We Stand for Principle Over Politics and the Establishment Can't Stand It
December 21, 2011
RUSH: "House Democrats tried Wednesday to force a vote on the Senate’s two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, but Republicans gaveled the House closed to prevent them from having a chance, as top GOP leaders huddled down the hall to try to figure a way out of the mess. The House was set to hold a pro forma session, but two top Democrats, Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen, demanded to be recognized to try to force a vote on the two-month extension. House Republicans have blocked that deal, which is strongly backed by President Obama, and are holding out for an extension that covers all of 2012."
Remember, folks, how Obama and the news media fought a temporary deal during the debt ceiling debate. He said the markets needed confidence, we can't do this temporary stuff. He said we can't keep doing these continuing resolutions and these temporary debt ceiling increases. We gotta do the whole thing here. Now, all of a sudden, we got temporary, temporary, temporary, and we do a two-month fix that cannot even be implemented. The House Republicans, the freshmen, the Tea Party conservatives, the other conservatives in the House are holding firm on this on principle. Even some in the media are saying the House Republicans are acting on principle, not politics. Everybody else is looking at this through the optics. And as I mentioned in the first hour the Wall Street Journal has an editorial that just excoriates the Republicans in the House and essentially accuses them of losing the tax issue to Obama and guaranteeing that Obama is gonna end up being the king tax cutter in an election year.
Now, I'm telling you, with all due respect, the people at the Journal who wrote the editorial, the House Democrats, the Senate Democrats, the Republicans, are all dead wrong on this, every policy and political level that I can think of. If the Republicans want this tax cut extended, then they ought to fight to actually extend it for a year. Two months doesn't do anything. There's some conventional wisdom in the establishment circles, "Oh, yeah, two months, Rush, that would be good, because then we come back and get to debate Obama on it all over again." Well, how's the debate gonna change? You still say Obama is gonna be leading the charge for more tax cuts, what are we gonna do, then agree with him? This is the time to plant the flag.
Now, if they want to stop it, Wall Street Journal, Republicans, if they want to stop this, explain what's really going on here. Explain that this isn't a tax cut. Since when did Social Security taxes, when were they actually called tax increases? These are contributions. These are actual deductions from your pay that end coming back to you -- this is how it's always been sold -- in your retirement years, in your golden years. Theoretically, it's your money. All we're doing is defunding the only mechanism that funds Social Security. If they want to stop this, then just explain that this is draining money from Social Security without any of the necessary reforms. Throw it right back on Obama and what he's doing here. The worst possible position is the one supported by the Senate, Obama, and the Wall Street Journal.
What's really going on here, folks -- and don't doubt me -- including on behalf of the Wall Street Journal, just angry at conservatives. They're angry at the Tea Party conservatives, the Tea Party freshmen. They're angry at conservative freshmen and conservative members of the House. And they're simply trying to reject it. Now, if you believe -- and I mentioned this in the opening hour -- if you believe that our beloved country is collapsing due to government, why continue with these games? Why continue with such things as two-month expansions of the debt limit? Continuing resolution after continuing resolution instead of a budget? A two-month extension of a so-called payroll tax cut. These are games. This is style over substance.
If we are to stop this, if we are to reverse this, if we are to get anywhere, we need to start now, make our case, we need to begin to reverse course. We can't be so timid and scared and gutless that we jump every time Obama says jump. Now, here's the problem. These people on the establishment side of the Republican Party are gonna have to resolve for themselves their position that the nation is in dire straits with their policies of timidity and fear. Now, I'm guessing they don't think the nation's in dire straits. If they agreed with us that the nation's in dire straits then they wouldn't be playing these political games unless they do agree with us but they think they have to play the political game in order to win the election and beat Obama. You can do both.
But this isn't even a big issue. This is what gets me. It really isn't a big issue. We're talking about whether to extend a payroll cut one year or two months. Nobody believes that two months makes sense in any substantive way. Meanwhile, while all of this is going on, the pipeline issue is huge! How about a standalone pipeline bill, Republicans? How about delinking the pipeline from this? "Well, they tried that, Rush, they actually think more political pressure could be applied to Obama." Well, no, because the Republican establishment is undermining the coupling of the pipeline with the two-month payroll tax cut. But the pipeline issue is huge.
The Iranians are cutting to cut off access to Middle East oil, the Strait of Hormuz. And that wouldn't take much. Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, says that Iran getting nukes is a red line for us, meaning possible war. He's saying that. I know Obama's not saying it but his secretary of defense is. And yet Obama and the Democrats are blocking a source of oil from an ally and are blocking the exploration and the use of natural gas and on and on. Obama and his party are doing everything they can to keep this nation imprisoned in the dependence on foreign oil, while claiming that they want to do just the opposite.
The prime minister of Canada is telling us, if you won't buy our oil, fine, we are going to sell it to the ChiComs, and we'll sell it to the ChiComs happily. I have a story somewhere in the Stack, that a senior American official or two confided to Stephen Harper, the Canadian head honcho, "Don't worry, don't worry, we're going to buy your oil." They're not named, and the conditions under which we would buy the oil are not specified. But clearly the message, if the reporting is true, the message is that we're whispering, "Psst, psst," winking, "Hey, Mr. Harper, look, we gotta play our political game here but, when it's all said and done, we're gonna be buying your oil. We just can't do that now. Obama needs to hold out here. He's gotta placate his environmental base. But we're gonna buy your oil. Just stick with us." That's the message that we are under the table giving.
But once again, we are subordinating what's best for this nation to Obama's political whims, desires, and needs, and we've got a Republican Party that's apparently willing to help him. This payroll tax cut, it's chump change compared to the things that we face. All of these people claim that they're conservatives when they run out and push their subscriptions and ask for donations and promote all of their social activities and so forth. But they don't act like it much.
The key line in the Wall Street Journal editorial is this. "We wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest." That's the key line in the Wall Street Journal editorial. And a lot of blogs are picking that up and they're agreeing with the Wall Street Journal, "Oh, no if these Republicans keep this up, oh, my God, we're gonna go ahead, we're gonna, for all intents and purposes, we're gonna elect Obama before we even get to November." That's the key line in their editorial: "We wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest," because of not giving him his two-month extension on the payroll tax cut.
So what we have here, the Republican establishment is scared to death of Obama's class warfare campaign. Is that right? Has the Republican establishment now lost faith in the free enterprise system? Is that it? That we can't win that argument with Obama over the next year, in the middle of what he has done to this economy? We are willing to say that we will cede the election to Obama if we don't give him his two-month tax cut extension. So am I wrong here, the Wall Street Journal believes that 11 months from now the election's gonna turn on Obama draining tens of billions of dollars from Social Security? 'Cause that's what's happening.
I can't emphasize enough my whole life as a Republican, and you, too, you've been hearing about all these horrible things we want to do to old people. We want to cut their Social Security. I heard Alan Cranston say in 1987 that we wanted to kick old people out of their houses by cutting Social Security. I've heard other Democrats say that we want old people eating dog food and not having enough medicine. Republicans are going to end Medicare when it's the Democrats who are doing all of this, and Obama right before our very eyes is underfunding, cutting funding for Social Security up to half a billion dollars. Five hundred billion, put it that way, that's the correct way to express it.
We're just gonna sit around and let that happen? Obama's gonna cut Social Security funding by $500 billion, an amount that equals less than $20 a week for most people in the form of this middle-class tax cut. If Americans can be bought for 20 bucks a week, then we may be in a hopeless situation anyway. But let me just close this out by saying the Democrats have insisted for 75 years that Social Security as an insurance program that you are contributing a percentage of your paycheck into your own account, which is part of a trust fund, to pay for your retirement benefit. It is not, they insist, it is not welfare, it is not an entitlement program. It is insurance. They've told us this for 75 years. Like an annuity program.
Meanwhile, every argument they are making now strips bare the big lie that they've been telling for 75 years. If this payroll tax cut is a tax cut, then Social Security is not an insurance program. And yet we're gonna run around and let them have it both ways because we're afraid of the optics or we're afraid because Obama's African-American? Is it a welfare or entitlement program and the money people are having withheld from their paychecks is not an insurance contribution, then it's a tax. Pure and simple. But they've sold this as an insurance program and all of a sudden now we're cutting taxes on this program? It's a welfare or entitlement program. The money people are having withheld from their paychecks is not an insurance contribution, a tax, that's what they're telling us now? Okay, then you are being taxed to pay for somebody else's retirement.
Now, the fact that the Republican establishment cannot make that case and other arguments tells me that they may have already surrendered, and this is a big difference between us and the establishment. They're in this defensive posture, I've told you, I said on Greta how many times, a lot of people inside the Republican establishment secretly don't even believe Obama can be beaten. And that's why they want Romney, 'cause they think at least Romney will help 'em take the Senate. He'll lose less down the ballot than Gingrich or some conservative will. But conservatives, you Tea Party activists, you don't want to give up and you haven't given up, and you don't want to accept this propaganda from the left. We insist on challenging it, we insist on fighting it 'cause there's no other way to save the country, and continually playing these games letting the Democrats rewrite the language, change the definition of things, get away with false accusations against us, never do anything about it, constantly stay on defense.
Looky, all of a sudden Social Security at this point in time is not the third rail of American politics. I'm gonna tell you something. You put a Republican in the White House, you let a Republican talk about cutting the funding of Social Security by the amount Obama's talking about, and you watch utter hell unleashed by the Democrat Party. They wouldn't get caught up in the two-month or one year tax cut, middle-class tax cut, payroll tax cut. What they'd be focusing on is, "See, the Republicans want to cut Social Security," and they'd be talking about, "How can they dare, this is the only funding mechanism of Social Security, and they want us to give a tax cut to the rich." That's what they'd be saying, that's how they'd be playing it.
We're accepting their terms, once again, we're accepting their premise and we're acting frightened, "Okay, we gotta go along. We gotta let Obama have this so the issue goes away because otherwise he's gonna be seen as king tax cutter." Well, but he's not. Now, I mentioned earlier how this is actually going to be paid for, whether it's two months or one year.
RUSH: Just a couple of more observations, and then we'll move on. As you know, 47% of the American people pay no income taxes. The Democrats, when you hit them with that, say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, well, those 47%, they're still paying payroll taxes. Everybody pays payroll taxes, so they're still paying taxes." Okay, fine. So now, look. Obama wants to cut the payroll tax for two months, big whoop, for two months. And pay for it from people who buy a house or refinance with a mortgage of $200,000 or more. In a nutshell, this is all about the Democrats trying to get us to pay the Social Security tax for their constituents who already don't pay any income tax.
So not only are these people not paying any income tax, they're now gonna get a payroll tax cut and working people are going to pay for it. And the Wall Street Journal says let Obama have it, if you don't let him have it, oh, God, he could win reelection, oh, God, you gotta let him have it.