RUSH: Seriously, folks, at his cabinet meeting, Obama announced essentially his economic agenda. It consists of doing something for preschool kids, the minimum wage, and immigration and promise zones. That, essentially — at least according to reports by people who are on the inside — is gonna be the theme or some of the themes of the State of the Union show. So preschool, immigration, and minimum wage.
Eugene Robinson, the Washington Post today: “Where is the Democrats’ Outrage About Unemployment?” He wants some blood! He thinks the Democrats aren’t angry enough. He thinks the Democrats aren’t on television enough ripping the Republicans to shreds enough for not caring about the unemployed. He says we need to go out and do whatever it takes to extend these benefits, including borrow money from whoever, because it’ll create 200,000 jobs. You know, this is literally insane.
All of these Democrats are saying that all of this unemployment benefit money creates jobs. If that were the case, how would there be 92 million Americans not working now? We’ve been extending unemployment benefits from 99 weeks and beyond for five years. We should now be at full employment! Meanwhile, “Prospects of 1.4 million unemployed Americans getting their federal jobless benefits back soon brightened on Monday when US Senate Republican negotiators offered a new plan to extend the emergency relief for three months.”
They basically, in their offer, would pay for unemployment benefits by extending across-the-board spending cuts, sequestration for another year into 2014. That’s how they would pay for it, 10 years from now, three months of that extension.
RUSH: It’s very depressing, folks, to realize that the Republicans want to join in this whole phony accounting business, phantom budget cuts in 2024, to pay for three months of benefit extension this year. Yeah, we’re taking it off the table for three months. We’re taking a weapon away from the Democrats by giving them what they want. That’s really smart. You people are not smart enough to figure that out, see?
The Republicans, they’re making themselves smaller targets for abuse by Democrats by giving the Democrats what they want. Well, here are the gory details. “Prospects of 1.4 million unemployed Americans getting their federal jobless benefits back soon brightened on Monday when US Senate Republican negotiators offered a new plan to extend the emergency relief for three months.” Now, here’s what’s interesting.
The chances of an extension of these one-time, “emergency” federal benefits seemed to be dead. It really wasn’t going anywhere in the Senate. It seemed to be dead. It wasn’t totally buried, but it seemed to be. So why are the Republicans trying to revive it? “Senate Democrats and Republicans planned to meet privately on Tuesday to evaluate the proposal. A vote on it could occur within days. … According to a senior aides, the Republican offer would pay for the jobless benefits by extending … ‘sequestration,’ for another year — into 2014.”
See, sequestration cuts are now extended to 2023, and the Republicans have said to the Democrats (paraphrased), “Hey, look, you know what? Give us another year of sequestration, 2024, and we’ll take those savings 10 years from now, and that’s how we’ll take for the unemployment benefits extension.” We’re talking, again, about $6.4 billion. They’re gonna pay for it with money they hope to collect 10 years from now.
Now, you and I both know that 10 years from now this IOU will have long been forgotten, and future Congresses can’t be bound by this. I mean, a new law can change next year to wipe this out. But here in one sentence is everything that is wrong with the US Congress and what passes for fiscal responsibility. This is just an accounting trick, gimmick. It’s a joke, and Republicans have decided to get in on the game.
Obviously they have determined somewhere that the country wants unemployment benefits extended, and there’s no future in trying to tell people why they’re no good. There’s no point. The Republicans have concluded that there’s no point in trying to tell people how doing this is harmful. It’s just easier to support it, so that the people will not hate Republicans as much. But, again, the Republicans cannot make themselves bulletproof on this stuff.
Look at every issue that comes up. They give the Democrats all or a part of what they want trying to buy peace and love and affection, and it just never works. So extending unemployment benefits… Here’s Obama’s economic policy: Extending federal unemployment benefits, raising the federal minimum wage, and amnesty. That’s Obama’s big economic push. That’s what we’re told is going to be his focus in the State of the Union show.
He couldn’t do three things together to cause more harm to the US economy than those three things, and they are packaged now as an economic recovery proposal. Raise the minimum wage, amnesty for illegals, and extending federal unemployment benefits. That is the perfect trifecta, a perfect trifecta for destroying the economy. It doesn’t grow anything. It doesn’t create a growing and thriving private sector — where careers are, where meaningful employment takes place.
That continues to shrink, the government continues to absorb more and more of it, and the government begins to assume the role of provider. There are 92 million Americans out of work, not even in the workforce by virtue of trying to find a job, and the number is growing, and it’s all called “compassion.”
RUSH: Lakeview, Washington. This is Susan. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. First of all, I want to say I was turned on to you by my mom when you were still in Sacramento. I guess I’m one of the original Rush Babes.
RUSH: Wow, you go way, way back
CALLER: Way, way back. Which kind of gives you an idea of how old I am, and I just want to say thank you.
RUSH: Yeah, but doesn’t it all just seem like yesterday? I mean, sometimes I think about it and it seems like yesterday.
CALLER: It really does, and frankly you haven’t changed a whole heck of a lot from that time.
RUSH: Well, and I won’t. That’s one of the best compliments I could ever get, and I appreciate your saying that.
CALLER: No problem. I was calling about the story that you had in the first hour with regard to the Republicans feeling all proud of the compromise that they came up with to extend the unemployment benefits for three months. When I heard that, I just about hit the ceiling I was so mad, because why are they focusing on these spending cuts in 10 years as opposed to changing regulations now that will allow entrepreneurs to start small businesses, that will provide jobs for people who are out of work? In the case of my dad, he has been out of work since last July, and lost his unemployment benefits at the beginning of the year. Why are they not focusing on job creation up there at the top of the list, as opposed to, “Well, let’s extend unemployment for three more months”?
That’s not gonna fix the problem.
RUSH: Well, it’s an interesting way you’ve put that. Let me ask you a question.
RUSH: If you are a Republican in Washington today, what is the problem?
CALLER: For me, it would be the fact that we are not in a business-friendly country anymore. We have too many regulations. We have, obviously, the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare.
RUSH: No, no, no, no. Then you would not qualify as a Republican in Washington.
RUSH: When you ask them what the problem is today, that’s not what they’re gonna tell you.
CALLER: Well, the problem is they don’t have enough Hispanic voters.
RUSH: You’re getting warm.
CALLER: According to the Chamber of Commerce, that’s our problem.
RUSH: Okay. Snerdley is trying to answer. (interruption) Yes, the problem is talk radio and the Tea Party, but that’s not still the problem if you are the Republicans in Washington. You just said, “Look, why don’t we offer an alternative?” Why doesn’t somebody start talking about jobs? We are the opposition party. Why don’t we push back? Why don’t we start standing up for the people who want to start working, who want to start businesses, who want to create jobs, who want to keep more of what they earn? What has happened to us? That’s not… They don’t view the problem that way. That’s not the problem. Their problem is that they think they are hated because people don’t think they have compassion.
CALLER: No, they’re hated because they don’t attack the opposition party. They’re hated by their own base because they are not standing up for the people of this country. They kowtow to the Democrats.
RUSH: They don’t care about that.
CALLER: They should.
RUSH: I know, but they don’t care about being hated by their base. They care about being loved by people that vote for Democrats.
CALLER: But they don’t vote for Republicans, so what’s the purpose?
RUSH: Well, they think that the solution to their problems is going to be found in somehow being able to demonstrate or prove that they aren’t racists and that they aren’t sexists and that they aren’t bigots and that they don’t hate the poor and that they don’t hate Hispanics and that they don’t hate immigrants and so forth. That is the problem, and so the idea of standing for an opportunity society with job creation doesn’t occur to them.
CALLER: Well, if they really wanted to make both sides happy, what they would do is say, “Yes, we’ve come up with this compromise to extend the unemployment benefits for three months, and we’re also putting forward these steps that we think will help to create new jobs that will make this unnecessary after three months.” But they don’t do that.
RUSH: The Democrats will oppose that, and —
CALLER: Yeah, that’s the problem.
RUSH: — they are afraid of Democrat opposition.
CALLER: They’re afraid of the media.
RUSH: True. Same difference.
RUSH: I mean, the media is Democrats. Six of one, half dozen of the other. But if you look at what the Republicans are doing, every idea they’ve got is a version of a Democrat idea. Health care?
RUSH: They’ve got an alternative that still maintains the premise. Unemployment benefit extension? They’ve got a different idea, but it maintains the premise.
CALLER: Which doesn’t help people like my dad who’s been out of work for over six months now.
RUSH: They think your dad’s in the minority. They think that the number of people who actually want to work is small. They think more people are happy to be taken care of, and they’ve got to get in on that action. They’ve got to be seen as comfortable and open to that view. They think a majority of Americans don’t want to work, a majority of Americans want the government taking care of them, providing their health care, and doing this or that. The Republicans think they’re not seen that way, and so that’s one of the many things they’re trying to accomplish is to be seen as supportive of what people who vote for what Democrats want.
RUSH: I mean, I’m open. If somebody’s got a different idea out there, feel free. I would love to be wrong about this.
CALLER: I believe you are right about that, and I’m just hoping that in this year’s midterms we can start electing some people who grew up in Realville, that will go out there and remain true to our values.
RUSH: Look at what happens to those people. I can give you a couple of names, maybe three. Ted Cruz; Mike Lee; to a lesser extent, Marco Rubio. Look what happens to those people, within their own party. Look what happens to those people.
CALLER: Well, and that’s why we need to elect more of ’em so that we can start replacing the old guard in the Republican Party —
RUSH: Well, that’s been the goal.
CALLER: — that’s been there for 30 years.
RUSH: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. Little did you know when you uttered the seemingly innocent phrase, “Why don’t they see the problem?” where that casually-tossed-off question was gonna lead. But that is the essence of it. That sums it up. They don’t look out over the country and see… I mean, you’ll have some Republicans here who talk about the need for job creation and jobs, jobs, jobs. But it clearly is not something that you identify with the Republican Party today.
I mean, the story is they’ve got their own idea to extend unemployment benefits. So it’s clear to me that they think that’s what most Americans want — and more than that, really, it’s if they don’t support it they’re gonna get creamed as cold-hearted, mean-spirited, extremists who don’t care about the little guy. Now, the truth of the matter is that we’re destroying people’s lives by continuing to pay them chump change for not working. It’s enough chump change that they can eat, but it’s destroying potential.
It’s destroying identity. It’s destroying ambition. That’s a huge problem for the country. But more and more politics is about the elite elected officials and their futures and what they can do to guarantee their futures. Newsweek had a cover from not that long ago (it was a few years, maybe months) that said, “We’re All Socialists Now.” The Republican consultant class, they see that kind of thing, and they start advising their candidates on it.
You know, what not to say and what not to do, and everything’s focus-grouped , poll tested, and so forth. This continuing desire to figure out the independents