Has America Already Slipped Away?
July 09, 2012
RUSH: I read a couple of pieces yesterday that really touched a nerve with me. One of them was by Michael Goodwin in the New York Post. Let me set it up by describing something personal. And I've mentioned this many times during the course of this program. When I was in my twenties and thirties, and I saw people in their sixties and seventies, I vowed that there were certain things those people did that I would never do. For instance, I vowed I would never become, in the eyes of anybody else, an old fogy. I would never be someone who looked at the younger generations as the beginning of the end of our culture. My parents did. My parents, the Beatles and all of that, was just the end of the world as far as they were concerned. It was the long hair. It was the rebel characteristics, all of that.
This is true for every generation. Every older generation look at the younger generation and thinks, "My God, they're gonna blow it, country's finished, we're all done." I vowed that would never happen to me. I vowed I would keep an open mind and try to remember always the way I looked at the world when I was in my twenties and thirties. Well, there are things that have happened here that befuddle even me. You and I -- and I'm gonna take the liberty here of speaking for you, 'cause I think this is pretty accurate when discussing most of you.
You and I look at what's happening to the country, and we are a multitude of things. We are appalled, we're angry, and we're really scared. Despite every effort not to be an old fuddy-duddy, an old fogy -- despite every effort to avoid falling into that trap as I've gotten older, as I have matured and aged -- I haven't been able to avoid it. It's not that the younger generations are to blame. It's not that they're at fault. That's not my point. We're losing the country right in front of our eyes.
It is astounding, the transformational changes leading to the destruction. It actually has me depressed at times. Now, you and I see this the same way to one degree or to a bunch of varying degrees. But then you realize that other people don't! They're living it, and they don't. In what I would consider a sane, normal world, anybody from any party who had presided over this kind of not just economic destruction but national transformation, wouldn't be considered a serious candidate for reelection. Not at any time in this nation's history.
Anybody who had been in charge during these three years would be looking at a 30% approval number or reelect number, in what I would consider to be a sane world. For the past two years, every Thursday we talk about the unemployment number in this country on this program. And on Thursday of every month, we look at it in great detail because we get the number for the previous month before it's revised downward. And it seems to me that like it's almost like a slow-drip water torture.
This is obviously cultural rot and decay taking place. There is economic decay taking place. But it is so gradual that it's not accompanied by any shock value. And since there's no shock value attached to it, there's no high degree of outrage. There's more like resignation. People are just resigned to it. We got 8.2% unemployment? "New normal! It's not something about which you need to get exorcised about and make a big change; it's just the way it is." Not for you. Not for you and me, don't misunderstand.
Not for you and me, but for a seemingly large part of the country. And of course this election is gonna tell us how large a part. This is the great unknown. This is the great unknown question. Just how many people in this country think this is the United States of America. This is all it can be. This is it, and this is normal. And how many of them vote. When you look at 8.2% unemployment -- when you look at more people going on disability than getting jobs -- folks, we are in uncharted territory.
We now have eight million people on disability.
We have 48% of the people in this country not paying income tax, and yet all of them... And this is important in trying to assess all this. All of these people are eating. They're not going hungry. And they all have their cell phones. And they all are able to afford to use their cell phones. And they all have their plasma TVs, and they're all able to sign up for cable and use them. Despite all of the economic malaise. Now, the reason for this is that we're $16 trillion in debt. We've got an administration which is happily paying for this result.
There is no longer a stigma to being unemployed or a stigma to being on welfare. And so, just as we used to look at the younger generation (we who are seasoned and mature), and be a little worried about what they're gonna amount to because they seemed to be such degenerates and reprobates. Now instead of looking at it that way, this whole generational thing has become one view of the country versus another view of the country. Whereas I promised myself I would never look -- as a seasoned, mature individual -- at younger people as worthless degenerate perverts.
Like my parents looked at my generation and every other generation has. Now, instead of doing that, I'm sitting here looking at an unknown percentage of the country and asking myself how many of them know what it is to be an American. How many of them know what that means anymore? Or how many of them have a different definition of it entirely? And I worry because the architect of all this transformation, the architect of all this destruction, has a legitimate chance as winning reelection!
In real, sane world this guy's party woulda thrown him out and they woulda put Hillary or somebody else in there.
That hasn't happened.
RUSH: It ought to be clear, folks. It ought to be obvious that Barack Obama does not want to create jobs. He wants to create welfare recipients. That's why he said that Friday's jobs report was "a step in the right direction." A step in the right direction? The chairman of the Democrat National Committee, Debbie "Blabbermouth" Schultz, on television yesterday said they're happy with the direction of the private sector. She'll take job growth every month. She'll take it.
But it is obvious that Obama doesn't want to create jobs; he wants to create welfare recipients. In TheHill.com there was this story from yesterday. "Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority. A new poll for The Hill found 56% of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35% who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership."
Okay, fine and dandy.
I have a question: If 56% of likely voters believe Obama has transformed the nation in such a way as to make it worse, then how can be still be at 47% in the swing states, ahead of Romney by a point or tied with Romney? How can that be? Now, how can that be? It just literally doesn't compute. Anyway, I want to try to attack this theme further. I guess may be it is a generational thing that I was referring to just a moment ago, where we are as a country. I'm gonna use some help from Michael Goodwin of the New York Post on Sunday.
So sit tight. We'll come back and get into that.
RUSH: Now, in his speech just now where he announced the extension of the Bush tax cuts -- and, by the way, do you realize those Bush tax cuts -- and I made this point before -- those Bush tax cuts were tax cuts for the middle class? The Democrats since 2003 have been calling them the Bush tax cuts for the rich. The last two times Obama has extended them, he has done so, so that they will continue to help the middle class. Well, obviously the Bush tax cuts were tax cuts for everyone. Rich, middle class, everybody. That only gets mentioned when Obama extends them. These tax cuts, by the way, are the very thing Obama blames for the economic woes that he encountered when he became president. The Bush tax cuts, the woeful economy that Bush left because of the Bush tax cuts, and every time Obama needs 'em he goes back to 'em and extends 'em.
Now, in his speech just now, he said, "Our core mission as an administration, as a country, has to be rebuilding an economy where work pays off." That is a lie. He is not oriented that way. Work does not pay off. Work is punished. "Not working" pays off. More than it ever has in this country, "not working" pays off. He honestly has the nerve to say when he's raising taxes on the people who are working to rebuild the economy, small business owners and entrepreneurs, those taxes are going up. The Bush tax cuts will expire for job creators. The people who create jobs will see their taxes increase. This is independent of whatever Obamacare tax increases there will be. So he has the nerve to say that when he's raising taxes on the people who are working to rebuild this economy, and that's small business, those are people who put their money at risk and put it to work, and they will face a tax increase.
My friends, he does not want job creation. He just said, "Right now our top priority has to be giving middle-class families and small businesses the security they deserve." Simple question: How is raising taxes on most small businesses going to give them the security they deserve? How is raising taxes on most employers going to do that? Who employs the middle class? More and more, it's the federal government. Victor Davis Hanson had a piece over the weekend, The Corner -- (interruption) Yeah, I'm getting to the Goodwin piece. I'm setting it up. Stick with me.
Victor Davis Hanson over the weekend, National Review Online: "Atlas Still Shrugging." This is good because it's a great encapsulation.
"If one wanted to ensure permanent 8 percent to 9 percent unemployment, one might try the following: Run up serial $1 trillion deficits." Check. "Add $5 trillion to the national debt in three and a half years." Check. If you wanted to maintain permanent eight to nine percent unemployment, you do this. "Impose a 2,400-page, trillion-dollar new federal takeover of health care, with layers of new taxation, much of it falling on the middle class and employers, even as favored concerns are given mass exemptions," via the waivers. Check, did that.
If you want to maintain unemployment at eight to nine percent: "Scare employers with constant us/them class warfare rhetoric about a demonized one-percenter class and its undeserved profits; constantly talk about raising new taxes and imposing regulations, ensuring uncertainty and convincing employers of unpredictability in regulation and taxes." Keep everybody on edge with unpredictability. Check.
Number five: "Appoint a bipartisan committee to study the fiscal crisis and then neglect all its recommendations. Six: Subsidize failed green companies, while denigrating successful gas and oil concerns." Do you know what I saw today? Do you realize CO2 output, greenhouse gases, have fallen sharply, astoundingly. And you know what the number one reason is? (interruption) No. That's what I thought, too. I thought it would be the downturn in the economy. Fracking. The new way of producing natural gas and oil has caused the sharpest decline in greenhouse gases. Everything Obama believes, everything the left touts is a lie. The pursuit of profit, which is what fracking is, it's a new way of getting natural gas and oil, and the people that do that do it to earn a profit. So the pursuit of profit led to sharpest reduction in greenhouse gases.
Now, frankly, look you know me, I don't think there's such a thing as greenhouse gases that are destroying the planet. But to use the left's own setup, the pursuit of profit, a new way of getting natural gas and oil, has resulted in the sharpest decline in CO2. Fracking turns out to be green energy. Yep. But not to this bunch. They're trying to shut it down.
Anyway, you would "Vastly increase unemployment insurance, disability, and food-stamp constituencies, while promising all sorts of mortgage, credit-card, and student-loan bailouts," which, all of this is Obama's doing. This is how you maintain unemployment at 9%. You would "Borrow hundreds of billions for stimulus programs that are not shovel ready, but are rather aimed to bail out state budgets, pensions, and unions. Nine: Federalize elements of non-profitable private companies, while threatening to shut down profitable plants for supposed union or environmental incorrect behavior. Ten: Do not address changing the above policies, but rather blame others for such self-induced stagnation." If you do all of that, you pretty much ensure something like the current economy. Do all that and you get what we've got, and Obama has done it and he's doubling down on it.
Now, to Michael Goodwin in the New York Post yesterday. "Mitt Romney is a good man. He’s smart, successful and there’s not a hint of scandal in his 65 years. He’s boring and a little distant, but those aren’t the flaws that could prove fatal. Romney’s big problem is that he grew up in another America. He was raised to believe there is a clear standard for adult conduct, that even politics has rules and that it is the duty of a president to unite and lead the nation through its economic crisis.
"Timing could be his great misfortune. Fate has given him a demoralized electorate that is growing distant from that old America and an opponent who spouts its verities, but actually believes in none of them. Barack Obama believes that politics is a knife fight, and the only rule is that he must win." Romney's gotta get politically killed. "Obama's conduct reflects the unholy mix of a messiah complex with the muscle of The Chicago Way. His goal, he tells us, is to 'transform' America, not fix it. This culture clash explains a presidential campaign operating in parallel universes. Romney is making a broad pitch to the nation as a whole, assuming jobs, the debt, deficit and a strong military are what people care about because they should."
You go back to Reagan, only talking 30 years ago, or is it 40 now? Thirty years ago, Reagan's three-legged stool: Lower taxes, rebuild the military, and of course revive the economy. That's what everybody wanted. That's what Romney's doing. Goodwin's point is that Romney is from a different era where that stuff mattered to people. Parallel universe. Obama knows that's no longer true for a big slice of the country. He gives lip service to economic growth and a strong military and American exceptionalism, but they concern him only to the extent that they could be his undoing.
"[Obama's] aim is to buy four more years by using the power of incumbency to distribute goodies that will insulate his supporters from immediate pain. In exchange, they’ll give him time to turn the nation into a European welfare state, with an imperial president" like they have in Europe. "Obama’s not making a national appeal. He’s micro-targeting," (we've told you all this and here it is in print), all these different constituencies. "Obama’s not making a national appeal. He’s micro-targeting groups..." Obama's abandoned white working-class families. He's abandoned the American mainstream is my point.
Obama's not trying to get votes from the American mainstream. Romney is, and Goodwin here is speculating that could mean that Romney's out of touch. We'll find out. It's an interesting mental exercise. "For [Obama], 8.2% unemployment is something to work around, not worry about. It is a distraction to be paved over with side deals for friends, bailouts and trade barriers for unions, a pass on immigration laws for Latinos, subsidized loans for students, huge handouts for green-energy zealots and unleashed regulatory cops to crucify producers of fossil fuel.
"He even leaks national security secrets to boost his warrior cred[enditals]." The kind of thing that would have people clamoring to get rid of a president not that long ago. "The whole jobs thing is passé because work is optional when unemployment and disability benefits are the new welfare and an increase in food stamps is proof of 'fairness,'" and they're advertising for more food stamp recipients. They're throwing food stamp parties. Obama is actually targeting citizens of this new America where everything's free, where everything's a giveaway, all for the sake of his maintaining power.
"With only half the country paying taxes, the other half isn’t worried about spending. For their government masters, dependency is good. Women are patronized with a claim that Republicans are waging war on them, even though the Obama economy has done them no favors. Black Americans also get nothing special. Because 95% will support Obama no matter what, he doesn’t bother buying their votes. He is their only reward. Our president is a deeply cynical man, but the more disturbing fact is that his cynicism has freed him from responsibility, and that freedom is proving to be a campaign advantage.
"The rising star who once claimed to see not a red or blue America but a united one has shed that pose for a message tailored to a country he helped polarize. Give the devil his due: Obama is a first-rate campaigner, approaching it with a passion he lacks for the Oval Office. His team has sliced and diced the country into ethnic, racial and class pieces, and he follows their road map and revs up the rhetoric on cue. His bus tour in Ohio was a priceless piece of pandering.
"In a town tied to auto manufacturing, he could tout his bailout of Detroit and suppliers and announce that he had filed a trade claim against China over its tariffs on American cars," and get their votes. "And so it goes, one special-interest cookie at a time. There’s no pretense of eliminating the deficit or paying down the debt. Entitlement reform is for chumps. So are growth and job creation..."
That's for chumps.
The new America doesn't care about that.
And Romney, as somebody who does, is in a parallel universe. He may be talking to a country doesn't exist anymore. This is the point from Goodwin.
I gotta take a break here 'cause I'm way long, so I'm sorry, next segment's gonna be proportionately shorter.