RUSH: First up is a montage here from the debate last night. Bernie Sanders, Hillary, Lincoln Chafee, and they’re all talking about all the free stuff. College and health care and whatever you want. If you’re an illegal immigrant, it’s all yours. All you have to do is show up.
SANDERS: Make every public college and university in this country tuition-free.
HILLARY: Anyone to go to a public college or university tuition-free.
SANDERS: We’re all gonna have medical and family paid leave.
HILLARY: Make sure every child gets health care, including undocumented children and others.
CHAFEE: Funding education, funding infrastructure, funding health care.
HILLARY: Enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security.
SANDERS: We should be putting money into education. I want Wall Street now to help kids in this country go to college, public colleges and universities.
HILLARY: I know we can afford it because we’re gonna make the wealthy pay for it.
RUSH: (laughing) We can afford it ’cause we’re gonna make the wealthy pay. We are $18 trillion in debt. Now, you can afford anything if you ignore that, and if you don’t think that’s a problem and if that number is irrelevant, the money never has to even be serviced or paid back, then of course you can afford anything. But the truth is, we can’t afford anything. We can afford maybe, what, what’s the number that we drag in by tax revenue every year? The numbers are confusing, but $3 trillion whatever we can afford every year, but we so exceed that. We have exceeded it for so long. We’re already paying for things we can’t afford. And these people just want to lap more and more on top of it.
You know, one of the biggest misdirections in public dialogue and politics is? The taxpayers’ expense. Taxpayers have to pay. The taxpayers don’t pay anything. The reason is they’re not conscious of it. Everybody’s taxes are withheld from their paychecks, those who work. Very few people are independent contractors that actually pay their taxes themselves. The vast majority of people never see the money they pay in taxes, any kind. Property tax is part of the homeowners, the mortgage payment every month, very little tax do you ever see, particularly income and payroll taxes.
So people come along, “This is gonna cost the taxpayers X, and that’s gonna cost the taxpayer Y.” It doesn’t cost you anything. We build a battleship, you don’t think it’s cost you anything. What’s your share of it? Whoever sent you a bill for your portion of a B-2 bomber? So the idea of a taxpayers expense doesn’t mean anything because it has no basis in relatability. So you can run around and talk about we’re gonna pay for this, we’re gonna do this, we can afford this, and the taxpayers are not gonna worry about it. They’ve never gotten a bill for anything. So the idea that it’s costing them something is totally over their head, totally escapes them without any consciousness or any awareness of an annual deficit and an accumulating national debt and what it actually means. And I venture to say 90% of the population doesn’t have the slightest clue what it means. It can’t be a negative used against the Democrats.
For 50 years people on our side have been trying to prove and establish that the Democrats can be beaten by talking about all the excessive spending. But the fact is it doesn’t work, it doesn’t persuade anybody to not support or vote Democrat because they’re never aware of having to pay for any of it, be they taxpayers or recipients. They’re not aware of having to pay for any of it. They never see the tax revenue that’s collected from them in the first place, and they certainly aren’t aware how it’s allocated.
RUSH: Here’s Lee in Gilroy, California. Great to have you on the program, Lee. I’m glad you waited. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Longtime listener. Last night when I was watching the debate last night, was watching all the clowns debate each other, when they got to especially Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, when they got to the part where they promised all the free handouts, you know, I sat there and I really contemplated that. And I felt, just in my gut, I’m like, wow, you know, Republicans are really in trouble here.
RUSH: Well, is your question, how do you compete with that?
CALLER: Exactly. How do you compete with all those handouts, especially —
RUSH: See, that’s the scary thing. This is the scary thing from the standpoint of whatever percentage you want to say supports this stuff, that we have to conclude we’ve lost that percentage of the country. When you have what was on that stage last night, all these promises for a much bigger warfare state, free this, free that, you have to realize that there’s a portion of the population that does applaud it, think it’s great, think it’s cool, thinks that is the purpose of government, is to take care of people and to help people.
And what’s wrong with it, they will say? What’s wrong with free college? What’s wrong with food stamps? What’s wrong with helping people? What’s wrong with bringing illegals in so they can make something of themselves? And that begins an entire education process of trying to explain to people how it’s hurting the people you’re trying to help. It’s denying them their dignity. It’s denying them their opportunity to be totally self-sufficient and to find out how good and capable they are. And sometimes people look at that whole effort as a lost cause waste of time. So, yeah, I mean, it’s my assessment following the 2004 election. American people voted for Santa Claus. Other 2008, I’m sorry.