Rush Limbaugh must be happy. He has been in the news lately for having created a great deal of turmoil in the Republican Party. Apparently his “dittoheads” that is, the ciphers who listen to him are not enough. He hopes in vain that real people, people with homes and jobs and college degrees will listen to what he says.
So he made a speech to the conservative CPAC convention. Here are some direct quotes that are typical Limbaugh:
(About the stimulus) “They (the government) don’t have the right to take money that is not theirs from the back pockets of ‘producers’ and give it to someone like ACORN which are going to advance the Democrat party.” Well, first of all, I assume that he means the “Democratic” Party, although it is difficult to know what in the heck he is talking about most of the time.
Second, ACORN is a group that was founded to register voters, and still does. A lot of unregistered voters are poor, and often black or hispanic. ACORN registers in those areas and often employs unskilled labor. Normally they do a pretty good job but it has happened that someone has written down a name like “Darth Vader” or “Mickey Mouse.” Of course those names will be thrown out.
Limbaugh loves to make it sound as though it is all a grand conspiracy to register voters who are not there. On the contrary, the last thing that a voter registration group wants is to have their votes challenged. Having votes thrown out defeats the whole purpose of registering legitimate voters in order to win elections. To my knowledge, no one showed up stating that he was either Darth Vader or Mickey Mouse.
Limbaugh knows this, of course but everyone plays this little game that there is a peapod of value in his comment. He uses the term “producers” when he talks about someone’s pockets being supposedly picked by ACORN. He says ACORN is taking their money and the stimulus is taking their money. The fact is this: if a small businessman pays any taxes at all, he or she needs a new CPA. Which reminds me that, concerning the taxes on those making over $250,000 that Obama proposed, most small businessmen do not make over $250,000. That is an outright lie. If a small businessman does make over $250,000 and thereby might pay some increased taxes under Obama–and want to avoid them–here’s the answer. Get a new CPA. Small businesses have more tax breaks than Columbia has cocaine. Don’t pay taxes you do not need to pay!
Limbaugh doesn’t mention that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, his pals, robbed the “producers” of jobs blind for 8 years and then left them holding the bag for the costs of a Depression. He doesn’t talk about the “producers'” pockets being picked when ENRON bankrupted California with trumped-up peak demand and criminally high prices. (Yes. Some people did go to jail but not enough.)
He doesn’t talk about the fact that some other people’s pockets were picked when some other “producers” raised gasoline prices to over $4.00 a gallon. None of them went to jail. They made literally the highest amount of profit for large corporations in the history of the world. And he doesn’t mention that, in a time of money irresponsibly flowing everywhere during the Bush years, the people having the hardest time getting money were small businessmen. Despite the efforts of a totally unappreciated advocate for small business…yes…Senator John Kerry!
Here’s another Limbaugh comment at CPAC. “He (Obama) is seeking to expand the welfare state because he wants to control it. Do you think that Obama has any intention of paying for all this spending?”
“Expand the welfare state”?
Since when are we a welfare state at all? What is a welfare state anyway? In this country the unemployed get 26 weeks of unemployment benefits amounting to at most 25% of previous income and no health care. After that it is on to food stamps and perhaps some small payments that are apparently not enough to keep people from being homeless.
Europeans, I believe, do not consider themselves welfare states. But let’s just take a look at the difference between them and us. In Europe, all countries have long-term, multiple-year unemployment insurance, complete health care and education that goes on even if a person is unemployed. In Europe unemployment benefits in some countries run as high as 70% of income the first year, average over 50% and continue over 40% of income in the second, third and fourth years with health care and children’s education guaranteed.
If there is a description of a welfare state, that’s it. And frankly, it doesn’t sound that bad to me at this point in our history. The United States is not a welfare state…by a long shot. Unless you are Rush Limbaugh and your welfare comes from some of the wealthiest and most sinister people in this country.