RUSH: Folks, the concept of opening the nation’s economy, you know, one of the things that’s missing right now, sad to say, it is really sad to say — and I think I may have been wrong about something. Well, maybe not exactly wrong. Just I might have had some misplaced emotion. You remember going all the way back to April and May and June, after I would miss a week for my cancer treatment, during that week I would see boarded-up businesses, abandoned cities, ghost towns of communities.
I remember coming to the Golden EIB Microphone every day saying, “Gosh. I feel so bad” for you people. In fact, this may have been in early April, late March, I was one of the early advocates, two weeks after we shut down, of opening the country back up. Because I saw the disaster. We can’t shut down this economy. We already shut it down long enough to destroy a three-year economic boom.
I said, “We’ve gotta open up. And I said the reason we gotta open up is because we’re destroying people’s lives. We’re destroying people’s dreams,” I said. We’re destroying their businesses. You drive by these boarded up places or shut down, closed places, and behind every door is somebody’s dream, somebody’s business. Somebody took out a loan, somebody’s life’s blood is shut down. And I automatically felt empathy and sympathy. I felt sorry for these people who were basically having their livelihoods taken away from ’em.
You know what I misjudged? I misjudged the amount of money we were giving people in COVID-19 relief legislation. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. We were paying people a significant amount of money not to work. And that’s the one thing that’s been missing in this entire shutdown even though we’ve reopened. The one thing that was missing was a national demand on the part of the American people to open it back up. That troubles me. And it troubled me when I realized it.
There isn’t, there hasn’t been a nationwide demand to reopen the country. Grassroots, I mean. And I have come to the conclusion that there will only be a grassroots push to reopen the country when people stop making more money staying at home than by going to work. I think the number I saw, two-thirds of the people receiving unemployment compensation under the COVID relief bills that are out there, two-thirds of them are making more, they’re getting more than they were earning at their jobs.
Well, if that’s true, why demand to go back to work? If you can make more by not working, by staying home and watching Netflix all day and all night, why go back to work? And it’s true. The national grassroots effort to reopen has been missing.
Well, this takes us to a very crucial moment in American legislative history, because the current COVID-19 funding bill is about to expire. I think this is it. This week is the last week, and the average check is 600 bucks. This is the last week. Next week, zilch, zero, nada if the COVID relief bill’s not extended. And there are two bills competing.
The Democrats, as I said, have a $3 trillion COVID-19 bill that they want to pass. This is in the House. Because they don’t want people going back to work. They want to convince people that they never have to work again. They want to convince people that socialism is easy. Just get up and cash your government check. And it’s more than many of you will ever earn in your lifetimes, and you don’t ever have to go to work, you don’t ever have to try to get a job, you don’t ever have to get fired. Just let us Democrats take care of you finally once and for all. That’s what they’re trying to accomplish here.
It’s not just give people enough money to keep them unemployed through November and to keep them from demanding the economy reopen. They’re trying to convince people that socialism is something that it isn’t. It’s endless money, no matter how much you need, the government will have it for you. Because at some point this is gonna all implode on itself.
At some point — I don’t know when — inflation is gonna happen and the dollar’s gonna be worth 60 cents compared to what it’s worth today. We’ve printed $6 trillion in COVID-19 relief legislation just in the past four months. There’s nothing backing it up. We just printed it. And neither party cares about it from a spending standpoint, from a responsibility standpoint. Both parties are looking at it purely from a political standpoint.
And the politics of it, “Give people something and they will love you. Give people something and they will vote for you.” So the race now is who can give people the most. And even at that, the Republicans are proposing a $1 trillion package. This is what they were meeting with the president about today in the Oval Orifice. The Republican package that they want to extend is a trillion dollars, and that’s being called cutthroat and minimal and — Good Lord, a trillion dollars, minimal? Our values are suffered such a blow.
At any rate, Republicans are literally trying to come up with a package that does not pay people enough that it offers people a disincentive to work. We need people going back to work, folks. The economy is not going to grow in substantive terms if it’s the result of government printing money that it doesn’t have and sending it to people.
Now, there will be some consumer spending, obviously, and that will cause some economic activity, but it isn’t going to result in any productivity. The money people are getting is not gonna be paid to them because they’ve done work and have earned it. It’s just a welfare transfer payment with nothing backing it up. As such, there isn’t going to be any genuine economic growth attached to it. There can’t be. The government’s having to print the money to get it. It’s not like it exists somewhere and we’re gonna go get it from somewhere and transfer it.
We don’t have it. Three trillion, one trillion, we don’t have it. But at one trillion, the amount of relief that people get will not be enough to enable them to sit around watching Netflix all day. They’ll have to go back to work. And we need people back to work. That’s the only way the economy is going to begin legitimate growth and returning to where it was.
The Republicans, including Trump, have been operating under the assumption that people want to go back to work. I did too. I did too. I thought after a month of this, people are gonna be clamoring to get back to work, back to their businesses, back to their dreams, back to what they borrowed money to start, back to their livelihoods. And, no, they were being, quote, unquote, paid enough not to.
So what the Republicans can do, politically, they’re gonna have to find a way to make it look like they don’t want to take money away from people. So maybe they agree to 80% or 75% or whatever it is, what the Democrats are proposing. Because the politics of this, sadly, is — Democrats have staked it out — we want to give you enough that you don’t have to worry about a job. The Republicans are not saying that. The Republicans are openly saying, “We want people to go the back to work. We need to incentivize people to go back to work.”
It used to be when America was America and we had our strong, unique American culture and value base, that would have been the winner. Send America back to work; Americans want to work; Americans want to achieve; Americans are not afraid of work. That, sadly, may not be as universal an American value as it once was.
But 600 bucks from the Feds on top of the state unemployment payment, which averages around 400 bucks. So most people are getting 50 grand a year on unemployment, not to work. So you can see what we’re up against.
RUSH: Here’s Kate in Carson City, Nevada. Hey, Kate, welcome back. How are you doing?
CALLER: I’m doing well, Rush, and let me tell you: Prayers, rosaries, novenas. The whole Catholic thing, you’re getting from Carson City.
RUSH: Thank you. I think it’s working. Thank you very much.
CALLER: I am so grateful. Thank you. You know, I’m calling because I know people that own small and mid-size businesses here and in Truckee and Lake Tahoe, and they can’t get people to come back to work. In fact, I asked one friend. I said, “When are you gonna open up your dine-in?” ’cause it was allowed to be open. She said, “I can’t get my servers to come back.
“They’re making more money on unemployment than they would make if they came back to work.” So the bottom line and my message to the Republicans is, “Don’t you dare. Don’t you dare keep that $600 going. If you do that, you’re going to completely kill mid-size and small businesses in this country, because, you’re right, people, unfortunately… Here in Nevada they’re making over a thousand dollars a week, 52 grand a year, to do nothing.
RUSH: Well, it’s human nature. Why would you do anything to upset that? If somebody’s gonna give you 50 grand, why would you stand up and say, “No, I don’t want it. I’m better than this. Don’t give it to me”? It’s not gonna happen.
CALLER: Now, actually, I do know people who have done that. They’ve actually gone back to work and taken pay cuts because they want to work. So there are those Americans out there.
RUSH: Thank goodness. Thank goodness. I understood there’s more of that than I realize.
CALLER: Yeah, they’re out there. I’m telling you, you incentivize this…
RUSH: But the Republicans think they’re losing this politically, that they’re gonna somehow have to be seen as wanting to give or continue this amount of give away or else they’re gonna lose it politically. They’re thinking that this is not the time to make a stand on this hill of the old work ethic value. Anyway, Kate, it’s always great to hear from you.