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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: CBS News: “More Americans think Donald Trump will increase their taxes rather than decrease them — though Democrats are most likely to say this.” Well, then why — more Americans, most likely Democrats to say it. This is a testament, this is an absolute testament to the fact that we have a dishonest, lying media. How in the world do you ever, with a tax cut plan, how do you end up believing your taxes are going up?

“Fifty-three percent of Americans want Donald Trump and Congress to move on to other issues rather than try to pass another health care bill.” I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to conflate the two. Two separate things here. More Americans think that Trump’s tax cut is gonna raise their taxes and very conveniently now, 53% of Americans want Trump and Congress to move on to other issues rather than reform the health care bill because they like Obamacare now. We had this news yesterday. More and more Americans are really liking Obamacare and they don’t want anybody touching it now.

“While just 12 percent of Americans think the Affordable Care Act is working perfectly, most — 61 percent — say it needs changes rather than complete repeal. Only 24 percent of Americans think Obamacare needs to be completely replaced.”

Now, nothing, I mean, nothing has polled worse than Obamacare over the last eight years. There has not been any deviation in that. The last eight years, Obamacare has polled horribly! It is why Trump was running around claiming he was gonna repeal it and replace it. It was why Hillary Clinton was not spending very much time defending it. There wasn’t any sentiment for keeping it. There has never been a majority of Americans, do you understand, never has there been a majority of Americans in support of it, who say they liked it. We’ve never had a majority. It has never polled well.

And now, out of the blue and all of a sudden most Americans don’t want it touched. The only people who do not think Obamacare is a disaster are people who are getting their coverage for free and who’ve never actually tried to use it. If they had tried to use Obamacare, they would know what the high deductibles are, and they would know about the high copays and they would know that it is not working. So that’s what CBS has entered into the public fray today.

This is from the Associated Press: “Trump Tax Plan Could Be Good News for Many, Bad for Deficit.” Can I ask a question? I’m serious. Do any of you remember anybody, including Republicans, but anybody in the last eight years being concerned about the deficit in relationship to any Obama proposal? I don’t.

I don’t remember the media having any concern about debt. I don’t remember them having any concern about deficits or the national debt. I don’t remember, particularly when Obama’s stimulus was being crafted, I don’t remember anybody in the media worrying about whether we could afford it or not. I don’t remember anybody worrying about the deficit impact by Obamacare.

They might have talked about it and they might have spread the bilge and drivel that — like Obama was saying it was gonna reduce the deficit. What the media does is they throw the deficit up as a reason to oppose anything the Republicans come up with.

The AP, in talking about Trump’s tax cut, writes this: “The president’s proposal marks a rehash of an economic theory popularized in the 1980s. Trump officials essentially argue that benefits from the tax cuts will trickle down from higher profits for companies into stronger pay raises for workers and greater consumer spending. … Some economists agree, but most budget experts say it’s unlikely.”

I called this one, predicted this, major monologue yesterday explaining supply-side, explaining the media was gonna do just this, because they’ve spent so many years mischaracterizing the tax cuts from the Reagan years. Another example of what Trump is up against. Let’s go to the audio sound bites just to illustrate.

There’s a knee-jerk reaction here whenever any Republican, I don’t care who it is, proposes a tax cut, it’s immediately characterized as a tax cut for the rich. It is supply-side trickle-down and it never works, and it’s the rich stealing money from the poor.

Our example from the Today show today. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was on there with the cohost Savannah Guthrie, who said, “Donald Trump was on this show telling our viewers a year ago that he believed in raising taxes on the wealthy, including himself. Now, would you acknowledge, Mr. Secretary, that the reform plan you’ve laid out does the exact opposite, in fact, it is a dramatic tax cut for the wealthy?”

MNUCHIN: No, this isn’t about a dramatic cut in taxes for the wealthy. This is about lowering tax rates in return for getting rid of massive amounts of deductions and special interests —

GUTHRIE: But it does cut taxes for the wealthy, right?

MNUCHIN: — and creating economic growth. Again, when we lay out the exact details of the plan, what you’ll see is this is about reducing taxes and tax simplification. This is about a middle income tax cut. This is about having sweeping tax cuts, the largest tax cuts in history, the largest tax reform program in history to create American jobs. This is all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

RUSH: All right, now, kudos. That’s one way of going about this, and I appreciate the characterization. He’s trying to make this understandable to most people. What this is about is economic growth; what this is about is creating jobs. And he did it a good job. But there was just one thing he missed.

And I spent — actually it was 24 hours ago, the monolog in this hour was an explanation of the so-called supply-side taxes, lowering rates to raise revenue and how the Democrats don’t care about that. The Democrats are not interested in more money be generated for the government. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me why, and the answer is because this is not about raising revenue to them, this is not about funding the government. This is about class envy and warfare. This is all politics. And Savannah Guthrie, God bless her, she behaved true to form here.

Mnuchin: “No, this isn’t about a dramatic cut in taxes for the wealthy. This is about lowering tax rates in return for getting rid of massive amounts of deductions and special interests.”

Guthrie: “But it does cut taxes for the wealthy, right?”

No, it doesn’t. It cuts tax rates. I hope the Trump team learns this distinction, because it’s crucial. Tax rates are being cut. Taxes are not. The government is going to collect more revenue than they think. In fact, the Trump team gets it; they’re saying it’s gonna pay for itself. How does it do that? It pays for itself by generating new revenue. Lowering tax rates creates more money to Washington.

Another way to express this, the top 1% — the wealthy in Savannah Guthrie’s world, in anybody’s world — the top 1% are paying near 40% of all taxes. How is it that they are paying less? How is it that they’re getting a tax cut? They’re not getting a tax cut. They’re paying more. “But, Rush, why would they agree to pay more?” Folks, it’s real simple. I don’t mean to sound condescending. Let’s construct an average person and say it’s you, and let’s pick a magic number that’s easy to make calculations with.

Let’s say you earn a hundred thousand dollars a year, and right now you’re combined rate is 39% federal. Let’s say you live in a state where the rate is five or six. So now you’re up to 44. And now let’s add your Medicare to this and your FICA, so you’re well over 50% now, depending on the state you live in. Unless you live in a state where there is no income tax, which, as an aside, many Americans are doing. They’re leaving the Northeast and moving to places like Texas, Florida, Kentucky, no income tax.

Now, when you’re paying, let’s say 50%, when everything’s add up, you’re paying 50%, you’re gonna be very interested in finding a way to lower the amount of money you’re paying taxes on. You’re gonna be very interested in finding ways to limit what you have to pay. You might even go out and pay an accountant to find ways to limit — you can’t lower your rate. The rate is the law. What you can do is try to lower your income that is taxed, your reported income. Your adjustable gross income, your taxable income. Well, that’s a lot of effort. That’s a lot of effort. But you’re willing to do it because you’re facing an exorbitant rate.

Now somebody comes along and says, “You know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna cut your tax rate from 39 to 33.” Now you’re paying under 50. It may well be — and this is the point of the whole discussion — it may well be that when the rate comes down, it reaches a point where you’re okay with paying it, because it’s not oppressive, or you’re more okay with paying it.

Capital gains is a good example. If the capital gains rate’s 35% — it’s not, but it used to be — if the capital gains rate’s 35%, you’re gonna hold onto your stocks, stocks that appreciate in value, you’re not gonna want to sell them. You’re not gonna want to pay 35% on them. You’ll just keep rolling them over. You’ll have your paper gains but you’re not gonna sell ’em. Now they lower the capital gains rate to 15. What are you gonna do?

You’re gonna go to town and you’re gonna be perfectly fine selling your stocks. You’re gonna be perfectly fine taking the profit, perfectly fine taking the money ’cause you’re only paying 15%. Tax rates being lowered do many things. It results in more people being hired, therefore more people paying taxes, therefore tax revenue increases. Tax rates being lowered often facilitates existing taxpayers being much more compliant with the code and paying it ’cause it’s far less punitive. So lowering rates is always gonna generate more revenue. I don’t know how else to express this. The top 1% are paying 40%?

How many people are we talking about here that are paying almost half of the entire tax revenue of this country? How can anybody honestly say those people are getting a tax cut? They are not, and they haven’t been. With Obama, there hasn’t been any tax relief whatsoever in any way, shape, manner or form. With Bush there was. What this is, is a tax rate reduction. It is not a tax cut. In the strict sense of the revenue raised and where it goes. Washington is gonna get more revenue. But the Democrats?

No, no, no! They want to talk about how the rich are getting an unfair break here; they want to talk about how the rich are not paying their fair share. They want to talk just like Savannah Guthrie is doing here. “Aren’t the rich getting a tax cut? The rich are getting a tax cut! It’s not fair. It’s not fair.” They’re not getting a tax cut. They’re not gonna be paying less, when all is said and done. At some point, they might. There’s another factor here. When your income tax… You know how some people actually do not want…?

This is tough thing ’cause very few people refuse a raise. But there are a lot of people who don’t want to be elevated to a new tax bracket. So this is eliminates that too. The mechanism is here for people to be more forthcoming and forthwith in reporting their actual income rather than sheltering it, hiding it, putting in deductions, whatever is left that they can do. It’s a win-win all the way around. Plus, there’s the moral component. Just how much does government need? Just how much of what your sweat and labor produces are they entitled to, and have we not reached that limit?

I don’t care how you slice this. There is no justification for opposing an across-the-board tax cut like this. The problem is not there’s not enough revenue in Washington. There’s plenty of revenue. They’re collecting record amounts of revenue. The problem is there’s no discipline on the spending side. They will not spend a dime less this year than and he spent last year, and it goes on that way with every year. The problem is not enough money. The problem is not that there aren’t people paying their fair share of taxes.

The problem is no discipline, no spending control whatsoever in Washington. And they always want to blame this on the taxpayer. And they always want to blame it on the rich. And they always want to blame it on greedy people who want to keep more of what they earn. The greed in this entire discussion is in government. The greed is in Washington, D.C. The greed is in your state capitols. The greed is in government. But yet most people fall for this notion, “I don’t want to be greedy. I don’t want to pay less than my share.”

The moral component here is striking to me. Most people are already overtaxed. The way Washington looks at it, it’s not your money anyway. When they start talking about, “Well, you know, if we’re gonna give people a tax cut, we gotta find a way to pay for it.” What do you mean, gotta find a way to pay for it? What about doing with less like everybody else has to do now and then? “Oh, no, we can’t do that. We’re government. Too many services, too much necessary here. We can’t do.”

(snorts) Excuse me? I’d like to be able to try that one year.

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