Skip to comments.Rush: Great Economic News Defies Liberal Gloom, President Bush's Humble Reticence to Tout It
Posted on 11/22/2005 6:04:39 PM PST by wagglebee
RUSH: So Mr. Snerdley comes in today, folks, and he says, "This economy has to be humming." Well, there's no question that it's humming. His definition of a humming economy is he can't find an X-Box 360. He went out there and tried to find an X-Box 360, the new one. The base price is between three and four hundred dollars, and with other bundles thrown in there, it's between eight and nine hundred dollars. Some are listed now by a grand by resellers online because there's such a demand for these things. He can't find one. I said, "You want an X-Box 360?" He says, "No, I'm trying to buy one for a friend of mine's kid. It's Christmastime and so forth." This happened with the Sony PlayStation 2 some years ago. You couldn't get one of those either, but there's no question the economy is rolling. I had a bunch of stuff left over from yesterday's program. One of these stories, NewsMax from last week, one week ago today, in fact, on the 15th: "Former GE Chairman and business management guru Jack Welch has some advice for President George W. Bush: Start bragging about the economy." You know, the media is sitting out there trying to make this economy sound like it's all Katrina all the time all over the country. They're trying to make it sound like this is still soup line America. They're still talking about high gas prices. By the way, have you seen that gas prices in parts of the country are now under two bucks? The national average is now $2.20 or something like that. It's still $2.08 in New Jersey. New Jersey is a refinery, for that matter, so they've got their gasoline right there.
You go to Giants Stadium, all you got to do is back your car up to the nearest swamp; put a hose in it; siphon what's in the swamp into your car and drive off. They've got fuel all over that state so it's priced at two bucks and eight cents a gallon according to numerous people who admit to living there who have told me this in e-mails today. The gasoline price is coming down. We've got this story: Hugo Chavez has offered discounted home heating oil from his CITGO stations here in the United States. We talked about this yesterday, but we now know who went down and negotiated this: a congressman from Massachusetts. The guy's name is Bill Delahunt. He went down there. He had a four-hour lunch or dinner with Hugo Chavez, asking for this deal. They put it together. Nobody else in the government knew that Delahunt was down there doing this. It's interesting that Delahunt did not go to the Kennedy family. Peter Schweizer's book indicates the Kennedy family owns all these oil wells and oil companies and they could have made the deal for his own constituents in Massachusetts, but Kennedy didn't do that. The president is supposed to do foreign policy, but obviously Bill Delahunt, according to this story, is fast becoming America's premier expert on Latin America -- and so he went down there and did this on his own.
Can you imagine? Delahunt goes down there basically asking Hugo Chavez, "Hey, can you cut us a deal for our constituents in Massachusetts?" What happened? I'll get to the story here in due course as the program unfolds before your very eyes. But anyway, the point is that the economy is rolling, and the press is trying to make it out to be anything other than that, and that's why Jack Welch is out there saying that Bush needs to start bragging about this economy because the media's also saying, "This is really crazy because there are reports of a strong economy in some parts of the country. It doesn't seem to be resounding to the president's approval numbers," and of course the age-old theory has been... Oh, Brian, turn on the Dittocam. I meant to have you turn on the Dittocam from the top of the program. I'm sorry, folks. The Dittocam is now on, should show up on your computer screens in mere moments. Generally when you've got a great economy, that trumps everything as far as presidential approval numbers are concerned, but I have to tell you something. As much as the media has been hammering this president, hammering the war, promoting Democrat causes and liberal causes, it's not surprising to me that the president's approval numbers are what they are. But do you know this? If you look at polling data, you will find this -- and I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but if you look at the polling numbers you will find that Bush's approval numbers are low.
You will find that Republican Congressional approval numbers are low, and then you will find that the Democrats' approval numbers, Congressional and Senate Democrats' approval numbers are lower than both the president's and the Republicans in Congress. Now, what do you make of that? I'll tell you what I make of it. It's what I've always said. For those of you worried about these approval numbers and these polls and so forth, don't sweat it because it doesn't mean the Democrats are picking up all this good cheer and goodwill now. They're just as despised and distrusted and hated as ever. Nobody's looking to them as the answer here. I think all these polls indicate is exactly what you would feel like if you did nothing but watch the news 24/7. You would think your country's finished. You would think it's over. You would think there's no reason to be an American anymore. You would think being an American's a dirty word. You would think being a United States citizen is absolutely criminal, practically. It's no wonder people think the country is headed in the wrong direction when the mainstream press and all their local outlets, these newspapers and TV stations around the country, focus on all of these negative things for the express purpose of getting Democrats reelected.
But the dirty little secret and the piece de resistance is that it's not redounding to the Democrats' benefit. They're not picking up any support for it. In fact, their poll numbers are lower than Bush's and they're lower than the Republicans. Everybody in Washington's approval numbers are down, and frankly there's a part of me that doesn't mind that at all. Really. The less love and adoration, trust and all that for these guys in Washington the better. The more suspicion and distrust of government in general, hubba hubba. I'm in there. We're making progress. A quick time-out, and then more good economic news. Your phone calls are coming up. See, here we go. Here we go. They're in a recession in Michigan. Yep, here we go. Okay. You want to talk negative? I'll talk to you. I'll take the call. We'll do that when we come back. There is a reason GM's in trouble. The layoffs and so forth, and -- well, but it's 30,000 people, "Merry Christmas," losing their jobs. I mean, that can have an attitudinal effect up there. Well, that's the thing. I have the solution for General Motors, and that is just lay off the retirees. If you'd just lay off the retirees, the company would be in much better shape. Quick time-out. We'll be back after this. (Laughter) I know I'm in for it now.
RUSH: More on this Jack Welch story. "Welch told Fox News Channel that President Bush has much to be proud of with regard to the economy, but he has to get out there and sell himself - and his accomplishments - to the American people to let them know about it. 'President Bush put a tax bill through that supported capital formation and risk taking,' Welch said. 'Weve created 2 million jobs a year after the 9/11 attacks. Thats a remarkable accomplishment. Bush has to get out there and talk about it.' Despite the recent natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, the U.S. economy continues to grow, and the stock market seems to weather every storm." In fact, last week the stock market was -- well, not at a record high but, I mean, it was at ten seven, the Dow Jones industrial average at 10,700 something. "Welch certainly noticed" all this. " Most business people have noticed. Investors noticed. But, according to the recent polls which show the presidents approval rating at its lowest level of his presidency the majority of Americans have not been persuaded of the 'good news economy.'" Now, you know why this is. This is very simple. This is one of the most remarkable phenomena that I recall experiencing as host of this wildly successful program and it is this: We could be in the middle of an economic boom; I get phone calls from people, "Yeah, I'm doing okay, Rush. I am just doing fabulous. But I'm worried about my neighbors."
"Why are you worried about your neighbors? Is the Meals on Wheels showing up at their house every day? What are you worried about?"
"Well, I just see the news on TV and the economy's not doing all that well. People are this and that. I'm just worried about my neighbor."
"Well, do you know that they're doing badly or are you just worried about them?"
"No, I'm doing okay," and then there's some guilt associated with it. So most people's perception of their own economic circumstances are fine but all this negative news makes them think everybody else out there is, you know, eating dirt. They refuse to feel good about it because they think they're going to feel guilty. In the process, Jack Welch said that Bush ought "to take a page from the playbook of former President Ronald Reagan to improve his communication and persuasion skills. 'Ronald Reagan was a master,' Welch said. 'He talked about his accomplishments over and over again - not in a bragging way, but in a disarming way. Reagan reminded everyone of what he did and made them feel good about it and about him.' Welch said Bush is sometimes too humble - he wont toot his own horn but its time for some Texas-sized bragging on the part of the White House. 'One in five kids born in the U.S. are going to start their own business,' Welch said. 'We are raising entrepreneurs. They want to start their own businesses and now there are tax laws that are in place to encourage them to do it.' If there are doubters about the success of the U.S. economy, Welch suggested they look overseas or simply at the TV news to measure that success. 'Go to France and see the riots in the streets,' Welch said. 'They have massive unemployment and rising percentages of non-citizens who cant find work. 'Our unemployment rate is less than 5% after the 9/11 attacks. Bush ought to be standing on a soapbox talking about that accomplishment.'" Bush doesn't talk about many of his accomplishments. He's just... Welch is right. He doesn't. He doesn't toot his own horn. All right. Let's go to Southgate, Michigan. This is Elizabeth. I'm glad you called. Nice to have you on the program.
CALLER: Oh, dittos to you. I listen to you constantly.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: And I'm a true Republican. The reason why I'm calling is, can we trade our governors? I'll give you Granholm and we'll take Jeb Bush. This economy in Michigan is a disaster. My husband recently got laid off from Roush Industries. They do for Ford Motor Company, and he doesn't make $30 an hour. He made $10.50 an hour.
CALLER: And I just want to know what is going on in the state. Why is the rest of the country doing so good and Michigan isn't?
RUSH: Well, now, it says up here that you said that everybody in Michigan's getting laid off. Is that true?
CALLER: Yeah. I mean, General Motors, Ford Motor Company --
CALLER: It's bad here.
RUSH: Everybody's getting laid off?
CALLER: Right. Well, practically. We're dealing with the auto companies. Yeah.
RUSH: Well, I've got some interesting stories about that today because you know the Japanese automakers that build their cars in this country are looking for workers, and it is expected that many of the laid-off General Motors workers might, in fact, find their way over to the US manufacturing plants of Toyota and Nissan, Lexus, that sort of thing. It's a Wall Street Journal story that compares the difference in structure between the Japanese auto companies in this country, the Japanese factories in this country, the Japanese factories and the GM factories, and the basic labor costs are the same but they've got more restrictive union problems at General Motors.
CALLER: Oh, I agree with you. I agree with you.
RUSH: Well, I'll get to that story here in just a second because it does say that, but I have to tell you something, Elizabeth. You know, in practically every instance, when we've had, say, a boom economy --
RUSH: -- there have been pockets and sectors of the country that have not participated. I remember -- I forget what year this is. It might be the late '80s, early '90s. When oil prices really came down, this country was just humming.
CALLER: Oh, it was.
RUSH: Except in Texas and Louisiana, the oil business there was taking it on the chin because they had to close and cap a bunch of wells forever because they couldn't bring the oil out of the ground at a profit because the barrel price was so low, and this is something that's consistent. When the economy is bad, there are pockets in this country that do extremely well. It's the same thing with interest rates. Interest rates go down and when interest rates are very low, boy, the home-buying industry is great. The loan industry is great. People can go out and borrow money with very little interest. But the people who are retired and live off the interest of their investments don't do so well because there's no interest growing them. So it's not ever universal. It's good or bad for everybody in the country, and this situation in Michigan is unfortunate and we feel for you up there.
CALLER: Oh, it's bad. My husband was thinking. He said, "You know what? We might have to move down south," because he just can't believe it. I mean, even his pa said he never saw it this bad.
RUSH: Well, you know something, that's one of the things that this country affords. That is, you can create your own job in this country. That's what Welch is talking about, entrepreneurism, but you can also move. I have found and I've mentioned this over and over again. I'm a keen observer of these kinds of things, as you people well know, and I have concluded that most of the limitations that individuals face economically are actually self-imposed -- and they are, in some cases, decisions that have to be made. Some people will not move. Kids are in school, whatever. Can't sell the house. Won't move. When you limit yourself to working in an area where jobs are scarce, good-paying jobs may not be on the rise for awhile, then you're obviously stuck in that situation. If you are willing to move and if you're willing to go to where the jobs are, if you're willing to go somewhere and create your own job, then, of course, all kinds of opportunity opens up. This is not to be critical. Just observant. There's all kinds of limitations that people place on themselves and I think one of the limitations ends up being that, "Well, you know, I'm an American. I ought to have more than this. I ought to not be getting laid off. This shouldn't be happening." Now, that ends up being a limitation, because you're making yourself out to be a victim when, in fact, everybody is victimized by something every day. We all are victims of the economy in one way or another, countless times in our lives. The point is not that we're victims, but is rather what do we do to deal with the obstacles placed in our way, and you just said it: move south. This is what a whole host of people from your region of the country are doing all the way from New York across Pennsylvania, up to Ohio and into Illinois and Wisconsin and Michigan. They are moving south for a whole host of reasons. Taxes are lower. Incomes are higher. Property is cheaper and so forth. It's an option that you do have.
Rush has been great this week. His pointing out why the dems need us to fail in Iraq has been brilliant!
The xbox 360 "shortage" has more to do with Microsoft's marketing strategy than anything else. Bad example.
Are Rush and Hannity on XM and/or Sirrius Satellite Radio??
My wife has been hinting at getting one or the other for Christmas, but I don't want her to pull the trigger if Rush and Hannity aren't available.
I agree with Rush's caller. Things in Michigan are worse than the national average. They're certainly not disastrous, but not good.
One of my students works at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter, which only had ten xboxs on hand for the dozens of customers who waited for the store to open.
A friend of my daughter's works in a Game shop. They ordered 40 and received 2. Planned shortage.
I don't know. I get them both locally. I can listen to Rush on the computer or download it later if I don't have time to listen. For what it's worth, I think Hannity has been sounding a little "shrill" lately and getting very defensive, while Rush is always upbeat and positive.
I too would like to know. It makes a difference as to whether I go satellite or not. No Rush, no satellite.
Inquiring minds want to know...
Hannity: no beef, just drive along filler.
If you wanna see what Michigans is gonna look like in a few. Just take a gander at California. Every liberal state in the union is floundering.
I am outta here..Arizona here I come!
Rush may be mistaken about the lack of Kennedy involvement:
Nov 22/05 - On a scheme to hoodwink America's poor: Hugo Chávez enlists a Kennedy for his anti-U.S. campaign
Cesar Chavez and Robert F. Kennedy
Different times, different Chavez and different Kennedy
PMBComment: It might be fair to say that without oil Hugo Chávez would have never been elected president. By 1998, bountiful oil had made the task of governing Venezuela seem like a simple i.e. requiring little talent routine of distributing relatively easy to exploit natural wealth. This flawed conception explains why the two main political parties, AD and Copei, brazenly fielded a former beauty queen and an untrained septuagenarian in the 1998 election. As a result, Chávezs victory, feasible in theory due to decreasing standards, was also effortless in practice, and a surprise only to the winner who had started the year with less than 3% in the polls.
We can also state today that sans oil and a desperately sought oil price run up - Hugo Chávez would have never lasted in power long enough to inflict the kind of permanent institutional damage that will almost certainly be his deplorable legacy.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise to find oil, and its main byproduct oil money, in every nook and cranny of Mr. Chávezs ploy to buy consciences and meddle in the internal affairs of other nations.
Just this week, we saw an on-hiss-knee Nestor Kirchner from Patagonia, Argentina pleading for more cash, and a member of the Kennedy family from Boston, Massachusetts trying to sugar coat - as energy charity - his long sought role of propaganda stooge for the Caracas government.
On the latter development, Sundays Boston Globe ran a front page story (read below in full) under the triumphant title Thousands in Massachusetts to get cheaper oil. The subheading states that [Congressman Willliam] Delahunt, Chávez help broker deal, and the story goes on to inform us that according to Citizens Energy Corp, the approximately $9 million deal will bring nine million gallons of oil to [45,000] families and three million gallons to institutions that serve the poor, such as homeless shelters.
Citizens Energy Corporation is the non-profit company set up in 1980 by Joseph P. Kennedy II, son of the late Robert F. Kennedy. According to the Globe, CEC is expected to sign this deal with CITGO, PDVSAs wholly owned U.S. affiliate, today.
At the risk of appearing cold hearted, I will provide some of the very relevant elements not covered by the Boston paper that might put this self-serving and shamelessly political initiative in the proper context.
First, this is not a novel idea. Citizens got going in 1980 as a result of Venezuelas decision to grant a term crude contract to 26-year-old Joe Kennedy who was then trying to prove that oil majors were somehow delivering rather expensive heating oil to residents in the northeastern United States. The idea was deemed worthy, and given the go ahead by Humberto Calderon Berti, Venezuelas Oil Minister at the time (Calderon was also instrumental in the signing of San Jose Accord through which Caribbean and Central American nations were able to access favorable funding terms for their oil purchase from Mexico and Venezuela). The difference in those cases was that Venezuelas government was not trying to rub its good deed - which in the Citizens case consisted in approving a small allocation of crude volume at officials prices in a very tight market were contracts were commanding premiums - in anyones face. As I remember, Calderons sole request was that some of the profit that might result from the not-for-profit scheme should be plowed back into energy conservation initiatives in Central American and the Caribbean. The first years of Citizen's cheap fuel program were stellar, and small scale conservation projects were funded in Costa Rica, Jamaica and even in Venezuela. After a few years, with the company making most of its money as a plain vanilla oil trader, Joe Kennedy capitalized his initial goodwill into a seat in the U.S. Congress (from were he retired in 1998 after six terms).
Second, it is important to remember that Venezuela, up to 1999, had always been THE MOST reliable source of imported energy for the U.S. During the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo it parted ways with its OPEC brethren and agreed to increase production to compensate for the shortages created by that retaliatory act. Since coming to office in 1999, Hugo Chávez chose to obliterate that record of reliability and pursue recklessly high prices instead of mutually convenient production increases. He scuttled PDVSAs 10-year plan which would have Venezuela producing close to 5.5 million today (versus barely 2.7 MM it produces today). Over the years, the aspiring autocrat has repeatedly threatened to cut oil shipments to the U.S. for all sorts of concocted reasons. Today, Venezuela is considered to be a highly unreliable source of imported energy and as a result the entire Western Hemisphere has lost certain degree of energy independence and security.
Third, the most noticeable consequence of this strategy of constraining production has been higher prices for consumers all over the world. It is estimated that the Chávez premium can be anywhere between $7-10 per barrel. Venezuela is the most hawkish and unrepentant - of price hawks within OPEC. Chávez frequently say that the fair price of oil should be closer to $100/barrel. His threats to suspend shipments to the U.S. are a welcome source of volatility - ergo profits - for speculators. So, while 45,000 families in the Boston area might be getting a three week reprieve thanks to Mr. Chávezs largesse, EVERY family in the U.S. is paying much more EVERYDAY for gasoline, diesel, heating oil, lubricants, electricity and so on, because of Hugo Chávez recklessness. U.S. consumers in turn are funding most of Chávez subversive schemes in the Hemisphere (keep in mind that the U.S. buys 70% of Venezuelas oil exports at full price, while Venezuelan consumers and many countries in Latin America get huge politically driven discounts).
Fourth, Citizens Energy owns no terminal, does not own a fleet of trucks and is not capable of qualifying low income families as eligible recipients of this cheap oil. The latter task is performed by Community Action Programs. In 1980, CITGO was not yet part of PDVSA, and an intermediary was appropriate (the CEC scheme was also a lot more complex involving cut rate third party refining and transportion). But given CITGOs significant presence in the Northeast, this assistance could have been arranged directly with the Commonwealth and through the CAPs. So what is Citizens and Joe Kennedys role in all this? What about Bill Delahunt? I do not know for sure. To me, they are allowing themselves to be used by an uncouth tormentor of Human Rights, who is hell-bent not only on making life difficult for the U.S. Administration, but is also on record (on multiple
occasions) rejecting everything the U.S. stands for. While trying to earn some political capital by doing good in their home turf cannot be considered a felony, doing so by becoming accessories to a self declared enemy of the U.S. falls well short of conscientious citizenship.
Fifth, Joe Kennedy feels that he has covered his back against the above charge by haplessly stating the following ''You start parsing which countries' politics we're going to feel comfortable with, and only buying oil from them, then there are going to be a lot of people not driving their cars and not staying warm this winter There are a lot of countries that have much worse records than Venezuela. At the end of the day it's not our business to go choosing other peoples' leaders, particularly when they are duly-elected democratic leaders." What he seems to forget is that no other government is trying to hoodwink the U.S. public into thinking that they are direct descendants of Robin Hood. The other, maybe equally undesirable, governments simply sell their oil to whoever is willing to pay for it, and at times, have been precluded from even doing that by Democrats in the White House. In a recent Op-Ed Senator John Kerry was much more on target when he actually criticized President Bush for allowing thugs like Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro to distort and propagandize the interest and actions of the U.S., isolating the U.S. from millions with whom we share a common heritage and innumerable interests. (Since this moral short circuit involves liberal democrats from Massachusetts, I will leave it to them, and Teddy Kennedy, to sort it out in the dining room table).
Sixth, by stating that he is only dealing with the duly-elected democratic leader of Venezuela, Joe Kennedy conveniently brushes aside the fact on September 11, 2001, all the democratic nations of the Hemisphere (including the U.S and Venezuela) signed a Democratic Charter that defines democracy in much more exacting terms than simply being the natural and hence acceptable outcome of democratic elections. While this might be a comprehensible oversight for a private sector executive, it is a huge failing for the scion of a family that prides itself on its rigorous approach to freedom, democracy and Human Rights around the world. I am convinced that a number of individuals who are risking all to highlight and reverse Venezuelas current state of affairs would qualify for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Somehow I am certain Hugo Chávez, fraudulent largesse and all, will never be an RFK laureate.
Seventh, over the last few years it has been maddening to observe Representative Delahunt acting as Hugo Chávez main cheerleader/apologist in the U.S. Congress. No matter how evident Mr. Chávezs anti-U.S. designs and rhetoric have become, Delahunt was there ready to explain, to dump dirt on the Venezuelan opposition and to take pot shots at the Bush Administration. Just last week, after a hearing on Democracy in Venezuela in the House of Representatives a number of congressional staffers wondered aloud as to Delahunts REAL motivation. Now we all have the answer, and it is clearly partisan, self serving and therefore debased.
And finally, in a recent conversation I had with Joe Kennedy on this same subject he screamed at me that his only interest was to help the poor folks in Boston. I googled all these good intentions and found a story in the Boston Herald that stated that entities related to his Citizens Energy Corp. paid him [Joe Kennedy] more than $400,000 in 2003, the last year for which records are available. Not bad for a non-profit executive willing to lend his name to a $9 million foreign disinformation campaign. PMB
Disclosure note: some of the facts in this note are well known to me because as a 22-year-old college student, I helped Joe Kennedy - at the request of his uncle Senator Kennedy, for whom I had worked in 1976 as an intern - present his case to Minister Calderon and to the folks at PDVSA, a company I never dreamed then I would work for, and much less become a Board Member of many years later. I consider Joe a friend, and I had a closer relationship with his late brother Michael, but I first and foremost consider Hugo Chávez a grave threat to my country - and beyond. I hope Joe will eventually understand this, but if he does not, there is nothing I can do.
Additional reference: letter written by Venezuelan Ambassador to Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, explaining the "humanitarian" objectives of this "cheap" oil-for-political-havoc scheme [http://home.ripway.com/2005-11/506475/BAtoPDomenici.pdf].
I went to the XM and Sirius websites.
Sirius has the better line up, but no Rush or Hannity.
Sirius also has 'chatty' DJs that talk during the song intros and endings, including marketing slogans that they repeat over and over ad nauseum...
Sure they will. "40 million Amurricans without healthcare!"
The stock market is due for a downward move of major proportions this year, and that will be a reflection of "George Bush's failed policies of shoveling money toward his rich oil-buddies while your pension and IRA funds go down the toilet." I know they don't make any sense but remember, the majority of Americans have total economic illiteracy.
I personally think it is quite probable that the Dow will hit 12000 in 2006, the P/E ratios are fairly low right now and can easily move another 1200 to 2000 points higher.
That depends on how big of a recession the Federal Reserve wants to cause.
I would be reticent to tout it too if it was based on a government bubble, an oil bubble, and a housing bubble.
I think with Greenspan gone, we will see a lot of positive changes. Greenspan NEVER tried to help Bush the way he did Clinton.
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