RUSH: Scott, Jacksonville, Florida, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Jack Bauer and Allen Brothers mega dittos —
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: — from your number one listener in Jacksonville, Florida.
RUSH: Great to have you on the program, sir.
CALLER: Thank you. I’d like to thank you for something after I get to my point. I am concerned about this Home Depot CEO. The article reads, ?The head of Home Depot left the home improvement share on Wednesday, a mutual agreement taking $210 million. The surprised departure of Bob Nardelli from the role of CEO after six years came amid investor unhappiness ??
RUSH: Wait just a sec. This is old news. Is this news today?
CALLER: Yes, sir. Well, no, this is January 3rd of ’07. I apologize.
RUSH: I thought this happened a long time ago, and I remember there was some upset about this.
CALLER: But, see, with Lee Raymond at ExxonMobil getting the $398 million, no problem. Shareholders are happy, making a ton of money on the backs of people who drive cars like you and I, but this guy, $210 million, he walks away after his company is struggling? What’s up with that?
RUSH: Yeah, the answer, the corporate answer — I remember when United Airlines — I forget who the CEO was — United Airlines posted some unbelievable loss, and the reason for giving the guy such a large golden parachute or bonus one year, whatever it was, I forget which, was that, ?Hell, if he hadn’t been here, you wouldn’t believe how bad it would have been otherwise.? Probably it was what his compensation package was when he was negotiated to be hired. These things drive people nuts and my fear with this, because there’s such a lack of understanding about this, and it seems to be so beyond at what anybody else can dream of acquiring for themselves, is that it’s going to lead to class envy.
You have a Democrat Party out there who is all for class envy, and they already have a tax on salaries paid to people over a million dollars, which is what led to stock options, by the way, and so forth. If these kind of things are not made more reasonable — and I don’t know that this isn’t, by the way. I’m just responding to your attitude about it. But if these things, if the corporations involved here do not make this stuff a little bit more reasonable or explain it better, then it’s just an invitation for the government to step in there and take over, and that’s not going to be good for anybody because it’s not going to stop with the big guys.
CALLER: I agree a hundred percent. The one thing I wanted to thank you for was that you have made a huge difference in my life. When I first listened to you it was during the first Gulf War, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida, my dad lived in Illinois, a big Rostenkowski fan, and back then I told him to listen to you. I said, ?Dad, you gotta listen to this guy,? and back then I think it was just AM up in Chicago, WLS, and my dad literally spit, “AM, who listens to AM?” He started listening to you, and every day he would call me, ?Did you hear what Rush said?? About seven years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he passed away, but I’ll tell you, you brought my father and I back together. We had a disagreement years ago, and it was because of you, and I just want to thank you for that, and you’ve said many times from the bottom of your heart, thanking the audience, but you have made a difference in my life and my dad’s life, and I deeply appreciate it.
RUSH: Well, I thank you. I can’t get over the fact I still get embarrassed when I hear these kinds of things, but I can’t thank you enough. You know, that kind of meaning in your life is not lost on me. I don’t know how to tell you how much I appreciate that, other than to say thanks.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: One other thing, just one minor, minor, minor little correction.
RUSH: Exxon is not making money on the backs of you and I who drive automobiles.
CALLER: Can I comment on that?
CALLER: A couple months ago you had this great caller who called in — I think his name was Jim, I forget — and he said, ?You know, there’s coupons in the magazines, you know, for money off at Home Depot or money off at your pizza,? and you were really mad at him. You said it wasn’t fair, and I have to say I think he was right. Where are the coupons for us to get, you know, a free gallon of gas somewhere?
RUSH: It’s not necessary! The market is what it is, and it isn’t necessary for them to do this. There’s Pizza Hut, there’s Papa John’s, there’s Freddie’s, there’s Original Ray’s, there’s the Original Original Ray’s, there’s Ray’s the Original, and of course they’re all located within a quarter mile of each other in a lot of locations. Big Oil doesn’t have to do that. I remember when that came up, and even though they don’t do coupons, I had oil company people, people that work for oil companies, telling me, “We do consider the guy across the street a competitor, and we do have little things that we play with the price, retail-wise, in order to attract customers.” He said, “You just don’t know it because most people pull in, you have a regular gas station, or if they?re traveling, pull into the first one they see, but when the price starts getting so high they start shopping price then.”
My point about they’re not earning money on our backs is strictly one of terminology. The oil companies do not get enough credit for their contribution to the growth opportunity in our society and the country. Whether you like it or not, oil is the fuel of the engine of freedom and democracy. It may be the sun someday, the sun puts more energy on this planet every day than we burn in oil in a year or more, we just don’t know how to harness it yet. The day may come. But in the meantime, they’re out there finding this gunk, they’re at the bottom of the oceans, they’re in the North Sea, they’re doing things, they’re investing all kinds of money. If they weren’t doing it, obviously somebody else would pick up the slack, but I just find it interesting that — I was telling the guy from Miami earlier — Big Oil has become one of the official enemies of the United States consumer given to us by liberals.
Their enemies are Big Pharmaceutical, Wal-Mart, Big Oil, any number of things. It’s striking when you look at their enemies list it’s the things that cause this country to grow, it’s the companies that provide jobs for people, it’s a frightening thing. But you look at pulling into the gas station as hardly any different than turning on the tap for water at home other than the price but you expect it to be there, they make sure it is. They fulfill a worldwide demand that is — you stop to think of what it is. There has to be profit motives to plow it back to R&D and they take losses all the time with the fluctuation of the oil price, plus the costs of drilling in new places. Look at the penalties they’ve got operating in this country.
You know, one of the reasons that Big Oil is such an enemy here is because they’ve been told, ?can’t drill here, can’t drill there, can’t drill over there, can’t drill there, can’t pollute here. If you’re going to put a refinery there, you’ve gotta put up a bunch of wildlife refuges where the deer can run around right next to your refinery and not die.? I’ll never forget Texaco when I was a kid, running television commercials during golf tournaments of all the great work they were doing building wildlife refuges. I’m 15 or 16 years old. ?What does this got to do with drilling oil?? I was not sophisticated enough to know then that the libs were already blaming them for environmental destruction. So I got Texaco commercials of little Bambi walking around right next to a refinery or an oil tank or what have you. They’ve had to bend over and grab the ankles to the US environmentals and any number of people for a number of years. In the process, they’ve been told, ?Despite how clean you are and despite how safe to the environment you are–,? you know that oil is organic, folks?
You people who believe in organic chicken, oil is organic! You know that gasoline is organic? Oh, can you imagine the libs flaming out over hearing this? It’s not sacrilegious, it’s true. You think oil is not organic to the earth? Sure as hell is, and gasoline is derived from it. It’s refined. It’s organic. It’s produced by the erf. Was created by God. Even if your god is the earth you gotta understand your god is making oil. So they’ve been told they can’t drill here, can’t build refineries here, so where do they go? They have to go around the world where other countries let them do it and it costs money.
If I were Big Oil what I would do is demand a hearing with the United States Senate standing in front of me and I would put them on trial essentially for making it tough for me to do business, ?Why are you standing in my way of doing business?? Rather than these guys getting traipsed up there and being forced to defend what they do. You try living without oil, you go out and buy all the Priuses you want and you get all the windmills you want on Walter Cronkite’s property on Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard or wherever he lives, and then you try to keep the engine of this democracy fueled, and you won’t be able to do it, and then if your guy, former CEO, and now the new guy, Rex, whatever, let’s say they call it quits, let’s say they get fed up with it, just hypothetically, Big Oil CEOs worldwide say, ?Screw you, world, we’re done.? How many of you are going to know what to do to go pick up the slack to start drilling, start bringing it up, start refining it, start shipping it under all of the regulations that they have to live under and do business under?
You want to know why your gasoline is so expensive, look at federal taxes, look at state taxes, look at environmental regulations on the number of different blends these people have to make in order to keep people in LA sober. It’s not working on Britney. But you get the drift here. You’re mad at the wrong people here for the price of oil, the price of gasoline. It’s just typical the way the left has been building this bogeyman, like I said, since I was 15 and watching Bambi next to the refinery in a Texaco commercial. What is Texaco selling gasoline have to do with a commercial about how safe the wildlife area they built next to their refinery is? They have to do that because the American people even at that time are being told that oil spills are destroying the planet, oil pollutes, blah, blah. It’s organic, gasoline is organic. Fry your chicken in its derivatives.
RUSH: I don’t need to harp on the last caller here, but you pushed a couple of buttons out there. ?Where are the discount coupons for gasoline? We got discount coupons on pizza.? I have never used a discount coupon. It’s too much of a hassle, and I’m not going to sit there and hold people up at a checkout line going through the discount coupon business. I don’t do mail-in rebates. In fact, I won’t buy anything that offers a rebate. It’s too big a hassle. (interruption) What do you mean, do I have to admit it? I’m not admitting anything. I’m just being honest. My point is this. When was the last time you got a discount coupon from the government to pay your taxes?
You people have this backward. Not all of you, of course, but those of you out there that have got it in your head that Big Oil and Exxon are the enemy, you have this backwards. Look at the government. The government taxes your right to live in your own home. It’s called property taxes. The government taxes the income you work hard to earn to provide for your family or for yourself, if you are not married and don’t have any dependents, which leaves more for you. There isn’t a thing that you do today that is not taxed by your government. The government taxes everything you purchase with the exception of some foodstuffs and clothes at election time. And you’re sitting there upset at Exxon.
In fact, half the price of a gallon of gasoline, or close to it, is taxes! And you’re mad at Exxon. I know not all of you are. But you who are know who I’m talking about, you’re just being foolish and you’re being silly. Government taxes Exxon, the government taxes Exxon and BM Mobil or BP whoever they are. They’re all Big Oil. The government taxes them at every stage of their business, too. And, by the way, Big Oil has to buy fuel from itself to do its operation and to ship their fuel in raw form, oil, from wherever they drill it to the various refineries in this country and around the world, and they pay taxes at every step of the way. And you’re mad at Exxon.