RUSH: Let’s go back to the audio sound bites. Jim Moran — just discovered this today — this is Jim Moran, congressman from Virginia.
MORAN: We have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards means of redistributing wealth. And they may be able to sustain that for a while, but it doesn’t work in the long run.
RUSH: Okay, now I want to work that long. They want to keep what they earn, what a simplistic view. So yesterday morning on MTV’s Ask Obama special, the correspondent was Sway Calloway, and here’s the question. ‘If your desire is to spread the wealth around, what incentive is there for me to try to work hard? If I’m only going to get more taken away from me the more money I make, why wouldn’t I just slide into a life of relaxation and let rich people take care of me? And a lot of people are asking similar questions, and I wanted you to specify, what does this mean, exactly?’
OBAMA: What’s amazing to me is — is this whole notion that somehow, uh, that everybody’s just looking out for themselves. The fact is we just talked about student loans. When young people who have the drive and the skill to go to college can’t afford to go to college, how do you think we pay for scholarships or loan programs? That money doesn’t grow on trees; it’s gotta come from somewhere. And the attitude that I have is that if we want to grow our economy, the way it grows is from the bottom up. You don’t just give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. What you do is you make sure that the tax code is fair.
RUSH: Now, look, not only is this dangerous, it’s incoherent. I’m going to take this line by line, as they say. This is incoherent. ‘What is amazing to me is this whole notion that somehow everybody’s just looking out for themselves.’ That’s the essence of the country. He says selfishness, but self-interest is looking out for yourself. Self-interest provides for your family. Self-interest thus elevates the economic standard of your community. Selfishness is hoarding. There are already people paying confiscatory taxes, you little squirrel. This was a country founded on the concept of the individual, rugged individualism, the individual is unique. We are all different from one another, but we are working toward the same objectives, off of the same principles. Some do better than others, and those that don’t do as well we have a history of taking care of them, but in the process we have destroyed many of them, because we have destroyed their ambition.
‘When young people who have the drive and the skill to go to college can’t afford to go to college, how do you think we pay for scholarships or loan programs?’ Well, let me take a stab at this. You worked for the Annenberg Foundation. Through Bill Ayers, you little squirrel, you ended up with $90 to $100 million, or maybe it was $150 million to play with, to try to improve education. Where do you think that money came from? The Annenberg Foundation, with their wealth, started a charitable foundation, and they doled out money to where they thought would do some good or for whatever political reason. You yourself used money donated, donated, donated, donated by wealthy people. The second thing, where do scholarships come from? Have you ever heard of alumni? You may not know this, Obama, but how many alumni endow various universities with tremendous amounts of money? Where do they get that money? They’ve either inherited it or they’ve earned it or whatever, but they donate it, Obama. Have you donated anything to Harvard or Columbia, sir? Now, the student loan program, yeah, that comes from tax receipts. What is this magic that everybody who wants to go to college should be able to go? Where does this stop? Everybody wants a Mercedes so they should be able to get one. Everybody wants a house on the beach so they should get one. Where does this stop?
I am amazed at this whole notion somebody just looking out for themselves? It grows from the bottom up? It’s not from the bottom up economically. It’s not possible for anything to grow from the bottom up economically, Obama. The way people in the lower income quintiles move up is through work and earning money, not through transfers of wealth, Obama. If transfers of wealth made people rich, there wouldn’t be any welfare in this country, there wouldn’t be any welfare recipients in this country, there wouldn’t be any homeless. From the bottom up? Tell me what poor person did you apply for a grant for someday? What poor person ever hired you? I take it back. He’s never had a job. Sway Calloway then says to Barack Obama, ‘Just out of curiosity, for those that are being taxed, making more than $250 grand a year, how much difference would it be from how much they’re being taxed today?’
OBAMA: Right now they’re getting taxed at 36%. Under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, they were taxed at 39.6%. You’re talking about a 3.6% difference. And for, you know, uh, the average person, uh, who is making half a million, a million dollars, you know, people like you, Sway, you know that —
CALLOWAY: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
OBAMA: That’s — that’s chump change. That’s nothing. But it could make a big difference for that young person who’s trying to figure out whether they can go to college or not if we can give them more of a break or give them scholarships or grants —
RUSH: Obama, this is horrible. They’re not paying taxes. College students are not paying taxes. Giving them a tax cut is not going to mean anything. Did he really mean to say this, the average person making a half million or million dollars? He actually said that? Or is he talking about the average person who makes? It’s chump change? See, your money, it doesn’t matter to you. Your money is not yours, it’s his, and he’s gonna determine how much need. Chump change. This line, ‘I never got a tax cut, I never even asked for a tax cut,’ the Clintons loved to throw that line around. So this is who we’re electing. This is who people want to go vote for. And his way doesn’t work. By the way, he’s right about one thing, the 36% top rate now is going to go to 39.6, that will happen when the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010. That will be before Obama’s other tax increases that he has announced and that he has planned.
RUSH: One other thing about this Obama sound bite with Sway Calloway on MTV. When he admits that taxes, when the Bush tax cuts expire are going to go back up at the top income earners from 36 to 39.6% to be what they were during Clinton, it just hit me. Do you know what that means? I’m pretty sure that the top rate during Clinton was on all income above 150 or $153,000, something like that. So that means is that Joe Biden was right! (laughing) Biden was right. All it takes is you have to be $150,000 or more, and in 2010 your rate’s going to go up almost four percentage points, from 36 to 39.6. Not 250, not 220, not 200. It looks like it’s around 153.
RUSH: Neil Cavuto yesterday afternoon on Fox had on New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez and just destroyed Menendez on taxes. Cavuto said, ‘The fact of the matter is when Reagan took office he was bringing all tax rates down, Barack Obama would be bringing a couple of key ones up, I’m talking about income taxes, senator.’
MENENDEZ: When he makes the comment that he would be lower than Ronald Reagan, it’s true. For middle class income tax individual tax rates he’d be at 4.3%. Ronald Reagan at its lowest was around 9.3%. And when you talk about capital gains taxes for families making over $250,000, you would be about 20% versus Ronald Reagan’s 28%.
CAVUTO: Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re talking — no, no, no, no. You’re doing it again.
MENENDEZ: — individuals in the country, ultimately a thousand-dollar tax break.
CAVUTO: Senator, I’m not interested in a stump speech. I’m interested in some facts.
MENENDEZ: It’s not a stump speech. I’m giving you facts.
CAVUTO: The fact of the matter is — no, no, no. The fact of the matter is you are equating a 20% capital gains rate with what some in passing could assume is the new top rate. The new top rate would rise to close to 40% under President Obama, when with Ronald Reagan he lowered that from in excess of 70% to 28%.
RUSH: Now, listen to this next bite and see if you think that New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez knows the difference between income tax rates and capital gains rates.
MENENDEZ: Middle-class families making over $250,000 a year would be at a tax rate of 20% —
RUSH: Hold it, hold it, hold it, recue that. Hold it a minute. Obama’s calling them ‘the rich,’ $250,000 and up is ‘the rich.’ Menendez, ‘middle class family making over $250 grand a year.’ So Menendez is out there saying the middle class is going to get a tax increase. Here it is again. You see if he knows the difference between the two types of taxes.
MENENDEZ: Middle class families making over $250,000 a year would be at a tax rate of 20%. Ronald Reagan had it at 28%. That’s significant difference.
CAVUTO: What tax rate, Senator? Are you talking capital gains?
MENENDEZ: Capital gains tax rate.
CAVUTO: All right, I’m talking the one rate that you guys seem to be ignoring. Ronald Reagan reduced that one, the big enchilada, the top rate from an excess of 70% under Jimmy Carter down to 28%. Now, that’s the rate I’m talking about. Barack Obama is going to take that rate —
MENENDEZ: And make it 20%.
CAVUTO: Now at about 30 — no, no, no, no. Senator, do you know these numbers?
MENENDEZ: I do.
CAVUTO: It’s 35% now. He’s going to bring it up to 39.6%. To bring it back, Senator, I’m talking the top marginal rate.
MENENDEZ: I am talking about families — maybe you want to talk about different families. I’m talking about families making over $250,000, they would be paying a 20% capital gains rate versus 28% under Ronald Reagan.
CAVUTO: Okay, well, that’s what you just stated —
MENENDEZ: — families in this country —
CAVUTO: God bless you, you answered my question.
RUSH: So what this guy is trying to say is that Obama’s capital gains rate is going to be less than Reagan’s capital gains rate, Reagan’s was 28 and Obama’s is going to be 20. Now, the capital gains rate — what is it now, 15 or 20? Now I’m getting confused with all these breaks. No, it doesn’t matter. The point is he’s going to raise it, and Obama is so stupid about this, he thinks that you can make the capital gains tax rate progressive as well. Menendez clearly doesn’t understand the difference in the two. And he’s trying to convince Cavuto here that the capital gains rate under Obama will be lower than the marginal income tax rate under Ronaldus Magnus. Finally, Cavuto here, trying to be polite and understanding, has had enough. He finally says, ‘The 95% that you say are going to get a tax break under an Obama administration, do you recognize that half of those people don’t pay income taxes at all?’
MENENDEZ: No, I don’t recognize that, and the bottom line is I don’t know where you’re extrapolating that from. The bottom line is —
CAVUTO: Senator, this scares me because you are a prominent United States senator.
MENENDEZ: — 95% of all working families, of 95% of all working families making under $200,000 a year would get a thousand-dollar tax break.
CAVUTO: Senator, God bless you, I give up. You just wore me out, but I’d love to have you back, but I’d love to show you the tax code and maybe you could take a peek at it.
RUSH: Clueless. Either that or he is just obfuscating and filibustering.
This is Nate, Indianapolis. Nate, you’re next as we head back to the phones on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. God bless you in all that you do.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, I’m 26 years old. I started becoming a landlord about three or four years ago. I just want to kind of illuminate what would happen if our tax rates go up to people renting, at least for me in my particular situation. I’m not a tax professional, but I’m just trying to describe to people, if I pay more taxes from my income, three or four percent, that takes money out of my pocket. Well, instead of doing that I’m just going to raise my rent three or four percent, which in turn affects all the tenants renting from me. So how the trickle down effect kind of happens is, you know, if you raise taxes on people like me, and I do not make $250,000 a year, I’ll say that right now, it’s going to affect the people that are the middle class, are the lower class, in more ways than one. I’m not a rocket scientist, but it’s pretty straightforward the trickle down effect to me.
RUSH: Well, let me tell you something. I appreciate your call. I am the equivalent of a rocket scientist in my own field. And let me explain this to you, because your common sense is profound. Okay, so you’re sitting there and you’re hearing that you’re going to have a tax increase, a personal tax income tax rate increase of 36 to 39, or whatever, four points it’s going to go up for you.
CALLER: Right, right.
RUSH: And you run a business. You’re a landlord, you gotta make that back somehow. So you’re going to have to raise your rents. But the people that are paying your rent — what is the average unit that you rent? You rent apartments?
CALLER: Oh, no, just single family, three bedroom, one bath —
RUSH: Okay, what is the average rent you collect for your properties?
CALLER: I would say probably $700.
RUSH: Well, I guarantee you, those people are going to have a tax increase, too. So you’re going to have raise — this is the way this works. You’re going to have to either eat it, or eat a part of it, or raise your rent in order to maintain your life and your business. I mean, you have to service these homes, you gotta maintain ’em because you own them.
RUSH: Well, these people are going to have their taxes go up too, but they just can’t go to their employer and say automatically give me 4% to make up for this, and even if they did that 4% increase would be taxed again, so they would not net the 4% increase. But then what happens, they might not be able to afford to rent with you and have to go someplace cheaper to rent, and so what this ends up causing is people become poorer, and that trickles down, too. Here’s the key. This is what Obama wants! Obama wants more people depending on your redistribution of income.
CALLER: Well, there’s two other things that go with this, too. If the Bush tax cuts go, the people that are earning the money to pay the rent not only are going to get taxed by me, because mine’s going up three or four percent, but their income, their payroll taxes, I guess, are also going to go up. And as well, those people that are getting government assistance for rent, you know, say they get $300 —
RUSH: Yeah, yeah.
CALLER: — in pay and $400 the government will pay.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah.
CALLER: Well, if I raise my rent, the government will have to make up the difference, or, you know, split the difference with the person. So the only person winning in this really is the government, because my income wouldn’t be increasing, I’m doing it incrementally —
RUSH: But, see, in the long run, in the long run, they lose, too, because this is going to end up producing less revenue. They’re then going to have to go borrow it or print or what have you. And then finally after enough years of this, some brilliant conservative who’s not afraid to be a conservative will come along and run for office and have the explanation for this, and we’ll fix it with another 49-state landslide. The problem is, we’re going to have so much rotgut to roll back if Obama happens to win. Look, I’m glad you called out there, Nate. Thanks very much.
RUSH: Paul in Marengo, Illinois. Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I have federal bailout-size dittos for you.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir. That’s a lot.
CALLER: That is. I just also want to thank you for steering my teenage years. I of course was in school, not a high school dropout, and I caught your program in the evenings. That’s how long I’ve been listening to you, and right to the point, I just want to say: My question for you is, could you help us figure out, with all of Obama’s celebrity endorsements, all of his friends from Oprah to all of the Hollywood elite, when he’s talking about ‘spreading the wealth around,’ and we have all these multimillion-dollar actors and celebrities, why aren’t they going ahead and giving him all of their money so that it could be spread around?
RUSH: Well, it depends on the celebutard in order to answer this question. For example, Oprah. You look at Oprah. She’s a billionaire, right?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: She’s a billionaire out there. Oprah has homes in Montecito. She has homes all over the place. She probably has more homes than McCain and I’m sure she has more household staff than McCain. So you’re probably wondering, ‘Why in the world would Oprah vote for a guy that’s going to take her wealth and redistribute it?’ In Oprah’s case… I think she partially believes all this garbage, by the way. She does not believe it’s going to happen to her. But I think the racial component here, you can’t take out, and I think with some of these other celebrities you’re talking about this. There is so much, in the celebrity community — I’ve run into ’em. There is so much white guilt over civil rights violations in the past, slavery. This is going to clean the slate as far as they’re concerned. In their hearts, this is going to say their country is decent again. They actually think the country sucks. Let me give a piece of advice. Stop worrying why any of these mental midgets do or think what they think. It’s not worth your time to try to figure out. Just ignore them!