RUSH: Nancy in Chatham, Illinois, you’re next on Open Line Friday. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. This is such a great honor to talk to you.
CALLER: I’m so pleased. My husband just carries a recording of your program each day, and he carries it around with him.
RUSH: That would be the podcast. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Well, no, we’re not quite that up to speed. It’s kind of like a —
RUSH: But you still know what it is.
CALLER: Yeah, yeah, I do. (chuckles) Anyway, we’re retired, and I just wanted to say that that Herman Cain ad, a lot of people put it down because of the guy smoking. I thought it was brilliant. I have never been a smoker, I hate secondhand smoke, but people have a right to smoke, and I think that where he says at the end, “Support Herman Cain and we will take back America,” and he smokes? There is no group of people that have lost more personal rights than smokers, and I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
RUSH: Well, it was on a number of levels. People are still talking about it, number one.
RUSH: But what is your grievance with secondhand smoke?
CALLER: Well, I have asthma, but if I go to a restaurant, I always ask for the — I did ask for the — nonsmoking area.
CALLER: Then my clothes come away kind of smoky smelling.
CALLER: But people have a right.
RUSH: It’s yucky.
CALLER: Yeah. I want people to have a right. You know, and nowadays they’re trying to ban it in your houses, your private homes, in your cars, in the parks, and I think it’s just gone too far, and I think this was a statement that all smokers can relate to.
RUSH: Well, it was something. I don’t know what the guy was trying to do with it, but whatever he did with it, it had an effect, it had some impact. They had to know that there was going to be shock and dismay by ending that commercial with the guy taking a puff off his cigarette. They had to know that. What they were trying to do is open to interpretation. He says he’s a smoker. He likes smoking. Boehner likes to smoke. Obama likes to smoke. Every smoker likes it. Let’s face it, folks: It’s cool. It looks cool! Everything about it is cool, except the health impact of it. But here’s what I think about this. I’m amazed, ’cause you’re right.
They’re trying to ban it everywhere, including in the privacy of your own home — and yet you know how many health care programs are funded with the sales tax revenue from cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products? I have long maintained that smokers deserve our gratitude. In fact, I think there should be somebody chosen and a smoker should be given the highest medal that this country gives out, whatever it is. The Medal of Honor. If not that, the Congressional Medal of Honor, smokers are being told horrible things about themselves. They’re being told they’re rotten-to-the-core people; they are despicable, and yet they alone practically are funding children’s health care programs — and we are raising taxes on the sale of tobacco products, and that money is targeted (ostensibly) for health care programs primarily for children.
So we want them to keep smoking. Contrary to the so-called do-gooderness of the liberals who say they want everybody to quit, they want everybody to be healthy, “Let’s put less strain on the health care system,” and yet how does that jibe with setting up health care programs that depend on the sale of tobacco products to be funded? So smokers continue to pay these exorbitantly high prices. They continue to suffer the abuse — the verbal abuse, the onslaught, the attack on their freedoms. And yet they continue to buy and they continue to pay these higher taxes, all to support and fund health care programs for our children; and they’re still despised.
You have to wonder about assembling programs this way. You raise taxes, you make the cost prohibitive, claiming that you’re a do-gooder; that you have compassion. You actually want these people to quit smoking. It’s good for them, it’s good for us. “Getting them off cigarettes will bring down health care costs,” it is claimed, “because there will be fewer people showing up, requiring health care at a relatively early age because they have contracted a terminal disease.” We want to eliminate all that, right? Yet we take the sales tax revenue from those products to fund important programs like children’s health. So does the government actually want these people to quit smoking? It doesn’t look like it to me.
RUSH: It’s just this simple: Ladies and gentlemen, whenever a person quits smoking, a young child suffers. Whenever a person quits smoking, a child has to do without treatment. That child coughs a little longer and a little harder every time somebody quits smoking. It’s a terrible thing — and with all of this pain and suffering that the children incur, you would think we would finally ask people to keep smoking and keep funding their health care programs rather than have them get sick and die.