RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, the Pentagon has just informed Congress that it will be furloughing its civilian workforce of 800,000 employees if sequestration goes into effect on March 1st. Now, the sequestration is $85 billion. So roughly half of that is defense, and that’s $42.5 billion. We spent $50 billion on Hurricane Sandy refusal efforts, or we’re going to. I think in his State of the Union that Obama proposed $83.4 billion in new spending. People have forgotten this. The sequester is roughly $85 billion.
The world is gonna come to a screeching halt, all kinds of pain and suffering will result, and 800,000 civilian employees will be furloughed. “Defense officials have warned lawmakers that sequestration will devastate the military and lead to a hollow force, but the civilian furloughs will be one of the first major impacts felt by the across-the-board cuts. The Pentagon furloughs will affect civilians across the country. Pentagon officials have said that civilians could face up to 22 days of furloughs, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year in September. The employees would receive 30 days notice before being furloughed.
“‘We are doing everything possible to limit the worst effects on DOD personnel, but I regret that our flexibility within the law is extremely limited,’ Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote in a message to the department. ‘The president has used his legal authority to exempt military personnel funding from sequestration, but we have no legal authority to exempt civilian personnel funding from reductions.'” So 800,000 defense workers, civilian defense workers will basically be laid off if the sequester happens.
Now, they have known that the sequester was coming since August of 2011. This is all such smoke and mirrors. It’s so classic, the fear tactics, the fearmongering. Grab the sound bite. I want you to hear it in Obama’s own words. This is November 21, 2011, at the White House, Obama speaking about the budget and talk of the Congress passing a bill to not have the sequester. In fact, the Congress has passed a couple of bills that would prevent the sequester, but they haven’t gotten anywhere in the Senate.
Here’s what Obama said about anybody who might try to stop the sequester…
OBAMA 2011: My message to them is simple: “No.” I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts, domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.
RUSH: That’s a year ago, a little over a year ago. That’s Obama at the White House talking about the sequester and if anybody tries to stop it, he’s gonna veto the bill. “There will be no easy off ramps…” So today the Pentagon says, “Yep, 800,000 civilian workers furloughed,” and Obama says, “Well, that’s just the way it’s gonna be.” (interruption) “Will they collect unemployment insurance?” Of course they’ll get unemployment insurance. There is no problem. It’s just a scare tactic!
It’s… (interruption) Oh, come on! “What if nobody notices anything is different in the sequester?” That’s one of the things I’d like to see. I’d like to see the sequester happen. I want to see all these 800,000 furloughs because I don’t believe it. I want to see the sky fall. I want to see it! Here. Let’s go back to Obama. You just heard November of 2011 where he promised to veto any effort to stop the sequester. This was Obama yesterday…
OBAMA: Emergency responders, like the ones who are here today, their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays in airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. This is not an abstraction. People will lose their jobs. The unemployment rate might tick up again.
RUSH: Now, this is what F. Chuck Todd was asking: How long can they get away with this before people stop paying attention? Because the sky never does fall. The sky’s gonna be blue. None of this is gonna happen. I’d like to see the sequester just to see no emergency responders show up at a fire. I would love to see Border Patrol agents go home. I would love to see FBI agents furloughed. I’d love to see food stamps not be distributed — maybe not okayed, not authorized.
Somebody goes in to buy a six-pack and some lottery tickets with a food stamp card, and it’s rejected? I’d like to see that. I’d like to see air traffic controllers and airport security all see cutbacks and delays. No, no. You know what’s going to happen now? (interruption) That’s right. The headlines: “Limbaugh Wants to See Suffering!” (laughing) You know what they’re gonna do. (interruption) That’s right. “Limbaugh Agrees with Romney, Wants to See People Fired.”
“Limbaugh Eager for People’s Homes to Burn Down.” “Limbaugh Wants Sequester to Happen.” “Limbaugh Wants People to Starve.” “Limbaugh Wants People to be Denied Health Care.” “Limbaugh Wants You to Die.” (New Castrati impression) “That’s right, Mr. Limbaugh! We heard you say it and now we’re hearing you laugh about it. You have no heart, Mr. Limbaugh. This is what we’ve been saying about you for decades.” (That’s the voice of the New Castrati.) Well, Obama said 800,000 Pentagon employees will be furloughed, and he said unemployment might tick up.
Look, let me tell you something. I was given an apt description of what this is.
This is a visual aid.
You put this up as graphic: “Pentagon informs Congress 800,000 civilians furloughed if sequester –” you put that up on CNN as a chyron graphic, and you’ve got a visual aid. It doesn’t matter if it’s true. Remember where people are on this. The sequester is the Republicans’ idea and it’s the Republicans idea because they hate people, and they want people to suffer, and they want people to starve and they want people to be kicked out of their homes. They don’t want people to get in the country. They don’t want people to get health care. They don’t want people to have any money. So you put that up there, “800,000 Pentagon employees furloughed because of sequester,” the automatic assumption will be that’s what Republicans — that’s why Panetta put the story out, not because it’s really gonna happen, but because it’s a great visual aid.
What is happening here, these furloughs are just an attack on the defense. It’s aimed at the Republicans in Congress. All of this is about politics with Obama. None of this is real. You got F. Chuck Todd and the media, “How long is this Chicken Little stuff gonna fly? How many times are people gonna fall for this?” And of course the answer is, F. Chuck, as long as you tell ’em it’s real. Every time the president says this stuff, if you don’t question the truthfulness of it, if you don’t question the validity of it, if you just report it, and if you amplify it. All you have to do is echo it. People are gonna fall for it, F. Chuck, particularly people who are the recipients of all these benefits. They can’t take the chance their stuff’s gonna be taken away, 800,000 people furloughed. I didn’t know we had that many people left on the civilian side.
Anyway, if the sequester does happen, none of this is actually gonna happen. None of these horror stories are gonna take place. And that then becomes the question. When low-information voters see that we can cut government spending and the world doesn’t end, that’s something I don’t think Obama can afford. You know, he’s not in a precarious position, I don’t care what the media says, but he does face some dilemmas. On the one hand he would love the sequester because — don’t doubt me on this — Obama, as a classic leftist, despises the military, in any country, but particularly the American military. It’s the focus of evil in the modern world. Not just Obama, the whole American left. Military suffers a defeat, they’re happy. Military succeeds, not a good day.
So defense cuts, and with Obama being able to blame that on the Republicans, folks, that is made to order. And then on the other side, all this other stuff, Republicans getting blamed for Head Start, first responders, all that, it’s made to order. On the other hand, none of these horror stories are actually going to happen. Air traffic control’s not gonna shut down. The firemen are not gonna shut off. The federal government doesn’t even pay them. The cops are not paid, the teachers are not paid by the federal government. Doctors are not gonna stop treating people. This is not going to happen.
But we’ve been through this. The budget battle of 1995, the mythical school lunch cuts. It’s the same tactic that the Democrats have used. The Republicans know that this is coming years in advance. Obama knows that all he’s gotta do is go out there and make a couple of really tough speeches, like he did yesterday, and the Republicans will cave. I mean, that’s the history of this.
RUSH: Now, to the phones, as promised, Somerset, Massachusetts. Hey, Mel. I’m glad you called. Thank you much for waiting. Hi.
CALLER: How you doing, Rush?
RUSH: Pretty good, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: Thank you. Great speaking with you today. Listen, I was listening to you earlier about how Obama made that speech saying all these federal workers were gonna lose their jobs and everything, and it hit me really hard yesterday when I listened to the speech. It infuriated me that this guy could lie this much to the American people and get away with it, and if this is gonna happen with the sequester, I say let it. Let these federal workers feel exactly what the rest of us have been feeling out here for the last four years, okay? I mean, you said earlier on another show — I listen to you a lot — that government jobs are the only ones expanding, and it’s like, how can they keep expanding government jobs when they don’t have enough money to pay for the stuff they have now? So, all the stuff you say, I thank you for it.
RUSH: Well, I understand. But, see, that’s what I’m talking about. You want the sequester to happen. If 800,000 Pentagon civilians get laid off? “Fine! Get laid off. Find out what the rest of us are going through out here. Find out what it’s like. If your food stamp card is disabled, find out what it’s like to not have any money! Find out what this economy is.” I know you have this visceral desire for that to happen. The problem is we’re not talking about cutting enough money for that to happen, in reality.
Look, I know that numbers end up becoming gibberish on the radio, but look, we’re talking about $85 billion of cuts, and not all at once. Obama proposed $84 billion in new spending in the State of the Union show. We just authorized $50 billion on Hurricane Sandy relief. That $85 billion of budget cuts is like somebody making a hundred grand losing a quarter! You wouldn’t notice it, and you surely wouldn’t care, and you wouldn’t suffer, and you wouldn’t call the cops. We’re talking chump change here.
The disasters that Obama spells out are not gonna happen.
We’re not talking about enough money being cut. Those 800,000 civilians furloughed from the Pentagon? There’s not enough money here to be causing that! But they can make it happen as far as a photo-op is concerned. We’re being lied to, is the point. We’re being scared to death, fear mongered, and it seems like every month and a half or three months there is a new budget crisis and the same crap gets rolled out. As I say, F. Chuck Todd of Nightly News on NBC said last night, “How long is this gonna go on? How long can Obama get away with this Chicken Little stuff, ‘The sky is falling’?”
The answer is: As long as he’s not called on it by you guys, he’s gonna get away with it.
This is Misty in Telford, Pennsylvania. Misty is one of my all-time, top ten favorite female names.
CALLER: (giggling) Thank you, Rush. You made me blush, let me tell you. I’ve had it a really long time, almost as long as the song’s been out. So there you go.
RUSH: I remember the movie, too. As a radio guy, I will never forget that movie.
CALLER: Yeah. Frightening. As those of us who live in Realville — I want to use my favorite word that you use. We, as a very middle class family of five — three teenagers, self-employed husband, part-time working mom — have been sequestering for years now. What are these people afraid of? You know what I mean? They act like the bank is bottomless, when in fact it is not. I always told my children, “Just because money is partially made of paper, doesn’t mean it grows on trees.” So we need to have this country understand that there is a normal balance and the country will not fall apart.
RUSH: Well, that’s an interesting question. You’ve noticed, I’m sure, whenever anybody in Washington proposes a tax cut, the immediate reaction elsewhere in Washington is utter outrage and panic, and they say, “Well, how are we gonna pay for this?” They view a tax cut as the government losing money, and the government can never be permitted to lose money. If somebody does something that takes money away from government, they go get it. Now, the same does not apply to you.
CALLER: Of course not.
RUSH: They’ll come up with policies that take money away from you all day — new taxes — and they don’t care what happens to you as a result, and if you start bemoaning it they call you selfish and greedy, right?
CALLER: Oh, absolutely.
As the mom of three teenagers in a day where everybody has every luxury on the planet, we’ve chosen not to do that, to teach our children to live a life of humility and to not expect things. You don’t go to the bank and get a lollipop every time you go because then it’s not a treat. You give it once in a while, and, you know, they don’t have every video game or whatever. My kids don’t even have cell phones because we choose to make them responsible. “I know where you are. When you drive a car, you’ll get a cell phone,” that kind of thing. I mean, life is not just handed over to you. You need to work for it.
RUSH: But it is to government. Government gets anything it wants, any time it wants. It gives away whatever it wants. It can take from whoever, whenever, whatever it wants. And as I say, the impact that it has on — another way to put this in perspective, the sequester is $85 billion. The Federal Reserve is printing $85 billion a month. It’s called QE3, quantitative easing, it’s another stimulus. The Fed is printing $85 billion a month. And that money is being used to buy securities in the stock market, essentially to pump up and prop up the stock market. They’re printing $85 billion a month.
You look, the Republicans, Democrats, they’re all in a panic over cuts of $85 billion. The real truth to this, if we are to ever get on the road to genuine recovery, genuine progress in reducing the debt that is disastrous, we’re talking about cuts of trillions of dollars. Until we’re talking about cuts of trillions of dollars, we’re not serious. Cuts of $85 billion over three or four years is inconsequential, and yet you see the utter panic that this is greeted with in Washington.
And then you realize, they don’t have a dollar until they take it from somebody else. They don’t generate it, produce it. They print it, they borrow it, but that’s it. They don’t produce anything. And yet they take up an increasing percentage of the gross domestic product of the country. Thanks for the call, Misty. I appreciate it.
RUSH: By the way, a couple of corrections here on the sequester. I said that the Fed was printing $85 billion a year, apparently. They’re printing $85 billion a month. The Federal Reserve is printing $85 billion a month. The money is being used to buy stock, essentially, that’s where it ends up. It take a circuitous route to get there, but it’s propping up the stock market. That’s why Wall Street loves it. They’re getting the money. They’re not concerned with what it’s doing to the debt, the deficit, or any of that because they’re getting the money.
So all the big Wall Street titans love this. They love it. It’s propping them up because, you see, the stock market is a very public indicator of economic health. As far as low-information voters and others are concerned, the stock market’s doing well, everything else must be okay. And one other number. The sequester, the cuts in 2013 are not $85 billion. Forty-four billion is what we’re actually talking about.