RUSH: I’ve got a couple of great things. You know, yesterday I was dancing around the topic, dancing around the eco-message. This is not sustainable. We can’t go on like this and now there are two pieces, two articles, two columns, two blog posts — actually, they’re longer than that — that actually touch on this, and I’m gonna be sharing with you today eagerly about this.
I mean, the timing is perfect. And even, you know, yesterday when I talked about California and why the curve in California’s hardly going up, they talked about it at the briefing yesterday. It came up. And they’re trying to credit social distancing being started early in California for the fact that there’s no massively great upward curve, new cases and deaths based on the whole population the state.
RUSH: Now to the economics again.
I spent a lot of time yesterday dancing around something, and it is this: We simply cannot — with no end in sight — go on like this. We cannot be in the midst of this economy being shut down with no end in sight. It’s not gonna work. Now, they can tell us, “Well, we think in two weeks we’ll be able to relax things,” and then those two weeks go by and they can’t. They’ll say, “Oh, give us another two weeks,” because they think that we can live with waiting an additional two weeks every two weeks.
If they tell us six months, that won’t work. But there’s an overriding problem with this, and it is the uncertainty combined with nobody talking about it. Right now all of the talk is about medical. All the talk is about the horrible medical statistics, predictions, models, all the talk is apocalyptic when we’re discussing the virus. It’s all apocalyptic. It’s all end of the world. It’s all end of this. It’s all death. It’s all new numbers, 2.2 million, 240,000.
Meanwhile, everybody’s at home, the economy shut down, everybody realizes this can’t go on, but there is this degree of uncertainty as to when this is gonna end. It cannot go on like this. At some point, folks, we as a country are gonna have to answer a question: How much of the economy do we let drift toward Great Depression status before we stop it? Just raising that question could get me into trouble. Just bringing it up now, because nobody in officialdom, nobody in these briefings is talking about it other than Trump saying, “We’re gonna get back up,” blah, blah, in a generic sense.
So I have a couple pieces I want to share with you excerpts. Ben Domenech, the founder of The Federalist, has a piece headlined: “We’re Following A One-Size-Fits-All Coronavirus Strategy Right Into A Great Depression.” When I saw this today, I said, it’s right up my alley. It’s exactly what I was talking about yesterday. Here’s the subheadline: “While this shutdown has already done enormous damage, it is the uncertainty about when and how it will reopen that could prove far more destructive in the long run.”
Dead-on right. The uncertainty. Nobody’s talking about when this is gonna end. Everybody’s talking about the end of everything else, except the end of the suspension of the economy. Here’s how the piece begins: “Our leadership class responded to the outbreak of the coronavirus by shutting down the economy on a nationwide scale. While this will mitigate the loss of life the virus might otherwise have caused, it’s clear we’re also confronting a challenge no medical innovation can cure. We face an unprecedented situation — not a global pandemic, we’ve seen those before, but a modern capitalist economy that turned itself off for potentially more than 60 days, on purpose.”
This is exactly my point. What are we doing? We have purposely shut down capitalism. We’ve shut down the largest economy in the world. We’ve shut down the economy the world needs. The biggest roaring economy the country has ever seen, we’ve shut it down. It took three years, only three years to build this economy up from the tepid state the Obama administration left it in, and now we’re right back there. Do you realize it’s just taken two months to take this economy back to where we were in December of 2016?
And if these last three years had not happened, if this economic boom has not happened, folks, we would already be trending toward deep recession if our starting point with the coronavirus and shutting the economy had been the state of the economy. You know, 1% growth; we’re in era of decline; America’s best days are behind with us. That was the Obama administration message, because they were steering America into this globalist world order where the United States had to be cut down to size in order for the globalism to work.
And Trump comes along, Make America Great Again, saying to hell with all of that. And now we just shut it down. We just turned it off, and we did it on purpose. And Mr. Domenech says, “Uncertainty crushes hope. So the question on the minds of our leaders should be: how do we give citizens more confidence that we can, and will, turn the economy back on?”
People are sitting out there with no money, no prospects of any money. Whenever we talk about the economy, we talk about when and if it’s gonna come roaring back, but with what? Restaurants are being closed, in some cases never to reopen again. Where is the hope? Where is the confidence that we are gonna start back? I mean, the news today, Wimbledon canceled. Wimbledon’s in July, for crying out loud. Don’t you watch Wimbledon on the 4th of July, breakfast at Wimbledon or whatever it is? Well, people that do. It’s July, and they’ve shut it down.
Mr. Domenech said, “While this shutdown has already done enormous damage, it is the uncertainty about how it will reopen that could prove far more destructive in the long run. And the knee-jerk reaction from a jittery Congress in the form of multi-trillion-dollar bailouts could create a number of disincentives for many people to go back to work.”
Meaning we’re gonna pay them more not to work than to work. I, frankly, am not worried about that. I think people loved working. I think they loved the opportunity. I think this economy had people wanting to work and wanting to expand. If we could get back to it, I don’t think it’d be a problem. But I understand the fear.
“For all the scary headlines coming out of New York City, most of what we know at this moment regarding the coronavirus, as it relates to public health, is better than expected. We know that while highly infectious, our hospital systems seem to be responding better than initially thought. The shutdowns have been abided by, for the most part. Most Americans are doing a good job of distancing, behaving responsibly, and staying off the roads.” There are some exceptions, of course, but most everybody is obeying.
“Thanks to that, deaths are lagging far behind the dire predictions of the expert and media class. At this pace, 2.2 million Americans are not going to die from this pandemic. … The White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths, even with sustained social distancing. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Education, which projects around 82,000 deaths assuming social distancing lasts through May, looks far more realistic given current reporting. Let us hope even those predictions turn out to be on the high end.”
RUSH: I want to get back to Ben Domenech. This point about uncertainty and the American economic circumstance. “As in so many cases, our leaders in both parties across the country will assure us afterwards that everything they did — the shutdowns, the bailouts, the restrictions, the seizures of power, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s SALT tax break for millionaires — was absolutely necessary, that the cost of so many jobs and livelihoods was absolutely essential in order to save so many lives. How much you believe that is up to you.”
Folks, I have experienced every economic circumstance there is except abject poverty. I have been out of work for weeks. I’ve been broke. I know what it is to have no money in the midst of a roaring economy. I know what it is to have no money in a meager economy. I know how scary it is. And we’re doing it to ourselves — unless you want to say the ChiComs launched a war on us, but we shut down this economy ourselves. We turned it off.
The real tax, the real stress on everybody right now is uncertainty, economic uncertainty. Uncertainty about the danger of the disease for their family, uncertain about whether the hospital will be able to take ’em, uncertain about whether there’s even gonna be an economy to come back to. There’s no need to totally shut down the U.S. economy here.
RUSH: I just want to conclude the thought here without having to race my way through this. Again, this is Ben Domenech at The Federalist today, and the headline of his piece: “We’re Following a One-Size-Fits-All Coronavirus Strategy Right into a Great Depression,” meaning we don’t need to be shutting down a whole country. This is just his theory.
His theory basically dovetails with exactly what was talking about yesterday, this whole notion of uncertainty, that all we get — all we hear — is further shutdowns. Can’t go here, can’t go there, can’t do that. But there’s no talk about when it ends.
As in so many cases, leaders in both parties across the country are gonna tell us afterwards that everything they did — the shutdowns, the bailouts, the restrictions, the seizures of power — was absolutely necessary. It was the cost of so many jobs and livelihoods, absolutely essential in order to save so many lives.
How much you believe that is up to you. But for now, the real tax on everybody’s nerves, what’s making everybody on edge is uncertainty. Americans are uncertain about the danger of the disease for their family and loved ones. They’re uncertain about whether the hospital will be able to take ’em.
They’re uncertain about whether they’ll have a livelihood or job or career to go back to once the government lets them out of their homes. They’re uncertain whether their kids will ever go back to school. They’re uncertain whether they should wear a mask, even.
What Americans need is the same thing the health care sector needs, and that is clarity, and that is why our leaders in government need to be working right now to set clear benchmarks and milestones for reopening the American economy. It needs to be something we’re talking about. It needs to be something that people can see.
The light at the end of the tunnel, whatever. The end of this, the reopening of the U.S. economy needs to be something real that people can look down the road to and see. You don’t want to look down the road and see nothing! That breeds uncertainty, and it breeds confusion; it breeds depression. Now, admittedly setting these benchmarks isn’t gonna be easy.
But two new road maps for reopening have been put forward.
One of them is by Ezekiel Emanuel at the University of Pennsylvania, another one by Scott Gottlieb and others from the American Enterprise Institute. “The key aspect of the AEI report is the suggestion that counties or states pay attention not to the virus as a national entity, but to the situation of the virus on the ground” where they are, “in their local communities, as they move through phases of reopening.”
Now, that’s easier said than done. Nobody is saying that this is easy. Don’t misunderstand me. But I literally… I’m talking psychology and attitude here. There needs to be some sign. There needs to be some indication that people are thinking about it. There needs to be… The American people need to know that their leaders regard it as an urgency to get this economy back up and running.
That’s how people live! “In this climate, any politician or businessman who wants to step up and say ‘we have to get back to work or risk far more long-term damage’ is putting his head in the media’s guillotine,” and that is exactly right. This is one of the problems. Anybody who comes out…
You know, I’m a guy on the radio. I can say this. Domenech writing his piece can say it. But if somebody on the task force goes out there today and says it? If somebody in business comes out and says, “You know what? We gotta get back to work. We’re risking long-term damage”? Boy, are they gonna be hit.
The media is gonna cream ’em for insensitivity, not caring about how many lives are lost. But it is a reality that cannot be ignored. “[T]his is exactly the moment when we should expect more from our local officials than being led around by national cable news.” National cable news and its overall attitude of apocalyptic futures ought not be what dominates everybody’s mind-set.
Cable news and their little dream of defeating Donald Trump in the next election ought not be what’s at the forefront of everybody’s minds. Look, this is personal for me, folks, because I remember my life. I’m 69, on the way to 70 — and I will make 70 — and I have experienced every economic circumstance possible other than billionaire wealth and abject poverty.
I have been fired eight times. I have been out of work for weeks. I refused to go on unemployment for most of it. I relied on my parents sending me 10 to 50 bucks here and there. But my solution every time was to get a job. If I had to go somewhere I didn’t want to go to get the job, I did it. I’m not bragging; don’t misunderstand.
It was an economy that made those things possible for me. But my point is, I have been through the abject fear of having no money, of not being able to buy food. Let me tell you one little story that regular listeners here know. Before you could use a credit card in a grocery store, I owned a house I had no business owning, ’cause I bought into the idea that renting was throwing money away.
But I had no business owning a house ’cause I couldn’t afford to keep it up. It was the shack (the famous shack) in Overland Park, Kansas, and my MasterCard payment… I didn’t dare use my Amex card because you had to pay the whole balance. So I didn’t use it. I had MasterCard.
The MasterCard payment came due in the same 15-day period of the month as the mortgage payment. I couldn’t make ’em both! I begged MasterCard to move my due date to the second half of the month. They wouldn’t do it. So for the longest time when the baseball season was over…
I was working for the Kansas City Royals at the time. When the baseball season was over, I would go into Kwik Shops, which did take credit cards, and buy potato chips or whatever else you could fix in there and make sure I still had enough money for the mortgage payment.
My point is that I know the crushing fear associated with it, the lack of self-esteem and respect that that situation causes people. Now, this is not the result of people being fired, but they’re being fired; they’re being laid off in some cases. This is even worse in some cases. We have purposely shut down the economy.
Now, I’m not arguing that it didn’t need to be done, but it’s gotta get turned back on at some point. I don’t care if it’s November. They need to tell us what the target is. There needs to be some way of eliminating this wave of uncertainty that pervades everything here. Now, I know we’ve got stimulus packages and we got bailout packages.
How many of you have gotten any of that money yet? I mean, I know the intentions are good and the money’s gonna get there at some point and it’s gonna be very, very helpful — and I know in some cases the amount of money is gonna be more than what you were making when you were working.
And I know people are worried that if that the keeps up, you may not want to go back to work. Clearly some of that’s gonna happen. I happen to think that once this economy gets back up and running — and I believe that it will — that people are gonna want to go back to work because I think they remember what the opportunities were.
And if the stimulus bill, if the stuff is done right, it’s gonna stimulate the economy in ways that are gonna want to make people want to become part of it. And there will be all kinds of… Like the NFL lawyer, Jeff Pash, said that the NFL’s planning for a full season, full stadiums. If that were to happen, that’s gonna be a big upper.
Anything, anything that is an indication of a return to normalcy is gonna be a huge upper. Now, I know many of you are thinking, “Rush, you’re talking like there isn’t this killer virus out there.” No, I’m not. I’m fully aware there’s a killer virus out there, and I’m fully aware we don’t have a vaccine for it.
I’m fully aware of what needs to be done to stop the spread of it, all these mitigation things — the social distancing and all that. My only point is you can’t keep people in their homes interminably with no end in sight to it. There has to be some way of conveying an evaporation of the uncertainty that exists out there.
RUSH: Issuesinsights.com has an editorial today, and the headline, the title of the piece: “COVID Confirms It: Dems Don’t Understand Economics.”
Let me just give you some pull quotes here. “Bernie Sanders’ rant is typical of most if not nearly all of today’s Democrats. Their view of profit is that it is an evil that must not be allowed. This is at odds with what we know: Profits are necessary to human lives. When profits are not being pursued, an economy can never develop. We can’t all work for non-profit interest groups and expect to move forward. How Democrats are unable to understand that the potential to earn profits is what drives companies to make lifesaving and life-enhancing drugs, as well as every other good out there, is a modern-day mystery.”
No, it’s not. It’s not a mystery why Democrats oppose profit. The Democrats oppose capitalism. Capitalism to them is the root of all evil because it’s the epitome of unfairness, you see. It’s the epitome of inequality. It’s epitome of racism and bigotry and homophobia. Capitalism is the evil of all evils. Socialism is the answer, communism is the answer because nobody gets laughed at, nobody ever loses, nobody’s better than anything else, nobody has any more than anybody else, and there’s no competition. And so there’s no hurt feelings. And the people that run the show have all the money. They’ve got everything in the world they need and they bleed everything else dry until everything goes south like Venezuela or Cuba.
“While Andrew Cuomo is not necessarily taking a party line when he says he believes an economic shutdown is necessary to save lives, it’s not a big leap for Democrats, given their leftward orientation, to characterize an eventual reopening of the economy as a conflict of ‘lives vs. money.'”
This is what scares the hell out of me. The idea of reopening the economy during this, the Democrats are gonna oppose it, and they’re gonna pitch it as lives versus money. You know, when we went to kick Saddam Hussein, Iraq, out of Kuwait, they said, “You can’t do this. This is blood for oil.” The free flow of oil at market prices is what allows everybody to eat in this country and the world. The free flow of oil at market prices is the bedrock foundation of economic activity. And look how cheap oil is now because of the arguments going on between Saudi Arabia and Russia, 99 cents-a-gallon gasoline. Do you realize what a big tax cut equivalent that is? It is huge in terms of people having more disposable income elsewhere.
But this is what bothers me, folks, the Democrats are gonna pitch this as lives versus money, and they’re gonna do their best to make sure this economy stays shut down because that’s the fastest way they think to beating Trump. And the people in the Democrat Party urging this have got their money — Feinstein, Pelosi, they’re uber-wealthy. They’re not gonna be hurt nearly as much as other people by this. So they’ve got theirs. Lives versus money. When in fact it’s lives versus lives. It’s not lives versus money. Money is not an enemy of lives. Money is not an enemy of life. But to the modern-day Democrat Party and media acolytes, it is.
“Then there’s the foggy thinking of the Washington Post — yes, we’re still talking Democrats here — which tells us ‘the coronavirus recession is exposing how the economy was not strong as it seemed.'” Utter BS. If it weren’t for this economy having been roaring for three years after Trump was elected — and I’m not even saying that to give Trump credit for it. Don’t misunderstand. The fact can’t be denied that we had the lowest historic unemployment ever. We had GDP growth rapid. We had more people working than ever before. Wages were going up. If that hadn’t happened and then the coronavirus hits, God knows where we would be right now. If we hadn’t had this cushion to lose and fall back on.
But it is utterly frightening that it only took two and a half to three months to wipe out three years of economic gain. That scares the heck out of me, my friends. For you. I want a great country. I want everybody doing well. My attitude is that everybody in this country has the opportunity to succeed and prosper, and I want ’em to do so to the best of their ability. And it’s being denied people right now. And the Democrat Party and the media are one of the major impediments. And this coronavirus recession is not exposing how weak the economy was. It’s quite the contrary.
It’s the age-old problem. Democrats and the media think government is the source of wealth, that government can create high paying, green jobs out of nothing. You know what the truth is? We’re gonna have a stimulus package of $2.3 trillion dollars, do you know how much money that is? You can’t fathom it. You can’t imagine how much $2.3 trillion is, and it’s not enough to support anybody for longer than two weeks. The government cannot provide, nor can the government create an economy that was providing anywhere near like the American people were being provided for or like the American people were creating. It just can’t be done.
Ours is a $22 trillion economy. And that’s not the result of government growing and government — well, government’s a part of it. It’s 19% of GDP, 19 to 22%. The media and the Democrats are doing everything they can to reorient people’s thinking once again to thinking government’s the source of wealth, government’s the source of fairness, government’s the source of freedom, government’s the source of rights. None of that is true. That’s why the longer this goes on, the more worried I get about it.
RUSH: Here is Mike in Cincinnati. Welcome, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Long may you run, buddy. Hey, my point is this. This is a very dangerous precedent, and our enemies foreign and domestic are watching every move we make right now. We’re a great country. We’ve been beat up. We’ve had wars. We’ve had disasters before. And every time it takes a pound of flesh out of us, sometimes big, sometimes small. But what we’ve never done, ever done, is cower in place, never mind shelter in place. They have us cowering in place right now. And it’s embarrassing, almost.
But we’re gonna pay a heavy price if we keep this up. Trump has to turn this around, tonight if possible, or this week, 180 degrees. That’s what we elected him to do. Make bold decisions. And if they’re gonna throw money at this, this is the last thing I’m gonna say, if they’re gonna throw money at this, why don’t they try this. Pay everybody to open back up their jobs, give everybody time and a half for the next 60 days and let’s get going again. We can turn plowshares into swords if we have to, but this is gonna kill us, not the virus, the economic part of it’s gonna kill us. And if it kills us, it’s gonna kill the rest of this planet for a long, long time to come.
RUSH: I thought you were gonna say — and you didn’t — you got right up to it. You said they this and they this, but we have shut ourselves down here, Mike.
CALLER: Yes, we have. We have tranquilized ourselves. We’re like a gigantic —
RUSH: No. No, no, no, no, no. No. We have turned off the economy. We’ve turned it off. We hit the off switch. Now, I know a lot of people think that this virus is biowarfare launched by the ChiComs, proving they can take us out without firing a shot. Not even getting into that. I’m just saying that the reaction to it, for the first time in history we have shut ourselves down.
CALLER: That’s my entire point, Rush. The virus will go away. The economic fallout’s not gonna go away. Every day that we keep going like this, shut down, I mean the economy shut down, we’re adding a month or six months to the disaster that’s gonna come after this anyway financially. We’re already into it. We’re gonna have to eat that sooner than later. But they’ve gotta get us all back to work. I’m working right now. I’m lucky. I’m in an industry that works and we’re doing great. But he’s gotta stop listening to these people and make a strong decision to say, “Open up the companies, we’re gonna pay you to go back to work, your employer will pay you.” Do whatever it takes —
RUSH: Look. I hear you. You’re singing my song today. It’s not so much that. It’s the uncertainty of if or when this is ever gonna happen that people are having to deal with. If there were an end in sight, then it’d be a little easier psychologically to deal with. There’s no end in sight, and they’re not talking about it. And I have been told — I had very good friend supporters listening yesterday, said, “Rush, appreciate what you’re trying to do, but you gotta understand something. They’re not gonna touch this economic stuff until the medical stuff has been dealt with. They’re not gonna do it. You can beat yourself up and you can pound your head against the wall, but they are not going to start talking about the economy and reigniting the country until this medical stuff is dealt with. You can do all you want.”
So you better hope and pray that whatever happens is we come up with a medicine, a series of medicines, we come up with some kind of test. You know in Japan, in Japan, just to go anecdotal — in Japan they’re not sequestering anybody. Just making everybody wear masks and they’ve shut nothing down. Everybody’s wearing masks and they’re going to work and they’re doing things and they haven’t had to shut anything down. Everybody’s wearing masks.
Now, we don’t have enough masks for everybody to wear masks. We don’t even have masks for the medical professionals. But something has to happen to enable us to treat the virus and work at the same time. Right now we’re in an either/or circumstance, and Mike, I know what you’re saying. That can’t go on indefinitely. It just can’t.