RUSH: Trump and the suspension of the payroll tax, the Democrats’ panicked reaction to it. Oh, by the way, guess who now wants to talk to Trump about the extended coronavirus bill?
That would be Schumer and Pelosi. He called their bluff, and he’s going to, with executive orders, go ahead and follow through on coronavirus continued relief for people who are unemployed, and they now want to be part of it.
RUSH: There was a tweet on Friday or Saturday by Mark Knoller, who used to be at CBS. They fired him in a bloodletting. They had to get rid of some people. It was to reduce the number of staff kind of move. So he’s out there. He was beloved within the Washington press corps so he still tweets, and they still report the tweets.
And his tweet was: “Pres says he’s ordering a payroll tax holiday for those making less than $100K/year. Would be in effect from August 1 to the end of 2020. Says if he’s re-elected he’ll extend the holiday and terminate the tax.”
And, lo and behold, it happened. Trump on Saturday signed a series of executive orders expanding the coronavirus economic relief to Americans struggling during the pandemic. There are four of these things, four of these executive orders. Let me go through them for you.
The first executive order continues additional federal unemployment benefits at $400 a week. That is $200 a week less than the Democrats were demanding. And the states are expected to way one-fourth of this, or $100. The second executive order creates a payroll tax holiday for Americans earning less than a hundred thousand dollars annually. The third executive order extends the eviction moratorium on federal subsidized housing. And the fourth executive order suspends student loan payments.
And this is still not, or it was still not, good enough for the Democrats. They blew up. Now, the media isn’t reporting it, but Trump is using FEMA money to pay for this. He’s just shifting the money from FEMA over to where he wants it to go here under the authority — are you ready for this? — under the authority of the 1988 Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, meaning it’s lawful. The Stafford Act is the law under which the executive branch provides assistance to state and local governments after a natural disaster, which the coronavirus lockdown surely is.
Good grief. If there ever is a definition of a natural disaster caused by us, it is this, shutting down the U.S. economy and destroying it. So Trump is well within the law to do this, and he did it because he couldn’t get Pelosi and Schumer to go along with him.
Oh, but then just this morning, 30 minutes before the program began, the president tweeted the following: “So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were ‘hardliners’, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!”
So Trump’s point is he issues the executive orders, takes care of the problem. They’re not part of it, their fingerprints are nowhere to be found on the solution. He is totally within his legal rights to have these executive orders, to issue them, now all of a sudden they want to talk to him. Now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal.
And I have a companion story here in The Stack. Liz Peek, Fox News, the Fox Business Network — by the way, the Fox Business Network, they’re not nearly as politically focused as the Fox News Channel is. By definition, they wouldn’t be. They’re more focused on the business aspect of things. And Liz Peek has a story here: “Trump’s Big Win On Relief Orders – Here’s Why Pelosi, Schumer Are So Unhappy.”
Now, I know, folks, that it’s inescapable, the mainstream media makes it look as though we’re always losing. And it’s tough, I mean, you have to acknowledge it. It’s just a look. It’s just an appearance. It’s never universally true. But they make it look that way. It used to be the case that we were losing more than winning.
But the thing is, Trump does not lose. He may get setbacks now and then, but he’s a problem solver. You might say he’s an addicted problem solver. He’s highly motivated to find ways around blockades like Chuck and Nancy, and not by caving to them. This is the thing. He doesn’t try to appease them. He finds legitimate ways around them, and he takes them, and then here they come now wanting to be part of it.
RUSH: Now, back to Liz Peek. I just need to share a couple of pull quotes from this story of hers because she is convinced that Trump is just running rings around Pelosi and Schumer and that they’re unhappy and they want to be part of the deal. They’re very upset that Trump went the executive order route.
She says, “The president boxed the Democrats in – how can they possibly challenge his orders or take his mandated benefits away from people?” Now that he has mandated these benefits, how can the Democrats take ’em away?” Don’t put it past them. They are all about creating chaos.
Folks, I never got around to this last week, but there was a part of me last week that said that the Democrats do not want the coronavirus benefits extended. That they want instead the chaos that would ensue. They want the pain. They want the evictions. They want the suffering. They want people being laid off. They want landlords foreclosing. They want that chaos in order to blame it on Trump, just like they’re creating the chaos in their own blue states and cities.
I think there is a great likelihood that that’s true, but now that Trump has come along and used the Stafford Act to extend coronavirus benefits legally, now if the Democrats do anything to try to stop Trump, they are going to be seen as taking away these benefits and torpedoing the U.S. economy, which they want to do, but will they?
Anyway, hang in. Your calls are coming up.
RUSH: Let me finish the pull quote from Liz Peek. This is good stuff. “Mainly, Pelosi and Schumer stonewalled because they want to torpedo the U.S. economy.” I’m telling you, folks, last week they were all about the chaos that would ensue if there were no extension of the coronavirus relief bill. That’s who these people are. If you doubt me, look at what they’re allowing to happen in their own states and cities.
Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland — by the way, speaking of Seattle, there is a weather guy, a meteorologist for NPR who wrote a piece about Seattle and compared it to 1938 Nazi Germany. And he has been fired. There is no freedom of speech anymore in leftist states or cities or leftist-run businesses. NPR, of course, exists with government grants and your donations. Without your pledge, they can’t dust.
So the guy gets canned because he’s in Seattle, he’s writing about what he’s seeing. What’s the significance of it looking like 1938 Germany? It’s that whatever the Nazis, the national socialists were doing, nobody stood up to stop it. Nobody stood up to oppose it. Property was being commandeered and destroyed by brownshirts, the SS and the government. Nobody was doing anything to stop it. This guy’s scared to death over what he’s seeing. He gets canned.
Democrats want the chaos. They want to be able to blame Trump if your unemployment checks stop, if you get evicted by your landlord, if your business is shut down, if the economy remains in the clunker. So Trump comes along with executive orders and suspends the Democrats’ attempts at chaos. Pelosi and Schumer stonewall because they want to torpedo the U.S. economy.
“Democrats know that creating jobs is Trump’s signature achievement, and also the most important issue to voters,” right now. It isn’t COVID-19. It isn’t Joe Biden. The number one issue is getting back to work. “By blocking the next round of stimulus, they intentionally undermined the financial security of tens of millions of Americans.”
No question that that’s true. The thing is, Pelosi and Schumer, the Democrats, don’t care. They don’t care that they’ve undermined the financial security of tens of millions of Americans. “Their priority is beating President Trump. The American people be damned.” This is absolutely true. It’s absolutely the case, which makes Brian Stelter running around concerned about all the bashing of Biden going on particularly laughable.
But Liz Peek writes this. “But aren’t Democrat leaders confident they will oust Trump in November?” See, this is the question you need to keep asking yourself. Why all this concern? Haven’t they already beat Trump? Isn’t Trump down 10 points to Biden over here and 12 points to Biden over there? Isn’t Trump down 15 points in the battleground precincts? Isn’t Trump losing in all of these important states?
If Trump is losing, if Biden’s so far ahead, then why does all this matter? Why not go ahead and give the extension to coronavirus benefits and take the credit for it, if you’re Pelosi and Schumer. If Trump is going to lose, why create this chaos? If Trump is gonna lose, why do even more damage to the country?
The point is, the answer to the question is it’s a big, fat bunch of BS that they think Trump’s gonna lose. They don’t believe that any more than you or I do. They are not confident of their own polls. All of this is manufactured news designed to depress you, to keep you at home, to make you think that Trump’s base has abandoned him. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t abandon him. Hasn’t that been their message of late? That we’re gonna see not just a blue wave, we’re gonna see a blue tsunami. We’re gonna see the Democrat Party take over the country so big, so vast, they’re never gonna lose control of it.
This optimism is fake. Just like their news. This optimism is entirely manufactured. It’s aimed at driving down your turnout. It’s aimed at destroying Republican fundraising. The Democrats know that Biden’s brief surge is already fading. I mentioned it at the top of the hour when I told you why my confidence is being renewed in terms of the outcome here. There’s only a three-point spread in the Hill poll, the latest Harris-Hill poll. It’s not going the right direction for the Democrats.
Biden’s lead is slipping nationally and in the swing states. The Democrats read these polls. They know this is going to be close. It’s why they’re trying to keep the economy flatlined. The last thing they want is another stimulus measure that would pump more money into voters’ pockets. Last thing. But now Trump has done it with the executive orders. What are you gonna do, take it away from people now, or do they try to get in on it with some credit?
RUSH: Well, looky here. The press does not believe that Chuck and Nancy have expressed a desire to talk to Trump. You know, Trump tweeted that now that he has issued the executive orders extending the coronavirus benefits, that Chuck and Nancy now want to talk to him, and so at the White House press briefing mere moments ago, the press was berating Kayleigh McEnany, demanding to know, “Who did Trump hear from?
“Who says Chuck and Nancy want to talk?” The press doesn’t believe the Democrats really want to talk. The press believes that Democrats want the chaos. The press believes they don’t want talks, that Chuck and Nancy would not be this… They wouldn’t do this. So they’re demanding to know, and Kayleigh McEnany… Well, we have the answer here.
RUSH: Now, again to set this up. Trump signs four executive orders — and let me review them again just so you can remember what they were. The first one continues additional federal unemployment benefits at $400 a week instead of $600. It’s $200 less than the Democrats were demanding. The states will pay $100 of it.
The second of four executive orders creates a payroll tax holiday for Americans earning less than a hundred thousand dollars a year. The third executive order extends the eviction moratorium on federal subsidized housing. And the fourth executive order suspends student loan payments. This is through the end of the year and retroactive I think back to July 1st.
This is not good enough for the Democrats. They want the chaos. They want you evicted. They want your business shut down. They do not want you to get a holiday on your student loan payment when you don’t have a job. They do not want unemployment compensation continued.
Folks, that’s why they didn’t come to a deal last week. They want the mess. These are the people that care. These are the people that care about the little guy. These are the people claiming to have all the compassion and these mean Republicans, heartless, cold, and cruel don’t care about people. It’s the exact opposite here.
So, anyway, after these four executive orders were signed and they are legal, they were signed under terms of the Stafford Act, which allows FEMA money to be used for national emergencies. Natural disaster. Which is what this is. I mean, you’ve got a mandated destruction of the economy. We have a natural disaster here. The Stafford Act allows FEMA funds, FEMA money to be used to transferred to this kind of resolution to a natural disaster.
Now, Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary is defending Trump’s executive orders. He said yesterday, if the Democrats want to challenge us in court and if they want to hold up unemployment benefits to hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of COVID, then they’re gonna have a lot of explaining to do.
The problem is that the media, the Drive-Bys will never report that it’s the Democrats holding the country hostage. But, you know, it’s one of these things where we hope people will figure it out. ‘Cause Mnuchin is right. It’s the Democrats that are gonna be holding things up.
Anyway, what’s happened is that now that the four executive orders have been signed and that they are legal and now the benefits will continue, if the Democrats go to court to try to stop it, they’re going to be seen as taking benefits away. They know that Trump can make that case. So they’re a little unnerved by this. And then Trump tweeted that the Democrats, that Chuck and Nancy now all of a sudden called him and want to reopen talks. They want to get involved.
So the media assembled for the daily brief today at the White House doesn’t believe that. They don’t believe Trump’s tweet. They don’t believe that Chuck and Nancy called Trump, and they want to know who the president heard from. Reporter said — this is sound bite number 21, by the way — “Who’d the president hear from over the weekend? Also, his tweet this morning said that Schumer and Pelosi had his number regarding negotiations. Does that mean that he’s gonna play a larger role in the process going forward, or is it going to still be Secretary Mnuchin and the chief of staff?”
MCENANY: They speak on the president’s behalf. He’s been actively engaged in the negotiations and working closely with Secretary Mnuchin and the chief of staff. Democrats should come to the table. Their immediate statement in the aftermath of the president issuing these EOs says that they would like to meet halfway. But, you know, those are empty words from Democrats. They’d like to meet halfway because so far they’ve just gone in the other direction.
REPORTER: Did anyone reach out to him?
MCENANY: I’m not going to go through the president’s call logs. You guys can ask him later today if you’d like. He’ll have a press briefing about 5:30.
RUSH: Oh, so the president has a briefer today at 5:30. She’s not going to go through the president’s call logs, but you can ask him later today who called him. You can ask him later today who called him on behalf of Chuck and Nancy. That ought to be good. Notice how the Drive-Bys are bent out of shape. They know that in Chuck and Nancy called, it’s a sign of defensiveness, maybe even weakness. And they can’t believe it so they’re demanding proof.
Now, here is now the politics of this are playing out in certain places. There’s a website here called commondreams.org, and the headline of this piece — this is essentially the left explaining what Trump is really doing. You want to talk about scaring people. “Trump just admitted,” goes the headline here, “Trump Admitted On Live TV He Will ‘Terminate’ Social Security And Medicare Payroll Tax Funding If Reelected In November — One progressive liberal critic called the president’s promise a full-on declaration of war against current and future Social Security beneficiaries.”
So the Democrats my entire life, except for the last maybe 10 years, but my entire life claimed every election, local or national, that the Republicans wanted to kill Social Security. They wanted to take Social Security away from the seasoned citizens, and they wanted to kick the elderly out of their homes. It was a staple of the Democrat campaign, that Republicans want to take away your Social Security. It eventually died out because it never happened. And after a while, seasoned citizens began to realize that nobody ever took their Social Security away.
In fact, what they noticed was that their Social Security checks got bigger every year. And nobody ever took ’em away. So it finally stopped working and the Democrats bit the bullet and went on to something else. Now it’s back. Now Trump claiming a moratorium on the payroll tax because you see, my friends, it’s the payroll tax that funds Social Security. Now, you could say Medicare, too, even though it’s a separate Medicare-only deduction or payment. And it is far more painful than just the payroll tax.
But what Trump is doing is attempting to put more disposable income in the back pockets of people, because Trump knows that it’s not businesses that pay the Social Security tax. The employee pays it all. May I explain this to you?
I know many of you have been here a long time and you heard this, but remember we have new listeners every hour of every day. It requires me to be repetitive. And this is crucial for people that don’t know this to understand here because the left and the Democrats are going to be ratcheting up this criticism that Trump’s real purpose here is to take your Social Security away by killing the payroll tax.
Now, the way the payroll tax was sold to people was that it was a joint effort between the employer and the employee. You would pay X in Social Security taxes, payroll taxes, and your employer would match it. So whatever the payroll tax was — let’s just pick a number, say it was 15% — you would pay seven and a half percent of it and your employer would pay the other seven and a half percent. Therefore, you are getting a deal. Your employer is paying half of it. No. No. That’s not how it works. You are paying all of it, and your employer is paying none of it.
Now, you’re probably saying, “Rush, Rush, Rush, how can this be?” It’s very simple. And the secret is found in the total cost to employ somebody. So let’s say that you earn a salary — I’m just gonna pick a number that’s easy to work with here. Say you earn a salary of a hundred thousand dollars. But you’re actually earning much more than that, you just don’t see it. You’re earning whatever your health care benefit is, and the payroll tax. Now, you were told that your employer is paying half of it and you’re paying the other half. The fact is you’re paying all of it, you just don’t see it because it’s withheld.
So if you are earning a hundred thousand dollars, it probably costs your employer 115 to $120,000 to hire you, to pay you, maybe even more than that. But your take-home is a hundred grand. But what you don’t see would make the total cost to hire you around $125,000. You’re paying it, you just don’t see it. The employer gets to charge your payroll amount as $125,000, 120, whatever it is, but you only get paid a hundred thousand dollars. I mean, that’s not your take-home, that’s what you’re told your gross is, and then everything’s deducted from that. But there’s imputed value to whatever your benefits package is, including your health care, and the payroll tax. And I’m telling you, you are paying all of it.
If it costs the employer $125,000 to pay you $100,000, then you’re paying it all. You’re just not seeing 25,000 of it. And that is the implicit deal that has always existed. You think that you’re only earning and it’s only costing a hundred thousand dollars. Whatever you’re being paid, whatever your gross is, that’s what you think you’re being paid. But it isn’t. You’re being paid the employer’s portion of the payroll tax and your health care package and whatever other benefits that you’re able to negotiate.
So the total cost to your employer is far more than what you ever see. But it’s all a cost to the employer. And you are paying all of it. It all gets charged to you. You just don’t see it. If more people knew this, if more people were aware of this, then there will be probably be a demand for change. Would you rather be paid every dime it’s costing the employer to hire you and then you go out and arrange for your own health care benefit and pay for your own Social Security, or do you like it the way it is?
The employer actually pays you a hundred thousand when in effect it’s costing him 125. You’d probably choose the latter ’cause you’d rather not have the hassle of going out and finding your own health care package and your own Social Security because it’s a big hassle and you might not think you could get as good a deal. So everybody goes along with this. But you’re paying it all, is the only point. The employer is not matching anything. You’re paying every dime it costs the employer to hire you. You just are never seeing a significant percentage of it.
So now, “Trump just admitted on live television he will terminate Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November!” He says he’s gonna extend it if he’s elected. They’re gonna try to revive this as part of the campaign that really what the Republicans want to do is take your Social Security away from you by taking away the funding mechanism, the payroll tax. But it’s only for people who earn less than a hundred grand.
It’s not for everybody — and I’ll tell you something, folks. There is no way under the sun. It has never been true that Republicans are gonna take away Social Security, and it isn’t now. That’s not on anybody’s game board right now, to take away Social Security. Not in the midst of a presidential campaign. It just isn’t gonna happen. Now, I can’t say that it won’t happen sometime. I think COVID’s changing everything.
I think COVID is changing things in ways nobody can possibly see, and I don’t know that a return to what we all considered normal will ever actually happen. Even if there is a universally successful vaccine, I think there are things that we’re gonna continue to have to adapt to largely because the American left is hell-bent on this economy continuing to struggle and to not succeed. The Democrat Party’s political success, in their minds…
In their sick minds, their political fortunes are tied to America in decline and the chaos that would result, and the fact that their hope is that you would turn to them in the midst of this chaos in order to survive. You’re never gonna hear the Democrats legitimately or genuinely talking about restoring the economy to where it was during Trump’s first three-years. You’re never gonna hear them talk about that. They can’t possibly advocate for that because they don’t believe it was real and they don’t want you to think it was real.