RUSH: Here is Michael in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as we get started. Hi, Michael. How are you?
CALLER: Good afternoon, Mr. Limbaugh. It’s so cool to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: Hey, a point for me to call in is, you know, I’m a stats, finances and numbers guy, and I’m looking at these poll numbers. Trump has over 45% with negative 90% press, and that gets me excited, ’cause when we look at Obama at the same time, he had 90% positive press and his numbers are down. In addition to that, these polls still skew heavily as Democrat likely voters. So he’s in great shape, and I don’t know what they’re gonna do to take him down.
RUSH: I don’t think they do, either. I honestly — and they’re not gonna stop trying. I think they thought… Look, I’m being redundant here, but I really think they thought that he’d be gone now. I know these people. Do not doubt me. Everything they’re doing now is territory they never thought they would have to trod. Trump was gonna be gone or so damaged by now that if he was still in office, he’d be so ineffective that he wouldn’t be able to get anything done — and they are so far from having pulled that off.
Now Trump is reordering the entire world order on trade with the tariffs that he is applying on Chinese exports, imports to the United States. You know some of the strangest things are happening here. Now, yesterday on that score, of all people, Chuck Schumer signaled his agreement with Trump that something had to be done to fix this trade imbalance with the ChiComs. People said, “He doesn’t mean that. This is a setup. It’s a setup.”
I had people telling me this is just Schumer trying to urge Trump on because people don’t like this. This is gonna hurt the economy. It’s gonna make things more expensive. The Democrats want Trump to screw up. Then today, on CNBC, Steve Bannon appeared from the Brandenburg Gate in Germany. He proceeded to pretty much explain what I explained this previous week about what Trump is doing and how it’s working, what the reasons for dealing with the Chinese are and why they have to be dealt with this way.
He detailed the 30-year history exactly as I have done for you this week. The one thing that he didn’t do — and I think this is key. The one thing that… Everything Bannon said was right on the money about what Trump is doing, how he’s doing it, what the net positive impact is gonna be. But the one thing that he didn’t explain was why this arrangement has been the way it is for 30 years. Why have we had this trade imbalance?
Not just with the ChiComs, but with a lot of other nations around the world. Why has the United States permitted this unfairness? And understanding that is the key to understanding the Trump presidency. Essentially what Donald Trump is saying not just to the ChiComs but to the world: “We are no longer gonna apologize for being so rich and powerful. We’re not gonna apologizes for being a superpower, whether we’re the only one or not. We are not gonna let our pockets be picked just to show that we’re nice people or just to show that we don’t intend anybody any harm.
“And we’re not gonna let enemies take advantage of us just so they don’t drop bombs on us.” In other words, this defensive, almost guilt-laden posture that members of both parties (doesn’t matter Republican, Democrat administrations) have all dealt with the ChiComs and other nations from this position of, “Gee, we’re sorry that we’re the loan superpower. We don’t intend you any ill will. We hope you don’t nuke us.”
It’s totally defensive, and when I say laden with guilt, I’m not really exaggerating. People feeling guilty that we have so much and some of these other nations have so little, and we don’t want anybody to think we’re lauding anything over them. What Trump is saying is that those days are over. We’re not gonna let enemies take advantage of us. We’re not gonna do things just to show that we’re nice guys. We’re gonna start looking out for our interests first. We’re gonna take care of ourselves, but we’re gonna be fair with everybody. And as we do well, so will everybody else, because we’re the good guys.
It’s that simple.
But that’s part of this that has to be understood.
RUSH: What I was starting to say is we had Chuck You Schumer line up behind Trump on the trade negotiation stance with the ChiComs. I remember a lot of people think that Schumer was trying to egg Trump on to do this because they think Trump’s making a mistake, because there’s going to be maybe an economic slowdown as part of it. Maybe prices on certain things will increase a bit, and Trump’s really invested in the economy growing, and this may slow it down a bit. And people think that Schumer is urging Trump to do it…
Folks, Trump is not going to be affected by whether Schumer supports him or not. Trump being urged to keep on by Schumer is not relevant. Now, there may be some economic ramifications, but the point is, this has to be done. This situation has to get resolved. This unfairness, this gigantic trade imbalance… Let me tell you why, in my humble opinion — and I alluded to this earlier. It used to be 30 years ago when this began, when the trade relationship with China began — which followed him a similar pattern as happened with us and the Japanese.
Remember when everybody was worried that the Japanese were buying up the buildings in New York and we’re all gonna be speaking Japanese? That was the panic. The Chinese situation happened shortly after the Japanese situation was resolved. And our brains, our best and brightest who set up existing trade relationships resulting in us taking the short end of the stick said, “Look, this is what we need. We need to show the Chinese that we have no ill will intended. We need to show the Chinese we can be a good trading partner.
“We need to do something with the Chinese to show they don’t drop bombs on us,” all this defensive stuff. They said, “After all, what are the Chinese making us and sending us? They’re making cheap little wind-up toys and dolls and stuff and some of the cheapest merchandise on earth. It is coming from China, and so it’s not a threat to us anyway.” They’re making things that Americans won’t make anymore, was essentially the argument. Cheap stuff.
That may have been then, but that’s not the case now. Now the Chinese are actively hacking and stealing intellectual property. Now the Chinese are very active in competing in 5G network rollouts, cell phone connectivity. The Chinese are making great advances in artificial intelligence. One of the ways they’re able to do this is via this trade imbalance and espionage. They’re no longer making little trinkets and worthless little toys that sell for 25¢ at Walmart.
They’re now into very, very serious areas. In fact, they have a cell phone manufacturing company, a gigantic tech firm called Huawei. You’ve probably heard of it. We do not let Huawei sell anything in this country. We don’t let them in, because Huawei has a direct line to the Chinese Communist Party and it has been established that way Huawei technology has spyware in it. So if it were allowable for you to buy a Huawei-made cell phone, the odds are the good there would be spyware on that phone that links back to the Chinese Communist Party.
They’re seriously in a an economic competition with us for serious things now, not little toys and trinkets. It cannot be allowed to go on, and it certainly cannot be allowed to go on with the same thinking that got it started 30 years ago. And that thinking is directly traceable to characteristics of liberalism. Guilt, the desire to be liked, the assurance that we’re not gonna hurt anybody, that we don’t mean them any ill will — and the implied request that you not nuke us.
“See, we’ll let you take advantage of us so that we have value to you, so you won’t over…” Well, the fact of the matter is, their economy is one-third the size of ours. There isn’t a nation on earth that can get by without access to our market. The ChiComs have to have access to our market, and Trump is threatening to deny them that access, and if he sticks with this and hangs it, it’s gonna work, and it’s gonna reorder the entire foreign policy (regarding economy) trade arrangements that we’ve had with all these countries, and it’s gonna make things fair again.
That’s important from the standpoint of the American consumer and the American manufacturer. Now, in addition to Chuck You Schumer, guess who else today signed on with Donald Trump? None other than Thomas L. “Loopy” Friedman of the New York Times! Now, this guy… This guy has hated Donald Trump from the get-go. He’s as much the Never Trumper as anybody else is. And for the same reasons. Trump is a buffoon, Trump is an idiot, Trump’s unprepared, he’s uneducated, he’s unintelligent, he can’t talk, he’s got weird looking hair, he’s a buffoon, he’s an embarrassment.
And yet Thomas L. Friedman — who, by the way, over the years has expressed his admiration for the ChiCom’s totalitarian government. He’s jealous. He’s been envious of the fact that 10 or 12 people in China can all get something done. If they want to build a bridge somewhere, they don’t have to vote on it. Just have 10 or 12 Communist Party leaders dictate that it be done and it gets done. He has envisioned something like that for the United States.
Get the best and the brightest — and he, of course, would be one of them. Get the 10 smartest people in America, put them in charge of infrastructure, and let them command that it be fixed and how it’s gonna be done and who’s gonna get the work and how much it’s gonna cost. He has openly expressed his admiration for how the ChiComs are able to do that. Well, we don’t have that kind of government.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, I am. You and I can disagree whether Donald Trump is the American president that America deserves right now. But I’m absolutely certain he’s the American president that China deserves right now, because it needed someone who was going to actually take on the trade relationship between the two countries that was misaligned. This is really hard. But where I really agree with the president, it took someone to call the game. The game had to be called. Things have really gotten out of whack, and somebody had to call the game, and I think Trump is the guy that did it.
RUSH: Now, what he meant by “call the game,” in my language, that means you postpone it. When I was growing up, “The game’s been called because of rain.” That’s not what he means. He means somebody had to stand up and point out what’s goin’ on. Somebody had to stand up and identify how we are taking it in the shorts every which way from Sunday on this trade deal with China. Now, my reaction is that’s all true. But for Mr. Friedman, Trump’s been saying this since 1995. This was a fundamental part of Trump’s presidential campaign.
Where were you then, thinking Trump is the president we needed for China? If he’s the only guy who could “call the game,” meaning he’s the only guy who could stand up and point all this out with effectiveness to get something done, to get some effective changes — if Trump’s the only one… Do you realize…? Folks, I don’t know how deeply it has spread throughout the Twitterverse and the Facebookverse.
But “Loopy” Friedman signing on and endorsing Trump for anything may cause suicides out there on the left. I mean, this is the kind of thing that’s gonna send people over the edge. They’re not gonna understand it. They’re gonna come up with theories to explain like they did with Schumer. “Hey, don’t believe this. Friedman knows Trump’s committing suicide with this. He’s just trying to encourage him to keep committing suicide.” I don’t think that’s the case at all. Here’s Steve Bannon who was also on the same show. He was in Germany sitting there (well, at least it looked like he was) in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
He reacts to Friedman. Friedman said, “Look, I picked up the Washington Post today and I saw an article about how Republicans are now really breaking with the president, particularly from agricultural districts. So Steve, give me your analysis of the Republican politics of this issue, whether you think the president will be able to hold firm.” What he’s saying is that some people now experiencing higher prices because of the tariffs are beginning to get a little nervous and maybe drifting away from Trump because of it, and Friedman is asking Bannon if that’s right and if Trump can weather whatever storm might happen.
BANNON: The politics of this is that the Republicans have really put the most pressure on him. His allies on Wall Street have put the pressure on him, not understanding that this is the main thing; this is what it’s about. This is gonna set the world in one direction or the other for the next 20, 30, 40, or 50 years. I think it’s gonna set the framework for the 2020 election. But I gotta tell you. He’s not gonna back down from this. This is the core of why he’s president of the United States. This is the core of American decline. This is the turnaround of America. This is bringing manufacturing jobs back. I believe those citizens in those northern industrial states will say, “Hey, this guy finally stood up to ’em, started bringing the supply chain back, and I’m with him.”
RUSH: You know this 3.2% economic growth? Some of it… I don’t know what percentage, but some of the growth is driven by the reduction in Chinese exports. Meaning we’re importing… In the midst of all this, we’re importing less and less from China because of the tariffs, and that’s part of the reason the economy is growing. It’s also one of the reasons for the employment spike as well. And import prices are falling as a result of this. Everybody that’s in support of this is trying to remind everybody it’s not gonna get done overnight and there may be a little bit of, I don’t know what. Moderate pain.
But when you get right down to it, folks, if I were you, I wouldn’t even get caught up in how much pain there’s gonna be, because the media and everybody involved in this is lying to you about these tariffs and how much economic pain they’re gonna cause. This hysteria about Trump’s tariffs is totally political. We are the United States of America, and all taxes — the amount of money that we pay in taxes, if you add it all up… Not just income, but all of the fees, the Medicare, the payroll, the Social Security. If you add them all up, $5.5 trillion dollars is what the aggregate is, the sum total of all taxes paid by the American year, every year. It’s 5-point-some-odd trillion dollars.
Trump is raising tariffs — taxes — by $30 billion. It’s not even gonna be noticed in the big scheme of things. But these people are… Just like we had that audio sound bite from CNN earlier this week where they finally went into great detail about all of these tariffs. They describe ’em as tax increases and how much it’s gonna cost you. They never do that when the Democrats start talking tax increases. They only do that when Republicans start talking about tax cuts; then they lie to you about tax cuts and how much they’re supposedly gonna cost you.
The opposition to Trump on this is hysterically political. The amount of money we’re talking about tariff-wise here is infinitesimal compared to the total tax burden. Now, I’m not defending it in that sense. I’m saying it’s such a small amount that it’s not gonna be that noticed. It isn’t gonna be that painful, especially by the time it’s spread out over so many people. But then the end result of this is the economic advantage that will accrue to us after this is done and the trade relationship with China becomes stabilized and the concept of fairness and decency toward us rather than us giving away the store.
RUSH: What President Trump has done is he’s put higher tariffs on aluminum and steel. The price and cars and airplanes didn’t even change. But what happened was U.S. steel industry began to revive. Remember the stories just last week or the week before that about how the U.S. steel industry in Pittsburgh is all of a sudden starting to revive? Part of that is due to these tariffs.
Pat Buchanan has a great, great piece on the history of tariffs and why they are the key to the early days of American wealth. Before there was the income tax, which is 1913, do you know how the United States government financed itself? Tariffs. Tariffs were the sole source of financing for the United States government in the early days. Anyway, it’s a great, great piece.
RUSH: Mike in Indianapolis. You’re up next, and it’s great that you waited. I appreciate your patience.
CALLER: My pleasure. Twenty-eight-year listener. Glad to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I was calling about the media coverage of the tariffs. On the day that Trump raised the tariffs, they were — for the first time in history — admitting that business taxes are paid by consumers, and saying that American consumers were gonna have pay those tariffs, not the Chinese businesses. A day later, when China raises the tariffs suddenly, business owners are gonna be paying the tariffs that China raised. This is complete opposite of the day before. It was entertaining, I thought, that they couldn’t even get their story straight day to day.
RUSH: You’re talking about the media here?
RUSH: What is your take here, that the media was trying to harm Trump with all of this in the way they’re reporting it?
CALLER: Yeah. No matter whether China raised their tariffs or we raised ours, it was bad for America, not bad for China.
RUSH: Right. Well, of course. You’re very, very shrewd to realize this. Whatever it takes… This has been, by the way, some of the thinking behind the existing trade policy to begin with. Anyway, Mike, thanks for the call. I appreciate that you waited and I’m glad you got through.