RUSH: The Clinton Global Initiative is timed to occur the same week in New York as the United Nations week-long confab is, and that’s because the United Nations was bigger at first and attracted more women to town. So Clinton timed the Clinton Global Initiative to coincide with the arrival of a whole lot of foreign women with their delegations.
Now, it is said that the Clinton Global Initiative is actually outnumbering the occurrences of the week at the United Nations. During the week at the Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton said that “the American economy isn’t feeling as secure as it should,” and he knows why. Here’s some statistics: “Median household income in 2013 was $51,900, according to recent reports from the US Census Bureau, 8% lower than before the recession began in 2007.”
So, 2008, the last year of Bush and all of Obama’s administration.
Median household income has fallen about 8%. And then Clinton said (impression), “Median income hasn’t gone up for three reasons. One is the labor markets aren’t tight enough, and we haven’t raised the minimum wage as we should. And the second reason is we haven’t changed the job mix enough, to raise the median income and have more poor people working into it. The combination of jobs has to pay, on average, higher wages.”
All right, well, that’s true.
Does anybody know how that happens?
What leads to wage increases on a large scale? Forget unions, because that’s those things happen independent of market forces on many occasions, not all but in a lot. For the average, ordinary Tom, Dick, or Harry, what is it that determines wage increases? And there’s any number of things. It’s not the minimum wage. I’m just gonna tell you right now: The minimum wage doesn’t have any impact on median income whatsoever.
It’s not even intended to. The minimum wage is a drag. If you want to bring the minimum wage into the conversation, having one in the first place would contribute to a decline in median income. It’s direct relatable to economic growth. There isn’t any! I don’t care what Obama says that the economy is growing and you just don’t feel it. You know it’s not growing precisely because you don’t feel it!
You know, it used to be — and I’ve never forgotten this phenomenon. It used to be that you could convince people, in good economic times, that we were heading for a recession. We saw it happen. The Drive-By Media, the Democrat Party spent four years — 2005 all the way through 2009 — trying to convince the American people that we were headed for a recession. It was all part of the “Get Bush” angle, and it was tied into what a mess the Iraq war was.
Now, at the time they started trying to convince people the economy was in the tank, do you know what the unemployment rate was? It was 4.7%. That is statistical zero! As Obama likes to say, “All economists agree,” but on this they do. At 4.7% unemployment is statistical full employment, because there are reasons and vagaries why people are unemployed. You’re never gonna get everybody who wants a job in a job.
That can’t equal full, so 4.7% unemployment is damn good, and that’s what it was. It was near the best, and they started trying to convince people that we were headed into a recession. They would use gasoline prices to do it, any number of things. But they didn’t even offer specifics. They just said it every day, just reported: “Economists are worried for X, Y, and Z reasons! We’re soon to be headed into a bubble, a recession.”
So I remember, there was an interview with a guy in a neighborhood, an average American town, and he said, “I’m doing fine. I don’t see any recession, but apparently a lot of people in town are hurtin’.” You can convince people, in good economic times, that it is bad or getting bad, because people are naturally pessimistic. They don’t have to work hard at it. It’s just a fascinating aspect of human nature.
It takes effort to be positive. It takes effort to be uplifted and positive, enthusiastic. And oftentimes people can’t do it on their own. They need help. People aren’t self-starters. But when it comes to being pessimistic? (snorts) That’s easy. So you can talk people into that. But when things are bad, it is really difficult to convince them things are good when they’re not, and that’s what Obama is trying to do.
On 60 Minutes last night, “Oh, yeah, look at the numbers! Oh, man, we’re roaring back here! I mean, things are really going great. The economy is great. You just don’t feel it.” So what he’s essentially telling you is, you’re too stupid to know how great the economy’s going. The bottom line is: You can’t convince people of something innately positive like this unless they see it, feel it, or experience it.
Maybe in a couple of extreme examples could you find somebody not doing well and say, “Oh, most people must be going great. I guess I’m not doing too well, but the whole town, they must really be kicking butt.” Except when you drive through town, nobody is kicking butt. You can’t see it, and that’s evident enough to know.
So that’s the really difficult thing to do. And here comes Clinton coming along undercutting Obama. Obama says the economy’s going gangbusters, and here’s Clinton claiming he’s got the explanation for why it isn’t going gangbusters ’cause median income is falling. And his basic answer is the labor markets are too tight, whatever he means by that, and minimum wage, which he’s just making a pure political statement. Wages, on average, are not going to increase unless the economy grows, but there are other factors besides that.
There’s a great piece. I have it here in the Stack. It’s a long piece. It’s a theory, opinion piece, that forces are aligned to actually keep the middle class poor to prevent middle class expansion and growth, and if I have time to work it in today — it’s kind of esoteric and a little bit in-depth, but it nevertheless is interesting in a couple of ways.
Now, the income tax is a great way to prevent the accrual of wealth. In fact, it’s the number one weapon against creating wealth, is the income tax. As you know, the more you earn, the higher your rate, the more you will pay. The more you earn, the more is taken from you. And then the more you earn and the more is taken from you, the more you hear you’re not paying your fair share. The more you hear that you are selfish and greedy when you want to keep a little bit more of what you are earning.
So the tax code is one of the reasons why median income is not up. But overall, it’s the economy. There isn’t any growth anywhere. Numbers of people laid off, numbers of people not working, there’s nothing out there that would suggest real wage growth makes sense, unless you have a boss who’s got a big heart and simply wants to give you a raise that’s got nothing to do with market forces, and there are those people, but they’re not abundant.
RUSH: Now, back to Bill Clinton. I’m gonna use this to segue into this story about the faculty at George Washington University all of a sudden being hit by Obamacare and they’re shocked. And this is classic. I mean, here you had big donors, big supporters, the elite, right? University professors. And they’re the ones out there telling their students, poisoning them with propaganda and all that, singing the praises of Obama and socialism. And here comes Obamacare and they hate it, and they don’t like it, and it’s very harmful. And they’re not blaming Obama. They’re blaming university.
But in a manner of getting there, I want to go back to Bill Clinton, who said last week at the Clinton Global Initiative that he knows why US incomes are stagnant. He basically said tight labor markets and we haven’t raised the minimum wage enough. Now, the truth is, in this country, if you’re serious and if you’re going to be honest, how you can talk about wages not going up and not mention Obamacare is, to me, quiet revealing.
Look at what’s happening because of Obamacare. People’s work hours are being cut back, in some cases significantly, to 30 hours a week. The most recent jobs report indicated that almost 80% of the new jobs reported in that month were part-time. This is because employers do not have to offer coverage and spend a lot of money on it for part-time workers. Part-time is defined as 30 hours or less. So they’re cutting full-timers back to 30 hours. The new hires are no more than 30 hours.
They’re not getting Obamacare. They then have to go to the exchange to get it, which they’re gonna pay through the nose for. Look at what’s happening with health care costs in general. And Obama lied. He said if you like your doctor, you can keep it. If you like your plan, you can keep it. Your premium’s gonna come down $2,500. Basically you had some people thinking it was gonna be free. Now it’s taking a bigger chunk out of their income than they were ever told, a bigger chunk than they ever planned on, and they’re having their hours cut at the same time. And Clinton talks about the minimum wage as one of the reasons incomes are stagnant?
Now, granted, Obamacare is related to incomes in the sense that it cuts hours. And if you’re hours are cut, how much you’re gonna earn is cut. Now, Obamacare itself may not directly impact salaries or how much per hour people earn, but it is impacting how much people work. And in that way it is limiting how much people can earn. I don’t know how you leave Obamacare out of the equation. Well, I know how, it’s political, they leave it out, but, I mean, in being truthful. You want to talk about stagnant incomes. If you want to talk stagnant economic growth, even though Obama says the economy is growing, you just don’t feel it. I mean, that’s pretty bold. That’s quite a big one to pull off.
We had a report last week, 20% of those laid off five years ago, three million people still out of work. Twenty percent of people laid off five years ago are still out of work. That totals three million people. Most of those who have gotten jobs are not making as much as they were five years ago, and mostly because so many of them had to take part-time jobs. All of this is because of Obamacare. So Obamacare is one of the biggest obstacles to increased wages, increased economic growth, and the accrual, creation of wealth, that there is.
But it’s another thing, folks. I mean, the overall fact, Obamacare’s just a symptom. Obamacare is just an example. It is like I said, ahem, so succinctly on Friday. The pie where everybody works, the pie that everyone wants a piece of, the American dream, that pie used to be something that was elastic, and over the course of the years since the country was founded, always grew. Might have had down years where it shrunk, but it was always growing. And the percentage of that pie that was government was around 15 to 18%.
Since Obama, the percentage of that pie that is government, it’s now over 20, 22% and growing. Now, the more government takes out of that pie, the less of that pie there is for everybody else. The private sector, which is kind of an esoteric term. The economy is the best real way to convey this. The economy is shrinking because the government is taking so much of it. The government just nationalized one-sixth of the economy with Obamacare. Government now runs it. It’s not in the, quote, unquote, economy or the private sector. And more and more of it’s being taken from the private sector every year.
Unless you find a way, as an individual, to get cozy with some government figure and yourself begin to practice crony capitalism, crony socialism, you are dealing with a very small pie that’s getting smaller that you’re trying to get your piece of. And in that circumstance, the average wages, median income, is gonna grow. There are gonna be some people that do great, but not as many as in the past. So people’s pieces of the pie are gonna shrink as the pie shrinks. This is simple mathematics.
It’s also a great way to visualize the difference in liberalism, socialism, and capitalism. Capitalism believes that the government sector ought to be as minimal as you can make it. Defense, genuine safety net spending for people who literally really can’t help themselves. Infrastructure. After that, gone. And the rest of it is the private sector and that’s what makes the country hum. Government doesn’t produce anything. It only destroys wealth and moves it around. But it does not create it.
The more that pie government takes, the less of that pie is, the smaller it is, and therefore you’ve got the same number of people (i.e., at work) fighting over their piece of that pie, you couple that with the fact that the left has co-opted the education system in this country and created among people an entitlement mentality that says, “I’m American; I should get X!”
Not teaching the work ethic or impugning it, it all adds up. There’s all kinds of logical, senseless reasons why median income isn’t rising opinion the economy isn’t growing — and in fact the place where the economy functions is contracting, shrinking, as government takes more and more of it. This crony capitalism business, you know, that stuff’s been around for a while. It’s nothing new. But it’s never been this big.
The best way to illustrate it is, as we did about a month or two ago: Here you have Walmart as an example. (Costco would fit as well.) Here you have Walmart. It’s always been assumed that businesses, large and small, would want as little government messing with the way they do business as possible. As few regulations, as little monitoring. “Just get it out of there.
“Just let us compete and fight for customers the best way we know how, better products, better services, creative advertising, marketing, whatever.” That’s now going out the window. Instead, what businesses have realized is if a CEO cozies up to Obama and has a close relationship, then the government can take over taking the competition out.
For example, in the old days, in the normal ebb and flow of things, there is no way any major US corporation would eagerly sign on and support something like Obamacare. However, if doing so, a single corporation can, say, support Obamacare — or support raising the minimum wage (which is also against their best interests) — they come out and support it knowing full well their competitors can’t afford it, and then that puts the competitor out of business.
So then the Walmarts or Costcos — and I’m just using them as examples — haven’t had to do anything competitive to beat the competition. They let the government take care of it with policy. That’s crony socialism or capitalism, and that he isn’t healthy, either. General Electric. What business do they have taking $700 billion grants for “green energy” from the government? They don’t need it. They can use their own money.
But they sidle up, make a deal with Obama, and their competitors don’t have that close relationship and don’t have the same access to benefits and so forth. It’s the way it works. That’s something that’s relatively new in how frequent that it’s occurring. But all of it adds up to a reduction in the so-called free market concept. The flowing in and out of the basic free market is being interrupted and affected by artificial input from the government.
It’s benefiting people that sidle up to the administration versus those who can’t. And most of us can’t. We’re not corporations, and there’s not an individual among us that Obama really can benefit from having unless it’s some Hollywood actor or what have you. But it really isn’t complicated to explain why median income is falling. The complicated part is convincing people to support changing the modern-day arrangement that government has with the economy.
Government’s just taking too much of it.
It’s growing too big, it doesn’t produce anything, and the pie where everybody’s competing for their piece is shrinking. It’s that simple, and until we elect somebody that’s gonna purposely reduce government’s role in the private sector and downsize the government to get it out of people’s way, we’re not gonna have median income rising, and we’re not gonna have the middle class growing. It’s that simple.
RUSH: Barack Obama last night on 60 Minutes. I want you to hear this. I’ve already reported it, but I want you to hear it. Steve Kroft threw a series of softballs last night, and even he didn’t buy the answer that he got here. He said, “You’ve got midterm elections coming up. Are you gonna get shellacked, Mr. President? Are you optimistic? What are the issues? What are you gonna tell the American people coming up here?”
OBAMA: Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” In this case, are you better off than you were in six, and the answer is, the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office. But —
KROFT: Do you think people feel it?
OBAMA: They don’t feel it. And the reason they don’t feel it is because incomes and wages are not going up. There’s solutions to that. If we raise the minimum wage, if we make sure women are getting paid the same as men for doing the same work, if we are rebuilding our infrastructure.
KROFT: You think you can sell this? What we’ve been talking about?
OBAMA: You know what? Uhhhh…
KROFT: You think you can convince people that they’re doing fine economically?
OBAMA: Hopefully they get a chance to hear the argument, ’cause all I’m doing is presenting the facts.
RUSH: Is this not amazing? People know the economy’s in the tank. People know that their economic circumstances are not improving, and yet Obama’s gonna tell ’em, “Oh, yes, they are! You just don’t feel it. Oh, yes, the economy is much better out there. You just don’t know it.” Fascinating to me. “No they don’t feel it, and the reason they don’t feel it is because incomes and wages are not going up.”
Well, if incomes and wages are not going up, then what is growing about the economy? That’s what matters to people. That’s what they know, that’s what they sense, that’s what they feel. And, by the way, “If we raise the minimum wage,” a standard inclusion, “if we make sure women are getting paid the same as men…” They do. That 77Â¢ on the dollar thing is old. It’s out of hat; it’s no longer true.
“If we’re rebuilding our infrastructure”? What has that got to do with anything? By the way, that was part of our original stimulus bill back in 2009. How’s that working out? Rebuild the infrastructure? I thought we did that! Shovel-ready jobs? Roads and bridges? School repair? I thought we already did that. You know back on June the 30th, Bill Clinton told David Gregory, the late host of…
Well, he’s still alive, but he’s the former host of Meet the Depressed. Back on June 30th, Bill Clinton told Meet the Press that no Democrat candidate should run on Obama’s record. Gregory asked Clinton to specify the difficulties facing any liberal Democrat candidate running on the Obama economy for the presidency in 2016, and Clinton said: Nobody should do that. You should run on making the economy better.
There’s not a Democrat alive who ought to run on the premise the economy isn’t doing well. There isn’t a Democrat alive who ought to seek any office, including the presidency in 2016, by claiming the economy’s good. Democrats that run for office need to start talking about how they’re gonna be making it better. The problem with that is, you are necessarily throwing Obama under the bus.
But back in June, even Clinton knew that it was a losing case as a Democrat to seek reelection on the basis that Obamanomics was succeeding. Yet here’s Obama telling everybody the real challenge is convincing people, “Oh, the economy’s going great guns! We just gotta convince people that it’s true. When they get a chance to hear the argument, they’ll believe me, ’cause all I’ve got is facts.”
So he’s got facts: The economy’s growing.
Yet he admits that wages aren’t growing.
Against all this I still say, “Where’s the Republican message? Where is the contrast? Where is the simple message: ‘We know how to grow this economy. We know how to turn you loose. We know how to get the government out of your way. We know what to do — we’ve done it before — to get this economy growing.'” Where is that message? It isn’t anywhere. They’re frightened say anything in opposition to Obama in any way, shape, manner, or form.