“President Clinton’s deficit plan certainly was a political and economic gamble. Clinton believed that if he crafted a credible deficit plan, Wall Street traders would bid up the prices of Treasury bonds, leading to a decline in interest rates,” blah, blah, blah. You know, I asked this last week, if it was so great then, why don’t we just go back to those spending levels, too? I mean we were spending much less back then than we are now. Why don’t we just go back to those spending levels?
At any rate, Mr. Kessler points out here — just cutting to the chase — the Clinton tax increase of 1993 brought in 1% of the revenue generated to Washington after 1993. This piece by Glenn Kessler, The Fact Checker, a Washington Post blog, gives the lie to the idea that Clinton’s tax increase really drove revenues to the Treasury and accounted for his surplus. The tax increase brought in 1% of the revenue. It was the Republicans and their forced spending cuts that balanced the budget and that then led to Wall Street confidence and all the other things Boxer talked about, which led to an expanding economy. Kessler goes back and quotes an inaccurate Washington Post editorial at the time.
I know this is a little technical but I wanted to put this out and have everybody understand the real numbers here. There was no magic in Clinton’s tax increase. It just barely raised 1% of all the new revenue that came in. It was the spending cuts that created atmospherics that led to economic growth. You could say that the Clinton tax increases were a drag on what would have been an even larger economic expansion. But they’re setting all this up for this debt ceiling business tomorrow, tax increases, Clinton, let’s go back to that. Okay, fine, let’s go back to Clinton-era spending levels, too. How about that? ‘Cause they’re saying everything was hunky-dory then, oh, yeah, it was rosy as it could be.
RUSH: This is Greg in Louisville. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
CALLER: Good to talk to you. I just wanted to point out, I think Republicans need to know, may be a message from the base, because I think the base feels pretty strongly about this. If anybody caves tomorrow on the new future, if anybody goes for a tax increase no matter how small, they will face a primary challenge. I think we need to send that message loud and clear, I don’t care if it’s Boehner or Cantor or McConnell or who it is. You know, we did it here in Kentucky. We took on Mitch McConnell’s hand picked candidate in the primary and got Rand Paul elected. It was done in Utah; it was done in Florida; it was done in lots of places; it can be done again.
CALLER: We need to send that message loud and clear.
RUSH: There’s no question you’re right. I don’t have a sense that the House Republicans are going to cave. There’s no indication. I think it’s just the opposite.
CALLER: I hope so.
RUSH: If they hold firm it’s gonna be Obama that has to cave.
CALLER: I hope so. I hope so. Could I make a point about Clinton from the nineties?
RUSH: (imitating Clinton) “Hey, ha, I love hearing myself — go right ahead, brother.”
CALLER: You know, the Clinton tax increase was a bad thing, it was a drag. Also when the Republicans took over there was a capital gains reduction. There was also the tech explosion, the advance of productivity, so those factors played in, and also they pursued a strong dollar policy, so we have lots of pro factors as well as the negative factors —
RUSH: Let me tell you something. Not only are you right about that, the Clinton White House fought the Republicans every step of the way in balancing the budget in 1995. It is an absolute joke to listen to Barbara Boxer or any other Democrat talk about how they did it. They fought it. Remember, the Republicans proposed their own balanced budget plan, and the response from the Clinton White House, they waived that shameless Mediscare campaign to torpedo it. Remember Newt wants Medicare to wither away on the vine, which is not what he had said, and even the Washington Post slammed the White House campaign against the Republicans as pure demagoguery. It was Bill Clinton during the big budget fight in 1995, had to submit not one, but actually five budgets until he begrudgingly matched the Republicans’ balanced budget plan.
Clinton had to submit not one, not two, but five — count ’em — budgets until he matched the Republicans’ balanced budget plan. In fact, during the height of the budget wars in the summer of 1995, and I was there. Gosh, I remember those days like they were yesterday. The television show was going on. We were sitting here frustrated left and right over the pure demagoguery that was going on, the lying coming out of the White House out of Clinton’s mouth about this. Yeah, that’s when Clinton was flying into St. Louis on Air Force One, he was calling KMOX. (imitating Clinton) “Hey, that Limbaugh, he’s got three hours on the radio. After you finish, Limbaugh’s gonna come on, he’s got three hours on that radio and there’s not a truth detector. I mean guy can say whatever he wants to say.” He’s out there complaining about me. In the middle of the budget wars, the White House, the Clinton administration admitted that balancing the budget wasn’t one of their top priorities, and now they’re trying to take all kinds of credit for it. Look, Democrats are never the reason for economic growth, never.
RUSH: This is an e-mail. “Dear Rush, If I sense anything today, it seems like a frustration on your part about an inability or for some reason you haven’t gotten across to the American people the messages that you want to get across. Is that pretty much true?” This is a question they asked Clinton. They asked Clinton this. The KMOX guys asked that of Clinton when he was flying in on Air Force One. He said, (imitating Clinton) “Look, I’m not frustrated about it exactly, but I tell you I’ve determined I’m gonna have to be aggressive about it after I get off the radio today with you, Rush Limbaugh will have three hours to say whatever he wants. I won’t have an opportunity to respond. And there’s no truth detector. And you won’t go on afterwards and say what was true, what wasn’t, so all I’m telling you is that I’m gonna be far more aggressive because the American people are entitled to know what’s going on good in this country.” That’s back in 1994.
And it’s strange because I do have an e-mail from somebody, “You sound frustrated today. You sound like you’re having to say this over and over and over again.” Well, it’s not really frustration. It is a point of curiosity with me. For example, we have people who are adults today, who were adults in the 1980s. They lived through that prosperity. They experienced the euphoric reemergence of what it is to be an American. If you go back to those days, they were doing man-on-the-street interviews with people and asking them about Reagan. What Reagan did made ’em feel good about their country again. People also who were adults in the late seventies who are adults and alive today remember how bad that was.
So my natural curiosity is, Democrats were in charge when it was as bad as it was under Carter, Reagan comes in, unabashed conservative, cuts taxes, does all these things — now, I know that there’s been history revision, and I know that Reagan’s been pummeled and beat up and so forth, but at what point do people’s memories of their actual lives triumph and overcome what they’re told over and over and over again by the media? So, yeah, I do wonder. And there’s a reason — and I’m gonna get to the answer, I’m gonna find the answer. There’s a reason why lessons are never fully learned. There’s a reason why they have to continually be re-taught.
When you learn two plus two is four, you learn it. Why don’t you learn tax cuts grow revenue? Why don’t you learn that conservatism and conservative individuals create economic growth? When you learn that five plus five is ten, you learn it. Nobody has to teach you this every year. I’m talking about the power of life, living it, and truth being revealed by virtue of you being in the midst of it. Conservatism, the eighties, for example, those years should have been self-evident, but yet we have to keep teaching them. Remember what I said, when the Republicans took office in 1995 in the House, it wasn’t long after that we started getting stories, “Hey, country didn’t vote for moving this far right.” Whatever we were told this is not what the country actually voted for when they had. I made the point, the Republicans stopped teaching. They assumed that the election meant that the country had said, “Okay, we’ve decided we want to go conservative.”
Now, the message, the demagoguery of liberalism is easy. Liberalism is the most gutless choice you can make. I’ve often said this. Oh, yeah. You know how easy it is to be liberal? You walk down the street and you see some poor guy sitting on the side of a dumpster, and you say, “Oh-ho-ho-ho, I feel so bad.” You’re a liberal. See, you don’t have to do anything but feel sympathy and you’re a good person. Now, conservatism comes along and sees it, feels bad about it, but wants to fix it. And in the process of fixing it the conservative says, “Maybe the guy sitting by the dumpster has a responsibility here, maybe the guy sitting by the dumpster has a role to play in why he’s there and how he can get himself out of there.” And that lets the left say, “You heartless, mean-spirited SOB. The guy is sitting next to a dumpster and all you can think about is how to get him out? Where’s your compassion?”
And so the notion that fixing somebody’s problem isn’t compassion has settled in. I know the media plays a role. I better than most know it. They are who they are. They’re not going away. I’m not gonna use them as an excuse. You learn two plus two is four, and that’s it. You don’t need math retraining. I’ve never understood job retraining. You learn how to screw a screw into a hole, you learn it, why do you need to go back to school to learn how to rescrew something? (interruption) Why? (laughing) What, are you getting off in there over that specific example?
Rick in Melbourne, Florida. Great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Great to speak with you, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Thanks very much.
CALLER: Before I ask my question, I lived through all of that. I’m 51. I remember Carter. I remember Reagan. I remember everything up ’til now; it’s just as you said. And the experience of it is how I remember. Nobody had to tell me about it; I experienced it. And that’s the big difference. It’s an experience for me.
RUSH: You are a solidified conservative then, is what you’re saying?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Yeah, because of that.
CALLER: And I told my children that and they believe me but they haven’t experienced it yet, so while I’d like to think they’re solidified, they don’t have conviction, they just have what they think their dad has told them so far.
RUSH: Well, what are your kids living through right now? Like what are your economic circumstances? Have your kids known it better than they have at this moment?
CALLER: Yes, they have. I mean I was fortunate, I didn’t lose my job, but I did have to move across the country to retain one, and so that was an experience for them, and so we’re fortunate in that respect, unlike others.
RUSH: Well, it just constantly amazes me. Have you ever noticed, conservatives seem to learn from their mistakes, and liberals fall in love with their mistakes. Liberals fall in love with what doesn’t work. They become wedded to what doesn’t work. We sited the piece from Victor Davis Hanson yesterday, these liberals will not even live their lives according to what their beliefs are. They won’t send their kids to public school. They don’t ride mass transit. They’re not up there buying, what is it, hybrids and stuff, which of course we know this. This is for everybody else. There are always two sets of rules. Rick, thanks for the call. I appreciate it.
RUSH: Tom in San Antonio, Texas. I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the EIB Network, sir, and hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Thank you. I just wanted to comment, you’ve covered it a bit already, but on the hypocrisy of the president lecturing us now on deficits. I think it’s even worse than what you covered before, because it’s such recent history just from January on. You remember the State of the Union in January, after the shellacking the Democrats took —
CALLER: — largely based on out-of-control spending. The president presented a speech that outlined all the investments we needed to make and then a budget that locked in trillion-dollar plus deficits for the foreseeable future.
CALLER: And then totally kicked the can down the road, to coin a phrase, on the entitlement problems that we are facing now. And then after Paul Ryan and the House Democrats jump off the cliff, present an adult budget that starts to get to dealing with some of these issues the president’s lecturing on us now, he gets a do-over. I’ve never seen it before, the do-over budget. Remember that speech he gave with Paul Ryan sitting in the front row and the president’s up there lying, literally, about what was in Ryan’s budget proposal.
RUSH: Right, he was staring daggers at Ryan. He was staring daggers at him. He couldn’t stand what Ryan was saying in that meeting.
CALLER: Exactly. Exactly. And frankly every time the man opens his mouth now I get the fingers across the chalkboard feeling because it’s so obvious that what he’s saying is an attempt to completely rewrite — and this isn’t just the past history of the two years; this is just four or five months.
RUSH: Yeah, I know. I know. By the way, this is an example. Tom here has been waiting since the first hour of the program to make this comment, and I really appreciate that. If you just joined us what we’re talking about is the debt limit meeting happening tomorrow at the White House and what Obama’s trying to do. I made the point the first hour that all Obama’s gonna try to do is to get the Republicans to go along with raising taxes, and the Republicans in the House, I don’t know about the Senate Republicans, but the Republicans in the House are not gonna do it, they better not. They can make Obama cave on this. The Republicans in the House can force Obama to cave on this.
Clinton is out there telling Obama that the Republicans in the House will cave. That’s how I know that they know their position is weak ’cause Bubba’s out there, (imitating Clinton) “Hey, yeah, I want you to hang in there against these guys. I remember what it was like in 1995. I rolled these guys. I rolled Newt. I know how to deal with these guys. They’ll cave. They’ll cave on it before you even know it.” They’re worried about it. But in addition, here’s Obama positioning himself after all of this destructive spending, all of this debt that he authored, that he wrote, he is the architect, all of a sudden now he gets to talk about fiscal responsibility, he gets to have the Congress up there and start lecturing them about fiscal responsibility as though he’s been a spectator for two years. That’s the thing about this that rubs me wrong.
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