RUSH: Look at this. In addition to the Dow Jones Industrial Average racing past 13,000 yesterday, ‘The number of laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by the sharpest amount in nearly two months, indicating the labor market remains healthy despite the sluggish economy,’ and then there’s this: ‘One-day individual tax haul at record high in America. U.S. tax receipts from individuals hit a record one-day high of $48.7 billion on April 24, a Treasury Department official said on Wednesday. The previous record was $36.4 billion, set on April 25, 2006.’ Neither of these years, by the way, occurred during the Clinton presidency. For those of you in Rio Linda, 2006, 2005, were just this year and last year. ‘The record reflects taxes not withheld.’ Those of you who have pay stubs, all those FICA deductions? They’re not talking about you because yours are collected during the course of the year. But people like me who file quarterly estimates — a-hem — because we happen to be self-employed, sole proprietors, entrepreneurs, you name it, it is those payments. Our first quarter 2007 estimate was due on April 17th. So you gotta be postmarked by April 17th or you have a fine and a penalty and they come after you. So people postmark their first quarter estimated payments on the 17th. Some of this might also be what was owed on April 15th of 2006, and it’s that money that equals the $48.7 billion.
Now, listen to how chief economist at Wrightson ICAP in Jersey City, New Jersey, characterizes it. His name is Lou Crandall. He said, ‘Well, this reflects the fact that Americans in high income brackets had a very good year in 2006.’ So they don’t want to talk about the economy. Everybody is not in a ‘high income bracket’ that is paying quarterly estimates. There are all kinds of sole proprietorships, small businesses, that don’t file on a 1040. It’s not just the wealthy doing this. What it means is the economy is going through the roof. What it means is that there are a lot of people working. What it means is we’ve cut tax rates, and there’s a lot of dividend and profit taxes here from people’s investment portfolios. That’s because we’ve lowered the capital gains rate, for crying out loud! People are more willing to report profits when it’s 15% than when it’s 35 or 40. Duh! So it has to be characterized, ‘Well, people at the top, yeah, man, they’re really doing well.’ I don’t deny some are in that category that contributed this money, but it’s not just wealthy taxpayers. At any rate, so we’ve got unemployment claims down. We got the Dow Jones Industrial Average that raced past 13,000. We’ve got a record one-day tax receipt day in America. Listen to this montage. We have Katie Couric, somebody from CBS named Anthony Mason, Charlie Gibson at ABC, Betsy Stark at ABC, and Brian Williams all reporting on the Dow.
KATIE COURIC: Even as investors are making money in the market, Anthony Mason reports there are concerns tonight about the rest of the U.S. economy.
ANTHONY MASON: Wall Street and Main Street appear to be headed in different directions. While the stock market’s been racing ahead, the economy has been slowing down.
CHARLIE GIBSON: The Dow Jones stock index went over 13,000 for the first time ever, despite less-than-inspiring news on the economy overall. We’ve had four years of a straight bull market. Doesn’t just the timing of this suggest that there might be a correction?
BETSY STARK: By historical standards, Charlie, we’re actually overdue for a correction.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: For people watching this tonight, maybe some people who don’t have anything in the market, they hear it reported as ‘good news.’ How is it good news for them?
RUSH: I want to ask you a question. Brian, we love you here and you know we respect you, but you’re not that naïve. ‘How is it good news for them?’ So I’m just going to tell you, if Bill Clinton or John Kerry or Al Gore were in the White House, you wouldn’t hear a report like that and you wouldn’t see one. You would be trumpeting this, ‘All these records being set, and the taxes that the rich are paying would be held out as punitive,’ and the people who are being asked in this report, ‘Well, what’s in it for you?’ they would be told, ‘You ought to feel good because we’re soaking your enemy! We’re soaking the rich.’ They have no desire to talk about the economy when it’s good, particularly coming up in a presidential year with a Republican in the White House. They don’t want to do it.