RUSH: Indianapolis. This is Michael. It’s nice to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: I just want to tell you, Rush, I’m an evil Wall Street person, although you’re one of my heroes.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: The reason I was calling is that I’m a little bit concerned about your portrayal of both the economy — ’cause I think you said earlier that it’s continuing to spiral down — and of the Federal Reserve. I think both of those things are wrong. Because, you know, just look at the economic numbers we got this morning. I mean, we had, you know, pending new home sales were supposed to be negative. They were up 10%, and most of the retailers were reporting their November retail sales at over 6% up, which is a huge number, and —
RUSH: I just want to tell you something, Michael: If George Bush were still in the White House, do you think either of these two numbers would be reported as they have been today as you saw them?
CALLER: Probably not.
CALLER: I agree with that but I think that, you know, one of the things you want to look at is, you know, at the stock market, which is up about — since the beginning of September it’s up about — 14 or 15%.
RUSH: That’s right because the Fed is enabling companies to buy stock.
CALLER: Right. The Fed’s increasing the money supply, and the other reason is because the Republicans won the House of Representatives. But I think — and my only concern is, I think — we’re getting ready to go into next year, which I think is gonna be a barnburner for the economy. So my concern is just that you, as a leader of the conservative movement —
CALLER: — if you sit there and continue to downgrade all this —
RUSH: I’m not gonna downgrade it if it’s real.
CALLER: It’s gonna be real. I can tell you that. I just look at all the numbers and, you know? And — and the other thing about Bernanke because I know he’s getting bashed from every, but I would just ask everybody to realize that he is the foremost expert on the Depression that we had in the 1930s. He’s doing everything exactly the opposite of what the Federal Reserve did then, and I’m sure he doesn’t have an easy job. I’m sure it’s very difficult, but it’s all… Because the Fed probably really caused the Depression. They triggered —
RUSH: Now, wait, wait, wait, just a second here. About the Depression. What I have heard from the learned people on the left, the problem with the Great Depression that was Roosevelt didn’t spend enough and didn’t do it fast enough. Is that what you’re saying Bernanke’s correcting? Because he is spending money.
CALLER: No what happened in the 1930s if you go back and look at it —
RUSH: I know what happened.
CALLER: The Federal Reserve —
RUSH: I’m just wondering what the conventional wisdom is, what the left says about what Roosevelt did not do right.
CALLER: It didn’t really have that much to do about Roosevelt. I mean, the Federal Reserve collapsed the money supply and raised interest rates — and then on top of that, Congress raised taxes. I mean, you know, it’s so stupid.
RUSH: Yeah. Bernanke’s an expert —
CALLER: The Federal Reserve was the cause of the Great Depression because of what they did. And Bernanke is doing exactly the opposite. I think he will go down as a great American hero —
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: — as you will, too, by the way.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, that is —
CALLER: So, um (garbled).
RUSH: That’s a matter of some debate, depending on what circles. But you have to say that Paul Krugman is an expert, too, because they’re identical. They’re singing from the same choir book.
CALLER: He’s clueless.
RUSH: Well, but he’s suggesting everything that Bernanke’s doing.
CALLER: Bernake —
RUSH: Bernanke is an expert on the Depression. He thought it was all about deflation, right?
RUSH: Yeah. Okay. So if Bernanke is an expert so is Paul Krugman. Do you want to identify him as great? Is Paul Krugman gonna go down as a great American sitting next to Ben Bernanke?
CALLER: No. He’s clueless.
RUSH: But they’re both deflation…
CALLER: No. I mean, he recommends so many (crosstalk).
RUSH: Yeah, but they’re both deflationphobes.
CALLER: In this case, because he is agreeing with Bernanke, I will say, ‘Okay, he’s right,’ but I just think that, you know, what they’re trying — what the Fed is trying — to do is they’re trying to do everything opposite, for the most part, of what happened in the thirties. And we have a saying in our business: ‘Don’t fight the Fed,’ because they’re gonna win (chuckles) because they control all the money.
RUSH: Well, and they can print it.
CALLER: And they can print it. Exactly. So I think… My only concern is… Because, you know, I want to see… I — I do think that Obama by focusing on health care and all this socialist stuff has hindered the recovery. But what I don’t want to see is — is that, okay, let’s say we have a strong economic recovery next year and then Obama’s gonna take credit for it.
RUSH: Well, you know that’s gonna happen.
CALLER: But I think, you know, what you can do is kind of like look behind the scenes and give all your callers, like, ‘Okay, this is really, it’s like the Fed that engineered this. It had nothing to do with what Obama is about.’
RUSH: Now, look, just so you know: If the economy rebounds to the point that you say it will, the people I’m gonna credit are the people of the country. I’m not gonna sit here and say, ‘One guy saved America. One guy saved the financial system.’ I could keep you on this phone for the remainder of this program — and I’m not gonna do it, obviously — because one thing we haven’t discussed is: Why is Bernanke having to do what he’s doing? You know, what led to this mess? This is an absolute disaster! There’s nothing real. When we’ve gotten to the point where the guy that’s gonna be the greatest American hero of all time is printing money to bring us out of a disaster, what in the name of Sam Hill (and there was a Sam Hill) are we talking about?
I mean, we’re in this mess because of (obviously) certain things, and that’s what people are still trying to get their arms around. What happened to cause all this? At what point did the confluence of ‘nothing is real’ finally surface? I don’t know one thing that the Fed is doing that is opposite from FDR. I can’t find one thing. The opposite of FDR would be lower taxes and cut federal spending. We’re doing none of that. We’re gonna raise taxes and we’re increasing federal spending, whether spending from the Fed or from Congress or what have you. The Fed’s doing… (sigh) I don’t know. I just don’t see it. We’re just doing more of FDR here, which is why Krugman likes it. But even for him it’s not enough.
All right, look. Michael, I’m glad you called. Thanks. Thanks very much. He’s a market guy and he wants the economy to come back. If the economy comes back, and if it’s legit, I’m gonna be the first guy saying so. But I’m not gonna fall for these stories. Look, okay, housing starts or whatever the stat was are up 10%. What are foreclosures? The record is this stuff and these things don’t happen in vacuums. I know we gotta start back somehow, and we have to start back somewhere, but I’m not prepared as an American to accept a new norm of 10% unemployment and to say anything below that is an improvement.
That’s not the country I’ve known. If we accept that then we’re gonna accept the notion that what ‘was’ was phony, unattainable again, and this is the new America. We have a president who believes in cutting this country down to size, and he’s succeeding. We have a president running around the world saying that we’re no longer going to lead the world in anything economic, and the last thing we need is to have that whole notion substantiated, agreed with, and acted upon. So, to me, the problem of Obama is not gonna go away with a rebounding economy. The truth of the matter will be, if it happens, that not even Obama can destroy the country — which I have total faith in, by the way, that he can’t.
RUSH: Now, of course a Wall Street guy — and no disparagement to Wall Street guys — but they’re doing pretty well. They’ve been brought back. The Fed — don’t forget this — the Fed arranged for a bunch of companies to buy equity and stocks in the stock market, brought ’em back. People at Wall Street are doing well. They’re getting their bonuses, they’ve been made whole. Their sector of the economy is doing well, so naturally they’ll think so. My theory is that when the economy has recovered, we’ll know it, we won’t need to be told. Just like we don’t need to be told that the economy’s gone south. We don’t need to be told that we’re in a recession. We don’t need to be told that things are bad. We know it. When the economy starts coming back, we’ll know it. It won’t be because somebody’s released some figures in the housing market or any other market. And this economy — and we’ve said this from the get-go — this economy is going to rebound, it is going to rebound despite Obama. And when it does, it is going to be a testament to the power of American capitalism when it does. It is going to be a testament to the resilience and creativity, entrepreneurship of the American citizen.
Not even Barack Obama can destroy the economic engine of this country. He’s doing his level best to try. He’s doing everything he can to knock it down, but he’s not going to be able to succeed in the long haul. Our argument is, why go through this in the first place? Why have to sit here and put up with a socialist who doesn’t like the country as it was founded? Why do we have to go through this whole mishmash of having him try to destroy it and have some success at it, and then have to rebuild it? People’s lives get harmed greatly in the process of all this happening, all because of some guy’s silly ideological beliefs to be given a test. All of this is so unnecessary. There was no reason to tamper with this country, with this economy, the greatest on earth, greatest ever. But it wasn’t viewed that way by Obama and his bunch. It was viewed at as manifestly unfair, racist, sexist, biased, prejudiced, what have you.
Adam, Port Charlotte, Florida. I’m glad you waited. You’re next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, it’s an honor talk with you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’m a first-time caller, a long-time listener. Forgive me if I’m a bit nervous. I just wanted to share my story out there. I’m a college student right now, and I’m working a part-time job at a restaurant right now. I lost my job as a plumber making decent money during the whole housing crisis and everything. And since then I’ve been trying to find a new job there. I’ve been finding odds-and-ends jobs with construction and I’m just really concerned about the economy right now. I really don’t know what’s gonna happen.
RUSH: Well, I do. But I can’t tell you specifically when. It’s gonna come back. The economy is gonna come back, and at some point you’re gonna have less trouble finding work then than you are now. So you can at least be confident about that. In the meantime, do not be embarrassed about whatever work you can find. You know, don’t penalize yourself or punish yourself by saying, ‘Well, look, I’m at college, I’m qualified to do X, and I gotta do this, gee, this is horrible,’ don’t let this make you feel badly about yourself because you can’t find a job you think you’re qualified for. Join the club.
CALLER: I am thankful for the job I do have.
RUSH: Okay, good.
CALLER: I’m thinking about when I graduate, what am I gonna do, you know? And to be honest I think the best thing that would happen would be to not only extend these Bush tax cuts, including for the richest, but to actually cut taxes even more.
RUSH: Yeah. Exactly right.
CALLER: I think 25% would be perfect.
RUSH: You know something you might do? I mean, if you really want to move up right now, you might check out whoever is maintaining foreclosed properties. I have suggested this to a number of people. I don’t know how many foreclosed houses there are out there, but they all have their yards that need to be mowed and they all have to be maintained. The banks or somebody owns them.
RUSH: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are paying a fortune to pay the upkeep on all these houses and they all have plumbing, and they all have plumbing that needs to be maintained. At some point these homes, these properties, whoever owns them is going to want to resell them, and the better shape they’re in, the easier the sale is gonna be. While I’m talking to you I’m trying to remember, I had a conversation recently with somebody about some young person they knew, and this person was telling me that, ‘Ah, this person has a master’s degree, and I don’t think –‘ and the person’s very young, and I said, ‘Any start out job, any job right now is fine.’ Nobody’s in a position right now to be that picky and choosey. There’s no job that’s demeaning, particularly in an economy like this one, particularly a first or second-time job. That’s what those kinda jobs are for, actually.