RUSH: Here is Mike in Lincoln, Nebraska. Great to have you, sir, on the program. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Rush, what a privilege.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Longtime, longtime listener, too.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Well, just a quick question to you. Why don’t we push the Democrats into a — I don’t know if it will push them into a corner — but they claim to be such lovers of the people. Why are they able to get away with selecting this or that section of the population as their own privileged cronies to bail out usually so that they can assure themselves perpetual power?
RUSH: Which cronies are you talking about here?
CALLER: I don’t mean to say, sir, I mean to say they’re coming back to cover their own facts —
RUSH: No, no, no —
CALLER: I’m thinking of Mr. Frank, for instance, and his friend who was with Fannie Mae, and I’m thinking of that small select few who seem to benefit perpetually.
RUSH: Are you talking about bankers? Are you talking about Wall Street banks and this kind of thing?
CALLER: Well, I’m not speaking in general. I’m speaking that they are —
RUSH: Okay, there’s an answer — hang on, hang on, take a break. There’s an answer to this in just a second.
RUSH: Back here to Mike in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sorry. Go ahead, Mike.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Well, let me come to what I was thinking. Why don’t we push — if they’re really so down to earth populist, to do an alpha bail. The alpha bail would be the mother of all bails, and it would possibly shorten the work they’ve got to do and tax their great brains on this problem. Let’s make them be really egalitarian since they want to bail out this and that other sector which would then put somebody into their servitude. Let’s make them give — let’s let them at least think, if we could, since we’re already in the hole so far, why not push them and say why don’t you cut a check for a million bucks to every man, woman, and child in the country. Then we could have everybody virtually pay off all their bills, pay off their mortgages, put some money in savings or into the stock market. That should pump up the economy, it would be a mere, what, one-third of a trillion?
RUSH: Now, answer your own question for me. Why don’t they suggest this?
CALLER: Because it would have to be with no strings attached, and it would be totally egalitarian and it would really give power to the people.
RUSH: Well, the last one is certainly true. It goes to the point, they like the chaos. But besides that, you do that one time, and you have destroyed anybody’s incentive to go work.
CALLER: Yes. But they are going to do that anyway.
RUSH: A lot of people’s incentive to go work —
CALLER: Oh, yes. Yes. But they’re eroding that. They’re eroding that constantly.
RUSH: Well, they’ve eroded it with a significant portion of the voting population, that’s absolutely right.
CALLER: Indeed. Indeed.
RUSH: No question about it.
CALLER: But I just meant to say, it seems that this would be the logic of what they advocate and there’s a contradiction in what they advocate. I know it cannot be done although we’ve been dug into a hole with ten trillion.
RUSH: Yeah, but see this is how they’re getting away with all this compassion stuff.
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: But if you buy into your premise that they’re really trying to do this for the American people and Obama and all these people want to get a plan in action here real fast to get this economy chugging again and help the American people, we need a stimulus package, a thousand bucks a person, not a million, we need this and we need that. None of that is going to lead to a rapid-fire rebirth of the economy. None of that is going to do much of anything to help average Americans. The only thing that’s going to help them is when this recession plays itself out and rebuilds.
CALLER: I agree, yes. I’m just taking what you used to — every time they pull up the minimum wage issue and you say, well, why stop at $50 for instance?
RUSH: Right, exactly right. Even they will at some point say, well, you can’t pay somebody a hundred dollars an hour. Why not? There’s always a limit to what they’ll do —
CALLER: I know.
RUSH: There’s always a limit to their compassion. Take this in a hypothetical, theoretical sense, and let’s look at it in the context of the way liberals and elected Democrats talk about compassion and love and all that for average downtrodden people, and that’s who they really want to help. Clearly, in a strict financial sense, if you took all of the money that is being used to bail out the auto industry, if that happens, the banks, the credit industry, the mortgage industry, any number of industries, just take all that money and give it in equal shares to the American people, take your $1 million figure for example, then you would have people in a state of circumstance where they don’t need government anymore, at least for a while, but you watch how fast you’ve seen the lottery winners go through their winnings lickety-split and end up in worse shape than they were. It would be a nightmare if that were to happen.
But of course your point is beyond a thousand dollars and a stimulus or beyond eight or nine dollars, ten dollars an hour, minimum wage, you can’t go any higher than that, there’s always a point where they will stop, which then defeats their own argument on all of this. But it really goes to the nub of the fact that they’re living in a phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time, rock ‘n’ roller world getting away with this notion that they have compassion and concern, they’re the only ones that care about the little guy because your theory, your prescription would certainly help the little guy, it would certainly take care of them, and they don’t do it. And not only they don’t do it because they know it wouldn’t work economically, they don’t want that kind of independence among people. Liberals, Democrats, thrive on as many voters being dependent on government as possible, and they thrive on having voters think that Republicans are responsible and conservatives are responsible for their woeful economic plight.
Here’s John in Chicago. John, glad you called. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Okay, Rush. I love your show.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.
CALLER: I just wanted to comment on the bomb Obama dropped during his press conference that nobody seems to be commenting on. When he was asked about his tax plan and people making over $250,000 a year are going to expect tax raises in ’09, he mentioned that the tax plan he had is tied strictly to the job growth situation, which he does not honestly have figured out yet cuz he’s gotta figure it out in the next few months. So let me ask you, if he were to figure out this job growth problem and create more jobs which would create more money which would create more spending, which would stimulate the economy, don’t you think that possibly he’s going to look back and say, ‘Okay, now the middle class doesn’t need the 95% tax break we were talking about, let me resort back to what I voted 94 times for and raise taxes on everybody $42,000 or more.’
RUSH: Right. The odds are pretty good. I know for a fact that 95% of the American people are not going to get a tax cut.
RUSH: I know for a fact in 2010 everybody that pays taxes is going to get a huge tax increase.
CALLER: Right, exactly.
RUSH: In 2010 the Bush tax cuts expire and everybody that pays income taxes is going to get a huge tax increase.
RUSH: Now, I don’t think that he’s going to be able to do this middle class tax cut. He’ll only raise taxes on the rich.
CALLER: Right, exactly. And that’s the thing, most of the middle class are the people that voted for him because of this big 95% tax break on 95% of American people, but when he looks at it in retrospect he’s not going to feel that we need this relief once we have jobs and once we’re spending money and the economy is back where it should be.
RUSH: Well, but the economy is not going to be back where it should be by January. It’s not going to be back where it should be by February. None of the stuff that anybody is doing right now is going to guarantee that, none of the stuff can even paper it over and create the illusion the economy is coming back, not that quickly.
CALLER: Right, and he admits that, too. I mean he said that on his podium speech the night he won the election —
RUSH: Yeah —
CALLER: — he might not be able to —
RUSH: — may not even be able to in one term. And the whole campaign for two years we heard he had a plan.
RUSH: And then at that press conference he said, ‘Well, I gotta formulate a plan, and I’m not going to implement it until January. Tere’s only one president at a time.’ It’s all smoke and mirrors.
RUSH: Like a lot of campaigns are. The difference is the people that fell for the messiahnism, you have to wonder, how many of them are actually going to expect tangible results pretty soon on all of the nefarious things they believe this guy about? And that’s the great unknown. We’re just going to have to wait and see all this stuff play out. It could well be that the power of his personality and let cult-like, the demagogic-like appeal he has to people, he could say in his inimitable fashion, ‘I worked hard, I really wanted to give everybody this tax cut, but the Bush administration did not come clean with me until after we had assumed office. I had no idea how bad it really is. You’re just going to have to trust me, we’re working on this, I’ll get it done as quickly as I can,’ and we’ll just have to see how many people say, ‘Oh he tried, he really tried, he really wants to help us because he just can’t because Bush was not honest with him.’ I think the Democrats are going to be able to get a lot of mileage out of blaming Bush for all kinds of things for the next foreseeable future.
Henderson, Kentucky, this is Michelle and you’re next. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, this is Michelle. I just want to thank you for being the voice for conservatives all across the land.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I was calling because I was at my local library and ran across a book by Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed, the title of the book is The Plan, Big Ideas for America. And inside this book it has the plan which he refers to as a new social contract or what you can do for your country and what your country can do for you, and in that, it’s a 2006 book, he itemizes universal citizen service, which is I think Obama’s volunteer army, the universal college access and universal retirement savings. Those are just three of the plan that was written in this book that’s clearly laid out by Rahm Emanuel. And it really is scary because it’s basically the talking points for the Democratic Party and what we’re seeing in comments coming both out of Obama and —
RUSH: Well, they put all it is stuff on his website, his transition website called Change.gov. They put it all up there. And we happened to notice it on Friday, we happened to tell people about it. They’ve scrubbed it. That stuff is all gone from the website, which must mean they don’t really want people to know it, which must mean that Rahm Emanuel didn’t expect that many people to read his book, or those that did read it would be friendly and so forth. You see, when you look at something like that you’re horrified by it, you’re frightened, ‘Gee, how can people think this way?’ There’s a percentage of this country that does not think of liberalism as an ideology at all. They look at the country, Michelle, as an aberration. We have gone off track from our original, in their view, purpose, which is to ensure and guarantee the welfare of every citizen with these people in charge of it. In their minds, they’re just trying to set it right. You know, a bunch of kook freaks like Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich and a bunch of others took it off track, and they’ve gotta get it back on track. What you’re reading from Rahm Emanuel is what he thinks is normal. That’s what he thinks the proper role of government and citizenship is. They don’t think there’s anything strange about that at all, and they really believe they’ve arrived at that point now where most American citizens want that kind of government involved in their lives, and the scary thing is that there are quite a few who do.
However, once again, as Scott Rasmussen points out, Reaganism is not dead. Conservatism on tax policy won this election. It’s sickening to realize, but Obama was able to steal the tax policy from Republicans and McCain because most people in the exit polls believe that Obama’s the big tax-cutter, and McCain wasn’t. In fact, I saw that in a preelection poll. I just stared at that and thought how the hell does that happen? How does the Republican Party lose on the tax cut issue? How the hell does that happen? It’s easily explainable, when you don’t have nominees out carrying the banner, when you don’t have people articulating a tax cut using understandable numbers. I mean, hell, if we’re up against some guy, I don’t care if he’s perceived as a liberal, socialist, whatever you want to call him, if you got a guy out there promising to cut taxes for 95% of the American people, and if he has a communication style that makes him believable, people buy into it. You can’t just rely on the past for people who think, ‘Well, the Republican Party and Reagan, that’s the party of tax cuts.’ We had a whole generation born and grow up since Reagan who were too young to know what happened during Reagan. These people have to be constantly educated and informed and the Republican Party among many other things has failed to do that as well.
RUSH: Since we’re talking about all this kind of stuff, I want to get into something a little bit esoteric here but these numbers are not going to be hard to follow. This is from House of Representatives website, House.gov, and it is a release from the Joint Committee on Taxation. It’s an explanation of the federal tax expenditures, and it’s just the top seven here, but there are hundreds of tax expenditures in the federal budget including a lot of major tax benefits. The subject of this release is: ‘Who Saves the Most On Taxes?’ Now, the numbers are interesting, but the editor’s note at the end of this release is what is fascinating — and I love these terms, ‘the benefit,’ meaning to us, the citizen, the tax benefit on excluding health benefits as taxable income. That is the top cost to the government. The way the government looks at these things is: How much does this tax cut cost us?
See, the government starts at a baseline: if everything you earned, they got. And they start backwards from there as to what taxes ‘cost’ them. What does the capital gains tax cost them? What does the income tax cost them? What does the payroll tax cost them? All of these other taxes — state, federal, deductions, charitable — what does it cost them? This is how George Miller, Barney Frank, Carl Levin, Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, this is how they look at it. All money is Washington’s — and these gifts that they give, taxes, tax cuts, deductions — they look at that as ‘cost,’ and, by the way, that’s where this 401(k) plan of George Miller’s started. So the number one tax benefit that cost the government is you not having to call your health care benefits income.
That is $116 billion a year. The government looks at that as them losing $116 billion a year. The next: retirement and benefits. That’s your 401(k), your Keough or whatever: $90 billion. And that’s the number that George Miller use. You know, this is costing us too much and this 401(k) stuff it’s not working out for people, and we’re thinking of eliminating the tax deductibility of the contributions that people make. We’re thinking of doing this. So that’s number two is your 401(k). They put together a list of the things that cost ’em money. Health benefits not being taxed as income is number one. Your 401(k) is number two. The home mortgage deduction is the number three thing that costs the government money: $67 billion. The earned income tax credit is number four, costs them $49 billion.
State and local tax deduction, that’s $48 billion. Charitable deductions, the government looks at that as costing them $44.3 billion, and Medicare benefits is number seven. That costs them $41 billion. So these top seven items, the government looks at as being cheated out of $508 billion a year. They look at themselves as being cheated out of $508 billion a year. The health exclusion cost is the tax-free benefit to the employee, but it is deductibility to the employer. So it costs them even more money. The employee gets to deduct his health care expenses. You don’t pay income on your health care expenses, so the government thinks they’re really getting ripped off with this. Now, here’s the editor’s note that I referred to mere moments ago.
‘While the incoming Congress and President have not yet drafted plans to make major changes in these areas, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) sent a letter this week to President-elect Obama. Sen. Baucus, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, plans to introduce major healthcare reform legislation in early [next year]. The legislation will follow several ‘key principles’ identified by Sen. Baucus as ‘universal coverage… sharing the burden… controlling costs… prevention… shared responsibility.” So we have now George Miller, who is going to propose at some point the elimination of tax deductibility of 401(k)s, at the very at least; and Max Baucus, who’s going to promote major health care reform legislation. It will be calmed the Ted Kennedy Bill, and it will be, ‘Do it for Ted! Do it for Ted!’ So this is what’s headed your way in the centrist government of Barack Obama.