JASON: Well, it’s just about six after the hour now. That means that someplace, somewhere, Joe Biden is falling down a set of stairs. I probably shouldn’t make fun of an old guy like that. After all, it wasn’t like liberals or Democrats made fun of Donald Trump when he was at the Air Force Academy (or was it West Point?) when he walked down a ramp. That’s all they talked about for a week.
Biden can’t make it up the stairs and, gee, it’s almost like it’s been spiked. Shocking. Shocking. I’m Jason Lewis, the talk show host formally known as Congressman Jason Lewis, reminding Joe Biden that he will never, ever get my guns. I keep them upstairs. Welcome once again, everybody. It is so nice to be back on the Excellence in Broadcasting Network. And what a special program we have for you today, especially this hour. We are going to welcome back Kathryn.
Kathryn Limbaugh will be back on the program. I’ll be talking to her about some really, really exciting news. As you know — regular listeners of the Rush Limbaugh program know — Kathryn and Rush loved small business. Not only did Rush start and create a whole industry with the Excellence in Broadcasting Network, but those two got together years ago and started a little tea-making business called Two If By Tea, if you recall.
They went through the travails of small business. Now, this is near and dear to my heart because I grew up in a small business family. My granddad started it, then my dad had it, then my sisters and I ran it for a while ’til the government decided to build a freeway through our warehouse. People have no idea how difficult it is to start and run a small business.
The single greatest social program the free market has ever created is a small business enterprise. Rush intuitively understood that. Then he lived it. Then he lived it again with Kathryn, and she will be here to tell us all about it I can hardly wait. This is a real honor for me, sitting behind the Golden EIB Mic once again in the Attila the Hun chair at the Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.
But to talk with Kathryn will be a real treat, and we all hope she’s doing well. We’ll find out. I’m sure she is. She’s persevering like all of us, as we remember Rush one more time. And speaking of Rush, we have a great sound bite we want to play for you to kick things off on the importance of small business. Listen to El Rushbo here.
RUSH: There’s no question that small business is the vast majority of employment in the country, and some could say the backbone. I do remember that we’ve done a couple of instances of this, and it is inspiring to listen to individual stories of people describe how they started their businesses and why and how they’re working and why they are working.
JASON: That’s the truth. One of my favorite pastimes is to read biographies. I’m not much for fictional pieces of work. I just like real life because it’s so fascinating. In fact, I just read a group back on the late, great Ben Hogan. He started a wonderful golf business, Hogan Golf Clubs, but the guy went through hell before he got there, his own family tragedies and then the car accident and then injuries he had to deal with and then starting a business.
And that became his lifeblood. Small businessmen and -women are not doing it for the money. I can testify to that. I’ve been in a small business. You have too. You’re working 60, 70 hours a week. In some cases, you’re getting paid less than the people you hire ’cause you need the talent. You’re hoping that if you save enough and put it into retained earnings and equity, that you can retire.
But it’s a manifestation of your own desire, of your own expression of self-worth. It just happens to be, as I say, the most important social program under the sun. In fact, as Rush said, small businesses accounts for — or used to account… By the way, this is a troubling trend: It used to account for over 50% of economic activity in the United States. It still accounts for about 44% as of a couple of years ago. But the share is declining as corporatism takes over.
Internationalism, globalism of the big, biggest companies getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Want to know why big companies feed at the trough and love regulation? It puts their smaller competitors out of business. It’s called “rent seeking” in economic terms. And when you look behind the most onerous regulations, you will see lobbyists from the biggest international companies in the world.
They can afford it. The Big Tech monopolies like it. They put small competitors out. But it is the small competitor that creates new things, things that we don’t even know we want yet are usually created in somebody’s garage. If you take a look at the number of jobs created, the vast majority come from small- to mid-size businesses in America.
Now, when I was in the 115th Congress and we were passing the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, something that was crucial to get this economy roaring ahead so we could withstand covid and now the lockdowns — and now it’s gonna come roaring back until Joe Biden raises taxes, now on people making more than $200,000. Notice the threshold is going down and down and down?
It may have zero impact object zero impact on somebody like, oh, I don’t know. Susan Rice. Apparently, Susan Rice is worth $38 million. She owns stock in Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and sits on the board of directors of Netflix. Do you think she gives a whit about raising income taxes? She’s got hers. There’s nothing more frustrating, nothing more unctuous than a rich liberal.
Because they’re doing to people things they don’t care about because they are set. That is real the squeeze of the middle class that Trump represented, that Rush represented, and that is the wealthy are fine, the poor are in a myriad of social programs — covering their health care, covering unemployment extension benefits, covering food stamps, covering shelter, covering stimulus checks — you name it.
I’m not saying they’re well off, but they’re taken care of. It is the middle class, the mom-and-pop shops paying the taxes, not qualifying for the bennies that make the economy go — and, are getting the shaft. So that’s where we are. And if we don’t… As Kathryn will tell us momentarily, if we don’t honor and encourage these small businesses, we’re gonna be left with a corporate socialism that does the bidding of the biggest corporations across the globe.
It squeezes out smaller competitors — and then the cancel culture, of which corporate America, is behind will crush the rest of us. You know, I hate to use the overused term “existential.” It’s just… You know, Washington, D.C. … After having been there, my friends, Washington, D.C., is sort of like high school.
If you’re running around the Rayburn Office Building or the Cannon where I was, it’s like you’re on the football team on Friday and you’ve got your jersey on and everybody opens the door for you. “Sir, may I get this for you? Sir? Sir? That’s what Washington, D.C., really is. It’s high school for adults. Well, a few adults. Let’s leave out The Squad.
Point being that they become so fashionable they get stuck on words and phrases. You see it on MSNBC, the nauseating Nicolle Wallace or whomever. You see it on CNN, all the left-wing, leftist corporate hacks who talk about, “Oh, you do not have the gravitas.” That was a buzzword for a while, “gravitas;” then it was “existential.”
“This is an existential crisis.” They are just like a bunch of groupthinking high-schoolers, and that’s what struck me the most about all of this. Well, let me tell you something. There is no amount of stimulus, a whopping 9% of which in this last covid relief bill — $1.9 trillion on top of a $29 trillion debt, well over 100% of GDP.
There is no stimulus plan, no Keynesian priming of the pump that will ever take the place of the engine of small business and the marketplace that creates things that we want but we don’t even know it yet. Hayek called it “the fatal conceit.” Government can never replace the marketplace because government doesn’t know what to create. Government will subsidize a typewriter factory while everybody else is working on a word processor.
That’s what stimulus do. If you want to get this economy going again, go back to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act when we lowered that tax rate to 29% for small non-C corp pass-through businesses, and what did we get? The lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. That’s the way to do these things. So Kathryn Limbaugh joins us momentarily.
JASON: And we are back, honoring America’s Real Anchorman, Rush Limbaugh on the Excellence in Broadcasting Network. Greetings, as Rush would say, music lovers, thrill-seekers, conversationalists all across the fruited plain — and greetings to a very, very special guest I am so honored to have on this edition of remembering Rush. His widow, Kathryn Limbaugh, joins us. Kathryn, welcome back to the program. We’ve got a couple of exciting announcements to get into, but first I just wanted to say what an honor it is to speak with you.
KATHRYN: Thank you very much, Jason. It’s a pleasure being back here with everyone.
JASON: It is. And I know we’re gonna do more of this and everybody’s excited about it, especially the listeners. I would be remiss if I just didn’t ask you how you’re doing. It’s been a little over a month. We’re all remembering in that still phase of grieving and remembering Rush. How are you doing?
KATHRYN: Absolutely. You know, it’s been tough. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been. It’s been very tough. But every day is a new day. And I have Rush’s voice in the back of my head telling me, “We must carry on,” and I know that’s what he’s telling all of you as well. So each day that’s what I’m trying to believe in.
JASON: I just have to say — as a listener of Rush over the years and then getting into the industry, I will tell you flat-out — I have never been more inspired by a human being the way he handled his sentence, the way he handled the last year of his life. So many of us, Kathryn — and you know him more than, better than anyone.
So many of us would have said, “Where’s the nearest beach? I’m headed there,” and Rush cared more about the audience. But he loved what he did — which kind of dovetails into this business recognition award — that he stuck it out and inspired millions of people in the last year. Not just the last 30, but in the last year especially.
KATHRYN: That’s absolutely right. Not coming onto the show was not an option for him. You should have seen him in the hospital. He would be trying to get out the door, taking his own IVs out, saying, “I’ve gotta get to the radio program. It’s almost 12 Eastern.” So that’s where he wanted to be at all times, constantly.
JASON: That’s where he was happiest, wasn’t it?
KATHRYN: Absolutely. Without question. He loved this audience. He loved this program. All of that was completely genuine. And if he couldn’t be here, he was very, very remorseful about that.
JASON: Something else that stood out that was genuine over the decades, and that was his love of small business. I imagine it was his upbringing like mine. I grew up in a small business environment. He intuitively understood the travails, how difficult it was, but how important it was as well. And then you two got together to expand upon that. Tell us a little bit about Two If By Tea.
KATHRYN: Sure. Absolutely. We started Two If By Tea some years ago, really with the hopes of mastering manufacturing in the United States. We said we want to know what it takes to create a product from scratch and also be able to hire Americans. So we started Two If By Tea with Rush Revere (laughs) as the cover of that, and we really wanted to go through all the hurdles that all of you do to create small businesses here in the United States.
And that’s how it started. It was a small idea that grew into something huge. It ended up selling throughout the United States, thanks to this audience. And we supported the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation through that business as well as hired many Americans to be able to produce at the level that we needed to.
JASON: Yeah. My brother was in the Marine Corps, and I know that was near and dear to Rush’s heart as well. But also, he did something that was really smart. He picked something he loved. He loved tea, didn’t he?
KATHRYN: He did. He loved tea, and it also happened to coincide with the Tea Party time. (laughing)
KATHRYN: Convenient. So, the two of those together, it was just an idea that we had and we wanted to create here in the United States. We wanted to show what can we do right here in the United States with everything being from the United States and hire Americans to manufacture right here, and that’s what we did.
JASON: So, in the spirit of that, you’ve got a great little announcement you’re gonna tell us about today with regard to a recognition process, an award, and how people can enter themselves.
KATHRYN: Yes. I’m very excited to tell you all about this. First of all, Rush planned on doing this in February of this year. So, unfortunately, he was not able to. But we will continue what he planned. As many of you have heard throughout many, many years, Rush firmly, firmly believed that you are the people who make this country work. He believed and I believe that —
JASON: Covid stimulus plans don’t do it?
KATHRYN: (laughs) Well, I think he would counter that pretty strongly (laughs), and he would say it’s the American people who make this country work. He would also say that you did build your small businesses, and you do contribute to the American economy by providing goods and services. And that you all do hire and employ Americans for jobs and careers. I’m sure Rush would also say that you all put in the long hours, and you all take the risks — and to remember that absolutely no one can take that from you, nor should anyone take that from you.
JASON: Yeah. And the small businessmen and -women who are not living high on the hog.
JASON: They are working those 60-, 70-hour weekdays, they are trying to save money to put back in the business time and time again. There’s such a misnomer out there. They’re not corporate 500 CEOs.
JASON: They’re not Susan Rice sitting on the board of Netflix or Barack Obama. These people are busting their hump to make ends meet and balance a budget.
KATHRYN: That’s exactly right, and, as we learned and many of you know, it’s difficult and really challenging. The hours are very long, and it is hard. But so many Americans are doing exceptional things, building small businesses from scratch on just the little gem of an idea. I think that’s something that Rush always inspired in all of us.
That we could reach for the heights, that we could create something out of nothing and that we could work hard to pursue the American dream — and that, just so that we all remember, the American dream is not over and it should never be over. So that is what kicked off this conversation that Rush and I had not too long ago.
And again, he was gonna start this in February, but unfortunately couldn’t. So I’m here to tell you about it. What we are doing — continuing what Rush started — is, in honor of Rush, we are creating the Rush Limbaugh Great American Business Award. What this is, particularly now in this year of covid, is we are taking stories from all of you who have been inspired by Rush in some way to create a business or go after a dream or hire other Americans or somehow contribute to what he says makes the country work.
And we are asking you to nominate either yourselves or others. If you go to RushLimbaugh.com, there’s a “nominate” tab at the top of the Web page. And once we receive all of the nominations, I’m personally going to go through them on behalf of Rush with a small team, and we are going to pick the first recipients of the Rush Limbaugh Great American Business Award to recognize all of you who should be recognized in a very high way.
JASON: It’s so important, because we get the Emmys and we get the political speeches at the Academy Awards, and you have awards for this and awards for that, but no one awards the people you’re going to do that to.
And we’re gonna continue right after this.
JASON: This segment, of course, Kathryn Limbaugh, on this wonderful new small business recognition award, Rush Limbaugh’s Great American Business Award.
Kathryn will now join Open Line Fridays here on the Rush Limbaugh program starting this Friday, March 26th, to take calls on this — and don’t forget, folks, nominations can be put in at RushLimbaugh.com. That’s RushLimbaugh.com. And you can finally reward someone who deserves it. I guess that’s where I was going before, Kathryn. You know, these people just don’t get their due.
KATHRYN: That’s right. And this will be far more exciting than the Oscars. (laughing) So —
JASON: (laughing) Are you gonna get Ricky Gervais to emcee?
KATHRYN: (laughing) Absolutely. I encourage you all to tune in, ’cause this will be far more exciting and also beneficial for a lot of people. But we are going to be doing this on Friday. This upcoming Friday we are going to have special members of this audience who have been awarded the first Rush Limbaugh Great American Business Award. And I am going to personally talk with each person and be able to recognize them in the way that they should be and also be able to provide a little gift here and there that I’m excited to share more about on Friday.
JASON: So, it’s really crucial people get their nominations in online at RushLimbaugh.com starting right now.
KATHRYN: Yes. Absolutely. There’s a top navigation bar at RushLimbaugh.com, and it says, “nominate,” if you click there and tell us your story. Over the years, we’ve heard so many wonderful stories. Rush and I have talked about them at length, from people who were inspired by Rush, who heard about small businesses that he once started, and they wanted to do like him. All of that is what we wanted to hear about: Your personal connection to Rush, how he inspired you to create a small business or hire others, and really how your conservative values translate into you pursuing your own American dream.
JASON: Yeah, you talked about that a moment ago, Kathryn. I thought it was really profound. That is, somebody’s got a great idea in their garage, in their basement, in their mind, and no one’s thought about this before. No consumer has even thought of wanting this. People always say — and this is the problem with government intervention as Rush talked about so much.
They think, “Well, we’re just gonna give money to people. We’re gonna take money from you and then give it to somebody else, or we’re gonna borrow money on top of a $29 trillion debt and put our next generation in hock for perpetuity and then give that money to somebody else, and then that’ll pump up demand for existing products.” That’s the old demand-side model. It never works because what people — what gets the economy going is somebody creating something brand-new that nobody even knows they want yet.
KATHRYN: Absolutely. That’s the entire point in the United States of America. That’s what makes us so incredibly great is the people who make this country work, small business owners in particular. Absolutely. As we can see, a lot of our friends at the border (laughs) are coming to join in the American dream.
KATHRYN: So, it’s a huge thing, and we never can lose sight of it, and this will help us award that.
JASON: When you two were talking about Two If By Tea, I assume you spoke at length, though, just about the entrepreneurial spirit, the free enterprise system — you know, having a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of tea in the afternoon — on a regular basis, right?
KATHRYN: Constantly. Constantly. We always talked about hard work, determination, and the principles of our founding and the exact purpose of why the United States is the United States, how small businesses can be started here. We don’t have the same level of rules and regulations.
We do have some, but we have a great start in being Americans. And with some inspiration, hard work, we do have the freedom to create here, and we’re so fortunate to be a country that allows that. And Rush and I talked about it ad nauseam, all of the time.
JASON: It’s 1-800-282-2882. That’s 1-800-282-2882. If we have time, we’ll squeeze in a call or two for Kathryn. That really is the key to America, and that’s what Rush was trying to preserve for those three-plus decades, and really it’s… I don’t want to sound pessimistic because that was Rush’s great attribute, to always put a positive spin on things.
But we’re at a crucial point here of keeping the American dream alive, making certain businesses like the ones we’re going to honor still have the opportunity with the cancel culture, with the overwhelming covid stimulus packages that now total over $5 trillion, an overwhelming debt, now new tax increases coming down the pike, reregulation, and really just this sort of institutional liberalism that surrounds us, big corporation — and talk a little bit about that, Kathryn, the difference between small and mid-size businesses and the Fortune 500.
KATHRYN: Absolutely. Rush and I talked about this in great detail. Smaller businesses are usually run by people that are just trying to make each day work. They’re working long hours. They’re making ends meet in the least hard way that they possibly can. They are just trying to get through the day, whereas Fortune 500 companies can often be heavily supported.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just the people that we want to focus on are the small business owners, are the people that have just a dream and they’re trying to fill a void that’s out there. And they put in the time, they put in the effort, they put in the hours. And they really don’t get the recognition that perhaps some of the larger corporations do.
They might not get the support that some of the larger corporations do. But that’s really why we want to focus on individuals who start with a dream, are inspired by conservative principles, and go on to create something, all on their own. Even if it’s said that they didn’t create it, they did, and they are. And that’s really who we want to award.
JASON: And a lot of these small businessmen and women are what we call pass-through corporations. So they’re non-C corp. So when that corporate rate gets lowered, it doesn’t affect them because they’re paying on their individual income tax return, which is why when we cut taxes when I was in Congress, it was so crucial. Because you had to cut the individual rates to help the small businessman and woman.
KATHRYN: Correct. Absolutely. And especially in these times of covid where a lot of the these small businesses can’t go from one week to the next without having some kind of support, without the same sort of traffic that you’re used to or the sales that they’re used to. But in many instances, a lot of Americans have persevered throughout this time and have continued despite the challenges.
And I know if Rush were here right now today, he would be saying, “We can never lose sight of the American dream regardless of what we encounter,” regardless of the challenges, regardless of things like covid that come in our way, unprecedented times that are quite terribly challenging for all. You know, Rush started as a young boy shining shoes.
He knew the importance of a dollar at a very, very young age. And of course, we all knew that he went on to be the greatest of all time. And he never lost sight of hard work. He never lost sight of what it means to be an American, the luxuries, the opportunities that we have simply because we live in this incredible country. And he doesn’t want any of you to ever be discouraged or lose sight of that, either.
JASON: Well, that is so well said. And that is gonna be the great part of this legacy, the Great American Business Award. You need to go to RushLimbaugh.com so that you can petition — it could be yourself, could be a friend, could be a relative who’s got a great small business. Then on Open Line Friday, starting March 26 (that’s this Friday), Kathryn Limbaugh will be there, and she’ll be taking calls.
She’ll be talking to people who are nominated and get the award. It will just be fantastic and a great way to keep the legacy going. Especially, Kathryn, as you point out in lieu of the covid lockdowns which disproportionately hurt small businessmen and women. Yeah, Costco and Amazon and the Big Tech monopolies did great. That wasn’t the case for small businessmen and women on Main Street.
KATHRYN: Sure. That’s absolutely right. A lot of people had to lay off their entire industry, their entire company, all of their employees during this hard time. So that’s exactly why we want to say, you know, let’s not let that take over our spirit. Let’s not let those challenges of this year get in the way. The American dream is still alive. We still can accomplish the goals that we set out to accomplish in Rush’s honor, in many regards, and inspired by him, in many regards.
JASON: Introducing the great American — let me rephrase that, the Rush Limbaugh Great American Business Award on behalf of Rush, his legacy and Kathryn Limbaugh, it’s at RushLimbaugh.com. That’s where you can nominate, folks — including yourself — for a small business award. Then on Open Line Friday starting this Friday, March 26, Kathryn will be back to take calls and talk about the folks and talk with individuals who were nominated. Kathryn Limbaugh, I just want to say it was an honor speaking with you today, and thank you for doing this, not only for Rush’s sake and his legacy, but for that American dream you spoke so eloquently about.
KATHRYN: Absolutely! I’m thrilled to do it, and I can’t wait to talk to you and be able to share these stories. They need to be heard. They’re great, they’re fantastic, and I’m excited about it.
JASON: Kathryn Limbaugh, thank you so much. We’ll talk to you soon.