RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, there is just no way to explain what has happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well, there is. It’s a combination of wife and the desire to not be criticized. But even those two explanations still do not quite satisfy me. Governor Schwarzenegger has a piece on Newsweek’s website. They are touting it as a Newsweek web exclusive. The title of Governor Schwarzenegger’s piece is, ‘How Investment in Infrastructure Will Boost the Economy.’ He begins this way. ‘America has failed to invest in its infrastructure for the last 50 years,’ which is not true! How many times did we invest in the levees of New Orleans? How many times did we spend more money than was necessary and how many times did the money not get spent on the levees? ‘America has failed to invest in its infrastructure for the past 50 years, and the bill is coming due.’ It’s just flat-out not true. Investing in infrastructure, by the way, includes building new projects, and I know for a fact we have built new bridges. There are a couple of them down here where I live, one of them was falling apart because whoever designed the first one, it had wood pilings and there was some kind of mite, some kind of stupid bug that was eating the wood. They had to build a temporary bridge, shut down the main bridge, and then build a new main bridge. That’s called investing in infrastructure. It happened in the past ten years.
‘The situation is reminiscent of the ancient Roman Empire, which grew strong because of its advanced aqueduct system, but which fell into decline when that feat of engineering tumbled into disrepair.’ That’s not what brought down Rome! I have been there numerous times. I love Rome. They could still use part of that aqueduct system if they wanted to. It’s there. You can see parts of it. It was an amazing engineering feat. We’re in danger of repeating Roman history, says Governor Schwarzenegger, ‘but it’s not too late to fix the problem if we take decisive action now.’ Now, this is coming from the governor of a state that is almost bankrupt itself, that is in so much debt it has no way of getting out of it. What Governor Schwarzenegger and the state assembly, the Democrats in California have in mind dwarfs what Bloomberg and Paterson have in mind for New York state and New York City. And there’s a little known twist in California law. You can raise taxes without a vote on it as long as you call them fees. In other words, there’s nothing the Republicans in the state assembly or the state senate can do to stop this new round of fee increases in California, which are going to harm businesses, cause layoffs. It always happens.
‘It’s not too late to fix the problem if we take decisive action now,’ writes Schwarzenegger, ‘That’s why Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and I formed Building America’s Future earlier this year. Long before any of us realized we were in a recession, the three of us — a Republican, Democrat and an Independent.’ Who’s the independent here? Bloomberg ran as a Republican, Arnold ran as a Republican, Fast Eddie ran and is a Democrat. Who the hell is an independent in this triumvirate? Has Bloomberg gone independent? Bloomberg is the independent. Okay. There may be a Republican, Governor Schwarzenegger, and there may be a Democrat in this triumvirate, there may be an independent, but I’ll tell you what, the bottom line and what’s important is that every damn one of you people is liberal! You can call yourself whatever you want, but you are liberal. So you have three liberals here, banding together and he said, ‘we understood that America needs a large-scale, immediate investment in our nation’s roads, schools, parks, hospitals, waterways, ports and more. We are extremely pleased to have heard President-elect Barack Obama pledge to do just that as part of his economic recovery plan. In fact, it’s exactly what I talked to President-elect Obama about when I joined the nation’s other governors in Philadelphia earlier this month.
‘Our infrastructure is more than just a quality-of-life issue. It is an economic issue. Americans waste billions of dollars while semi-trucks carry goods on gridlocked roads and lose millions of gallons of water in leaky old pipes. We lose time and dollars because our ports are not computerized–‘ talk to the unions about that! Talk to the longshoremen. They don’t like computerization out there. Anyway, ‘We live in the country that first landed a man on the moon, that is responsible for the mass-produced automobile and that created the Internet. So why do we sit bumper to bumper on the freeway for two or three hours in order to get home from work during rush hour? We’re a society where e-mail, handheld devices, videoconferencing and thousands of satellites in orbit keep us connected. So why do Americans stand in long security lines at the airport, in our socks, just to sit in the terminal for hours as our flights get delayed because of overcrowded airport runways?’ because of government, Governor! Because of bureaucracy, Governor! Because of harebrained ideas like yours, Governor! That’s why all of these things are happening, because of government, big, bloated, bureaucratic government.
He then says, ‘None of this makes sense in America. It doesn’t make sense that in the greatest country on Earth we still rely on trains that go the same speed as they did 100 years ago, so our shipping times and commutes are longer than other countries. It doesn’t make sense that we drive across unsafe bridges like the one that collapsed in Minnesota.’ Governor, that was an engineering failure. Maybe we should educate better engineers, or maybe we should clean up the process of building these things so that payoffs don’t keep inspectors out of the way. ‘We live behind inadequate levees.’ Not because they lacked the funding, Governor, but because corrupt Democrats stuck the money in the freezer! How many times have we funded the levees in New Orleans? We learned after Katrina what happens to the money when it goes to the various wards to have the levees rebuilt.
‘If we were to come up with an analogy, I’d compare our situation to running a company. Imagine trying to compete in today’s business world of BlackBerrys, e-mail alerts, videoconferences and PowerPoint when all you have is an IBM Selectric typewriter and a single telephone landline. You’re going to get beat. And when you think about America’s aging infrastructure, we’re going to get beat, too — by our competitors China, India, Europe and Brazil.’ Governor, the reason, if we get beat, the reason will be because we are teaching tolerance and conflict resolution and have chickified public education in the news media. The people in China, India, Europe, and Brazil are teaching math, science, English, and engineering. He says, ‘Travel overseas and you see faster commuter trains, better public transportation, double-decker freeways, and more efficient ports. Meanwhile, infrastructure spending as a share of gross domestic product in the United States has dropped 25 percent over the past 20 years. So, government spending is at an all-time high, while investment in our critical infrastructure is at a historic low. … By following California’s lead,’ I might add, straight into the financial crapper, ‘the new administration will be improving the quality of life for Americans,’ blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s Governor Schwarzenegger of California.
I now turn to a story from LewRockwell.com entitled: ”Government Spending Makes Recessions Worse’ — The National Bureau of Economic Research has officially confirmed what everyone already knew: The US economy has been in recession for many months. The question now is whether anything constructive can be done about it. Historically there have been two very different public policy responses to a serious economic slowdown. The first — laissez-faire — is to simply allow market prices to adjust to the new economic reality.’ This is painful, though. ‘The larger the initial credit bubble the larger and more painful the collapse. … An alternative policy approach, which is being tried this time, is to treat the recession with almost unprecedented doses of government intervention.’ Realize we have now spent, on these bailouts and so forth, more than the sum total of all wars that we have fought, and the Marshall Plan, and the trip to the moon. And this is supposed to get us out of the recession.
But will it? ‘A decent argument can be made that all of these public policy responses will only make things worse and prolong the slump. … Laissez-faire economic ideas (deregulation, tax cuts) are currently out of favor, but the fact remains that these policies of bailouts, deficit financing, and public works have never really worked. They didn’t work in the US in the 1930’s; they didn’t work in the 1990’s in Japan.’ They didn’t. FDR’s New Deal did not end the Depression. It lengthened it. The reason they don’t work is that ‘they prop up unsustainable investments in the private sector rather than clear the way for new entrepreneurship. And they don’t work because government central planning is hopelessly naïve (they even have trouble mailing out rebate checks). Sometimes in economics (as in medicine) doing ‘nothing’ (allowing the system to heal itself) works better than drugs with nasty side effects or bureaucratic attempts at reconstructive surgery.’ So Governor Schwarzenegger and all of his buddies and Obama want all this new infrastructure spending, these make-work projects, it will not lead to an economic rebound and the premise under which it’s all taking place is flawed to boot.
RUSH: Here’s Ray in Livermore, California. You’re on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: You are equal time, you are the Fairness Doctrine. Merry Christmas, sir.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate that.
CALLER: I thank you for bringing to the attention of the American people what this governor, who calls himself a Republican, is doing in the name of infrastructure. We have a Bay Bridge that they’ve been working on for years now whose cost overruns I think are quadrupled over the original estimates. We have a subway in LA which you’ve mentioned on this very show. It would have been cheaper to buy all the passengers who ride on this subway a Mercedes Benz than the cost of installing this joke of a project. We have the Big Dig that has turned out to be a boondoggle and a huge hole that money is just dropped into, never to be seen again. Double-decker freeways. We had one called the Cyprus Structure, which fell in an earthquake in 1989. Does this man not remember this stuff?
RUSH: He doesn’t care. When you say that we haven’t made any investments in this stuff in 50 years, then the rest of what you write is worthless. The Golden Gate Bridge is worked on daily. It must be, in order for it to not rust out. What are they doing to the Bay Bridge?
CALLER: They took down a perfectly good bridge. It had some problems during the earthquake, and they put up a bridge that is most certain to fail in the next earthquake because engineers, outside engineers have said the design is just a joke. It looks pretty, but it’s a joke and the cost overruns have quadrupled over what they estimated — and they’re also finding inadequate work and welding on the bridge that has to be taken apart and done over again. They’re union workers who are paid not even to show up for work. All this is is a payoff to their buddies in the unions. Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff is Gray Davis’ old chief of staff! The very man we ran out of office, and he puts her in charge to do his speaking. This man is not a Republican, Rush.
RUSH: I know. Let’s not forget also that Schwarzenegger’s wife is Maria Kennedy.
CALLER: And also, if you look into it —
RUSH: No, no, no, no. Now, you may think it’s Shriver, but she’s a Kennedy. Her mother was a Kennedy. She’s Maria Kennedy. It’s Caroline Kennedy; it’s Maria Kennedy. They’re all Kennedys now. I don’t care who they married. I don’t care what their main name is. They’re Kennedys.
CALLER: Well, maybe there’s a Senate seat waiting in the wings.
RUSH: You know, I had forgotten this business of the LA subway. You could give everybody out there Mercedes Benz cars and it would be cheaper than putting the subway in. Who in LA is going to ride a subway, underground subway? Who the hell is going to do that? Nobody is going to do it unless they are forced to do it, ladies and gentlemen.
RUSH: Jerry in Pittsburgh. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: How you doing, Rush? Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, back in 2005, the port authority of Allegheny County was facing a budget deficit that was going to result in an increase in fares, and Ed Rendell stepped in and used state and federal transportation moneys to bolster that budget so that fares wouldn’t be increased, and he admitted in a Pittsburgh Business Times article at that time that he was averse to doing this because it was like robbing Peter to pay Paul, but he felt he had to do it. And so there’s an example of where moneys could have been used for infrastructure, but instead he chose to bolster an agency whose budget is consistently under fire for being bloated.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But, see, the key here is he didn’t want fares to go up.
CALLER: Right, for his constituents.
RUSH: That’s right. He didn’t want fares to go up for his voters, plus he was also smart enough to know and also smart enough not to say, ’cause the Democrats would have kicked his butt, he was smart enough to know that raising fares would reduce ridership, and therefore reduce revenue. So, yeah, he sloughs it off on another bureaucracy and so forth. But he was smart enough to know that raising all these prices to the consumer is to access the precious infrastructure of Philadelphia would result in fewer people accessing the precious infrastructure of Philadelphia.
RUSH: They all know this stuff, folks. They all know this. They all know what their economic policies are (blowing a raspberry), but their economic policies are not policies put into place for the betterment of America or you or me. Their economic policies are designed to create dependency among as many people as possible resulting in power for people like Fast Eddie and so forth. By the way, thanks for the call out there, Jerry. Appreciate it.
‘Spending by California’s state government has increased 32 percent since Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office in 2003, and now the state is running out of money and is having difficulty borrowing it.’ This is from the Cybercast News Service today, by the way. ‘A group of state officials met yesterday to discuss freezing numerous state projects, and, even in the midst of a recession, the Democrat-controlled state legislature is now planning to increase the state’s sales and gas taxes and add a ‘surcharge’ to the state income tax.’ Two-and-a-half percent, it will make the state of California with the highest personal income tax rate, put it up to 13%. I’m going to have to check this. I think the gasoline tax they want to raise is something along the lines of 18 cents. (interruption) Okay, a total of 39 cents a gallon on the gasoline tax. Short, little story in the LA Times about this. Very, very, very short little story about this in the LA Times. So Schwarzenegger has increased state spending 32%. The top marginal income tax rate in California is now the highest in the nation. They call a lot of these things fees so they don’t have to be voted on. And he has the audacity to write an editorial demanding we follow him on infrastructure spending.