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RUSH: In his weekly press conference this morning, Speaker Boehner said there is no agreement on a budget number. This is all so fatuous. Do you realize we’re talking the difference of $70 billion and $40 billion for a week? I mean that’s the spread on this. This is so inconsequential. And Andy McCarthy, my old buddy at National Review Online, had an interesting post yesterday. Why have we gotten ourselves into a circumstance here where we’re debating time? We are in a debate with these guys over time. We need to get another continuing resolution for another ten days, another week. Well, why aren’t we talking about the money specifically? Why are we allowing them to make the rules and hold us hostage to some timeline? Which I think is an argument that has some merit. Boehner said there’s no agreement on a budget number. In fact, he said that they were closer to a deal last night than they are this morning, which makes me wonder about the internal polls.

I mean if Boehner’s gonna sit here and say they were closer to a deal last night than this morning, it means the Democrats are hardening their position, which means the Democrats could have internal polling data showing that the Republicans are gonna end up the majority that get the blame for the shutdown, if it happens. I’m getting bored with it. I’m getting bored with the whole thing. In fact, I’m not gonna mention any names here but a well-known broadcast engineer just approached me and asked me a question. “Is it true tax refund checks might not be mailed during the shutdown?” I said, “Yes, very true.” And I said it’s outrageous what also isn’t gonna happen is military pay. And I’m gonna tell you, Social Security checks are gonna go out.

Now, Obama has sent troops all over the world into battle, and they’re not gonna get paid, and I understand, speaking of Boehner, that Boehner has a separate bill that he’s brought forth that would do nothing but compensate uniformed military personnel around the world that are tied up in these conflicts and put the pressure on the Democrats to oppose that. We’ll see what manifests itself out of that. (interruption) Yeah, Harry Reid said it’s not acceptable. Well, that, again, tells me that the Democrats are being told by their pollsters that they are winning the shutdown PR game. If Harry Reid is gonna sit there and say, “This bill to pay the soldiers, why, not good enough.” Then they must have polling data to back up their tough stand. We’ll see, as time unfolds.

On this refund business. When I was 25 years old I was working for the Kansas City Royals, and I was a neophyte. I didn’t know diddly-squat. And there were a lot of coworkers, friends of mine who started bragging about their big refunds every year, how they were screwing the government. So I wondered what I was doing wrong. How come these guys are screwing the government and getting multiple thousand-dollar refunds? I’m making $12,000 a year and if I got a refund it was like $75 or some such thing, if at all. My father’s secretary did my taxes. I would send her every credit card receipt. I did what I thought you had to do, send in all these expense vouchers and so forth and she finally told me, “That doesn’t matter. You don’t earn enough money to have deductions. We’re just gonna take your W-2. We can do your return in five minutes. You don’t need to bother sending me all these credit card receipts and stuff.” I was further deflated.

It wasn’t until much later that I found out the only reason people were getting big refunds is because the government was screwing them. People were over-withholding. Some were doing it on purpose. Some it was accidental, but they over-withheld so that they would get the refund. They wanted a lump sum of thousands of dollars to go out and buy a refrigerator or to brag that they got a big refund or what have you. But it didn’t take me long once I started looking into this to figure out that if you get a big refund you’re getting screwed because the government’s keeping your money all that year. You’re not getting any interest on it. You’re not getting any use of it. You’re just allowing more to be withheld than what’s necessary. So my tax philosophy is to owe a little money every April 15th. Damn straight.

Now, I, like many Americans, file quarterly. I don’t have anything withheld. I am my own enterprise so I have to pay my own taxes. And if you do, you understand, you have a little bit more awareness and emotion attached to the whole tax code than if you have your income taxes withheld. But to have to write that check four times a year and to whatever state and city, if they have taxes, no longer the place applicable for me, but in New York it was a state, federal, and city when I lived in New York. So now I try to see to it that I owe a little bit every April 15th.

Harry Reid with a press conference, Durbin up there, the polling data has to show ’em on the winning side of this. The GOP has made the decision to shut down the government. And, of course, the willing accomplices in the press are on their side. Remember, the only reason we’re here is because these guys did not do a budget. They didn’t do a budget for this year in 2010. They purposely avoided doing a budget because it was an election year, and they did not want to further alienate voters any more than they already were by being crystal clear about what their spending plans were. GOP’s made the decision to shut down the government.

Boehner does not want to shut down the government. That’s the dirty little secret here. He’s petrified of shutting down the government. That also could be a factor in these guys’ full-court press here. Durbin and Reid now claiming that there’s definitely gonna be a shutdown, could be a ruse to panic Boehner, because Boehner basically went out and admitted that there wasn’t gonna be a shutdown. The Republicans weren’t gonna do it and still he’s demanding all these things. It’s kind of like showing up at the 7-Eleven saying you’re gonna rob the place, you call ’em up, “Okay, I’m coming in and I’m gonna rob you. I’ll be there in ten minutes.” You show up with an unloaded gun. It’s sort of the approach here to claiming we don’t want a shutdown, we don’t want a shutdown but we’re gonna really go to the mat here over this $30 billion spread in the differences that we have.


RUSH: This is Boehner. This is this morning in Washington. He held his weekly presser, and during the Q&A a reporter said, “Speaker Boehner, last night Harry Reid said he was optimistic that you’d reach a deal. Then this morning seemed to indicate that you moved further apart, that the discussions had deteriorated. Do you agree with that? What seems to have happened over the last 12 hours?”

BOEHNER: We made some progress last night. Or at least I thought we did. But, you know, when I see what the White House has to offer today, that’s really just more of the same. We’re gonna have real spending cuts, and I don’t know what some people don’t understand about this. There is no agreement on a number. In fact, I think we were closer to a number last night than we are this morning.

RUSH: Okay, both sides agree they were closer last night than they are on a number this morning. You and I both know that the numbers on both sides are a joke. I know you have to start somewhere. Folks, $40 billion, $70 billion, we’re talking about interest that accumulates has to be paid over a couple of days here. Now, when you start talking trillions, as Paul Ryan is talking, now you’re talking real dollars. And we’ve got ourselves hemmed in on a timeline. Gotta get this done by midnight tomorrow. Why? Why are we looking at a timeline? I really like this point. Why are we getting hemmed in and having all this pressure brought down on us by the timeline?

Why shouldn’t the focus be on the size? I know it is partially, but as long as we’re doing this — I know, everybody on our side is afraid of a government shutdown. I’m not in their business so it’s easy to look from afar here and say you’d do it differently if you were in their shoes. But I’m not governed by the fear. Fear kills. CNN, countdown clock, by the way, 35 hours and 15 minutes. Well, 12 minutes now. And they are reporting that the first furlough notices have gone out to congressional staffers so that they can prepare for a shutdown. My heart breaks. Let’s get the Stradivarius out and let’s start singing the tunes that bring on tears. How do they prepare for a snow day? Do they send out furlough notices for the three-day weekend? Which is essentially what this is gonna end up being.


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