RUSH: Hammond, Indiana, with Bob, thank you for waiting, great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. I just wanted to make the observation that even if what the president was saying today during his press conference were true, that extending unemployment benefits would allow Kathy to turn up her thermostat and with a couple extra dollars go to the store and buy that extra dozen of eggs, isn’t that nothing less than trickle-down economics that most liberals deride?
RUSH: Well, yes, it actually is, except the Democrats would say it is trickle up. The Democrats would say, “No, no, no. Kathy didn’t have any money ’til we came along and gave her some. And then we gave her some money, and Kathy’s poor, by definition, and Kathy went out and spent money, and this is how the poor get screwed. We give them money and then they go out and buy necessities, and then the Republicans call that trickle-down. But instead what it really is: trickle up. It is the poor supporting the wealthy.” That’s how Obama and the Democrats look at it.
You’re right, it is a classic example of trickle-down. He just said a citizen is gonna spend some money and it might result in a job being created. That’s trickle-down. You’re classically right. The Democrats would say, no, no, no, no, trickle up. This is how the poor have made the rich rich. And this has got to stop.
RUSH: The White House just tweeted: “Fact: If Congress fails to renew unemployment benefits, it could cost our economy 240,000 jobs this year.” That’s not Organizing for America. That is the White House website. If we don’t continue to pay people not to work, we could lose 240,000 jobs. That’s a great illustration. That’s absolute folderol. That’s gobbly gook. That’s absolute nonsense. Can you imagine 10 times that every day during a Republican administration, with Obama characterizing whatever the new president’s policies are, how they’re gonna harm people. Brace yourselves, folks.
RUSH: Ty in Moline, Illinois. It’s great to have you here. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I’m here with my 15-year-old, Emma. Can she say hi first?
RUSH: (laughing) Sure.
CALLER: Go ahead.
RUSH: Hi. How are you?
EMMA: I’m good.
RUSH: Good. I hope you’re staying warm.
RUSH: How cold is it in Moline today?
EMMA: Seven degrees.
RUSH: Seven degrees! You sound tough. You sound like you can deal with that without a problem.
CALLER: She’s usually much more talkative than that. Rush?
CALLER: I was calling about this theory that Obama has about a tax break for hiring in poverty zones. Did you see that this morning?
RUSH: Well, that’s basically the country. Yeah. I did.
RUSH: Poverty zones. You know, here’s the thing: This guy been president for five years, and he gets away with talking about poverty zones as though he’s got nothing to do with it.
RUSH: They’re his! He created ’em.
CALLER: But if that tax break’s good for that area, how come it’s not good for the entire country, and why does he have to stop just those areas? It should be for almost all hiring, wouldn’t you think?
RUSH: Well, now, that’s an interesting question, and I think to understand Obama or any Democrat — any liberal Democrat, but particularly Obama — you have to be cynic in a way. Now, you and I know that Obama opposes and hates tax cuts.
RUSH: Hates them, despises them. But he also knows that people like them, and if he can be seen as supporting a tax cut here, a tax cut there, then it could go a long way toward disabusing people of the notion that he’s a socialist or Big Government guy. This is… I think proposing a tax cut in this circumstance is simply a head fake that’s designed to camouflage, ’cause he still needs to camouflage for some people who he is and what he wants to do. So this one’s very specific. If I understand it, what he wants to do is give tax breaks to people who hire people who live in poverty zones.
RUSH: Now, he gets to define the poverty zone.
CALLER: Yeah, he gets to define it just like they get to define the trickle-up theory that he’s gonna give money to certain people so that they can spend it his way.
RUSH: Right, and here’s the thing.
CALLER: Do you really believe he wants everybody to turn up the thermostat for global warming?
RUSH: Exactly. He doesn’t like utility companies. See, this is why you have to be a cynic. ‘Cause, see, you’ve got it, because Obama is essentially admitting here that tax cuts can grow the economy.
RUSH: But that’s not what he wants people to take from this. What he wants people to take from this is that he personally is making it possible for people to be hired, that the federal government is making sure that people will be hired. He’s taking the credit away from whoever will actually be doing the hiring. The problem with this is that nothing really has to happen.
RUSH: All he has to do is say it, and he gets credit for it. If it never happens, nobody will know.
CALLER: He says it and it must be true.
RUSH: Well, exactly. There have been a couple other instances in his administration where he’s done something similar. There was a… Give me time to think about this. He had a theory that’s not coming to me. There have been a couple of occasions in the past where he has said something like this, but what he proposed was actually a total misunderstanding of how… Oh, it was something about tax cuts were gonna cause people to hire people.
The point was that businesses only hire when the economy’s growing. People do not hire for tax cuts. They don’t hire for tax breaks. That’s exactly what it was. It was early on, first term, and he was suggesting that he could give some tax cuts to small business if they would go hire people, and I made the point that the tax credit they were gonna get would not even offset the expense of hiring whoever it is they’re gonna hire — and this won’t, either.
CALLER: No, it won’t, but he’ll get credit for saying it.
RUSH: Well, whatever tax break he’s gonna give or offer is nowhere near what it’s gonna cost to hire these people. So they’re really not gonna do it. My point was that this is not how businesses operate. Businesses don’t wait around for tax cuts in order to hire people. They hire people when there’s new work to be done, and there isn’t any work to be done here — and until that happens, you’re not gonna have any real hiring done. So this is just for show, and he doesn’t even really want to…
See, this is where the Republicans ought to be saying exactly what you’re saying. “Well, Mr. President, if a tax cut will cause somebody to be hired in a poverty zone, why not cut taxes in the middle class? Why not cut taxes everywhere if it results in hiring?” He won’t do that. No way. But the bottom line is, the tax cut, credit, whatever he’s gonna do, won’t come anywhere near offsetting the cost of hiring somebody.
That’s the bottom line here, which is fine with him. All he wants is for it to be reported that he’s offering tax cuts to get people in poverty zones hired. “Oh, he really cares,” and then if businesses don’t do it, “See!” This is the end of the education. If nobody gets hired, then whose fault is it? “It’s those mean businesspeople. He tried! He really tried! He tried to give ’em incentives. He tried, but they just won’t do it.”
So at the end of the day, if nobody gets hired in this program, he gets blame business for it. “No compassion! They don’t care.” The point is, it’s not a good deal for a business. He’s not offering a tax break anywhere near large enough that would offset the cost of hiring somebody, and there has to be the money to hire somebody, which means there has to be enough work to be done. There has to be enough productivity where the business needs to hire somebody.
They don’t just hire people because they get a tax break. That’s not how it works. So this is all for show. It’s all designed for the consumption of words, not the substance of policy — and, by the way, Ty, people are speechless around me all the time. It’s not unusual. He said his daughter’s normally more talkative, but a lot of people freeze on the phones here. They’re just in such awe, and it’s quite natural. Don’t sweat it.
North Fort Myers, Florida. Sandy, hi. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. It’s an honor to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: I was telling, I guess, Mr. Snerdley that last night on the public television network here in Fort Myers area there was a show on for an hour — but was on from midnight to one o’clock — about economics, freedom and action changing lives. A gentleman traveled the globe and went to formerly communist countries like Czechoslovakia (sic) and how they finally rebelled against communism and split off and how they have improved their economy by free enterprise.
He interviewed people showing that they did their own thing and now their economies are thriving, and then he went on to Chile and talked about the revolution there where the military took over, and the military wanted the main general to take over the economy, too, but he got smart and he brought in some men from Chicago who worked with Milton Friedman theory and provided free enterprise, and he showed many small business people how they are thriving with their ability to feed themselves.
RUSH: Right. What you’re saying is, you couldn’t believe it because it was on PBS?
CALLER: Yes. (laughing) I was surprised.
RUSH: Well, look, they did air it midnight to one. Nobody in Fort Myers saw it other than you.
CALLER: I’ll bet. It’s supposedly on this morning at eight and then one and then four this afternoon. Well, why couldn’t they put it on at eight o’clock at night where people really would watch it?
RUSH: Well, because that… I remember when I first started in radio, 1967. At the time, you had to devote a certain percentage of your program to local so-called community issues, in order to keep your license.
RUSH: So every Sunday morning from three a.m. to seven a.m., we put on the absolute worst, most boring stuff — sewage issues in the community, how to bake a carrot bake for the holidays — all that garbage that nobody wanted to listen to that the government made the stations broadcast at a time nobody heard it, so we could satisfy the requirement. While that no longer exists per se, the same theory does. PBS did it. Okay, cool. But they aired it when nobody saw it. So they probably had a contract to air the show with whoever produced it; they got it out of the way where nobody saw it.
RUSH: Look, folks, I have a question here about tax cuts for poverty zones. I mean, what the hell? Because we just heard today that unemployment benefits create jobs. The president did a 45-minute event at the White House, if you’re just joining us. For those of you who have been listening the whole show, forgive me. I’m gonna bring people up to speed. There was a 45-minute event at the White House where the president said that unemployment benefits grow the economy.
He said that unemployment benefits create jobs, and he cited a woman named Kathy, and he said that if she gets unemployment benefits, it might create a job, maybe even for her. He said that with her unemployment check, she can turn her thermostat up and stay warmer, and that will benefit the utility company, and they might hire a worker; then he said that if Kathy gets her unemployment check, she might go to the grocery store and buy an additional dozen eggs or loaf of bread or something, and that might make the grocery store hire a worker, maybe even her.
So for 45 minutes, the president was surrounded by people who were applauding this lunacy. He said it, Pelosi said it, Dick Durbin said it on the Senate floor: Unemployment benefits create jobs. The White House on their website today says that unemployment benefits, the emergency extension, three more months of unemployment benefits, will create… Well, they didn’t say that. They said if we don’t do it, we could lose 240,000 jobs.
What the president said was that if we continue to pay people not to work, that we will create jobs. And that if we do not pay people not to work, then we will lose jobs. And he described it exactly as I told you. This woman, Kathy, goes to the store and turns her thermostat up, and utility company and the grocery store hire new workers. So, given that, what is this folderol, rigmarole about tax breaks for people who hire the unemployed? Why do they have to be hired if unemployment benefits create jobs?
If unemployment insurance creates jobs, and the concentration of unemployed is in poverty zones or poor areas, then why would Obama propose tax cuts for these areas to create jobs? Why not just expand unemployment insurance in these areas, because he said today that that creates jobs. That would fix the problem. It always does, right? Unemployment benefits create jobs. So why is he proposing tax breaks businesses to hire people in poverty zones? Why?
If extending unemployment benefits creates jobs, then what is this tax cuts to hire people? We don’t need to hire anybody. The unemployment benefits create jobs! That’s what he said. Folks, do you realize how seriously insane all of this is, how insultingly stupid all of this is? “Unemployment benefits create jobs. If we don’t extend them, we could lose jobs. Paying people not to work will create jobs.” I don’t know about you, but the man needs to be laughed out of town.