RUSH: John Boehner is speaking now from the well of the House. He’s reporting in. He says he’s an optimist, but he doesn’t sound optimistic in what he is explaining. He’s stressing the need to cut spending. He did say he’s hopeful we can reach an agreement. No matter where you turn now, I don’t care where you turn, in the conservative intelligentsia you are seeing the Republicans have no prayer. They’re just gonna have to cave in on this rate increase on the rich, just gonna have to. They can’t anymore just be perceived as a party catering to the rich, just gonna have to do it, be done with it.
As we discussed yesterday, there survives this idea — you know, I went home and I applied what little IQ I have to this, ’cause if you were listening yesterday, you realize I’m very confused. I thought about it quite a bit last night, and I’ve found even more people who believe that if we cave on the taxes, that Obama will then turn around and cut spending on the entitlements, and that this will be brought about by the media. The media will then say, “Okay, Obama, the Republicans have done what you want them to do; now it’s your turn.” This is supposed to happen by about February. Really. No matter where you look, there are more and more Republican intelligentsia types in the media, elected Republicans, who really think that that will be the only course Obama has.
I guess I remain a lone wolf on this. I guess I’m the only one who thinks what I think about this. And I’ll just repeat it very briefly. I spent an hour explaining this last week, but I’m gonna sum it up very quickly. I think what Barack Obama is attempting to do here is get the Republicans to confess. I think he wants the Republicans to concede that every economic problem in this country is because taxes have been cut on the successful. Not just the rich, but on the successful, on people who’ve achieved. I think Obama is after the notion that 200 plus years of capitalist economics has led us to this point. Capitalism is to blame, part and parcel of capitalism, the Republican Party, conservatism, and tax cuts, quote, unquote, for the rich.
I think what Obama’s doing here is a modified FDR. He’s attempting to stack the deck for a couple of generations, with liberals and Democrats winning election after election after election because they’re the party of benefits, not features. And the benefits accrue immediately, while the Republicans talk about philosophy, and, in fact, the Republicans don’t talk about philosophy. Pete Wehner, my buddy, used to work for Bill Bennett, then worked for Rove at the Bush White House, then went to the Romney campaign. He has a piece at Commentary: “What If Conservatives Have Lost the Argument?” And I’m going to explain this. I did not even intend to mention this right now. This is how my mind is working. I’ll get to it later in the program, but I’ll just answer it very quickly. We haven’t made it.
Throughout this entire presidential campaign, we did not make the argument for low taxes equaling economic growth. We didn’t make that. We were afraid to. Even Romney was assuring people that taxes on the rich would not go down. Even Romney, the Republican Party stood for taxes on the rich either going up or staying the same. Anyway, more on that as a program unfolds. What I’m telling you is that Obama is attempting to get the Republican Party to — I don’t mean that Boehner stands up and says, “I confess, we’re the problem.” That’s not how it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna happen by virtue of votes, caves, and policy.
Republicans are going to agree to raise taxes, and in the process they’re conceding that tax increases are the answer, and tax cuts have been the problem. The Republicans are finally admitting what we’ve known for 200 plus years. If you don’t have a job it’s because we’ve cut taxes from the rich. If your home is underwater it’s because we’ve cut taxes at some point in this country. The Reagan tax cuts are immoral, unjust. The Bush tax cuts are immoral and unjust. Gotta go back to the Clinton rates. Yeah, okay, as I mentioned months ago, let’s go back to Clinton era spending. Well, we can’t really do that. You think the Republicans might submit a 1998 budget? What would be wrong? You guys like the Clinton tax rates. Here it is. “Oh, you can’t go back to spending at 1998 levels. Why, circumstances are all different.” Well, why do you say we can on taxes? Anyway, they’re not making the argument.
So the objective here is to get the Republican Party to essentially confess, to concede. That’s what’s going on here. There’s nothing about economic growth going on. There’s nothing about solving the debt. None of that is being discussed. And you know what the dirty little secret is? The media knows this. And everybody inside the Beltway knows this. Politico even has a piece today called, “Crafting a Boom Economy.” It’s by Jim VandeHei & Mike Allen. No politician on either side, none in this article, offers and says that raising taxes will provide any meaningful help with any fiscal problems. They know that’s not the case.
Now, on the record there is nobody willing to say on record that raising taxes on anybody will provide any meaningful help with our fiscal problems, including economic growth. They’re not being raised for that reason. The political class, including the media, is lying to the American people. The media are complicit with the lie and they know it. What’s going on here is simply the advancement of the leftist agenda. That’s all that’s happening here. They won the election. You would expect that to happen. Sure you would expect them to try. You would expect there to be opposition to it. But there’s an abject fear in telling the American people the truth.
Even Warren Buffett is quoted in this piece saying both Democrats and Republicans privately agree that none of what’s being talked about matters a hill of beans to anything. They just don’t want to be the first to speak out on their side. That’s Buffett. He said, nobody in Washington has the guts to tell the American people the truth about what needs to happen. So we’re getting politics as usual.
And the politics as usual are, Obama and the Democrats won and they are advancing their agenda. Part of that agenda is the decimating of the Republican Party. And to do that, you get them to agree that tax cuts are fundamentally to blame for all that’s happening, even though everybody knows that’s a lie. Here. The politics of it. Grab audio sound bite number seven.
Last night, Anderson Cooper 360 spoke with former “green jobs czar” Van Jones about the fiscal cliff negotiations. Anderson Cooper said, “How close do you think Obama and Boehner are to a deal and, from your perspective, is a bad deal better than no deal?” See, this is all smoke and mirrors. Everybody’s caught up in the inertia of the template of the moment. It’s created out of whole cloth, and everybody — both parties and the media — just follow right along with it.
And the perception becomes the reality. It’s all smoke and mirrors, ’cause none of this is about economic growth. None of this is about reducing the debt. None of this is about changing the direction the country’s headed. None of this is about creating jobs. None of this. And may I hit you with a blunt instrument, blunt force trauma, with a question, before I play the Van Jones sound bite, which proves exactly what I’m saying here?
Can anybody tell me, when was the last time that our side won one of these budget fights? Tell me. I may be forgetting some, and maybe I’ll define “losing” and “winning” differently than you would, but when’s the last time we won one of those? Seriously. When’s the last time we prevailed? We’ve lost this debt limit thing every year that it’s come up.
We’ve had no budget for four years. The Constitution’s been shredded on that score. Nothing but continuing resolution after continuing resolution, which puts constant pressure on the country. Every dime of spending becomes a crisis and an emergency. Anyway, here’s Van Jones answering the question: “How close do you think Obama and Boehner are to a deal and … is a bad deal better than no deal?”
JONES: A bad deal is a bad deal, and we shouldn’t accept it. The — the Republicans have a problem now. All the polls show the vast majority of the American people say that people who’ve done well in America should do well by America and start paying America back.
RUSH: Now, folks, that last bit is what this is all about.
“Start paying America back.”
The reason you are poor is because you were once rich, and the rich of today and yesterday and the yesterday before that stole it from you. The rich have stolen most of what they have. They have worked together and conspired to create an economy where only they benefit. For 200-plus years it was part of our white, European, racist founding. And what Obama is all about is making sure that the people who have unjustly profited from this unjust, unfair capitalist system for 200-plus years, now pay America back.
This embodies what Obama is all about. This embodies what everything in his administration is all about. This embodies what a lot of his voters vote for him for. I don’t know. The majority of people that vote, obviously, voted for Obama. I don’t know how many. It’d just be a wild guess what percentage of those Obama voters actually think that it’s time for payback, but I’m telling you it’s a large number.
They’ve been convinced! Not by Obama, but by three or four generations of the corruption of the public education system. They’ve been corrupted by the news media. They’ve been corrupted by a vast liberal entertainment complex that includes movies, books, and music. It’s payback time! The people that have stuff today didn’t really earn it, and they don’t share enough of it. It’s payback time, and that’s what tax increases on the rich are all about.
That’s what the redistribution of wealth and income is all about, and that’s what all this debt is all about. It’s payback time. Van Jones, whether he knows it or not (and I think he does), articulated this specifically. All people need is the courage to believe it. But that is exactly why Obama’s policies are what they are. It is time to pay America back for 200-plus years of stuff. Not the last eight. Not the last ten. Not the last 20.
But for all of it.
RUSH: So I checked the e-mail during the break. “Okay, Rush, that Politico piece, they say everybody in Washington’s lying to the American people. They know it and the media knows it. What are they not telling us?” Folks, it’s real simple. The only way that we are going to reverse the trajectory that this country’s on… In fact, let me first remind you what this article is saying.
There’s not one person interviewed — and Politico talked to the movers and shakers in both parties. There’s not one person interviewed who would admit that raising taxes on the rich is gonna have any positive economy impact. None. Everybody in this debate knows — from Obama to Boehner to everybody else — that raising taxes on anybody is not going to change the economic trajectory that we’re on, which is straight down right now.
Everybody knows that.
Warren Buffett says is both parties know it. They just don’t have the guts to tell us. There’s nobody has the guts to tell the American people truth. It’s the e-mail asking, “Rush, what’s the truth?” Very simple. The only thing that will reverse the trajectory that this country is on is massive spending cuts, and that’s what they don’t have the guts to really make the case for. There are people that talk about it.
“We need spending cuts with the tax increases. We need some spending cuts with the new spending.” But look at the amount of spending cuts they talk about! It’s $50 billion, $100 billion, $500 billion, stuff that we spend every five minutes or ten minutes. The real fix for this is spending cuts. We’re $16 trillion in debt not because we’re undertaxed. We’re $16 trillion in debt not because of capitalism.
We’re $16 trillion in debt, and it’s gonna be $22 trillion after Obama’s finished with these next four years. We’ll be $22 trillion in debt not because you aren’t paying enough taxes, not because the country was founded unjustly and unfairly, and not because the poor were once rich but the rich took it all from them. None of that.
We’re in debt because we’ve been spending money that we don’t have.
We have been spending money that we’ve never had.
We’ve been spending money that we’ve been printing. We’ve been spending money we’ve had to borrow that we’re not paying back. The only real fix is a cutback in benefits. That’s what reductions in entitlement spending mean. The practical result of entitlement-spending reform is fewer benefits paid out. The reason is, we can’t afford to pay them as it is!
But there isn’t yet the courage or the guts to say to the American people at large what I have just said. So it’s the usual politicizing. The Democrats won the election. They’re taking the advantage here of that to advance their agenda — and, if they can, wipe out the Republican Party — and then deal with whatever mess later down the road if they choose to. But their priority is not reversing the trajectory that we’re on.
Their priority is their agenda.
They want bigger entitlements. They want more of them and they want more entitlement spending. And if they have to confiscate money from the rich in order to pull that off, they will do it. That’s just who they are. That’s just what they want. But that’s the solution to the problem that we’re in, and there is no amount of tax increases that will fix it. There’s no amount of tax increases that will reverse the trajectory that we’re on.
There’s no amount of punishing achievement. There’s no amount of paying America back that will fix the mess that we’re in. Politicians have caused this mess in concert with voters, in some cases, who demanded these benefits and want these benefits because they are unable to provide for themselves the same things they’re getting in the form of benefits. This has been going on a long time, not just now.
It’s not a recent development with Obama and liberalism and socialism. Everybody wants to live well. Everybody wants to have a nice life. Everybody wants to be able to pay the bills. Everybody wants to have no pressure when it comes to the bills coming in at the end of the month. Everybody would like to be able to pay for the basics and have some left over. For the most part, everybody in this country does or has.
But everybody’s in debt for the most part as well and it’s scary. Individuals are in debt, government is in debt, and the ability to retire that debt is quickly vanishing. Does anybody really think we can retire $16 trillion national debt? How do we do that? And in four more years, $22 trillion. How can we ever pay that back? But you have to get started. You have to make an effort if other things are gonna fall into play.
But, anyway, the point of this is that that’s the fix. That’s the solution. It’s not what’s being discussed in the budget deal today. It’s not Boehner and Obama. We’re not looking… It’s not Obama, period. Obama is exacerbating the problem by virtue of winning. We are in no way, shape, manner, or form — as a country, as a society — discussing what’s really necessary to reverse the trajectory and create growth in the economy.
RUSH: Here’s where we are, folks. Entitlements are vote-buying schemes. Social Security was a vote-buying scheme, first. I know a lot of people think FDR was a compassionate guy, and he really was concerned about the old and the feeble and having some bit of Social Security. It’s a vote-buying scheme. Cutting taxes is a vote-buying scheme. However, cutting taxes boosts the economy every time it is tried. The amount of revenue, new revenue, generated by tax cuts in the eighties was nearly $900 billion.
We lost revenue to the Treasury during the precious nineties and the Clinton tax rates. Raising rates reduces revenue because it reduces economic output. Raising rates creates rising unemployment, fewer taxpayers. But still, cutting taxes is a vote-buying scheme, just like entitlements are a vote-buying scheme. However, where we are now, the tax cut doesn’t buy as many votes as the tax increase does. Increasing taxes is a vote-buying scheme. There are far more people who are not rich than who are, and class envy has seeped into our culture.
A Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll out yesterday. Sixty percent of likely American voters favor raising taxes on Americans who make more than $250,000 a year. So raising taxes is a more popular vote-buying scheme than cutting taxes. And, by the way, that number becomes 77% when you poll Hispanics. Seventy-seven percent of Latino voters support raising taxes on the rich, because, as Van Jones said, it is time to start paying America back. Folks, there are people in this country who genuinely believe that they were once prosperous, and it was taken from them by the people who are now rich.
They have been made to believe that the rich have somehow unfairly just reached in and grabbed a share much larger than they deserve because they’re craftier or they have more connections or they’ve had more favorable laws passed by their cronies. However it happened, they believe that it happened. And now it’s payback time. But entitlements are vote buying schemes, cutting taxes is a vote-buying scheme, but cutting spending is not a vote-buying scheme. And so nobody is talking about cutting spending seriously. You don’t get a single vote. Well, you will, but you won’t get anywhere near enough votes advocating spending cuts or entitlement reform. You don’t get anywhere near the number of votes that you get when you create an entitlement.
The creation of an entitlement is a benefit, an immediate benefit. Cutting spending is a denial of a benefit. You don’t have a prayer. You’re not gonna get any meaningful amount of votes by offering to cut spending. Cutting taxes will get you some votes, but you’re gonna be outnumbered by those who want to vote for people who are gonna raise taxes.
As a society and a culture, how often have you heard about the income gap or the wealth gap and it just keeps getting bigger. The rich keep getting richer. The poor keep getting poorer, and this of course is said to be the fault of capitalism. And again, it’s the fault of tax cuts for the rich. The rich keep getting richer because cronies allow the rich to keep their money and take everything from the poor. That’s how the rich get rich. Don’t doubt me on this, folks. I’ve been doing this for 25 years. There are certain realities we have come to accept. Of the people who vote, which is still a small percentage of the population — that’s a key distinction, however — of the people who vote, we are outnumbered.
We are outnumbered by among the people who vote. And among the people who vote, they believe what I just told you. And they’re on the way to believing even more, that capitalism, tax cuts for the rich, is the reason that they don’t have what they would like to have. And the government providing for them is simply payback. They’re not sponging. They’re not freeloaders. They’re getting what was always theirs that was never provided to them. These people believe that government’s the primary source of prosperity. These people believe that wealth comes from the government, and the government has been unfair in assigning wealth to the people who are rich. Cronyism, tax favors, whatever, they believe it. Twenty-five years it’s been trending.
So income inequality is the root, the foundation that drives all of this. The fact that there is income inequality can’t be denied. The fact that there is wealth inequality can’t be denied. There never has been, but that doesn’t matter. There never has been income equality, and there also has never been immortality, but look at the number of people who expect to live beyond the life expectancy by eating certain things, not eating certain things.