RUSH: I love the Staples story. Staples announces that because of Obamacare they’re having to make some changes in the structure of their employees, and Obama does not like it and he takes out after them. “Obama Slams Staples for Reducing Hours to Avoid Obamacare,” and Staples responded.
RUSH: “President Obama lashed out against CEOÂ’s and business leaders who have cut hours in response to costly Affordable Care Act mandates which would force them to provide insurance for employees working more than 30 hours a week.” Now, I know that that aspect of Obamacare is not news to you because you are regular listeners here, but for those of you who may be new and may have come to us from what we call the low-information crowd, the aspect of Obamacare that this story’s about is this. Obamacare, national health care, requires businesses to provide health insurance for employees who work more than 30 hours a week.
So what’s happening is that employers, because they can’t afford this… I mean, health insurance is getting more expensive for everybody, including bulk buyers, including people that buy a lot of policies for a lot of people, a big group. Health insurance costs are skyrocketing because Obamacare doesn’t do one thing to lower their cost because there’s nothing in Obamacare that establishes an economic relationship between the consumer and the provider. And until that happens, there’s never gonna be any cost control in health care.
In virtually everything else you buy, be it a car, be it a house, renting an apartment, television set, hotel rooms, those prices, those commodities, those units are priced at various price points so that anybody can afford one. You may not be able to afford a 100-thousand-dollar car, but you might be able to afford a 40-thousand-dollar car. The market takes care of providing you both your needs and wants, usually at a price point that’s within your ability to afford it. Hotel rooms. You can stay at a five-star Ritz or you can stay at the local 12-room motel down at the end of town. Whatever you want to spend, whatever you can afford to spend, there’s a hotel room priced for you.
But in health care, no such thing exists. The patient’s ability to pay is not a factor whatsoever in the cost of medical care. And as long as that remains true there is no way the costs of health care are going to come down. If you can’t afford it and you can still have it, how does that work, economically? If you can’t afford the medical care that you’re at present getting, but yet you’re getting it, it means somebody else is paying for it. You may not know who, you may not know the pathway, but you do know it’s being paid for. It’s just not being paid for by you because you probably can’t afford it. And the reason that you can’t afford it is precisely because you don’t have to pay for it.
If the providers of health care’s only source of revenue was what people could afford, what do you think would happen to prices? They’d come down. It’s called supply, demand, and market forces, and for the most part, markets work. But going back to the, oh, you could even say fifties, but let’s peg it to the sixties and the advent of Medicare and Medicaid, maybe even World War II with employee-provided health care. Back then they needed employees and it was a benefit, a perk. That established that somebody else is gonna pay for it for you. Except that you were. You just didn’t know it.
If you have health care as a benefit at work, and whether you pay nothing or whether you have to pay part of a copay, whether you have to pay deductible or whatever, let’s say that you earn $80,000 a year, and you’ve got dental and health care and whatever other benefits, sick pay, time to visit the vet day, whatever, it probably is costing the employer, including Social Security, probably costing the employer — I’ll just make up a number — it’s gonna be close to a hundred thousand dollars to pay you 80. You are getting the hundred thousand dollars; you just don’t see $20,000 of it. It’s in the form of your health care benefit or whatever benefit that you have, but that’s the cost of employing you. And as those benefits, particularly health care, continues to skyrocket in cost, the employer simply can’t afford it.
Then along came Obamacare mandating that the employer provide health insurance for everybody working full-time, which they define as working 30 hours a week, and the idiots that designed it did not dynamically factor human behavior. They just sat there and said, stupid idiot CEOs will just pay the increased price. And what the CEOs did, they said, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, we can avoid this if we just convert some full-time people to part-time?” Yep, that’s what the law says. And so that’s what’s happened.
If your job is one, if you used to be full time 40 hours, wherever you work, and sometime in the last 12 months you’ve been cut back to 30 or fewer, the answer is Obamacare. The president of the United States is costing you work, costing you money, costing you income. Now, you’re blaming it on your boss, but your boss or your company is only acting as responsible CEOs would. Spend as little as you can in the process of making a profit off whatever you do, service or product. So a lot of people that used to work full time are now working part time. They don’t have to be provided health care. It’s right there in Obamacare.
Well, Staples pointed this out. The CEO at Staples explained that the reason there are so many new people at his company working 30 hours is because of Obamacare. They cut the number of hours, many employers, so that they would not have to provide health insurance for as many people who work for them. The CEO at Staples spoke up, and Obama was not happy. You do not expose the Dear Leader like this. This is called embarrassing. This is called sticking up. This is insolence. You are not to expose the Dear Leader this way. You’re supposed to sit there and take it.
“More than 300 major businesses have made cutbacks in response to such mandates. While more than 5.6 million small businesses have incurred additional costs due to the ACA.” So when Staples spoke up and explained to everybody why so many of their employees cut back to 30 hours, Obama spoke up, singled ’em out. He said, “I havenÂ’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security and if they canÂ’t, then they should be willing to allow those workers to get the Affordable Care Act without cutting wages.”
Well, normally when this happens, most CEOs in this day and age would cower in fear, head to the corner and shut up and send the PR guy out to make an apologetic statement of some kind. That is not what happened here. Staples has fired back at our Dear Leader. A Staples spokesman, Kirk Saville, said, “The initial story,” which came from BuzzFeed, which can be dubious — “The initial story was misleading as our policy regarding hours for part-time employees is more than a decade old. ItÂ’s unfortunate that the president is attacking a company that provides more than 85,000 jobs and is a major taxpayer.”
So what Obama did was go out and accuse Staples of acting stupidly. So now it’s not just white cops that act stupidly. Now it’s Staples CEO. It’s not just Republicans who act stupidly. It’s not just Israel who’s stupid, and it’s not just doctors who are greedy and doing unnecessary amputations to get the extra bucks. It’s anyone on any given day. Could be me, could be Fox News, could be white cops. Today it’s Staples CEO is stupid. Attack, divide, smear, denigrate.
I’m sorry for speaking factually about Jon Stewart’s favorite politician, President Obama, but it is what it is. And remember guys like David Brooks and all these, Obama was predicted to be a great president due to his temperament. Yes, he was not prone, he was not given to wild emotional displays and fluctuations. And he’s as petulant as a six-year-old who doesn’t get his way. Anyway, the Staples people are not taking it. They pay through the nose on taxes, they have 85,000 employees, and here comes Obama saying (imitating Obama), “Well, you know what? They ought to be willing to allow those workers –” Workers? It’s not workers. That’s what you call communist employees. They’re not workers. They’re employees. They’re business associates.
“Ought to be able to allow those workers to get affordable health care without cutting wages.” Sorry, it doesn’t work that way, Mr. President. You don’t even know your own law if you think that. Cutting wages, they’re cutting hours. They’re trying to escape the albatross that you’ve put around everybody’s neck, and it’s built into the law, how to escape it. Dynamic scoring. Anyway, back to the central point. The central point, folks, is none of this is gonna get fixed until there is an economic relationship between patient and provider, be it a doctor, hospital, clinic, whatever it is.
If you’re able to get medical care that you can’t afford, the system — you may not like hearing this — the system is broken. That’s not how things work. Because if you’re not paying for it, somebody else is. Have you seen the national debt? Have you seen the annual deficit? They are skyrocketing. We don’t have the money for all of this stuff that we’re providing for people.
RUSH: Here is Obama. This was on the BuzzFeed website, editor-in-chief there is a guy named Ben Smith. He used to be at Politico and started his own website called BuzzFeed, and he’s talking to Obama — and, you know, by the way, this is a little side observation. You know, Obama goes out and talks to his little buddies at Vox. This former Washington Post guy, Ezra Klein, sets it up. And it really is a bunch of kids, ultra-extremist left-wing kids, young Millennials. I mean, they are the young leftist idealists, and they’re talking to Obama, and Obama thinks he’s at home in the family room, which he is.
The last thing that’s gonna happen when he talks, either BuzzFeed or Vox or pretty much any of them, but, I mean, this is hero worship time. And when he was talking to Vox, that interview at Vox is what’s gotten him into all this trouble with ISIS. A bunch of different guys conducted the interview at Vox. I think is was Matt Yglesias. No relationship to Enrique. Who, by the way, did you see the Grammys? Enrique Iglesias showed up and was not wearing the stocking cap. First time in I’ve never seen him not wearing a stocking cap. The guy wears a stocking cap in the clubs. He wears it on stage. Probably wears it in bed with Anna Kournikova, whatever her name is. He actually has hair. Anyway, not related to him.
It was Yglesias who asked him about ISIS and Obama thinks he’s totally at home and he’s relaxed and that’s when he came out with all the (paraphrasing), “You know, they’re not really terrorists. They’re just a bunch of folks out there that are backyard criminals and side street criminals,” and so forth. It was an interview with a friendly place that blew up. And of course the guys at Vox, they’re happy as they can be that it caused Obama a little trouble ’cause this is attention for them, but they got the answer they wanted.
The point is these are ultra-left-wing little idealists, and Obama gave them what they wanted to hear on a number of issues, about Republicans, about conservatives, and about ISIS and about Islam. No big deal. They’re not really that big a threat. Global warming’s a bigger threat. It was that interview where he said this. And these guys think they’ve hit a home run here because Obama articulated exactly what they believe, but in the process Obama actually stepped in some quicksand in a friendly interview. I find that delicious.
And the same here with BuzzFeed. They’re not quite the devotees that the little guys at Vox are, but nevertheless it was at BuzzFeed where Obama decided to take out after the Staples CEO. BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith said, “We reported yesterday the office supply store Staples is telling its workers it’s gonna fire them if they work more than 25 hours a week. A manager has told a worker that we talked to that Obama is responsible for this policy. I wonder what you say to the CEO of Staples about their policy there.”
OBAMA: I havenÂ’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is —
RUSH: Stop the tape. What does that have to do with anything? What’s the stock price got to do — he’s trying to run it down here. What’s the CEO’s pay have to do with anything? I mean, in terms of Obamacare, nothing. Anyway, here’s the rest of it.
OBAMA: — but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security, and if they canÂ’t, then they should be willing to allow those workers to get the Affordable Care Act without cutting wages. … When I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workersÂ’ wages, shame on them.
RUSH: Where’s this billions of dollars in profit, A? Where is that, Staples billions of dollars in profit? What is this, “Should be able to afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security.” That’s not what the purpose of a business is. The worker — and I know this is gonna sound harsh. I’m sorry. This is old school harsh. It’s up to the worker to provide his financial security. Do you think that’s too harsh? (interruption) Do you think I’m in trouble saying that? (interruption) Mr. Snerdley thinks that the 20-something Millennials may be profoundly offended by what I said and that I need to explain what I mean by it’s up to the worker — a word I detest, by the way.
It’s up to the employee, it’s up to the individual to earn his financial security. Is that the responsibility of the company you work for, to provide you financial security? And how do you define that? What is financial security? Never having to work another day in your life? Never having to worry about paying the bills? What is financial security? Whatever it is, it’s an individual thing and it’s up to you to earn it. Anyway, Obama thinks pass a law, Obamacare, everybody gets free health care, businesses pay for it and everything’s fine, and they think that’s how the world works. The private sector’s a bottomless pit of endless money, too much money, and they just don’t get it at all.
RUSH: I just went and looked at some interesting facts, financial facts about Staples. You want to hear them? Staples earns billions and billions of dollars in profits, right? Obama just throws that out there, and of course the low-information crowd dutifully believes that businesses are just awash in money, that they’re not spending. Oh, yeah. These businesses are hoarding money. It’s either in the back room, it’s in the closet, it’s in the safe, it’s in the bank, it’s somewhere.
And all of these businesses are run by rich Republicans, selfish and greedy. And they’re firing people. They’re not letting them go to the vet with their sick pet, and they’re holding all that money for themselves, and they own five cars and three houses and so forth, while the people that work for them starve. They got billions and billions of dollars, and now the same evil, greedy businesspeople are trying to deny people health care. That’s a low-information voters’s belief of Big Business, as instructed to them over the many decades by the Democrat Party and the media.
But in truth, here’s Staples. Staples earns — are you ready? — for every $100 in sales, Staples earns $2.70 in profit. So Staples has to sell a hundred bucks worth of anything before they make $2.70 in profit. However, the take from state and local government taxes on the hundred dollars that Staples sells is $7. So state and local taxes alone equals $7 out of every $100 Staples sells. They have to sell a hundred bucks worth of stuff for a $2.70 profit, and the taxes on that same $100 are $7.
Now, you tell me that Staples is out there getting rich off people. What’s my source on this? It’s Yahoo Finance. And who would dispute that? Yahoo News is a favored site of the low-information voters. That’s where I went to get this. Yahoo Finance. It’s their income statement. State and local government get more in tax dollars from Staples than Staples gets in profits. Before Obamacare. That’s just state and local taxes. We’re not even talking about fed taxes and Obamacare taxes and all that.
By the way, I saw a story in the New York Times recently. It was this week. I don’t read the New York Times. People who do send me things that they think I would be interested in. I can’t. I just can’t. (interruption) Well, no, no, I could. It’s one of these things I choose not to subject myself to. The New York Times has a story about the difference in having health care insurance and health care coverage, how that does not equal health care. There’s a couple of huge sob stories here of people who just bought into everything Obama said about everything, including Obamacare. They bought it hook, line, and sinker, and it’s costing them more than they ever paid for it before, and more than they ever believed. And no matter what damage it caused them, they are still as loyal to Obama as they ever were, because it’s a cult.
But in each case there was a tipping point. There was a breaking point when these people finally got fed up and could no longer blindly support Obamacare. The best way to sum it up is when they found out despite the fact they were covered, despite the fact they had health insurance, they didn’t always get treatment. They didn’t get care. Has this happened to you? You have a health insurance policy, you go to the doctor, “Uh, uh, that procedure is not covered, or that required treatment you need, that’s not covered.”
“But, but, but, but, I have insurance!”
“Yes, you do. But not for that.”
Now, if you’re willing to pay out of pocket or if you’re willing to pay an even higher premium and upgrade your policy, then that that you need could be covered. You check into Motel 6, and then you find out that despite you’re paying whatever you pay for the room, the ice in the machine is extra. The fact that you’ve paid for the room doesn’t get you the ice. Same thing here.
Of all places, the New York Times has found a couple of just total loyal Obama toadies. I’ll share one of the stories with you. You have mixed emotions when you read these things. But it is an interesting point nevertheless. You got insurance, but you may not be covered. You’ve got insurance, but you may not get treated. The New York Times is worried about it because they’ve been out there sponsoring it and promoting it. And people who have signed up, gone to HealthCare.gov believing everything they’ve been told about it, there are still those people, and despite following every rule and being loyal supporters of Obama, the Democrat Party, they find out they’ve got health insurance, but it doesn’t cover what they need. It’s a huge awakening for a lot of people.