[size=12t]Welcome to Obamaville, 2011: Downsizing the American Dream
May 31, 2011
RUSH: Okay, the Memorial Day weekend is over, ladies and gentlemen, which means that we are now officially in our third Summer of Recovery, and the question is: How many more Recovery Summers can our economy stand before it all goes kaput? I mean, I hate starting out this way. There's no good news out there. The economic news is just... Folks, it's bottom barrel. You know me. This is not the way that I like to kick things off. This is not the attitude that I come here with. But honesty is honesty; truth is truth. USA Today: "Economic Problems Stubbornly Linger." Chicago Tribune: "Positive Signs in an Anemic Recovery." The "positive sign" in this story is the Republican attitude toward the debt ceiling. That's it. That's what's "positive."
Even in the Chicago Tribune, the positive thing going on in the economy is the Republican attitude on the debt ceiling. "But beneath the surface some key factors contributing to the anemic recovery are actually positive." So "anemic" is "positive," ad they said that that guy predicting the end of the world was nuts. It goes on. There's an outfit out there called Case-Shiller. They have a housing index. "The desire to own your own home, long a bedrock of the American Dream, is fast becoming a casualty of the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression." Double-dip, dudes! It's double-dip. "Consumer Confidence Takes a Surprise Drop in May." Really? What told somebody that consumer confidence was going to rise?
"The Numbers are Grim." Even the New York Times, the New York Times in an editorial, it's getting -- they say -- tougher and tougher to prop Obama up. I kid you not. From the Morning Bell, our friends at the Heritage Foundation: "The Unstimulated Obama Economy. "Home price index, lowest point since 2006 bust, double-dip in housing prices even worse than expected." It's all over the place. You remember when double-dip was actually a good thing, like a double-dip ice cream cone? You hear double-dip now, you know, you run for the tall grass; you get out of the way. We've got unemployment numbers coming this week. ADP, the payroll firm, is estimating 170,000 jobs. Challenger, Gray & Christmas is not looking at a whole lot of job creation.
Initial numbers, claims number estimated to be from the Labor Department of 413,000 on Thursday -- and on Friday we get the official May jobs report. The estimate today is that 185,000 new jobs will have been created in May. Sorry, folks, that ain't gonna cut it. That's not gonna cut it. Now, you have been -- Snerdley, look at me -- frowning since I opened up here. Are you not aware of this news? Are you not aware? (interruption) Yeah, I know. Then here we have this story. No, I could fill the first hour detailing the stories I just headlined for you, but you're right. We have an AP story here: "Six months after Republicans alarmed Democrats with a midterm election wave..." (laughs)
Even that election is just put in the terms of how it made the Democrats feel (chuckles), not what it meant to the boots on the ground: "Six months after Republicans alarmed Democrats with a midterm election wave, President Barack Obama has shaken off the jitters and found his political footing despite sluggish economic growth ... The White House now displays an air of confidence, bolstered in part by achievements such as the killing of Osama bin Laden by ... and the financial success of an auto industry ... Obama is also benefiting from the absence of negatives. The economy, while lethargic, is growing."
It's a total disconnect. This is AP. Every other news agency has really shocking, horrifying details on the economy. Let's get to this housing business first. Case-Shiller index. "The desire to own your own home, long a bedrock of the American Dream, is fast becoming a casualty of the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression." I don't know about you, but have noticed increasing charter from high government officials saying, "You know what? It's easier to rent anyway. Ehhh, who wants this ownership business? Who wants to mess with fixing the roof. Who wants to have to call Roto-Rooter when the roots get in the sewer line? You don't want to have to mess with that! Just go out there and rent. By the way, if you rent you can probably find a place closer to the mass transit line we would prefer you use rather than your car."
It's the downturn that's causing the problem, "the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression. Even as the economy began to fitfully recover in the last year..." Folks, it isn't fitfully recovering. What did I see over the weekend? I printed this out. (Well, it said it printed. I got here, it didn't print.) Somebody has run some actual numbers on inflation and real economic growth. Here's the bottom line: Real economic growth is minus-one-point-some odd percent, not 1.8. Real economic growth is nothing. There is no recovery going on. All of this is pure media smoke and mirrors. If there's a recovery going on, how come the Democrats aren't saying, "Give us four more years to give you more of what we're doing here to fix this"?
"If you like 9% unemployment, how about ten? If you like your house losing value, how about it losing more value?" What...? I mean, there's nothing, there literally is nothing for the Democrat Party to run for reelection on, saying, "You like what's going on? We've got more of it for you," and that's where the proof's in the pudding. They can't run. All they can do is try to scare you about what Republicans are gonna do, or about who the Republicans are. "Disenchantment with real estate is bound to swell further on Tuesday when the most widely watched housing index is all but guaranteed to show that prices of existing homes sank in March below the lows reached two years ago -- until now the bottom of the housing crash.
"In February, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of 20 large cities slumped for the seventh month in a row," and yet they have the audacity and the gall to tell us that the recession has been officially over since July of 2009. "Housing is locked in a downward spiral, industry analysts say, not only because so many people are blocked from the market ... but because even those who are solvent are opting out." Yeah. That's the sure sign of an economic recovery, isn't it? When people in it want out of it! "'The emotional scars left by the collapse are changing the American psyche,' said Pete Flint, chief executive of the housing Web site Trulia. 'There was a time when owning a home was a symbol you had made it. Now it's O.K. not to own.'"
See where this might be headed? And this is just the news media doing its job here. After all,we have to learn to settle for less if we're gonna have true social justice, folks. That's what all this means: We are all going to have to learn to do with less. This is the downsizing of the American economy. This is Obama happily presiding over the decline of the US economy. So there's one story. If you look at Drudge -- if you look at the at the headlines at the top of the Drudge page -- "Summer of Recovery, or Recovery Rooms?" There are riots breaking out all over the freaking country! No jobs, no prospects. Unaffordable college, unmet expectations. College grads with nowhere to go and nothing to do except back to mom and dad's house.
Here Obama was going to lower the seas. He was going to heal the sick. He was going to create millions of jobs, shovel-ready and otherwise. He was gonna end all of the wars. He was gonna end all torture. He was gonna close Club Gitmo, get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan -- and in the process establish permanent peace in the Middle East -- and if you lived in Tampa, he was gonna pay for a new kitchen (if you spoke up early enough). He was going to invent "green energy" technology! Speaking of that, there's a hilarious story from the UK. These guys working at a green energy factory trying to create green energy have to use electricity to do whatever they're doing, and their tax bill is more than they can afford. It's £400,000.
They can't afford to pay their taxes on the electricity they are required to use to create their new green energy. It's a farce. Everything is simply farcical. Instead -- instead of all of that utopia, all that panacea -- we have riots, recovery rooms, standing room only for hospitals. You know, there's billboard. This might exist where you live, too. Driving along I-95 North, there's been billboard out there that actually tells you the wait time at the nearest emergency room. Have you seen that? They're all over the place now. They're all over the place, I guess. The wait time at the nearest emergency room! Now, who's paying for those billboards, the emergency room of the hospital? Right.
So the hospitals are advertising for emergency room customers on roadside billboards, by plugging the fact that the wait time at their emergency room is less than the competitor's. Meantime, what do we hear? That you can't get into an emergency room, cost is too expensive, nobody has any insurance. It all adds up to "Welcome to Obamaville." Golf outings, campaign speeches at memorial services, heal all wounds. Obama played golf for the ninth weekend in a row this past weekend. He spent ten minutes in Joplin and then he was off to play golf. Listen to some of these headlines at Drudge in the upper right-hand corner. Update: "Miami War Zone During Urban Weekend; 'I Was Scared For My Life." "Poet Da Real One Gunned Down in Front of Miami Poetry Cafe."
My God, folks, if they're shooting poets! I mean, poets are the essence of sensitivity, gentleness. So Miami: Dead Poets Society. "Violent crime explodes in Myrtle, South Carolina, during black bike week. Eight-hour hell." No, Sarah Palin wasn't there. My God, the news media! Half of my sound bite roster is Palin and her bus trip. "Riot on Long Island: Rib Fest at Rochester Beach, New York, Turns Rowdy." "Urban Melee in Charlotte, North Carolina." "Chaos Causes DNC Concern for Convention in Charlotte." " Unruly Urban Crowd Shuts Down Nashville Water Park." "Fighting Teenage Girls Shut Down Alabama Water Park." I wouldn't have mind seeing that. But consumer confidence takes "surprise" drop in May? What's surprising about this?
This story, when you read it: "US consumer confidence slid in May as consumers turned more pessimistic on the outlook for the labor market and inflation worries rose, according to a private sector report released today. The Conference Board, the industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 60.8 from a revised 66.0 in April." I was stunned when I read this. My knees buckled. My jaw dropped. Consumer confidence, a surprise drop! (chuckles) Who woulda thought? Now they tell us. How can it be? How can it be? Why, AP says Obama's benefiting from the absence of negatives out there. I mean, the lethargy is growing, but so's the economy.
That's what AP says. You want to talk about out of the blue, this is as stunning as the state control media reporting that Sarah Palin's an idiot -- which they do. That's out there today, Sarah Palin is an idiot. It was discussed on the Sunday shows. New York Times: "The numbers are grim. A month ago..." This is an editorial. "A month ago, when an initial gauge of first-quarter economic growth came in surprisingly weak, many policy makers and economists expected the bad news to prove fleeting. But when revised data were released last week, the growth estimate remained stuck at an annual rate of 1.8 percent..." Actually, it's minus-one-point-something percent, folks. "More troubling in the latest figures, consumer spending ... was especially slow.
"Stagnant wages and higher prices for gas and food are squeezing family budgets ... The White House has offered sounder ideas, including job retraining, plans to boost educational achievement and tax increases to help cover needed spending. But its economic team is mainly focused on negotiations to raise the debt limit," and that isn't going to cut it. "The grim numbers tell an unavoidable truth: The economy is not growing nearly fast enough to dent unemployment. Unfortunately, no one in Washington is pushing policies to promote stronger growth now." The New York Times. I'll tell you what, this is a pretty hard hitting editorial for them, but what it means is that it's getting harder and harder for the media to prop Obama up. What is this "job retraining" business? You know, I've been hearing that ever since I was in high school. What's job retraining? Why does anybody need to be retrained if they're trained in the first place? Never understood that. Job retraining centers.
What are they gonna do? Train you for another job that's not available?
RUSH: You notice how much better Sarah Palin looks in a helmet than Michael Dukakis did? What about sales of nonexistent homes? I mean, isn't that also a economic indicator? Well, you know, new home sales nonexistent homes not yet in existence. People building homes, where's that number, in addition to the sales of existing homes? This is AP, real estate. "Home prices in major areas have reached their lowest level since the housing bubble burst in 2006." You know, there's a lot wrapped up in this housing story. It's not simply contained in what's happening to the market. This push for renting, it's a serious push. Government officials are pushing the notion of renting. You can see stories about how much more convenient it is. Much less stressful.
"Why own? What is this, American dream business, owning a home? Who says? Where did that take hold? Look at how many people have had their lives destroyed because they own a house? They had no business owning it! Their home prices have plummeted, now primary asset is worthless, and where are they?" This is the kind of stuff you're starting to hear, and I'm pretty confident when I tell you that left-wing ruling class people would love nothing more than for as many people as possible to give up the whole notion of property ownership. You talk about the structure of a free society, of a representative republic such as the United States. The right to own property is as important as is the right to free speech -- and this whole notion of property ownership is now under assault, and the occasion of plummeting real estate values is the reason.
You're being told, "It makes total sense to rent from now on. Much easier, cheaper, less hassle. You've been sold a bill of goods your whole life. This whole notion of owning your own house as part of the American dream, well, that needs to be redefined." They get you renting, get you closer to mass transit lines. I'll tell you, don't misunderstand the left, and don't think that accusations which might sound really far out are indeed far out. The idea that they would be comfortable with you willingly giving up property, willingly accepting the notion that owning property is a losing proposition for you? They would love for you to believe this! It's more for the state to end up owning.
RUSH: I'll tell you, this New York Times editorial which basically says it's getting tougher and tougher for them to prop Obama up economically, that editorial runs on a holiday Sunday -- a holiday weekend Sunday -- when nobody's looking. But the New York Times also buried an additional bit of shocking news way down in their editorial, the article. "The market signaled further trouble on Friday when the April index of pending deals was released by the National Association of Realtors. Analysts had predicted the index, which anticipates sales that will be completed in the next two months, would be down 1 percent from March. Instead, it plunged 11.6 percent."
That is profoundly significant, and it's buried at the end of the story on a Sunday editorial that so few people will see. That's the time to get it out there, and it dovetails with the AP story: "Home Price Index at Lowest Point Since 2006." Now, I mentioned all this not because I'm happy spreading negative news, and not because I want to sit here and rip Obama. I mention this because I don't understand how it is this guy's "unbeatable" with this kind of economic news. We know how important homes are to people. We know how important they are as investments. We know. I just don't see where, in light of this news, Obama is automatically reelectable.
It's just the exact opposite. All of these foreclosures going on. There is economic angst -- and there's another reason I mention it. It's all happening while people in the administration see it. Their policies largely are responsible for it. To me this is totally unacceptable. We are in the midst of a full-fledged assault on the traditions and institutions -- practically all of them -- which have defined America's greatness over the years. Traditions and institutions that people have trusted to invest in as indicators and signs that they were doing the right thing in life, and that playing by the rules and so forth paid off. You know, I see news like this and I'm just stunned and I'm heartbroken at the same time that it's happening right before our very eyes, and there seems to be so relatively little outrage over it -- or at least outrage that we are aware of.
This stuff seems to be made-to-order for an opposition party to make huge hay out of, big time hay. This is major stuff, folks. An 11.6% plunge, a double-dip housing market plunge, all the while being told that we're in the midst of policies that are going to cause a rebound! You know, I feared when all of this began, when Obama took office, that the assault here that we're witnessing was on purpose. God, I hate that! I really was uncomfortable thinking it. Now, in the midst of this when I hear the solution is to rent? When high government officials start telling you, "Well, yeah, you know what? Maybe buying a home was never what we were supposed to do as Americans, anyway. It was always a false premise," they say, "always a lemming-type deal.
"One person did it so everybody thought they had to do it, and now you've got people had no business being in the housing market..." and that's true, but not the people we're talking about. The people who are in the housing market are people who were given loans everybody knew they would never be able to repay, and that's why we're where we are. The good old, famous subprime mortgage crisis and the attack on the housing industry takes foot in that area -- and on the attack on credit markets, by the way, same thing. So now allowing unqualified people to get into the game and obviously goof it all up, means responsible people now have to pay the price for it.
They trusted the institutions that are in charge of these industries -- the housing market, lending markets, credit markets. They trusted people that they'd be okay, as long as they played by the rules. Long as they made their payments. Everybody knows markets go up and down and you ride them out or you choose not to, but nobody expected -- and nobody was told -- that the housing market would end, that that whole concept of the American dream would end. Nobody was told during the campaign of 2008, "By the way, you're gonna have to downsize your life and your lifestyle. That's what my presidency means." Nobody was told that. The 2008 campaign was made up of the same platitudes as every other campaign is.
"I'm gonna make life better for you! In fact, I'm gonna lower the sea levels and I'm gonna end all wars. America is going to be loved." The status of the US economy, to me, is proof positive that we can't afford not to change horses in midstream. The status of the US economy means that we must change horses in the middle of the stream. Whatever Obama is doing, that horse ain't working -- and we have to change it. Why do we have to downsize? Why do we have to downsize our dreams? The government never has to. Government never has to downsize. You never read stories where government institutions are falling apart or are in decline. Now, what we've got here is an administration defining the American dream down.
We have an administration and a president defining the American dream down seemingly on purpose. "Home price index at lowest..." and in the midst of all this they dare tell us that we're in an economic recovery to boot, and they say, "Well, there's no inflation. You have to throw gasoline and food prices out. Those prices are traditionally too volatile. They fluctuate too much. So you can't include those in any discussion of inflation." Well, why not? "Those are the two things that you can't do without: Food and energy. "Yeah, but we don't count those, Mr. Limbaugh." "Economic Problems Stubbornly Linger -- Don't look now, but the economic recovery that barely exists in the eyes of many Americans is 2 years old."
USA Today is trying to tell us that we are in a recovery, however meager, for two years. "'We're two years into a recovery, and everybody's yelling, 'Are we there yet?'' says Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner. 'You should be putting the recession behind you and talking about where growth is coming from. Instead, we're still dealing with residual problems from the recession.'" Hey, let me give you a little hint here: There isn't anybody talking about growth in the Obama administration, folks. They're talking about higher taxes. There's nobody in the regime talking about growth. Oh, they may be holding it out as a promise; they may be telling you that's what they want. There no policy aimed at growth. That's the simplest way I can put it.
There's not one Obama administration policy that's designed to grow the US economy. Everything they're doing will slow it down, will stagnate the economy. Now we got riots and things happening out there with poets and other people. It's a long, hot summer schedule -- and I'm not sure that's not part of the grand plan. The more unrest and chaos there is out there, the more government will be called on to fix it. Same old thing. Wherever the chaos is, wherever the unrest is, there are more calls for somebody to come in and stop it, make it better -- wherever it happens to be. It's an unfortunate thing. Double-dip in housing prices, even worse than expected.
"US single-family home prices dropped into double-dip territory in March as the housing market remained bogged down by inventory and weak demand, a closely watched survey said on Tuesday. ... Prices in the 20 cities fell 3.6 percent year over year, topping expectations for a decline of 3.3 percent." Oh, and, by the way, Sarah Palin is an idiot. That's what they say in the news: "Sarah Palin's an idiot. You can't trust here; she's an absolute idiot. You can't put her in charge of the American nuclear arsenal, she's an absolute idiot, but this guy Obama, oh! He's smart. He's really doing his best, trying as hard as he can.
RUSH: No, we're trying to bring them out of this, to bring a reversal. Nobody wants to see economic news like this day in and day out. We want to see an end. We want to see a bottoming out. We want to see genuine economic rebound. We want to see genuine economic growth. This is... I don't want to turn my life over to other people! No, it doesn't have to be like this. This does not have to be the new norm. This is only happening because of the ideological leadership we have at the top right now. This is how liberals view the country. This is the price America must pay for all of its past transgressions, all of the wealth that was not genuine, all of the theft's world's resources, all the racist for all the racism, sexisms, bigotry, all the crimes that American is so-called guilty of since our founding.
We must finally pay the price. This is acceptable to the American left. This kind of pain and suffering? "It's about time you people felt what it's like to know how the rest of the world feels when the United States shows up!" There are some people in there rubbing their hands in glee over all of this -- and, frankly, I'll bet some of them are rubbing their hands in glee and saying they can't believe how easy this has been, that nobody really even really trying to stop 'em. They're saying, "Yeah, we knew the charge of racism would slow 'em down but they didn't think it was totally stop 'em in their quest to save their country, but it has."
Bowling Green, Ohio. Rick, , welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Rush, it's great to talk to you. One of your biggest fans for a long, long time.
RUSH: I appreciate that, sir. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Jackie's gonna pull over so we don't lose this phone call. She's driving. We had to work all weekend because we used to pay people to do the work we're now doing because of this recession, and you're right on about this housing market. I've been a home builder for 42 years, and there's absolutely no new construction going on for the last two or three years in our area -- and we're new Toledo, Ohio.
RUSH: Why? Is it because people can't get loans, don't have money to build a house? Why? Why isn't there any construction going on?
CALLER: Well, first of all there's no jobs for people are leaving, we're losing population. We're about 60 miles from Detroit, Michigan, which has gotta be the worst in the USA.
RUSH: Well, there's a job opening at Ohio State in the football program, too.
CALLER: Yeah, that was news we heard here in the last day or so that was shocking, wasn't it?
RUSH: It was a big plus for the tattoo industry, though.
CALLER: Yeah. We knew once that Tressel admitted to some wrongdoing he wasn't gonna last.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. That's another thing. Institution after institution is just falling apart here.
RUSH: Nothing... You can't count on anything anymore except talk radio.
CALLER: I know. That's right, we count on you.
RUSH: Exactly right.
CALLER: -- Rush, I'm the same age as you are so I have a wealth of experience of age coupled by homes, I built over 350 contract houses in 42 years, and we've seen some flat years of appreciation, but never a decline like this: 20 or 40% of home values in our area.
RUSH: Yeah, and let me ask you a question out there, Rick, baby. This regime has had a whole bunch of programs designed to stop this. We've had people mortgage assistance, mortgage relief assistance.
CALLER: Right. Right.
RUSH: We've had foreclosure avoidance assistance. We've had any number of federal programs designed to keep people in their homes and it hasn't worked.
CALLER: Do you know what the problem with those programs have been?
CALLER: The people can't complete the paperwork and the requirements to have those mortgages modified 'cause they don't have financial statements, they don't have their tax returns. When they bought those houses, there was somebody that was facilitating the sale like a real estate agent. When they go back to have those loans modified, there's nobody to help 'em and so they see how hard the process is.
CALLER: We had 18 loans modified. The banks were real good to help us out here to get through this, but it took me ten months to have 'em all done.
RUSH: Well, there's another reason it didn't work, and that is institutionally it couldn't. The government can't do this kind of thing. The government cannot alter reality. The government cannot make prosperity out of poverty. They just can't do it. They're trying to create these artificial circumstances. Now, it's interesting. You say that the reason most of these efforts failed is because people couldn't complete the paperwork. Do you think that's true? (interruption) Yeah, see, there's two sides to that, Rick. This paperwork business, there's two sides to it. A, the people who designed this knowing full well that once people see the amount of paperwork that's gonna be required, they split. "To hell with it," just like you found, don't want to put up with it.
Others use the amount of paperwork required on the official side as a means of making sure the deal never gets closed in the first place. They'd rather not. The government tells you that you have to come in and let somebody stay in the house they're making no payments on and you know full well that you can't afford to do that as a business. You got this massive paperwork requirement? Well, you stick to it to the letter, and if there's one undotted I or uncrossed T, throw it out. At the same time, you're able to say you tried, you followed, and the consumer fell apart at the end of the day. And if you are the Obama administration (I'll even throw them in) you create such a bureaucratic nightmare for people with all kinds of forms, at the end of the day you can say:
"Hey, we had a program. It's not our fault. It was there. It was ready, willing, and able. We're not quite sure why people didn't really access it." In fact, they did say that. The regime was expressing surprise that people in such small numbers really accepted the assistance -- and in the paperwork example, there's nothing, very little more intimidating than that than dealing with a government bureaucracy. That alone is a problem. Then you see this mountain of paperwork that you have to fill out? "Oh, to hell with it," and then you start saying, "Why do I have to fill out all this stuff? Why do they need to know that about me?" and you walk away. It's a win-win for the people who really don't want to do anything but claim that they tried to at the end of the process.
RUSH: Just 1.24 million people, that's it, applied for mortgage modification. One-third of them dropped out -- and 1.24 million is a drop in the bucket.