RUSH: Okay, you have heard from me, ladies and gentlemen, what I know the president’s gonna propose. I know the jobs bill is gonna be another stimulus. The only thing left to be decided is how big it’s gonna be, but it’s gonna be big enough that it will never be passed because it’s not gonna be a jobs bill. It’s not gonna be about creating jobs. He knows he can’t create enough jobs between now and November 12th to matter. It’s a campaign bill, it’s gonna be something designed to be able to say the Republicans are obstructionists and mean-spirited and don’t want to help people and all of that. I’m guessing that the size could be a trillion and a half. One and a half trillion-dollar stimulus. The first one was $787 billion.
It’s gotta be bold. It’s gotta be big enough that it will never see the light of day. But it’s gotta be big enough that it can contain all that magic, set the stage, “Oh, yeah, we could just
do this, oh, this is what we shoulda done first, the Republicans stood in the way,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Well, former Labor Secretary Robert B. Reichhhh actually takes all this seriously. He thinks that a jobs bill that the president’s gonna propose is actually going to be about jobs. So he has offered his suggestions, published somewhere, don’t know where. It starts out by saying, “The President is sounding like a fighter these days. He even says he’ll be proposing a jobs bill in September — and if Republicans don’t go along he’ll fight for it through Election Day (or beyond).” Yeah, exactly right. Well, later in his piece former Labor Secretary Reich proposes his plan.
“What would a bold jobs bill look like? Here are the ten components,” that I, former Labor Secretary Robert B. Reichhhh, would propose. And, by the way, for those of you new to the program wondering what the hell is that all about, former Labor Secretary Reich used to do a commentary on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. And at the end of his commentary he would look boldly into the camera and say, “I am Robert B. Reichhhh.” His name is Reich. But he would say, “I’m Robert B. Reichhhh.” Just kind of a signature thing. Everybody tries to come up with a signature, like Amy Grant had a song, and the lyric contained, “Baby baby” but she never said “Baby baby.” She (muttering), whatever, designed to stand out by being odd.
So here is his proposal, the ten components that he would put in his bold bill. Get this first one. “Exempt first $20K of income from payroll taxes for two years. Make up shortfall by raising ceiling on income subject to payroll taxes.” Why do it at all if it’s gonna be something you want to cancel out? “Exempt first $20K of income from payroll taxes for two years. Make up shortfall by raising ceiling on income subject to payroll taxes.” What he’s doing is shifting again the payroll burden to the corporate jet owners. That’s all of you, by the way, who earn more than 200 grand. How do you like that jet, by the way?
Number two: “Recreate the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps to put long-term unemployed directly to work.” Let me ask, how many of you know what the WPA was? And how many of you know what the Civilian Conservation Corps was? Snerdley, do you know what WPA stands for? He doesn’t. There’s no shame. There’s no shame. It’s a 75-year-old thing. Yeah, it’s Roosevelt’s. It’s a WPA, it’s the FTD, it’s the TVA. I don’t know myself what it stands for. Don’t bother looking it up. It isn’t going to happen. Put long-term unemployed directly to work. Doing what? It was World War II that actually ended the Depression. It was not the New Deal. Look, why don’t we just get serious about an alien invasion like Paul Krugman suggested rather than all this stuff?
Number three on Reich’s list is “Create an infrastructure bank authorized to borrow $300 billion a year –” Now, get this. What was the first stimulus for? Yeah, shovel-ready, infrastructure, roads, bridges, schools, basically, right? Here’s Reich, “Create an infrastructure bank authorized to borrow $300 billion a year to repair and upgrade the nation’s roads, bridges, ports, airports, school buildings, and water and sewer systems.”
Three hundred billion. I don’t think that would take care of any substantial length of subway in New York, make it livable.
“Amend bankruptcy laws to allow distressed homeowners to declare bankruptcy on their primary residence, so they can reorganize their mortgage loans. Allow distressed homeowners to sell a portion of their mortgages to the FHA, which would take a proportionate share of any upside gains when the homes are sold. Provide tax incentive to employers who create net new jobs ($2,500 deduction for every net new job created).” Now, can I point the folly of that out to you? By the way, WPA stood for We Poke Along, if you want to know. Now, here’s the former Labor Secretary, the brilliant lecturer, Robert B. Reich, suggesting tax incentive to employers to create new jobs. So we’re gonna go out to Mr. Small Businessman: Mr. Small Businessman, you go out, you create this new gig, and we’ll give you a tax deduction of $2,500.
Now, what’s the new gig going to cost Mr. Small Businessman? Well, it’s gonna cost the salary and whatever benefits package he throws in. And I guarantee you a $2,500 tax deduction is by no means gonna come anywhere near incentivizing. This is not how jobs get created anyway. This is all pathetic.
Number seven: “Make low-interest loans to cash-starved states and cities, so they don’t have to lay off teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and reduce other critical public services.” I’ve never met Labor Secretary Reich. I’ve always liked the guy, but this is lame. It is just utterly literally liberally cliched lame.
Number eight: “Provide partial unemployment benefits to people who have lost part-time jobs.” (laughing) I’ve never heard of that. Partial unemployment benefits if you lost your part time gig! “Enlarge and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit — a wage subsidy for low-wage work. Impose a ‘severance fee’ on any large business that lays off an American worker and outsources the job abroad.” And he said, the great thing is that, “Some of these won’t cost the federal government money.” (laughing) It’s all gonna cost! There’s not gonna be one ounce of work done. There will not be any new real job creation. And this guy lectures, or has, at Harvard and other places on the economy.
A typical joke during the Depression, a WPA joke during the Depression. “I hear your brother was trying to get into the WPA,” said one man to another.
“What’s he doing now?”
“Nothing,” was the reply.
“Oh, he got the job?”