RUSH: Investors.com is the source for the story that Obamacare premiums are jumping 23% this year, even after subsidies. “President Obama has talked a lot in recent months about how health care inflation has moderated in recent years, and he always manages to credit Obamacare for the result. But there is rampant inflation in one part of the health care system, and ironically enough it involves Obamacare premiums. According to official government data, the average premium paid by those signing up through the federal Healthcare.gov site this year was $101 a month, after factoring in the subsidies.”
A 23% increase over the previous year. When it was something like 80 bucks, 82 bucks. So even with subsidies, Obamacare’s premiums are going up. But remember, everybody’s premiums are gonna come down $2,500. Obama promised that when he told us that if we liked our doctor we could keep our doctor, and if we liked our plan we could keep our plan. That’s when he said premiums are gonna come down $2,500 bucks.
RUSH: Here is James in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, great to talk to you. I just want to mention that my eight-year-old daughter loves your books. We love reading them as often as we can, so great job on that.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir. Appreciate that.
CALLER: I wanted to mention that it’s amazing right now that tens of thousands of STEM educated Americans, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, computer science folks and all this are being laid off by Microsoft, by different companies, and are having to retrain their —
RUSH: Ho, ho, ho, ho, hold on just a minute here. I’m confused because I have been under the impression that people like Microsoft and Facebook and Google have been asking for more H-1B visas so they can get more people immigrated to the country who are highly educated in math and technology and so forth, the STEM types, and you’re telling me that they’re laying them off?
CALLER: Yes, sir. And even HP has announced about 58,000 people who are gonna be replaced mostly by lower paid foreign workers on H-1B visas.
RUSH: Wait, has somebody told Mark Zuckerberg about this?
CALLER: Yeah, and he was actually in the congressional hearings and all this and different things, so, yeah, he’s well aware. But this flies in the face of what they claimed that they wanted. They’re claiming, you know, the Zuckerberg group was an attempt to put together a bunch of liberals and conservatives on immigration, essentially support amnesty. But their cover story was they wanted more H-1B visas permitted.
CALLER: And Jeff Sessions has done a great job completely cutting that off at the knees. There is an overabundance right now of computer science folks that need jobs, and even in Southern California, again, they’re laying off the high-tech workers, they’re having to train their replacements, which is the real insult to injury, and those are the foreign workers at a lower price.
RUSH: Well, I remain nonplussed and confused. I’m serious. I was under the impression that Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, all these companies that signed on to this, were complaining, they couldn’t find enough of these people. They couldn’t find enough highly educated, qualified because our immigration system was not allocating enough visas to allow enough highly qualified people to come into the country after we had educated ’em, and so these jobs at these high-tech companies were going unfilled, and you’re telling me that they’re now laying people off who have these qualifications?
CALLER: Yes, sir. That is a lie. There are skilled people. They’re laying them off to reduce their costs. It’s a business, I understand that, but it should be for the Americans who are here, not to abuse the H-1B visa program to lower costs and then lay off a bunch of Americans. There’s tens of thousands. It’s not a small number. It’s a huge deal, Rush.
RUSH: But, James, for example, you have to be mistaken, I say with all due respect, because the head of Google — and it changes from day to day, whoever’s wearing the glasses — said that more immigration would help the economy. A couple days ago: “Google Exec Says Immigration Changes Would Help Economy — The executive chairman at Google urged Congress on Wednesday to increase the number of high-skilled work visas made available to foreigners and to deal with other immigration issues later on. Eric Schmidt spoke Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. Schmidt said he believes the United States is better off having more immigration, not less.” But he doesn’t want the low skill types coming in here. He wants more H-1B visas.
CALLER: Because he’s Chairman Schmidt, maybe Chairman Mao. I don’t know. The point is, that yes, this is a fact. I’m not making this up. You can talk to Sessions’ office, you can talk to other folks, this is a reality. There’s tens of thousands, if you look around the country, of high-tech workers, that’s where the unemployment is rising because they can get a lower cost foreign worker. It’s an abuse of the H-1B visa system.
RUSH: Something is way out of phase here, because you’re serious. You’re telling me that these people are firing and laying off the very people two days ago they’re begging for more of. Now, one of these has to be wrong. Eric Schmidt cannot be out there at the American Enterprise Institute demanding more H-1B visas, in other words, asking for more visas for highly qualified computer science engineers ’cause there’s a shortage of ’em. And on the other hand Microsoft and Google and HP laying off all of those H-1B visa type people and instead hiring cheaper, low skilled?
I mean, this is a major, major disconnect here. Now, these people want more immigration, there’s no question about that, but Eric Schmidt is saying, okay, fine, yeah, we’ll deal with the Democrat underclass immigration later, is what he’s talking about. Right now we need high skill people. And then you’re telling me they’re being laid off. So now I gotta find out what’s up. It’s up to me to find out what’s what and which is which here. Anyway, I appreciate the call. Thanks much, James.
Patrick in Lompoc, California. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Mega dittos there, Sir Rush. I am an electronics technician. I work at a small outfit in Goleta, California. Right now my company, due to Obamacare, is pulling up stakes and moving the whole operation to Mexico. They’re laying off me and the rest of our crew due to the high cost of the Obamacare mandate and the —
RUSH: Why are they moving — (crosstalk)
CALLER: — cap and trade that went in from Jerry Brown’s thing.
RUSH: Why is your company relocating to Mexico?
CALLER: Because it costs too much per worker to keep the facility open here in California.
RUSH: Well, why not move to Nevada? Why not move to Arizona?
CALLER: Obamacare —
RUSH: Are you saying — I mean, this is strange. Two calls in a row here.
CALLER: The company’s health care costs have tripled.
RUSH: No, I understand that. I don’t doubt that. That’s absolutely true. That’s true for every business. Everybody’s prices are going up, sky-high, even people who get subsidized. It’s not even fully implemented yet. Your story relates to the individual mandate, or the corporate mandate. But they’re pulling up stakes and going to Mexico rather than just shutting down, what the hell are they gonna find in Mexico? I know they’re gonna get cheap labor in Mexico, but what does your company do?
CALLER: We make electronic sensors and devices. They’re called encoders.
RUSH: All right, encoders. So what are you gonna do, Patrick?
CALLER: I’m thinking about maybe looking for work in Georgia. I hear there’s a big tech boom there. California has just become really too inhospitable for me to live here anymore.
RUSH: California, you know, they say it’s two states, but it’s actually more than that. In California you have the San Francisco Bay area coast and very, very little, but some inland. Then you’ve got the LA, the Southern California coast where you have Hollywood and the entertainment business. Then down in San Diego you’ve got some wealth. Maybe up in the Humboldt County region where you got timber you got some wealth, but you go inland in California, you’ve got a completely different state, in terms of average income, education, inside the state’s a lot of agriculture. But in terms of just wealth distribution, income distribution, the state of California got some of the greatest disparity anywhere in this country. You’re falling victim to it here, you’re falling prey to it.
CALLER: Rush, preach the word. You’re telling me here. And, you know, the irony here is I’m having to train the Mexican workers who are gonna take my job.
RUSH: You mean the Mexican workers are gonna take your job are being brought up to Lompoc for training?
CALLER: Not in Lompoc. I live in Lompoc, I work in Goleta. They’re being brought to Goleta from Mexico. They’re housed in a hotel here that the company pays for, and they come to work, and I train them. I’m showing them all my skills on how to build the things I build.
RUSH: You’re training your replacement, and then when they move down to Mexico, they’re not gonna be burdened with Obamacare, won’t have to provide —
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: I understand all that. The “We lost our jobs to Mexico, Rush.” That’s a 20-year-old story, and it’s now starting to surface again, apparently. I mean, that’s NAFTA type stuff. Singer sewing machine, textiles in South Carolina, North Carolina, we lost our jobs to Mexico, factories, businesses pulling up stakes and moving to Mexico. I haven’t heard much of that in the last six years of the Regime. And now this guy calls and says it’s happening with his electronics company. Well, well, well. I don’t doubt it. I just haven’t heard this one in a while.
RUSH: Okay. I have now taken the occasion of our obscene profit break and have now discovered the source of my confusion on the H-1B visa. The one thing I misunderstood that our caller was saying, his point was that they are laying off Americans, and that they are hiring — this is what he said — less qualified workers. That’s what I heard him say. My hearing could have been the problem here. Instead what is happening, H-1B visa employees, people that are educated, Americans educated with that degree of prowess in computer science are in fact being let go, and they’re being replaced, or the tech companies want to replace them with H-1B visa holders.
They’re looking for the same qualifications that they can pay less. And I misunderstood him. I thought he was telling me they were getting rid of highly capable, high quality people for low skill people. That’s what I thought he was telling me. That’s why it didn’t make any sense, because I know that all these companies, Microsoft, Google, they’re all out there demanding greater allocations, H-1B visas. They want more immigrants permitted into the country on H-1B visas that are highly skilled, high educated. The reason they want the immigrants is they’re cheaper than domestic American workers with the same qualifications.
So what’s happening is, current tech workers, computer engineers and scientists, are being let go, but not being replaced, as the caller said, with low skilled, uneducated people. That’s what I thought he meant, it made no sense. The companies want more H-1B visas granted so that foreign workers of equal talent and education can be hired because they will work cheaper. And where I misunderstood him was I thought he was saying that the tech companies were getting rid of highly skilled, really good people and hiring unskilled people. And that’s not what’s going on.
They want the same quality. They want the same education. They want the same engineering skills, for half the money. And they can do that or even less, you know, half the wages, by importing foreigners on H-1B visas who theoretically will work for less money than Americans who have the same qualifications. That’s what the objective actually appears to be. Yes.
RUSH: So essentially the H-1B visa program brings in cheaper workers that are highly qualified that will take the place of current American employees, same qualifications, and they require less pay because they’re immigrants and they’ll do anything to get here, and that’s what is going on. Straightened it out now.