A Call from an Economic Illiterate
June 9, 2011
RUSH: Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Jeff, I really appreciate your patience. He's been on hold for almost the whole show. Great to have you here, sir.
CALLER: Rush, I'd wait a lot longer than that to speak with you. Thank you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Duh, it seems like every day these days you're talking about jobs and where are the jobs in the economy. I haven't heard you say anything except lower taxes, smaller government to create jobs -- and I heard that the overall tax collection of the federal government today is lower than it was under Reagan. I'm thinking to myself that we had eight years of Bush with his low taxes; Obama's stimulus package, one-third of it was tax cuts. So we've got lower taxes today than we had even under George W. Bush.
CALLER: The government has to do something to create jobs. There's too many people without jobs, and I'm thinking I remember the bridge that went down in Minnesota. There were all sort of reports back then about tens of thousands of bridges that need repair. Here in Kentucky we've got mountaintops that have been lopped off to get at the coal underneath, and they all need to be remediated. Superfund sites all across the country that need to be cleaned up. We've got things that we can do to put people to work, and I'll tell you, Rush, I -- I heard one of your interstitials. They talk about, you know, people taking student loans to go to college to make their lives better. How is borrowing to go to college to make your life better any different than investing in this country by borrowing today to make bridges better so -- or -- or the electrical grid so -- we don't suffer through huge blackouts that cause (sic) our economy, or student loans so that this country can compete with the rest of the world? I mean, I really haven't heard any plan from you that hasn't been tried for the last ten years now -- and like I said, taxes are lower now than they were underneath Reagan.
RUSH: No. They're not.
CALLER: So, what do you think?
RUSH: It's not true. That's just absurd, and to say that one-third of the stimulus was "tax cuts" is equally as uninformed -- and to suggest that all these infrastructure projects exist? We had a stimulus bill of $787 billion designed to fix all of those. Not a single dime went to any of them. It all went to state and local government employees. We all know this now. The government cannot create jobs. The government can only destroy wealth. The government cannot create it. The government doesn't produce diddly-squat. You cannot grow an economy by taking money from one segment of it and transferring it to another. That's not growth. That's simply redistribution. Generally it rewards people that aren't doing anything so there's no productivity whatsoever. I, frankly, am at a total loss to understand where you're even coming from on this.
CALLER: I -- I -- I think I made it pretty clear. I mean, if taxes are lower than they were under Reagan --
RUSH: You might be "clear," but you are not right about anything that you said. It's painfully obvious.
CALLER: Well, the... First of all, I think you're mistaken when you say one-third of the stimulus package wasn't tax cuts. It was. Republicans insisted on it. Obama worked with the Republicans, said, "Hey, listen, I won the election I've got these huge majorities but I'm still gonna give you one-third of the stimulus as tax -- as tax cuts."
RUSH: Really? Would you explain to me where those tax cuts were? What kind of tax cuts were they?
CALLER: They're incentives for businesses to hire and a bunch of other stuff. I mean, listen, I'm not a tax lawyer. I'm not a tax guru.
RUSH: I want to know where they are. Give me the tax cuts. Tell me what they were, what the policy was, whose rates were cut, what kind. Don't talk about tax credits. Don't talk about those. I want genuine tax cuts.
CALLER: Rush, I -- I -- I seriously have confidence in you and I'm sure that if you did the little Google thing you could see what these tax cuts were just as easily as I could.
RUSH: No, you couldn't.
CALLER: Unfortunately, I'm not in front of Google right now.
RUSH: No, because they don't exist. But it's not up to me to find it. It is up to you. You claim to know that they happen. You, therefore, have to show me, not the other way aroud.
CALLER: Because it's -- because it's common knowledge, but I don't have every detail at my fingertips.
RUSH: It's not.
CALLER: But let's go back to your other claim about these --
RUSH: It's not common knowledge -- and, by the way, a lot of people on student loans are questioning them. Maybe they have thrown away a lot of money because none of them can find any jobs, they've got so much debt now that even if they find decent jobs they not gonna be able to pay back the loans for so many years that it might not make it cost effective to have done it in the first place.
CALLER: Well, uh, I'll -- I'll -- I'll agree with you education has been w-w-way too expensive, and I think that is a government problem. When they make student loans available, colleges just charge more to swallow up more money without delivering jobs in the end or a better life for people in the end. I, uh, graduated law school and I'm looking at $150,000 in student loans --
RUSH: Yeah, well?
CALLER: -- and can't find a job that will, uh, you know, allow me to live comfortably and pay those back, but I want to get back to your --
RUSH: So then why, then, would a similar kind of borrowing for the government work?
CALLER: Well, again, (reading) if you don't have blackouts, you don't lose billions of dollars of economic production. If you clean up Superfund sites, you're putting people to work and giving them a paycheck. They can go out and support local businesses and all the rest --
RUSH: Well, why didn't Obama do this?
CALLER: -- and when you're all done, you've got lands that can be refurbished and used for economic production?
RUSH: Why didn't Obama do any of this then?
RUSH: He was given almost a trillion dollars to do all this stuff with.
CALLER: Well, I'll tell you why.
RUSH: Why didn't he do it?
CALLER: Be -- because he fell for the Republican trap --
CALLER: -- saying, "Give states control over what you're going to do."
CALLER: So he did allow the states to -- to -- to spend the money.
RUSH: He fell for the Republican trap! (laughing)
CALLER: A lot of the states had Republican governors and they spent money on crony capitalism the way they always do.
RUSH: (sigh) Do you really believe what you've said to me in this call?
CALLER: Uh, I believe every word of what I said.
RUSH: Do you really?
CALLER: I think a lot of states were facing budget problems and they --
RUSH: No, no.
CALLER: -- decided to patch over budget holes --
RUSH: Do you really believe --
CALLER: -- instead of actually spending the money.
RUSH: No, do you recall believe that government can create jobs and grow us out of recession? Do you really believe that one-third of the stimulus was tax cuts?
CALLER: Consider yourself informed by the Tennessee --
RUSH: Do you really believe that tax rates and tax collections today are lower than they were during Reagan? Do you really believe tax policy is less punitive than it was under Reagan? Do you really believe these things?
CALLER: Rush, I believe every word I said. I believe that the Tennessee Valley Authority, a government program, powers large swaths of the South. I believe that the percentage of GDP collected in taxes today --
RUSH: What is it like...?
CALLER: -- is much lower than it was under Reagan.
RUSH: What --
RUSH: What is it like? See, I can't relate. What is it like...?
CALLER: Oh, so you really are off OxyContin?
RUSH: See? What is it like to go through life being so wrong about everything? I can't relate. What is it like to go through life believing drivel and bilge? What is it like to be so uninformed and to be happy about it? What must it be like? What is it like for you to get up every day and be so ignorant and to believe such poppycock? These kinds of people, ladies and gentlemen, are why the country faces the great challenge it faces. It is people like this that we have to overcome. They can't be counted on to help us recover from this mess because they are creating it with their ignorance and their lack of being informed. They've just made the work even harder.
RUSH: You know, as I've said, folks, the country will survive Obama, but it's not gonna survive the kind of invincible ignorance that elected him. This is it is thing that Coulter is writing about with her Bock book on mobs, trying to explain to people who liberals are. At some point, provided we still have election, we're going to be able to dispatch Obama, probably in November 2012, but the people who elected him are still gonna be around. They are still gonna be there -- and this invincible, abject ignorance that they project. I know the guy was a seminar caller; I know the guy was trained. Dick Morris was on Ted Baxter last night, and Dick Morris was explaining that Hillary's mom was driving around listening to me one day and got just her feelings hurt and outraged and angry listening to me describe Hillary and Bill.
It inspired Morris to set up, way back in the nineties with the Clintons, a seminar training camp to train callers how to get on conservative shows, how to get past call screeners and so forth -- and they are still out there. Morris' theory is that screeners are susceptible to certain things that callers might say that might make it sound like it's gonna be a good call, and you get 'em on the air and they're just sloganeers and they just string together a bunch of bumper sticker slogans, but they have no idea how idiotic sound. They have no idea. They are self-defeating. They have no clue. They hang up and they think they scored giant points -- and they end up sounding totally uninformed, ignorant, and -- and ludicrous. (interruption) And what? Oh, yeah, we're accused of planting these people! We're accused of hiring these idiots as actors to somehow call in. (laughing) It's funny.