RUSH: The stories keep rolling in here about the destruction of the citrus crop in California, 75% of the citrus crop is gone. The governor out there, Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked for federal disaster aid over this. I got a call here from Mike in Sterling, Kansas, who wants to weigh in on it. Mike, what do you say about this?
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush.
CALLER: Pleasure to speak with you, sir.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: You know, they want to put a windfall profit tax on the oil because the price of oil has went up so much. If the citrus price goes up three times like they predict, are they going to put a windfall profit tax on the citrus growers simply because of weather conditions? You know, all I want from my government is hey, let’s be consistent. What’s good for one should be good for the other. Isn’t that correct, sir?
RUSH: You don’t have to call me sir although I understand why you do it. (Laughing.) That’s hilarious, the windfall ? the citrus price– (Laughing.) Have you heard what the experts say? It could go up three to four times, oranges and limes and lemons and all these things that have been destroyed out there, primarily oranges, and three to four times, that will become a windfall profit for —
CALLER: If I have bad luck with my oil wells — I’m a small oil producer here in Kansas — if I have bad luck with my oil wells, the federal government doesn’t come in and help me out like they’re going to do to the citrus growers or the farmers. Why is one industry better than the other or worse than the other? Could this be class envy, would you think?
RUSH: No — well, partly. There are a lot of explanations for it. It can?t be said for one thing that oranges are causing global warming. The citrus growers probably don’t have a CEO that makes $400 billion when he retires. People don’t need oranges. They can take vitamin C if they want to. You need oil; you need gasoline. But it’s more than that. The citrus growers, agriculture essentially, is not yet a target of the left.
CALLER: Well it will be as quick as they get all these ethanol plants online. Here in Kansas they’re going to put like another 60 ethanol plants on line, and then we’re talking about the amount of corn that was going to be required to feed these ethanol plants. Well, will the price of Corn Flakes go up —
RUSH: Let me tell you something. You know what I read about that the other day, Mike? Not only is the price of corn going to skyrocket, it’s going to cause riots in the southern hemisphere in Latin America and South America because the price of corn is going to skyrocket, too, and they don’t have the economy to withstand it. I did a story here a week or two ago that somebody is actually predicting, in addition to the things you mentioned, riots in poor countries where corn is a food staple for many rather than a fuel provider. And of course anything that causes the price of food to skyrocket like this, this is going to cause the Third World and poor peoples around the country to hate us even more because we’re going to corner the corn market for our selfish needs to drive our cars while these people are going to be starving.
CALLER: Well, people in the US, the price of feed for the livestock, you know, for hogs and cattle and everything because of the demand for the corn for ethanol, all that feed is going to go up, the price of meat’s going to go up.
RUSH: Absolutely right.
CALLER: And so they’re going to pay it either at the oil pump for oil-based fuel or they’re going to pay it at the grocery store for corn-based fuel.
RUSH: Well, don’t leave out the fruit, don’t leave out the profiteering, something going on in fruit and citrus. So what you’re saying is that the American consumer should brace himself for skyrocketing prices out there. By the way, this windfall profits tax — it’s not really a windfall profits tax yet, that’s not what they’re proposing. The Democrats are proposing eliminating some tax breaks. Actually what they want to do is correct a clerical error made in 1999 during the Clinton administration that allows for some leases to be operated without any taxes being paid, and they think they can collect $14 billion and that’s part of the 100 hour agenda, too.
The interesting thing is their plan, as the Wall Street Journal editorialized yesterday, their plan is going to do nothing but increase our dependence on foreign oil by punishing domestic oil that is produced. Any time you get a windfall profits tax on domestic oil or something like they want to do, you just cause the oil companies to shut down production of that which is being taxed at a higher rate, and they’ll go get their oil — they’re worldwide companies — they will get their oil from other places around the world, which allows them to escape the windfall profits tax. But you, the average American, thinks the oil companies getting really slammed and you like it. Does anybody wonder — have you paid attention — the oil price is $50 a barrel. The gasoline price in many states is under two dollars. Self-serve regular is under two dollars and the Democrats are proceeding with this as though we still have three dollar gasoline. Mike, I want you to grab audio sound bite 17. I want to take you back to the campaign. This was October 16th of 2006, Claire McCaskill, who’s the newly elected Democrat senator from Missouri. She said this in her debate with the then incumbent senator Jim Talent.
MCCASKILL: Just look at the gas prices. Look at the manipulation of the gas prices. I’m not sure anybody in this area believes these gas prices are going down, for any other reason that that we’re having an election. And I’m sure most people know they’re going to go right back up after the election is over. That is because there are five companies that control all of the oil in this country.
RUSH: That was one of the most lamebrain comments this woman made, and she made many of them. That’s because there are five companies that control all of the oil in this country? Have you forgot about OPEC, madam McCaskill, and Caesar Chavez and the Iranians? You know what’s really going on? The oil price did not go up, did it, after the election? This is after the election. The Democrats have just been sworn in, they’re running the House and Senate. The barrel oil price is now around $50, and it’s been plummeting. Gasoline prices are coming down. She didn’t know what she was talking about, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about now. Here’s a theory for you. Try this theory. One of the dirty little secret is that the Saudi royal family is worried sick about this Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They’re worried about this nut case. The Iranian economy is nothing. The Iranian economy is struggling. The Iranians need to import gasoline. They don’t have any refineries. They’re oil-rich but they can’t refine it, so they are a net importer of energy products. But they do produce a lot of crude.
One of the theories being bandied about is that the Saudis, largely in control of OPEC, are willingly, purposefully allowing the oil price to plummet so as to harm the Iranians economically. The world price plummets and everybody that produces it is going to be paid that price, and the Iranians are among those that produce oil, and their economy is shaky. Saudis, the royal family, they got enough money to withstand whatever temporary reduction in price or drop in price happens here. It’s an interesting theory. But we’ll keep a sharp eye out for the windfall profits tax on big citrus shortly after these prices start skyrocketing for the product. Thanks for the call, Mike.