. There’s nothing improving. There are no adults running this show. There aren’t people who even care about it. All this talk about the economy reviving and coming back, the unemployment numbers doing their little dance or whatever they’re doing, what we’re hearing from people who make economic stability — who take the risk, who make the investments to create this floor stability — are telling us, whenever we’ll listen, that they see nothing worth investing in because they don’t know what the future holds. In fact, we’re dealing with two pieces of legislation that people don’t even really understand the content of. One of them, health care, in order for things to proceed right now, everybody has to be exempted from it! Waiver after waiver after waiver, otherwise businesses would go broke, bankrupt, fini, out of there. So you can understand somebody in Zell’s position or anybody else’s — small business, large business, doesn’t matter — here you’ve got a piece of legislation, health care, and in order to survive you’ve gotta seek a waiver from it? And as it is implemented, surprise after surprise after surprise?