RUSH: Here is John on Warsaw, Indiana. You’re next on Open Line Friday. Hi.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I work for the agency that you said you’re gonna write your last check to in this life?
RUSH: Uhhhh, you…?
CALLER: And it will bounce?
RUSH: Oh! Oh, oh!
RUSH: I thought you meant you worked for God. That you were a preacher!
RUSH: He’s heard me say… I got it. I remember now. I have said oftentimes that I hope the last check I write to the IRS bounces. It’s my way of saying, “I hope I get the full benefit of everything I’ve earned before I die.” So you work for the IRS. Okay.
RUSH: It’s a very clever way of reminding me of that, I grant you.
CALLER: Yeah. I’ve been a longtime listener. Anyways, the level of… When we deal with taxpayers in terms of their information, we term it “sensitive but unclassified,” which is at a lower level than what the FBI deals with in terms… Theirs is considered secret. And yet I cannot fathom for the life of me why this individual felt that on a government phone that he could exchange text messages or tweet somebody with negative comments. Because I’ll tell you, Rush, in my email I say nothing negative about taxpayers, nor do I say things negative about my boss or anything. Because it’s all out there for people to view at some point or another. And, you know, I just can’t fathom why somebody —
RUSH: Okay. You can’t fathom it, but he did it!
RUSH: He nevertheless did it. He was using both his private phone and, by his own admission, his government phone. And he was texting, messaging essentially the same stuff no matter which phone he was using. So you can’t imagine doing it, but he did it.
RUSH: So help us. You’re the guy that works in government. Help us understand the attitude, ’cause he clearly had to think he was gonna get away with it, that nobody was ever gonna see these. Right?
CALLER: I’ll tell you, Rush, we every so often have a list of people that are published that have divulged taxpayer information as a way of kind of warning us, “You have a public trust. You have a public responsibility, learning this information.” So I can’t even talk with anyone that is not… Again, I’m one step below “secret” in terms of my information level of security, okay? I can’t even talk to anybody that doesn’t have a need to know about my taxpayer information. Even when I do talk in the office, we talk in code often because we have the chance somebody may overhear us. So if I said something negative about a taxpayer and it came up in disclosure… I don’t know, I assume in FBI trials that their emails come up in part, when they’re doing the prosecution concerning these individual —
RUSH: I’m gonna tell you something. John, let me tell you something. In our charged atmosphere today, it would really depend on who the taxpayer was that you were criticizing. If, for example, look at what happened to Strzok Smirk. If you…? Let’s do a hypothetical. Let’s say that you decided that you wanted to tweet the income information of a public figure who is someone controversial, because you’re just tired of the news coverage this guy gets and you know he’s lying about a bunch of things.
So you tweet it out. If you happen to be a Democrat and if the guy you’re tweeting about is a Republican and it could be said he’s a phony baloney, you’re gonna be a hero for doing it. With the American people, you’ll probably be a hero, and with the media you would be a hero. Because everything has been politicized and partisanized today. I understand what you’re saying. You wouldn’t dare do it. You take the oath. This is sacrosanct, private information. You take your job —
CALLER: Not only that, but I could go to jail and get fined. I mean, I enjoy my freedom too much to even do anything or go there in terms of talking about specific taxpayer names.
RUSH: Well, I got tell you something since you’ve called here. I have to tell you. I, frankly — in these charged political times of 10, 15, 20 years — have been surprised that there haven’t been any leaks from the IRS. Like everybody’s dying to get their hands on Trump’s tax returns, right? You know this as well as I now. The Democrats made that a campaign issue. Well, somebody at the IRS knows ’em. Somebody can see ’em. Somebody can, and they haven’t leaked. I find it amazing. It’s kind of pleasant to realize it hasn’t leaked, when you got people in there like Lois Lerner who was denying tax-exempt status to various people. The fact that those tax returns or anybody else’s that the media wants haven’t leaked? In this day and age and atmosphere, it’s stunning.
CALLER: Well, it’s not entirely easy as you might think, perhaps for another agencies to get information like say. For instance, if I wanted to pull up your tax return first I have to know what your Social Security number is. So I’d have to do some background and get some information to discover that, and then I’d have to access the proper systems to be able to do that. Well, those systems are limited to a very specific set of individuals. So they would know immediately, and normally people of your stature are flagged so that if I were to access Rush Limbaugh tax returns, in about two heartbeats I’d be getting a call from our internal police.
RUSH: Right. They’d be asking you how they could help. (laughing)
CALLER: (laughing) No!
CALLER: (laughing) Noooo! They’d be shutting down my system and they’d be knocking on my door. I’d be walked out in handcuffs in about two heartbeats. No. The reason why that stuff doesn’t happen is that there are sufficiently enough people out there that have been… Again, they publish those things and then quite often it makes the wires when people do step over the line. And —
RUSH: Well, you know something? I’m really glad you called, because this has pointed out something. There haven’t been any such major leaks. You know Trump’s tax returns, the Democrats… Who knows what some of them would pay, because that’s where they think that they could get Trump thrown out of office. They thought this for the longest time, and they haven’t leaked. Contrast that with the FBI. Contrast that with the intelligence community where everything is leaking — and the intelligence community, they’re supposed to be able to as dedicated security and secrecy as anybody is. Anyway, I’m glad you called, John. I appreciate it. I’m sorry for the slow uptake on your opening little joke there. But I eventually got it, and you’re absolutely right. I still hope that’s the case. I hope the last check I write bounces and that it’s to the IRS. Of course, then they’d go after the estate.