RUSH: Here’s Lisa in Houston on the program. You’re next. Great to have you here. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Thanks, Rush. I just wanted to say that I am just frustrated and angry as you are when I watch how arrogant Obama is. It just makes me not even want to look at him. And it just makes me so mad. I don’t understand why Romney and the rest of the Republicans don’t throw that “fair share” thing back in their faces. You know, they say that the rich don’t pay their fair share. And I think, sadly, most Americans buy into that, you know, they think, oh, yeah, that’s right, they’re not paying their fair share. And really, what is it, like the top 10% pay 50% of all taxes; is that right?
RUSH: Yeah, let me tell you something about that. We’ve had that number on our website going on five years. For 20 years I’ve been making the point on this program that the top 1% pay 40%, top 5% pay 80%, whatever the number, and yet I don’t think if we had never mentioned it, it would matter. This is one of those arguments where the real numbers don’t , ’cause it’s never enough. The left is never happy. If you could get them to agree that a tax rate of 50% was fair, the next year they’d want 60. They’re very wise not to demand a number. It’s not about numbers. It’s about attitudes leading to votes against Republicans. That’s the only reason they spout this stuff. I’m blue in the face telling people that the top 1%, top 10%, top 50%, I’m blue in the face telling people they pay their fair share and more. It doesn’t register. That doesn’t cut through the noise. That argument, I don’t think, has ever mattered. It’s never blunted it.
CALLER: See, I think if Romney were to say that in a debate, you know, if he were to ask Obama, “What percentage should someone who makes $300,000 a year, what should they pay? What percentage should they pay of their salary, what do you think?”
RUSH: He wouldn’t answer it. He wouldn’t answer it. He would take the question and go off to another talking point making the same point. He would not answer it, I guarantee you.
CALLER: Well, then it just irritates me that you have these Hollywood liberals who, you know, give millions of dollars to Democrats, but then, you know, they live in these mansions and they say that rich people aren’t paying enough. I guess I just have always thought, why don’t those people be the first to give all of their money away? Keep three or four million dollars, but give the rest of their money to the government and then they can tell other people.
RUSH: You’re making the mistake of interpreting them literally. When they join the chorus that the rich aren’t paying their fair share, that’s not what they’re saying. All they’re doing is trying to tell people who may have trouble coming up with 15 bucks or ten bucks to go to the movie that they’re no different. All they’re doing is trying to relate. I mean some of them are ideologues, some of them are liberals and so forth, but all they’re really trying to do is to form a linkage or a bond with their audience that they, too, are average people. That they, too, think the rich ought to pay fair share. That they don’t want the audience to think of them as the rich who aren’t paying their fair share. So they go out and call for it. It’s how the Kennedys and the Warren Buffetts and the Bill Gateses of the world inoculate themselves from this very criticism. They go out and claim the rich aren’t paying enough. They never offer to pay any more themselves, but they join that chorus, and thereby they never get criticized for being rich.
CALLER: I know. And I guess I just wish that instead of giving these vague campaign speeches that you hear, it’s just very vague stuff, and it’s almost like, they don’t want to just tell it like it is and why these — you know, why Romney —
RUSH: You’re asking something impossible. You’re asking for liberals to engage in the debate literally. They’re never going to do that. They’re never going to get specific and attach numbers to whatever argument, because it’s not about what they’re saying. It’s all misdirection. It’s all code. So when you hear them say the rich aren’t paying their fair share, you’re saying, “Well, what is?” They’re not thinking of a number. They’re thinking of a way to relate to most people who aren’t rich and trying to get them to support them, or to let them know that they’re on their side or what have you. The biggest mistake people make is listening to liberals and wanting to engage them literally. That’s not at all what they’re talking about when they say these things.
Let me try again. When Ted Kennedy came out and railed against the rich, that they weren’t paying their fair share, everybody said, “You’re richer than anybody in the world. What are you talking about?” That’s exactly right. Ted Kennedy knows, the Democrat Party knows that the class envy stuff sometimes works, that they can gin up real hatred for the rich. Well, they don’t want to be hated. Yet they’re rich. So? They run out and they criticize the rich, as though they’re not. In the process they inoculate themselves from their own criticism.
See, everybody believes that big businessmen are Republicans. That big corporate CEOs are conservatives, and they believe in individualism and self-reliance, and they don’t like big government and so forth. Nothing could be further from the truth today. The people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett run around, they both do, they run around, “There isn’t enough charitable giving by the rich. They’re not paying enough taxes. The rich ought to be paying more,” and in the process, the richest people in the world inoculate themselves from the hatred for the rich that they are helping gin up, and people leave them alone, and that means nobody’s coming for their money.
The biggest mistake in the world is to engage liberals literally on what they’re talking about. When Ted Kennedy said, “Robert Bork’s America is an America were women are getting back alley –” that’s not what he was saying. He was creating, trying to sustain an attitude of bigotry and hatred harbored by conservatives, pure and simple.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, the liberals, the American left, the Democrat Party cannot ever allow the country to be unified. They just can’t. They cannot survive without conflict. They cannot survive without chaos. They cannot survive without an us versus them. To illustrate the point, if the top marginal tax rate were moved up to 90%, it would not stop them from saying the rich aren’t paying their fair share. They’re going to say it if we abolish the rich. If we make it illegal to be rich. They’re still gonna run around talking about the days when the rich weren’t paying their fair share and do you want to go back to that.
Look, for 24 years on my website every day and on this program, frequently, here are the latest numbers: the top 5% pay 44% more in taxes than the bottom 95%. The top 5% pay 44% more in taxes than the bottom 95%.
Now, what does that mean? Nothing. What are the dollars? That doesn’t mean jack to anybody hearing it. And it’s really frustrating. You could say the top 5% pay 50% of all taxes. It doesn’t matter. Apparently it doesn’t cut through the noise and change anybody’s mind who believes the rich aren’t paying their fair share. All that number does is validate people who already understand it. But it’s not winning any converts. At least I don’t get the sense that it is. Otherwise, they wouldn’t still use class envy. Now, there are arguments. Political scientists routinely argue about the effectiveness of class warfare politics, does it work or does it not, and you get for as many political scientists as there are analyzing it, you get that many theories and that many answers. But the fact that the Democrat Party keeps doing it is proof positive to me that they think it works. In this case, that’s all they’ve got.
They can’t run on their current record, they can’t run on this economy, even though Obama today was trying to massage these numbers in such a way as to lie to the American people whose lives he’s destroying, that it isn’t so bad out there. That’s a cold, calculating guy to do that, try to tell people whose jobs you’re destroying that things are getting better. I tell you, that’s heartless. It’s pure heartlessness, but that’s who he is, it’s what he’s doing. They live in cliches. The biggest mistake in the world, and I’ve found this over the years, is to engage them literally. As a persuasion technique, I don’t see how it works.
Remember when Paul Ryan took Obama to school on his own health care plan at that joint session at the White House or maybe it was at Blair House, but anyway they had a bunch of congressional leaders and Obama, the Democrats and Republicans got together, one of these fake pretenses that everybody’s working together try to solve a problem. And Paul Ryan just read Obama the riot act on his health care bill and how he’s destroying the economy and rising deficit all that. The guy was very accurate, it was very true. And even among people who saw it, all it did was validate those of us who already knew what he was talking about, but I don’t think it was pervasive. Not that what he was saying isn’t pervasive, it’s just the literal aspect of this stuff, when we’re talking to liberals, who is it we’re trying to persuade anyway?
We’re trying to talk liberals out of being liberals. Isn’t that what this objective is? Or we’re trying to depress ’em so much that they don’t go vote, whatever. But that’s what we’re trying to do. But they’re not literal in any way. They live an image. They live in fantasy land. They live in the world of emotion. Realville, they get nowhere near it. They see the sign that says Realville, and they turn around so that it’s in the rearview mirror. They’re out of there, don’t want any part of it. They can’t survive in Realville. They live in cocoons. Studied this. The art of persuasion is a very, very tricky thing.