RUSH: Bob Lutz yesterday, he was on MSNBC. Dylan Radigan asked him about remarks made by Jimmy Hoffa Jr, you know, the SOB remarks. Roberts said… Who’s Roberts? Oh, Thomas Roberts was the Fill-In Host, and he said, “Is there a war on the working class right now, Mr. Lutz? Is that what the country is seeing?”
LUTZ: No, it’s a — it’s a ridiculous statement, and I’m sure if Mr. Hoffa were to think about it again in the cold light of day he probably wishes he hadn’t said that — and, you know,
why would there be? (whoosh sound effect) Everybody benefits from a vibrant economy, and a vibrant economy is only possible if as many people as possible are at work (whoosh sound effect) and — and — and, uh, being paid for productive jobs. That way they consume (tinkerbell sound effect) and everybody becomes wealthy. And the idea that there’s some sort of war against the middle class or working class, is, uhhh… I mean, it’s pretty farfetched.
RUSH: All right, so, now, he’s responding here to Hoffa, and he said, “I think in the cold light of day Hoffa probably wishes he hadn’t said it.” Hoffa has said he’s glad that he said it. Now, I know Bob Lutz. I’ve met him a couple times at cigar dinners and at his office at General Motors in Detroit. He and I have had a falling out over the government buying General Motors and the Volt. We’ve had a falling out. I deeply regret it ’cause I have profound respect for the guy, but I’m gonna tell you: Mr. Lutz, you’re wrong. There is a war against the middle class. There is a war, and Hoffa is wrong about who’s waging it. The war against the middle class is the war against the US private sector, and it’s being waged by Barack Obama!
RUSH: I want to go back and I want to finish these sound bites with Lutz. Let’s see, what did I do with them? Yeah.
This is Lutz blasting Hoffa and Obama. He just got through saying in the first bite here on MSNBC yesterday afternoon that Hoffa really doesn’t mean it. If he thought about it, he probably regrets it. But that’s wrong. Hoffa didn’t regret it. He reaffirmed that he meant it, and Lutz is talking about how the economy works and so forth with the doofuses over at MSNBC. So the next question was from a Republican strategerist, Susan Del Percio. (I don’t know how she pronounces it.) “When we hear all this rhetoric, Mr. Lutz, we have to put it aside to find solutions. What do you think can be done to really bridge the relationship between the union and the manufacturer, for example?
LUTZ: We are arguably in some cases have too much union power and too much union wealth, and that was certainly one of the factors that triggered the bankruptcy of two of the
three American automobile companies Not the main cause, but it was a cause. Since then, however, you look at the Detroit Three, for instance. Uh, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler have both added thousands and thousands of jobs since, uhh, emerging from Chapter 11. I mean the cases of General Motors, added shifts, opened plants, hired new UAW workers and so forth. So certainly the part of industry that I’m in is — is neither anti-union nor anti-worker. In fact, quite the contrary.
RUSH: But he does say that too much union power and too much union wealth was certainly one of the factors, and by that he means the unfunded pensions and health care after retirement. Finally, Democrat strategerist Karen Finney said to Lutz, “Now you’re seeing both public sector and private sector employees seeing their pensions and those promises that were made in the pension basically decimated. Why shouldn’t people feel like there’s a war on them?”
LUTZ: Look, ummm… Certainly 35% raises in the — in the government sector are, ummm, far outpacing pay raises in the private sector. What’s happened is if you ask me who’s under attack, I would say, “The private enterprise economy is under attack,” under attack of threat of higher taxation, higher regulation —
LUTZ: — higher corporate taxes —
FINNEY: But corporate profits are as high as they’ve —
LUTZ: — higher income taxes for high wage earners.
RUSH: She was trying to say that corporate profits as high are as they have ever been; Lutz was saying income taxes for high wage earners. Lutz is right. The real war in this country is on the private sector. It’s being waged against the private sector. He said it. When you say that the average pay for public sector worker is twice what it is for a private sector worker, who pays the public sector worker? The government? “Yeah. Oh, yeah. The government.” No, you do! Your taxes pay them and their unfunded pensions and health care when they retire after working 20 years, and then get 80%. By the way, Ford just announced that they’re building a billion-dollar plant in India. Can you blame them? If they wanted to build a plant in South Carolina, the Obama regime would sue ’em cause it is a nonunion state! Look what happened to Boeing. Don’t tell me there’s not a private sector war going on.
RUSH: Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This is Tina. Great to have you, Tina, on the program. Thank you for waiting. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush: Proud conservative Tea Party SOB dittos. (giggles) I wanted to remind you: At the first half hour break you mentioned, you know, just get out of our way. Well, I remember when you read an article that there was a businessman sitting next to a professor on a plane, and the guy just let the businessman talk, and he basically just spouted off exactly what you were saying. My husband is a small business owner and I talk to people every day in my community that are business owners, and it’s the regulations and get off our backs. It’s the same darn thing, and then that professor ended up being, you know, writing an article, and you read some of it. Do you recall that?
RUSH: Yes, I do. I just don’t remember the professor’s name.
CALLER: I don’t, either, but he was from an Ivy League school, and he was surprised.
RUSH: Yeah, shocked.
RUSH: He was shocked.
CALLER: Shocked by what he had to say.
RUSH: He was shocked that a businessman would actually look at Washington that way.
CALLER: Exactly. And this guy was from an Ivy League and he taught, I believe, economics.
RUSH: Yeah. Oh, no. I know. I remember it, everything but the professor’s name. I remember talking about because here was an economics professor who was illiterate —
RUSH: — when it came to real-world economics.
RUSH: Well, Tina, you’re a proud Tea Party SOB, and I’m great to have you in this audience.
CALLER: (laughing) Thanks, Rush. Love you.
RUSH: All right.
RUSH: I went back to our website. We had this caller, Tina, from, Louisiana, who asked me if I recalled the story about the Ivy League economist being schooled on the economy on a flight, and I remembered it.
By the way, we put it right there in the orange banner at the top of the website at RushLimbaugh.com by Stephen Carter, who’s a Yale economics professor. The date of this, May 26th of this year. “Economic Stagnation Explained, at 30,000 Feet — The man in the aisle seat is trying to tell me why he refuses to hire anybody. His business is successful, he says, as the 737 cruises smoothly eastward. Demand for his product is up. But he still won’t hire. ‘Why not?’ ‘Because I don’t know how much it will cost,’ he explains. ‘How can I hire new workers today, when I don’t know how much they will cost me tomorrow?’ He’s referring not to wages, but to regulation: He has no way of telling what new rules will go into effect when.
“His business, although it covers several states, operates on low margins. He can’t afford to take the chance of losing what little profit there is to the next round of regulatory changes. And so he’s hiring nobody until he has some certainty about cost. It’s a little odd,” writes Mr. Carter, “to be having this conversation as the news media keep insisting that private employment is picking up. But as economists have pointed out to all who will listen, the only real change is that the rate of layoffs has slowed. Fewer than one of six small businesses added jobs last year, and not many more expect to do so this year. The private sector is creating no more new jobs than it was a year ago; the man in the aisle seat is trying to tell me why.”
I’m an economist, I’m an economics professor at Yale. I should know this! I’m teaching young skulls full of mush about this, but I’m being schooled by a real-life private sector
businessman. (pause) I’m sorry, he’s a professor of law. I take it back. He’s not an economist, he’s a professor of law. He talks about the passenger: “He is trim and white-haired and bursting with energy. He’s proud of the business he has built: not large by the way things are measured these days, but certainly successful. He shows me sales figures, award citations, stories from trade magazines. I congratulate him, then turn to the window and enjoy the view for a bit. We are flying over the Midwest, away from the setting sun and toward the darkness. America stretches beneath us in every direction, flat and broad and beautiful.
“My seat-mate has just discovered that I am a law professor: That is the reason for his discourse. ‘I don’t understand why Washington does this to us,’ he resumes. By ‘us,’ he means people who run businesses of less- than-Fortune-500 size. He tells me that it doesn’t much matter which party is in office. Every change of power means a whole new set of rules to which he and those like him must respond. ‘I don’t understand,’ he continues, ‘why Washington won’t just get out of our way and let us hire.’ There are a lot of responses I could offer at this point. But I am interested now; I prefer to let him talk. It isn’t just hiring that is too unpredictable, he says. He feels the same way about investing. He has never liked stock markets; he prefers to put cash directly into businesses he likes in return for a small stake, acting, in short, as a small-time venture capitalist.
“‘Can’t do that now,’ he says. For people like him — people who aren’t filthy rich — it has become too hard to pick winners. But he doesn’t blame the great information advantages enjoyed by insiders. He blames Washington, once more, for creating a climate of uncertainty. Growing bold — or maybe rude — I ask why, if the climate is so terrible, he doesn’t just sell his company. This brings a smile. ‘I think about retirement a lot,’ he says. ‘But I can’t.’ I wait to hear about how much he loves the business he founded, or about his responsibilities to his employees, or perhaps to the town, somewhere in the Dakotas, where his factory is located. Instead, he tells me that it’s impossible to make a sensible decision about winding down his firm when he doesn’t even know from one year to the next what the capital gains rate is going to be. I argue a bit. Surely government isn’t all bad.
“It protects property, the environment, civil rights … My seat-mate seems to think that I’m missing the point. He’s not anti-government. He’s not anti-regulation. He just needs to know as he makes his plans that the rules aren’t going to change radically. Big businesses don’t face the same problem, he says. They have lots of customers to spread costs over. They have ‘installed base.’ For medium-sized firms like his, however, there is little wiggle room to absorb the costs of regulatory change. Because he possesses neither lobbyists nor clout, he says, Washington doesn’t care whether he hires more workers or closes up shop. We will be landing shortly in Minneapolis. I ask him what, precisely, he thinks is the proper role of government as it relates to business. ‘Invisible,’ he says. ‘I know there are things the government has to do.
“But they need to find a way to do them without people like me having to bump into a new regulation every time we turn a corner.’ … ‘Government should act like my assistant, not my boss.’ We are at the gate. We exchange business cards. On the way to my connection, I ponder. As an academic with an interest in policy, I tend to see businesses as abstractions, fitting into a theory or a data set. Most policy makers do the same. We rarely encounter the simple human face of the less-than-giant businesses we constantly extol. And when they refuse to hire, we would often rather go on television and call them greedy than sit and talk to them about their challenges. Recessions have complex causes, but, as the man on the aisle reminded me, we do nothing to make things better when the companies on which we rely see Washington as adversary rather than partner. — Stephen L. Carter, a Bloomberg View columnist, is a professor of law at Yale University.”
Now, there you have it. That’s from May 26th of this year, and more CEOs of even larger companies are starting to echo the same thing. “Just get out of our way. Just stop all this.” Now, I checked the e-mail during the break, and it’s predictable. There you go again, Rush, predicting that Obama wants this to happen, purposely destroying the economy. No president wants to destroy the economy! He may be inept, Rush, and he may be competent, but he’s not trying to do that.” Let me ask you a simple question: If this is not what the regime wants, why do they keep doing it? Hmm? Just give me an answer to that simple question: If this is not what Obama wants, why does he keep doing it? If this is not what Obama wants, why does he keep expanding it? Do you doubt that Obama wants to grow the government larger and larger? Do you doubt that the government wants to make more and more people dependent on it, meaning the Democrat Party. If this is not what Obama wants, why does he keep doing it?