How many of you suckers…? Uh… How many of you people out there have been seriously thinking about getting a high-mileage automobile, particularly those of you in California, but anywhere in the country. You’ve been thinking about maybe getting a high-mileage automobile, maybe going with one of these hybrids or whatever — they get 50, 60 miles to the gallon — because you want to save the environment, and, and you want to save money? You’re thinking about doing this, Brian? I thought he had one. What is that little thing out there that you’re driving? Scion xB? What is it? Is it a hybrid. Is it uses gasoline? That uses gasoline? It’s the strangest look thing you’ve ever seen. Anyway, get this. I just love this. At some point everybody is going to understand liberals. At some point everybody is going to understand big government tax-and-spend liberal. Listen to this story out of California. “College student Jason Just commutes an odometer-spinning 2,000 miles a month, and CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes reports his monthly gas bill once topped his car payment. He was paying $500 a month for gasoline.” That’s what it cost me for a fill-up!
“So Jason Just bought a fuel-efficient hybrid and said good-bye to his gas-guzzling BMW. What kind of mileage does he get? Well, the EPA estimate is 60 miles in the city, 51 miles on the highway, and that saves him almost $300 a month in gasoline. It’s great for him, but…” Do you hear a “but” coming here? Let me ask, if his gas bill was 500 bucks and it’s now $200 a month, who’s being hurt? You know, nobody ever asks this question. You always think, “I’m going to save big on my gasoline bills. I’m going to go out and get one of these hybrids, one of these little lawn mowers with a couple seats on it. I’m gonna putz around out there, and I’m going to save big money so I’ll have money left over to go to Aspen.” Well, it may be great news for you, but it’s bad news for the roads that you drive on, folks, because in that $300 a month that Jason Just no longer spends a month in gasoline he’s also not spending any gasoline taxes. (Laughing.) And gasoline taxes fund highway projects and road repairs and whatever other giveaway programs liberals want to come up with — and get this. “As more and more hybrids hit the road, cash-strapped states are warning of rough roads ahead.”
The very people who have been urging all of us to junk or gas guzzler and get into these little lawn mowers with seats on them and putz around at 50 miles to the gallon are now alarmed at all the tax revenue they may lose and so guess what California’s solution to this is? California’s solution? They are so worried out there, they are considering a replacement for the gasoline tax altogether replacing it with something called tax-by-the-mile. “Seeing tax dollars dwindling, neighborhoods Oregon has already started road testing the idea. ‘Drivers will get charged for how many miles they use the roads and it’s as simple as that,’ says engineer David Kim. Kim and his team at Oregon State equipped a test car with GPS to keep track of its mileage. Eventually every car would be required to have GPS so you could be taxed on the miles that you drive.” So if you drive ten miles you’ll pay a certain fee which would be let’s say one-tenth of what someone pays if they drive 100 miles. “The new tax would be charged every time you fill up. A computer inside the gas pump would communicate with your car’s odometer to calculate how much you owe. The system could also track how often you drive during rush hour and charge higher fees to discourage peak use. That’s an idea that could break the bottleneck on California’s freeways.” Yeah, right. You get a bunch of these little lawn mowers with seats on there putting around you’ve got more traffic because nobody can do a decent speed out there. “‘We’re doing a lot of interest from other states,’ said Jim Whitty of the Oregon Department of Transportation. ‘They’re watching what we’re doing.'”
I bet they are! You can’t come up with a new way of taxing, raising money from people without liberals all over the country sitting up, perking up and taking notice, and that’s what’s happening so I just want to warn you people. I’ve been trying to warn you about this hybrid business ever since Algore started talk about it. I’ve been trying to warn you it’s not going to be the panacea. You’re going to end up in a car you don’t like and don’t want and you’re going to still be paying the same thing or more to drive it around. If you’re using less gasoline that’s less tax. That’s not going to fly because government never does with less, ladies and gentlemen. You are cutting back because you want to save money. You don’t have the money to continue to spend on your gas guzzler? That’s fine. The state will never do with less money. No state will ever do with less money. The federal government? Never, ever do with less money. They will come up with ways and your ability or inability to pay is of no concern to them.
Have you ever heard a tax increase debated with the component of, “Gosh, can people pay this?” No. But when you hear a tax cut debated, what do you hear? “We, the government, can’t afford this!” But a tax increase on you, it’s never even considered. In fact, you’re lied to and your spammed and you’re spun, and said, “Well, just drive less and you won’t pay as much.” Well, how many people literally get out on a daily basis outside vacations or whatever and just joyride? And who the hell is going to get out and joyride in a little putt-putt hybrid they don’t even like in the first place? Now I know some of you hybrid lovers actually love it but there are weird people in their cars everywhere. So I’ve been warning you people about this. I’ve been trying to tell you throughout my entire broadcast career here: Every time you make an effort to save money where taxes are involved, you’re going to get soaked and you’re going to end up pay more taxes, and look at this now. This tax is going to result in you having to have GPS so they can track where you’re going, and then you show up at the pump, and that pump can communicate with your odometer, and if there’s a mistake, how are you going to prove it? How much time is that going to take? How many lawyers you going to have to go hire to go in and have that pump subpoenaed and then you have that pump — or search warranted, and let’s say you issue a search warrant for the pump and they bring the pump into court and you got all these experts that come in here. Where does this end? It ends with it’s simpler to just pay the tax rather than argue about it, and of course unless they have the people that make Vegas slot machines make these pumps you know darn well that they’re — well, no, in fact, they probably will because Vegas never loses, either, on balance. So I just (Sigh.) “State Mulls Taxing Drivers By Mile.” (interruption) Oh, it will be built into the price of the car.
The manufacturers will be told just like catalytic converter, Mr. Snerdley. You had to put a catalytic converter on your car one day, back in the old days, in order to save the smog in California. Still got smog out there, don’t they? You had to put your catalytic converter on there, and it was built into the price of the car. And so if your car has to have GPS, and it’s not going to be an option, it will be in there. You might see it on the sticker, but you still (laughing). You see how this works, folks? When you start screwing the government by helping yourself, you end up being the screwee. It always happens unless you have an idea what you’re doing beforehand and don’t let them play these smarmy little games.
RUSH: Ryan in Moorehead, Minnesota. Welcome, sir, nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Hey it’s a pleasure to be on your show, Mr. Limbaugh.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I am a college student and I’m going back to the gas tax thing.
CALLER: The hybrid car thing, I believe that is a phenomenal idea. You know, I go home probably once a month, I live about, I don’t know, I’d say 150 miles from my college and then drive around the area. I live right next to Fargo, North Dakota. Anyhow, for the little amount of driving that I do, it would be awesome to get 50, 60 miles to the gallon and then pay like you said a tax the next time I go to the gas tank with my GPS would be very minimal because I only drive that 150, 160 miles once a month. I think it’s a great idea.
RUSH: You do?
CALLER: I do. And then another thought is possible ways to curb the tax would be something along the lines of a toll booth.
RUSH: Oh, yeah. That’s really a good idea, too. Those really work.
RUSH: All right, now, in the first place, a little commentary and analysis of your point. How old are you, did you say?
RUSH: Twenty-one. Do you think for the rest of your life you’re going to be driving as little as you drive today? Do you think you’re going to always be living where you live, doing what you do, going only where you go now and no further and in no different places?
CALLER: No, but by then there will have to be a better solution to this problem.
RUSH: Well, oh, wait a minute. There has to be a better solution by then? That’s like saying I’m going to keep smoking cigarettes because 30 years with now they’ll come up with a cure for cancer. I know a lot of people dead —
CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
RUSH: — who thought that 30 years ago. Number two: Do you really want a government mandated tracking system in your and every other citizen’s car, so they want only know how much to charge you on this tax, but where you’re going, and when you go there? Do you want that?
CALLER: I’ll be honest with you, Rush, I really don’t have a problem with that. If they want to put a tracking — you know, I’m not doing anything illegal or bad, besides I’m going to class —
RUSH: I’m just asking the questions. I understand that. Okay, you’re basing everything on how you live now and how you lived in the past.
RUSH: The third thing: Do you think policy, such as this ought to be made based on the basis, “Well, it’s not going to cost me much, I like it,” which is your basic philosophy here?
RUSH: See, to me that sounds really selfish, sounds like you’re perfectly comfortable for your fellow citizens who have to drive maybe more, to be paying more of the freight than you are, for the same roads and highways that you’re going to be driving.
CALLER: If I drove 3,000 miles every month, you’re using the roads. You know you should pay for it.
CALLER: You know, there’s — you have to find a way to be able to cut that down for yourself, maybe. You can’t, you know, why should — I believe it would be great. I really do. I think it would be a phenomenal idea. If you drive like I said 3,000 miles, you pay —
RUSH: All right —
CALLER: — 30 bucks a month off that, that would be, you know, you’re driving that far, you should pay it.
RUSH: All right, well, you weren’t alive when those roads were built and none of your taxes have paid for them in the first place so you’re getting a real steal.
RUSH: But another question for you.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Do you think, do you think as you go through life and earn more money, that your income tax rate, your percentage, ought to go up because you earn more money?
CALLER: Oh, you know, you got me on that. I don’t know. That’s something I’d have —
RUSH: Well, get ready because it’s going to happen. And the theory is that you’ve got more money to pay in taxes so you should pay it, and consequently — and I’ll show you on the other side of this, the theory some people espouse is, “Well, the more money you make the more government services you’re using.” It’s just the opposite. The more money you make the less government services you use, and yet you get soaked. And your highway tax proposal sounds pretty much the same, those who use it the least should pay the least, and those who use it the more should pay the most. And without, you know, how many of these people using it because they’re working? How many because they have to, not because they want to? How many of these people are out there because they’ve got no choice but than to drive great distances and so forth? And don’t leave out the first half of the equation here, Ryan. The first half of the equation: The government has been selling these lawn mowers with seats on them, as I call them —
RUSH: — and under the auspices that we’ve got to save the environment. “We’ve got to stop polluting and everybody needs to save some money. We’ve got to stop our dependence on foreign oil,” and so people have thought that by the end of the day if they make the move to go to one of these hybrids it’s going to be saving them a lot of money. The very people who have been encouraging them to do all this now are going to turn around and start tracking them and soaking them with taxes based on the miles they drive because they’re not paying enough using the gasoline they used to use. Now, you have to admit, this is a bait-and-switch.
CALLER: Yeah, it’s a Catch-22, it really is.
RUSH: It’s not a Catch-22. It’s a bait-and-switch.
CALLER: Yep. You’re a smart guy, Mr. Limbaugh, and I wish I could compete with you, but —
RUSH: With my I’m not — no, no, no. I don’t mean to put you on the spot with this, but I just want you to understand something, Ryan, and this is not personal. But you are 21, and you call here and you represent an opportunity for me. You have just strip away the basic element of what you said, you have just said, “Fine, go ahead and raise taxes on those who are more able to pay it,” and any time that comes up I try to have an opportunity, take an opportunity to educate people that that is the epitome of unfairness, and it gets dangerously close to what you’ll find in all the socialist dogma: “From each according to his means, to each according to his needs,” and I’m for a flat income tax, flat rate, everybody pays the same percentage.
Now, it’s a tough sell because you have a lot of people, “Well, wait, if I’m paying 15% of 50 and Limbaugh is paying 15% of 50 million, look how much he’s left over with versus how much I have. It isn’t fair! He ought to be paying a bigger percentage.” The way to look at it is, 15% of 50,000 versus how many dollars am I paying 15% of 50 million? I’m just picking that number out of the air to give a contrast here. You know, where is the thinking? Is it just because I have it, it’s somebody else’s right to take it? I earned it. They didn’t. You earned what you have. Where is this notion that just because somebody wants it and they work for the government they ought to have a right to it? You know, part of the effort here in 16 years has been to understand how government operates, and that’s what I call punitive taxation. People who earn a lot of money have probably taken a lot of risks to get there and who knows how much they have lost in the process of getting to where they go. But the Democrats have successfully exploited class envy so there’s this enmity that exists between the haves and the have-nots and I’ve always found it strange that somebody making $50,000 a year is supposed to be happy when somebody making $200,000 a year pays more in taxes. Just because the guy who makes 200 grand pays more in taxes, tell me how the guy who makes 50 has his life improved by that. It’s not. It’s not improved at all. His life doesn’t change a bit — unless the guy sits out there and gets momentarily happy existing in schadenfreude because somebody is miserable out there.
Now, if you’re the kind of — not you personally, Ryan — but if you’re the kind of person that is happy when somebody else is miserable, then you’re a liberal, and you’re an easy target for liberals. But you tell me how somebody else paying more taxes than you do helps you out. It doesn’t whatsoever. The bottom line is, a fair tax situation, a fair tax circumstances for everybody, because nobody’s income is static. Everybody goes from different income levels up and down throughout their lives, and what we end up doing here it taxing achievement. We punish achievement with high taxes — and the American left tries to cement the notion that that is the epitome of fairness. When the truth of the matter is, we’ve practically exempted the middle class from income taxes. Almost 50% of all income taxes are paid by the upper 2% of wage earners in this country, and they [liberals] still say it’s not fair. They still say the rich aren’t paying their fair share.
Now we come along, come up with this new gasoline tax idea, and we’re going to soak the people who drive more, regardless of their income. If they drive more, they’re going to pay more tax. “But, Rush, it’s no different than if they were using more gasoline.” Yes, that’s true but there hasn’t been the bait-and-switch with the government trying to tell you to get out of your gas hog and drive a lawn mower and then you think you’re going to save money and you go do it. You end up in a car you don’t even want. You end up in a car you don’t even really like. Well, how many of them are on the roads, folks? If you say they don’t like ’em. People don’t like ’em, don’t want them, end up buying them because think they’re going to save money, and bammo! Here comes government hand into your back pocket, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it because you thought the whole thing was fair.
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