RUSH: Look, folks, I really don’t like being a “see, I told you so.” I mean, I know I do it a lot ’cause it happens a lot, and I used to even have a little jingle with it. “Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah! See, I Told You So,” because it used to be somewhat unique. Now it’s not difficult at all. It is important, however. I do, when relevant, like to remind you of things that you’ve heard in the past on this program that you may have forgotten, things that I’ve said. Here’s a story that leads into my point.
Washington Examiner, here’s the headline: “Kasich’s Cave on Obamacare Shows How Hard it is to Beat Big Government — Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who campaigned as a limited-government Republican,” and he used to be a big-time limited-government Republican when he was a member of the 1994 House freshman class. He presided over the budget committee that actually did balance the budget one time. Kasich has walked the walk as well as talked the talk. But here now is this story:
“Ohio Gov. John Kasich … on Monday announced that he would implement one of the costliest provisions of President Obama’s health care law by expanding the state’s Medicaid program. His decision, a huge victory for the White House that will provide cover for more Republican governors to do the same, serves as a great case study on how difficult it is to impede the growth of government. When Obamacare was making its way through Congress in 2009 and 2010, the proposed expansion of Medicaid was one of its most controversial elements.
“As things stood, the program was crushing state budgets, so governors in both parties feared that expanding it to 15 million to 18 million beneficial,” the so-called uninsured, “would be unsustainable. Then Sen. Ben Nelson was infamously given the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ — expanded federal funding for Medicaid to Nebraska — to win help secure the 60th vote to get Obamacare through the Senate. The backlash against the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ cemented the idea in the public consciousness that the process used to pass Obamacare was corrupt,” and as you recall that “helped elect Scott Brown to the Senate in Massachusetts and added fuel to the Tea Party.
“Ultimately, [members of Congress] substituted the special Medicaid treatment for Nebraska in favor of increased federal funding for all states instead. Under the law, the federal government will pay 100% of the cost of the Medicaid expansion at first, and then 90% after 2020. This comes at a cost to federal taxpayers — $932 billion over a decade,” and it’s going to be more than that, “according to the Congressional Budget Office. To be clear, that’s if all states participate.” Just to give you a little history on this: “But last year, 26 states led by Florida won a suit challenging the federal government for coercing states into the Medicaid expansion and the Supreme Court left states with the option of rejecting it.
“This brings us back to Kasich and his decision.” Now, again to refresh your memory, remember Obamacare has a bunch of cuts. From Medicaid, it cuts $700 billion. See, they had to bring Obamacare in under a trillion dollars. They didn’t have to, but they wanted to as a means of telling voters it wasn’t gonna cost anything. The Iraq war… Remember these numbers? The Iraq war cost us a trillion dollars, and so they said, “We’re gonna end the Iraq war, and we’re gonna do health care. So it’s a net wash in terms of money at present being spent. There no new money!”
This is what they said. But in order for them to be able to say that (with a wink and a nod), the number as scored by the CBO had to come in under a trillion dollars. Well, the way this was achieved, in part, was the federal government, via Obamacare, makes the states pick up all these Medicaid expenses. All of it. That was the only way to do it, because the states can’t print money like the federal government can. They have to come up with the money.
They have to raise taxes or try to borrow it or whatever, but they can’t print money like the federal government can, and this was a huge expense that Obamacare just shoveled right through their front door. So we get to the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, and the court said that states cannot be compelled to incur this Medicaid expense. They can opt out if they want to. So a lot of states decided to opt out. Kasich has decided to opt in, but he’s not the first. There are five of them now.
The governors of Ohio, New Mexico, North Dakota, Arizona, Nevada have all… The word is “caved” in the story, so that’s what I’ll use. They’ve all caved and said they will cover the expenses of Medicaid. They’ll take over the expense of the federal government, in effect, which helps Obama just in terms of the paperwork and keeping the so-called costs of Obamacare artificially lower than what they really are. Now, this is a disappointing situation to a lot of people. But there is a practical political reality to explain it, which doesn’t make it easier to swallow.
There is a political reality: We lost the election. We lost the state of Ohio. Kasich is up for reelection, and he wants to win, and he is simply judging where the people of his state are. I think this is happening in a number of other places. The 2012 election is going to prove to be the most devastating election result in ways that we haven’t even contemplated yet. Every week, there is new evidence of this. The See, I Told You So is not specifically that governors like this were going to cave, but that resistance to Obamacare was going to become practically nil.
There isn’t any resistance to Obama anywhere, and it’s going to get worse even from this point. There’s no political impetus, there’s no perceived upside on the part of Republicans standing in the way of Obama. The perception is that the people of this country love Obama. I mean, they cult-figure love this guy. This is the perception in the Republican Party and that there’s nothing that’s going to change that. So they have to bite the bullet, gnash their teeth, and go along with all this so as not to be hated.
It is a purely defensive posture, but it’s also a concession to what they believe the political realities today are. This election result is causing a mind-set in the Republican Party that is as devastating… This is worse than the mind-set and the realities after Watergate, and it’s not just because the Republicans thought they were gonna win. It’s not just because they thought Romney was gonna win. It is because of who Obama is and what his policies are and the perception that the American people massively support it all.
That’s why Cantor is saying, “We’re gonna have to do a better job of explaining who we are. We need to do a better job of explaining why we’re doing what we’re doing.” Well, I think that epitomizes how lost they all feel — and right now, folks, there is no fight. There’s no desire for it. There’s no fight mentality. There is no desire for any opposition of any kind at this point in time. That’s what all of this means. It’s a direct outcome of the 2012 election. It is Santa Claus trumping freedom. Santa Claus trumps everything. Santa Claus beats fiscal responsibility. Santa Claus beats individual liberty. Santa Claus beats individual responsibility. Santa Claus trumps all of this. It’s no more complicated than that, but that’s exactly what all of this means.
Santa Claus trumps everything. Santa Claus trumps working. Everybody loves Santa Claus. That bugs ’em. They think there’s nothing in it. There’s no upside to opposing anything that’s happening in the country right now. And it’s gonna get even worse as issues come up and more Republicans throw in the towel. That is going to happen. And I have no idea what’s gonna arrest it. At some point it’ll stop. At some point it’s gonna reverse itself. I don’t know what it’s gonna be, when, I haven’t the slightest idea. But Kasich’s up for reelection. He lost the state of Ohio, it went Obama, it went Democrat. He’s reading tea leaves. Other governors are doing the same thing.
There’s some holdouts. I mean, not every Republican is throwing in the towel. But for the most part, the overarching philosophy or theory is there’s nothing to be gained in opposing Obama. The media’s gonna come out and destroy you. The American people love Santa Claus and don’t want to hear any opposition. That’s just gonna be categorized as mean-spiritedness, extremism, racism, what have you. So you’re gonna have to bite the bullet for a while, let this play out, because there’s nothing that’s gonna stop this, nothing foreseen that’s going to stop it. Something will, but I don’t know what or when, but something will arrest this. Because it always happens.
RUSH: Let me grab this next call. Look, we’re bombing out on the phones today. I think you and I can both agree it has been an absolute disaster on the phones today. I’m still looking to salvage that portion of the program. “Let me try again,” in the famous words of Frank Sinatra. Mike in Pompano Beach, Florida, it’s great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
RUSH: A lot of pressure on you, Mike.
RUSH: I don’t mean to do that to you.
CALLER: You really set the table for me. First of all: “Amen! My prayers have been answered.” I wanted to talk to you on this issue for a long time. In the age of the low-information voter, why is it that the policies of Kasich towards Medicare, Medicaid, or any of this stuff is actually gonna play into voters’ decisions? We keep giving up and caving for a purported benefit at the polls which the low-information don’t know about.
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: So why do we keep tailoring our governance for this demographic?
RUSH: Okay, first, let me stop because I’m ecstatic. You have salvaged the disaster that was the phone portion of the program. That’s a great question, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
RUSH: In fact, would you like an iPad?
CALLER: My goodness, I can not believe that’s actually happening to me. I listen to you give those away every day. I love it.
RUSH: In fact, you know what? You could be among the first to have one of the new iPads that just came out today with 128 gigabytes of storage, if you would like one.
CALLER: I would love it.
RUSH: This is the Retina display, fourth-generation iPad with 128 gigabyte storage. Would you like it?
CALLER: I would love it.
CALLER: I would absolutely love it.
RUSH: Then hang on at the end of the phone call for Snerdley to pick up and get your address so that we can FedEx the thing out to you, okay?
RUSH: Now —
CALLER: Can I just add to this one little bit?
RUSH: Don’t ruin it! It’s a great question. Okay, go ahead. I’ll roll the dice.
CALLER: I promise I won’t ruin it. I promise. You can take away the iPad if I ruin it. But the point is we need a whole marketing campaign toward mind share. Stop worrying about policy and ideas and start getting marketing out there. They don’t have that and that’s what’s needed.
RUSH: Okay, I’ll deal with that in just a second. Your question, as I understand it, is: Kasich caved to the premise that the states will pick up the Medicaid expense. Your question is: Why is he caving, because low-information voters do not vote on policy. They’re not informed enough to be voting on policy, so why are we caving on policy? You want to know, if I got you right, why the Republicans keep giving away their core beliefs?
CALLER: Absolutely, and especially when they give ’em away makes it even harder for us to get elected! So you just fight tooth and nail. These guys fought us tooth and nail when they were in the minority. We need to fight, and I don’t see it anywhere!
RUSH: Okay. Here’s why I think it’s happening. I don’t think that Kasich and the boys are looking at this as policy. I think that they are perceiving and assuming that voters are looking at Obama as Santa Claus, as the giving away of benefits and things. And if they oppose Obama, they are afraid these voters are going to think the Republicans don’t want them to have stuff. You’re right. It isn’t about policy with the low-information voters. It’s not that they care about who is paying for Medicaid, the states or the federal government.
That is of no interest to them. They’re not aware of it at all. It’s not the issue. All they want is, when they go to the hospital, to get treated, and they want to think somebody else is paying for it. That’s what they think of Obama, that’s what they think of the Democrats, and if the Republicans oppose that, what these people hear is that they might have to pay for it themselves ’cause the Republicans don’t want them to have that. This is what I think Kasich and the boys are thinking.
CALLER: I agree with you but I think we can actually out-Santa Claus them. We should be giving away school vouchers. Give people $20,000 cash. We should be giving away health care insurance. I mean, the amount of money we could give away to make things more conservative in America by giving away stuff, by giving away limited government-type things that will move the government in a limited-government direction. You can still be Santa Claus and win those low-information voters.
RUSH: Okay, how do they — how do we — give away health care?
CALLER: Well, what if…? I don’t even know what the cost is. It’s gotta be less than Obamacare, but what if we gave everybody —
RUSH: No, no, no. Obamacare is the law of the land. We can’t do anything about that. How do we —
CALLER: Okay, so don’t give that gift. Let’s give school vouchers. That’s a big win. I don’t like people going to these indoctrination camps that are the public schools.
RUSH: Okay, stop right there. Stop right there. In their defense, the Republicans have been doing school vouchers. They’ve been promoting it. They stand for it. Obama took ’em away in Washington, DC, at Sidwell Friends and every other school that has them, and at a special school where low-income people were the beneficiary. He took it away.
CALLER: Federal vouchers are big money, and let me hear them talk about it because I haven’t heard ’em talk about it for a while. I think they’re placating us. I feel like they are all betraying us.
RUSH: I think they think that that’s too complicated.
CALLER: Ugh! Please. (chuckling) You talk about money for people.
RUSH: Okay, let’s look at it. Wait. Don’t interrupt me now. On the one hand, you’re the low-information voter, okay? On the one hand you’ve got Obama, and you think Obama is giving you education, giving you student loan, giving you this, giving you that. On the other hand, the Republicans are saying that they’re gonna give you the money and then you gotta go spend it and you have to go shop for the best deal, then you get to keep what’s left over. What’s easier? Just take the freebie.
CALLER: No ’cause you get to go to a private school that’s even better and you probably end up with five grand cash extra every year. I don’t know. At least put it out there. I’d love to have the cash, but again, I’m not a low-information voter. But, I don’t know. I just feel like first of all, your first idea that we’re dealing with the low-information voter is huge. Now we gotta figure out how to sell it, and then we gotta put together marketing campaigns to sell it. Talking about policy and saying, “Obama’s a great guy but his policies are misguided” isn’t going to win.
RUSH: Okay. All I’m telling you is that in the low-information voter mind-set, “vouchers” are work. Low-information voters really don’t care about education. “Just go to school. You get school breakfast, school lunch, and that’s it.”
CALLER: They still go to school in the ghetto. They still don’t like their schools. We should be in there making inroads in the low-income areas and saying, “Listen, we’re gonna get you the private schools that they’re going to.” No more of this, “Oh, free hot lunch!”
CALLER: Okay, I’m sorry.
RUSH: Mike, how old are you?
CALLER: I’m 43, Rush.
RUSH: You’re 43.
CALLER: I actually wrote a book about this and stuffed it in my top drawer because I don’t want to publish it.
RUSH: No, no, no, no, no. My point is that you’re young enough not to know that the Republicans have been doing this all of my life. They have been talking about it, they have been proposing it, they have even implemented it in places like Wisconsin. It gets torn down by courts! It gets ripped away by Democrat activists. Because it does work! It does exactly what you think. This is the nature of the beast, the nature of the battle that we face. We need an accompanying mind-set not just to win the minds and hearts of these people like you’re talking about. We’ve gotta also amp up to defeat the Democrat Party! That’s what does not exist right now. There’s a two-pronged stool, if you will, and we’ve only got one prong. That is trying to reach voters.
We gotta wipe out the Democrats, too.
RUSH: Just to state it again: Obama killed a voucher program in Washington, DC, in his first month in office in 2009. It was a widely successful voucher program for low-income minorities, and he just ripped it out from under them.