RUSH: Laredo, Texas. This is Marco. Thank you for calling. I appreciate your patience, and welcome to the program.
CALLER: Oh. Thank you very much, Rush. It’s an honor to talk with you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I’m a long-time listener, second-time caller.
RUSH: Okay, great. Thank you very much.
CALLER: I was calling because I was listening to your podcast this morning, and I heard you talk about the police unions and what you talk about with the unions… And I am a Border Patrol agent down here in Laredo, Texas, and it’s also unionized. So… But the only thing we have the union for is protection from the management, pretty much. Where they can’t really get onto us and try and gyp us out of work or any kinds of things like that.
RUSH: Yeah. I appreciate your call, Marco, and I understand. I got a letter, an e-mail from a police officer in Wellington, Florida — which is, you know, just over there. Yeah. It’s over there. And he gets it; he understands. We were talking yesterday about municipal employees — unionized state employees — in Wisconsin, primarily. But extrapolated, we could have been talking everywhere. And about their characteristics. Here’s the thing. This is happening all over the country. Do you know there’s a story in the Palm Beach Post today?
Do you read the Palm Beach Post, you guys in there? (interruption) Ha! We have three people here that don’t… (long pause) Not since June 5th two years ago…? (interruption) You haven’t read the Palm Beach Post since my wedding? (interruption) What did they do? (interruption) Ohhhh! Oh. Oh. Oh, yeah. They tried to blow our surprise of having Elton John as the entertainment. Yeah. Well, anyway, they have a story about Palm Beach police officers. And apparently a Palm Beach police officer here (not over there, here) has been fired.
A Palm Beach police officer has been fired for writing too many tickets. And the story says that it is happening because the City of Palm Beach has reduced pensions. The City of Palm Beach, Florida, has done what is happening in Wisconsin with both the firefighters and the police officers. They’ve made changes in the long-term pension agreement. Wages are not increasing as rapidly. And one of the police officers is quoted in the story as saying, “Okay, let’s see how Palm Beachers like it if we now start picking them up for speeding and DUI.”
The story implies that there’s an unwritten rule that the cops will look the other way. But this one police officer has written, I think it’s in one month, the total number of tickets he wrote all year. Because now raises are based on merit, and so forth. It’s a tantamount admission. Anyway, the only reason I’m mentioning it is because it’s here. It has relevance to us talking whole issue of public employee unions. And there just isn’t the money to honor all of these deals that were made years ago.
You can understand the union members. I mean, they had a deal. Somebody made the deal with them. Now the money isn’t there, and the deal has to be changed. You can understand their being angry. I guess the thing that… See, I assume that people understand too much. I ought to not assume that. I assume that everybody understands that when I talk about this or anything, it’s through the prism of ideological politics: Left versus right. And I assume that everybody understands that my criticism is aimed at the ideological component of whatever issue we’re talking about.
So when we’re talking about Wisconsin and the recall of Scott Walker, I am talking about the ideological left and its ideas for what kind of country we ought to have.
And I mean this when I say it: They don’t care whether the state’s bankrupt. They don’t care whether the people paying their salaries don’t have the money to pay it. They don’t care; they just want! This is not an indictment of everybody. It’s not an indictment of people. There are a lot of people, by the way, in Wisconsin — liberal Democrats, according to the exit polls, if you can believe it (and who knows), who don’t agree with Walker but didn’t want him thrown out of office because they don’t like the idea of constant recalls and kicking people out of office just because of policy.
Exit poll data showed this. So I assume that, for example, a conservative cop driving around who is a public employee would understand that my criticism is not aimed at any of these people personally, but rather the leadership who’s leading this charge trying to change the very structure of the country with their effort. That’s what I’m trying to defend. I understand that everybody wants a better life. Everybody wants a raise, everybody wants higher pay, everybody would like these things.
We all do.
The argument has always been, “How do you get it?” I come from the school that you earn it yourself. That happens to be old-fashioned and out of favor with a lot of liberals who think that’s unfair. There ought to be more equity. That’s what the argument is about. But every chance we get on this program, we defend people who work. Every day. Those are the people that we do support. They’re not asking for freebies, not asking for what other people have just ’cause they have it.