RUSH: Okay, so the big budget deal, $38 and a half billion bucks. Thirty-eight and a half billion dollars. In and of itself, big whoop. Still real cuts, gotta give it that, $38 and a half billion dollars, okay. But here’s how we got there.
By the way, hi. I’m Rush Limbaugh. You know that, you love that. Some of you hate it, but you’re still here. The EIB Network and the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies, our telephone number is 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
So $38 and a half billion dollars in cuts. There’s a big story at The Hill today, and I’m gonna synthesize it here. I sent it to Snerdley. Snerdley was aghast, and you will be, too. Of the $38 and a half billion dollars in cuts, $12 billion in cuts from three previous stopgap continuing resolutions. In other words, old money. Twelve billion dollars of the 38 and a half came from old CRs, three stopgaps. Ten billion came from the previous continuing resolution. Now, we talked about this yesterday. It had been said that $10 billion of it was from a previous CR. We couldn’t find any documentation. We did overnight. And the number of real cuts in this continuing resolution that was agreed to on Friday night was $2 billion.
“House and Senate appropriators revealed details of the 2011 spending-cut deal early Tuesday morning, missing a self-imposed midnight deadline.” They were supposed to tell us at midnight last night. But they didn’t. They got it done early this morning. “In dueling press releases, House Republicans emphasized the magnitude of cuts they won in the six-month spending bill after marathon negotiations, while Senate Democrats emphasized cuts they were able to avoid or diminish. ‘Never before has any Congress made dramatic cuts such as those that are in this final legislation,’ (House) Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a statement. ‘The near $40 billion reduction in non-defense spending is nearly five times larger than any other cut in history, and is the result of this new Republican majority’s commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people’s money.’ The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), said in its release that some of the cuts would be ‘especially painful.'” This is a crock. Nobody’s gonna miss this!
“But it said the bill preserves ‘critical programs’ targeted by the original House-passed spending bill, including Head Start, Pell Grants and scientific and medical research programs.” Those were all maintained. “The vote on H.R. 1473 had initially been planned for Wednesday but was pushed back to Thursday in accordance with a new GOP rule that bills be on view for three calendar days before floor action. In total, the bill sets final 2011 spending levels at $1.049 trillion. This is a $78.5 billion decrease from Obama’s 2011 budget request and a $39.9 billion decrease from the $1.089 trillion 2010 spending bills, as enacted. Republicans had sought a $61 billion cut in spending, but negotiations with the Senate and White House scaled those demands back.”
Here’s how it’s reported word for word in the story: “The total cuts, which span nearly the entire federal government –” oh, wow. That’s sweeping sounding, isn’t it? “– include $12 billion in cuts through three stopgap continuing resolutions and $28 billion in new cuts. Compared to 2010 levels, there are big cuts to cherished Democratic-backed programs. The Women, Infants and Children nutrition program is cut $504 million, foreign food assistance by $194 million –” These are characterized as sweeping, major, my gosh, never, ever before seen cuts. These are accounting error type things. These are the kinda things the green eye shade guys miss after a long day in the office. “The Environmental Protection Agency is cut by $1.6 billion, a 16 percent reduction.” At any rate here, the bottom line is that $2 billion in cuts in this final continuing resolution is how we got to the 38, and some say it’s actually only 28.
Now, we move on to AP and also Politico, notice the tide now turning. At Politico, the story: “Barack Obama Gets More Credit in Budget Deal.” An AP story, this is a different reporter: “Budget Tricks Helped Obama Save Programs from Cuts — Details of last week’s hard-won agreement to avoid a government shutdown and cut federal spending by $38 billion were released Tuesday morning. They reveal that the budget cuts, while historic, were significantly eased by pruning money left over from previous years –” That’s the $12 billion “– using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.” So a lot of what was agreed to was what Obama had previously said he didn’t care anything about.
“Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs — Pell grants for poor college students, health research and ‘Race to the Top’ aid for public schools, among others — from Republican knives. And big holes in foreign aid and Environmental Protection Agency accounts were patched in large part. Republicans also gave up politically treacherous cuts to the Agriculture Department’s food inspection program. … Still, Obama and his Democratic allies accepted $600 million in cuts to a community health centers programs, $414 million in cuts to grants for state and local police departments.” All these things he had agreed to previously. There was nothing he had to be convinced of to cut along the lines of this talk.
And then there is Andrew Taylor from the Associated Press. Remember, now, this is supposed to be a news story. “A close look at the government shutdown-dodging agreement to cut federal spending by $38 billion reveals that lawmakers significantly eased the fiscal pain by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.” And I still love it, $38 billion, $1.6 billion, they’re categorized as unbelievably huge numbers and cuts, my God, it’s a miracle the nation will survive. Folks, I’m telling you we’re being scammed here like you can’t believe it. The thing is, we know it. None of us are surprised. I mean these cuts don’t even amount to a nick while shaving, if you want to get right down to it. Now, The Politico claims that for the last two years, all of Obama’s cuts are actually programs that Bush had also tried to cut. So I’m not sure who’s coming out the loser here. It says here that “such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs from Republican knives.”
So now the tide is turning, Obama the great savior. Not Obama got rolled, but Obama’s the great savior. “Obama Gets More Budget Deal Credit — Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they back the budget deal reached by the White House and congressional Republicans late last week, and are giving a bit more credit to President Barack Obama than they are to members of Congress from either party. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed over the weekend for a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday said they approve of the deal that includes $38.5 billion in spending cuts through the rest of fiscal 2011. … Support for the deal is stronger among Democrats. … Fifty-six percent of independents said they’re in favor of the deal. Overall, Americans give Obama and congressional Democrats more credit for making the deal happen, with 48 percent of those surveyed crediting them for the deal.
“House Speaker John Boehner, who many are identifying as the big winner in the negotiations, doesn’t get such positive marks from those surveyed: 41 percent approve of the job he’s doing, while 44 percent disapprove.” Fifty-six percent of independents support the deal. Obama and the Democrats are getting the credit and yet Boehner was the big winner all through the weekend. I wonder if our inside-the-Beltway intelligentsia guys who went for this spin over the weekend, that Boehner is the big winner, I wonder if they figured out how they were victimized. I wonder if they’ve figured out how they were used. But here’s a little observation, ladies and gentlemen. By the way, this poll is of 800 adults, not likely voters, not registered voters. I mean it could be adults from another planet. It’s a pretty wide swath here of supposed humanity.
But the real question I have here is one of the reasons for doing this was to win the PR battle. One of the reasons for avoiding the government shutdown, one of the reasons for not really pushing back and going hard was so that we didn’t end up being categorized and portrayed as the Newt gang was in 1994. And look what’s happening. We’re still being portrayed now as losers, after three days being winners, now as losers, and Obama saved the nation, Obama saved the country from these sharp Republican knives. And the American people understand and agree, and by 56% the independents understand it and agree. And the whole reason that we did this was to avoid after-the-fact coverage like this. As long as that is going to remain the motivation, the reason, the inspiration for our political actions, we’re always gonna end up on the short end of the stick because we’re never gonna win a PR press battle. I hope some of the intelligentsia who helped start this notion that Boehner and the Republicans were the big winners over the weekend, I hope you understand how you were used to set up today, the media coverage of last night and today.
To those of us outside the Beltway who I think a far greater perspective of how things happen there, what’s going on there, all this is totally predictable, totally understandable. I mean I could even give you examples if I wanted to make a fool of myself of my early years of my career. I could give you examples of how I used to do, not many, but before I learned the lay of the land, I did things to try to get positive press coverage. I did things to try to engender the kind of coverage that I saw everybody else getting. It never worked and it was never going to work, and there’s nothing I could have done to make it work in a lasting way because I’m a conservative. At the end of the day I’m always gonna be an enemy. I’m always gonna have to be trounced.
I’ll just tell you. And H.R., you’re gonna get a phone call on this and you gotta tell the guy who calls you — you know him — you gotta tell him this is not about him. There’s a famous magazine that did a profile of me early on, and I love the reporter, and I still do, and this guy kept telling me, “You know, once this is out, you’re gonna be on the Hamptons invitation list. You’re gonna cross the new boundary. You’re gonna step over that line. You’re gonna have a whole new kinda world open up. After that ABC does a profile of you, 20/20,” and it never did. It’s not the reason I did it, but this was one of the lures, one of the things that was held out. So I’ve been there, done that. I’ve had this carrot dangled in front of me. And it wasn’t that I wanted it, I was just, you know, early years trying to figure this out. Gosh, I wish there had been somebody to advise me. I wish there had been somebody to tell me what I know now. There were people that knew it. They just didn’t tell me or didn’t want to tell me or didn’t think it was important or what have you.
So I learned it by doing, and that’s why I have a full-fledged understanding of the left and the media and knowing full well why, for example, to put it in different terms, if you’re gonna have a debate, have a negotiation on the budget, and if your objective is, when it’s all over, to have the press say great things about you, you’re gonna get skunked because you’re gonna do something not aimed at the real objective, which is cutting spending, which is reducing the deficit, which is tackling this out of control direction the government’s going. If you’re aiming for positive press coverage or if you’re aiming for coverage that’s not gonna be excoriating you’re gonna lose every which way from Sunday. You’re gonna lose at negotiations and you’re gonna lose in the press coverage ultimately. And you’re gonna lose your base at the same time. Gonna lose your people. In my case I woulda lost my audience and the elected arena. You lose your voters.
So it’s frustrating to sit here and watch. You try to share the benefit of your experience, the benefit of your wisdom. And all of this is just, in a way, sadly predictable. So now the stories are out not just The Politico, no, it’s the people. Fifty-six percent of independents, man, Obama saved the government. And what was the alternative? What was the big fear? Well, we’re gonna shut down the government. “Rush, if we shut down the government they’re gonna hate us. Remember 1995? We can’t shut down the government, my God, we got creamed.” No, you didn’t. You picked up two seats in the Senate, ’96 elections. You did not lose the House. And, yeah, Clinton was reelected, you lost the PR battle, but you didn’t lose anything substantively. “Ah, can’t shut down the government.” So many Republicans said, “I’m not gonna relive 1995.” Well, we’re practically reliving 1995 in the sense of the post-event press coverage now, plus the relative minuscule amount of dollars that have been cut.
RUSH: Now, folks, it’s not all sweetness and light and roses out there on the left. For example this AP story, if I read the whole thing — I’ve read portions of it to you; I’m not gonna read the whole thing because it’s kinda disjointed — I’m having trouble figuring what the motive is. There’s always a motive to State-Controlled Media, and I’m as good as anybody at reading the stitches on a fastball, but I don’t know if the primary purpose of their piece here is to reassure Obama’s base that Boehner did not win after all (I mean, the headline is, “Obama Prevents Budget Cuts to Favorite Programs”) or if they’re trying to turn the Tea Party against Boehner. (interruption)
What are you saying in there? What are you shouting?
I think Tea Party’s already kind of lined up against the leadership right now. I don’t think AP is needed for that job. But, nevertheless, some liberals are not happy over this historic budget deal, and even more of them are unhappy over the performance of the Great Pharaoh, Baraka Abu Oumama, however Khadafy pronounces his name. The Politico is reporting that among Democrats there’s real unhappiness that Obama has not done more to address the consequences of what Democrats fear is gonna become a steady erosion in funds for government programs. The Democrats think this is the first step, there’s more to come — and they are paranoid.
There’s also another story. The press is ecstatic, by the way: Obama is ready to renege on his four-month-old pledge to leave the Bush tax cuts alone. In his speech tomorrow night Obama’s gonna talk about raising taxes. The press is happy about that. Now, the liberals over at Salon.com are vociferous. Andrew Leonard said he finds it sickening to hear Obama and Harry Reid declare the budget deal as “historic,” ’cause they’re looking at it as a gamble with an unknown outcome. I feel like I’m from Mars. I really feel like I’m surrounded by aliens on a planet I’ve never been to before.
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