RUSH: Doug in Atlanta, this is a cell call, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how are you doing?
RUSH: Fine, thank you very much.
CALLER: Luckiest man on I-85 dittos to you.
RUSH: Are you driving hands-free on this cell phone?
CALLER: Oh, no, my wife is driving.
RUSH: Your wife’s driving.
RUSH: Well, that’s not much safer.
CALLER: (laughing) Anyway, you know what you’ve been talking about today, when are we going to bring back the misery index and track it all the way back to Jimmy Carter’s administration and bring it all the way forward and show definitively how much better we are off under Republicans than —
RUSH: Remember what the misery index was. The misery index was high unemployment, so we’ve got that, but unemployment during those days was double-digit. It was high interest rates, too. Interest rates were like 18%.
CALLER: 21% when I got out of college.
RUSH: That’s right, 21%. And we’re not there yet. We’d have to recalculate what it is that equals misery. I had a question yesterday, Doug, from somebody who said when are Obama’s voters, is this what they thought they voted for, the government owning automobile companies and all this stuff. And I said I don’t know. The answer to that is crucial. By the same token, before we have a misery index that works you’re going to have to have people in misery. I know the foreclosure rate’s at an all-time high, but are they in misery? The media is not doing stories on the misery. See, this is key. If there’s misery but nobody reports on it, does it matter? If people are losing their jobs and losing their houses but going on unemployment, unemployment benefits are at an all-time high, but if nobody reports on the damage and the hardship here, does it exist, does it matter? Well, they’re miserable but optimistic. Fine, why are they optimistic? Because they think Obama is going to handle it. Well, hell, the Federal Reserve just said after all this stimulating, after all these fixes, it’s going to get worse. The economy has not bottomed out. It’s not going to turn around by the end of the year. They have downsized their predictions. That means it’s worse than they even think they’re telling us it’s going to be.
I must tell you, folks, I am 58 years old. As you know I have been a student of the news, a student and observer of life. Many times I have lived my life by observing the lives of others, so I am a student of this stuff. I remember the seventies ’cause I was among the miserable, it was bad, it was rotten and Jimmy Carter was not liked. He’s up there in the White House wearing his cardigan and telling everybody else to do the same thing and botching the rescue of our hostages in Iran, not a popular figure, not like Obama. And I’m telling you, not denying that it exists, I’m telling you when you watch the news, I don’t care, Fox, PMSNBC, you don’t see stories on the misery. Maybe now and then, but it’s not a focus as if it would be if there were a Republican. There were more stories on economic misery during the boom years of the Bush administration than there are news reports on the misery now. If this many people are losing their houses, there ought to be outrage out there, it ought to be economic collapse. When you lose your house, you lose your job, and all you have is your unemployment, sorry that’s still not enough for most people. But we’re not hearing reports about that.
What we’re hearing is Obama is loved, his popularity is sky-high. And we’re hearing that people have all this hope. But we keep asking, ‘How is that hope and change working out for you?’ So to get to a misery index, there’s going to have to be misery. I’ll tell you how important the media is in this. Remember how easy it is for them and has been and was for them to create the impression in people’s minds that the economy was in the tank even though people’s lives were solid economically, but they watched the news and they said, ‘Wow, I’m doing well but a lot of people are hurting out there, so the economy must be in bad shape.’ Consequently the people who are doing well right now and so far are not dramatically affected by this recession, don’t see stories on how bad it is and therefore don’t think it’s that bad. The statistics that are reported such as those today, the numbers, 600,000 more people lose their jobs. You don’t see ’em. What you see is Obama rescuing everything, supposedly. So the misery index will only work when there is perceived misery. And right now we’re still caught up in this hope and in this change.