Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Now, about this tax return business. I think, again, a little perspective might be helpful here. What is this tradition of candidates releasing their tax returns anyway? When did that start? What’s its purpose? Well, its purpose is to tell a lie. Its purpose is to show that candidates are no different than you and me. Its purpose is to show that candidates are honest, that candidates pay their taxes, that candidates this or that. But it’s all a show. It’s all buzz and PR and spin and so forth.

It’s also the kind of thing that only benefits long-serving politicians. I maintain to you that if you were in politics you are going to structure your finances in such a way that your tax return looks a certain way. I submit to you that if you are a lifetime or longtime member in politics, you’re gonna do everything in your life to pass muster if it’s exposed to the public, including your tax return, which in politics it is because the tradition is that candidates release them.

With all these politicians running for president, the Clintons, Obama, John Kerry who served in Vietnam, McCain, Biden, Dole, Bush, all these people, lifelong politicians structure their financial lives in such a way that when it’s presented on a tax return it doesn’t look curious, different, strange. In other words, they have people, advisers, accountants, whatever, who build their financial lives on the basis this is what you need to be able to release to get elected and not have it hurt you.

Well, Donald Trump has never structured his life that way. He has never structured his tax return, he’s never structured his income expense report, he’s never structured the way he manages his finances as though he was gonna be a candidate someday. In other words, he’s been real. With all of these politicians running for president what we find out is that their primary source of income is the salaries paid to them by taxpayers. We find that’s their primary source of income, which is $150,000 a year, $165,000 a year. That’s their prime income.

Romney, of course, is not part of this because he was independently wealthy before he became a candidate, but that’s my point. If you don’t have a tax return that looks like the standard, ordinary, everyday politician with an income based on your congressional or Senate or whatever salary, then there are immediate red flags that are immediately held against you. And I might add the Clintons — despite only being paid, whatever, 400 grand for president and zilch for first lady, $170,000 when she was in the Senate, whatever as secretary of state…

Despite earning literally meager amounts of money, they somehow have $300 million now. Now we know how, and nobody looks askance at that. Nobody thinks that odd. Nobody thinks there’s something corrupt. You have Trump with a loss of $916 million and people say, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Scandal, scandal.” Why is there no scandal with Hillary Clinton earning $22 million in two years doing 20-minute speeches primarily to banks, the transcripts for which she will not release? Why is that not the scandal?

Why is there no scandal associated with the entire Clinton Crime Family Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, all of these people from around the world who have “donated,” quote/unquote, to the Clinton Foundation? We know what’s going on! They’re making investments in Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state or as an eventual president. Why is there no scandal there? Well, there is. It’s just not looked into because they have a standard, ordinary, everyday tax return like every politician alive has.

And a politician’s tax return — which is the result of how a politician structures his life for it to be seen by the public in an unharmful way — is not the way a Donald Trump is going to have structured his tax return or his business life, because he never expects to release it publicly. He never expects to be a candidate, so he never expects to have to phony things up or have to try to make himself look like he’s just one of the crowd when he never has been.

I’m a little long here I’ve got take a break. But you get my drift here, folks.


RUSH: Hi. How are you? Welcome back. No, no. Let me cut to the chase. My point is that this whole business of politicians releasing their tax returns is a scam in and of itself, and it is designed to keep outsiders from running. It’s designed to keep nonpoliticians from running. I think having to reveal your tax returns is one of the primary reasons why people don’t run. And politicians have this gamed up. They know how to prepare their tax returns structure their lives that their only income appears to be their congressional salary.

There’s nothing super special on it, ’til they leave office, then all of a sudden you find out how much land they own and — or when they’re so incumbent entrenched, they can’t possibly be beaten, like Harry Reid. I really believe that this whole tax return business is part of the scam that the establishment has put together to keep outsiders and nonpoliticians from running. And, furthermore, it allows the media to demonize private sector candidates as “rich and evil people, and people that you can’t trust,” when their tax returns show anything outside the norm.

Anything! Doesn’t matter what it is. It could be that they’ve made a lot of money. It could be that they’ve had a lot of losses that equal write-offs. This is exactly what they did to Romney. Anybody that has a tax return like Romney that utilizes any law applicable and thus looks complicated compared to your average politician… Remember, that’s the measure, that’s the standard. The outsider’s tax return as measured against Congressman X, Congresswoman Y, is going to, by definition, look more complicated and different, particularly if that private sector person’s been successful.

It’s gonna look different in primarily one way. It’s gonna show much more income, and it’s going to show probably… Oh, I don’t know what the deductions are. But it is designed, in my humble opinion, to create the exact circumstance they’ve got now. The tax return of a private citizen, businessman in business for decades — a 21-year-old tax return — is now being used to disqualify or try to disqualify Trump on the basis that it doesn’t look like a politician’s tax return. With my hell’s bells, that’s exactly right! That happens to be the objective. Comparing any politician’s tax return to Trump’s is just gonna be a joke.

But when the media is the arbiter, there’s no way a guy like Trump or anybody on the outside can prevail and win, ’cause they’re gonna be dissed.


RUSH: I want to wrap up on this Trump stuff. I really, folks, think that this tax return business is a setup. Look, it’s easy to say now. But I’m gonna tell you: I have always thought this tax return thing was worthless, meaningless, a gimmick. It always ended up helping the Democrats, every time! Richard Nixon had his tax return leaked way, way, way back, and it was thought at the time that — and they got away with it.

They created the idea that Nixon was somehow scandal ridden, even though there was nothing illegal on his tax return. It was just leaked. But I have always suspected it; I’ve always been suspicious. The Democrats are always… They’re just always using this. They’re so eager for whoever the Republican candidate is to release his taxes, and one of the primary reasons why is it’s one of many techniques Democrats use to try to disqualify the Republicans on the basis that they’re rich or on the basis that they have more money than the average American.

The Democrats are the New Party of rich, by the way. But I’ve often thought tax returns don’t tell anybody anything. It’s not a window into anything. And therefore it’s obviously a gimmick, it’s a trick, and who’s ginned it up? The Washington establishment. I think the way it’s manifested itself now is that the tax returns of politicians are the result of calculating people to begin with. You have to be a calculating individual to be a politician.

From the moment you decide to get into it, you start calculating what you can and can’t say, what you can and can’t do, what you can and can’t be seen doing, what you can and can’t wear wherever you go, what you can and can’t involve yourself in. Everything is a calculation, including the picture of your finances. And, unfortunately, most people don’t pay any attention to the financial disclosure forms. They are so esoteric the average person couldn’t understand those like he can’t understand an average spreadsheet from a Wall Street firm.

And they’re designed to be that way! Financial disclosure forms are designed in such a way so as not to harm the politician involved. It’s part of being in the club. Tax return, ditto. Calculating people begin calculating every aspect of their lives from the moment they decide to get into politics, elective office or even appointed, and they calculate their financial lives so that they’ll look a certain way on a tax return.

Well, a private citizen doesn’t even think of calculating in the political way. A private citizen has other considerations in business, whatever. Everybody’s got specific reasons for doing what they do. But politics has its own set of specific reasons and behavioral patterns that you must engage in if you’re gonna be successful. So here comes an outsider knockin’ on the door, knocking it over, trying to get in to the insider club.

And one of the tools they’re using to keep him out is the old tried-and-true tax return trick. By definition, Trump, no matter what is on his tax return, it’s gonna look different than anybody in politics. And that difference is gonna be pointed to by people in politics, including the media, to discredit and disqualify the outsider — which is exactly what is happening now, which is exactly what happens every year with Republicans anyway.

Their tax returns are used to disqualify them somehow or another. And I’m just sick of it working. I’m sick of them getting away with everything they get away with. I’m sick of it, to the point of openly fuming about it. It’s an insult to my intelligence, number one. It’s doing great damage to the country, number two. And the bad guys are getting away with it! And that’s got to stop. For the sake of everything, the bad guys have got to stop getting away with it — and that’s, in part, what the Trump campaign represents to people.

The bad guys finally stop getting away with it, ceasing to get away with it.

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