Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush today… On the occasion of the beginning of President Obama's second term…
I know some of you may have a distressingly partisan view of the festivities in Washington. You may not be on board with all the jubilation. So look at it this way: Today marks the midpoint of the Obama presidency. In other words, this is hump day. It's all downhill from here!
Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush today… On the futility of tax hikes on “the rich” as a means of solving our economic problems…
There are never going to be enough rich people, even if you raise taxes on all the 1%, to close the deficit. It's the spending. At some point, if you want big government and European-style spending, you're going to have to have European-style taxation. There's no discussion of this anywhere in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush today… On liberal denunciations of semi-automatic weapons…
The idea that somehow guys who decide to turn themselves into one-man RoboCops and that semi-automatic weapons are state-of-the-art technology that the Founding Fathers would not have approved of? Both the semi-automatic and automatic weapon are 19th Century technology. The sensibility in which people go now and shoot up schoolhouses is the 21st Century contribution.
[Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today] On the impossibility of making meaningful progress on paying off the national debt by “soaking the rich”…
If you took every single penny that Warren Buffett has, it'd pay for 4-1/2 days of the US government. This tax-the-rich won't work. The problem here is the government is way bigger than even the capacity of the rich to sustain it. The Buffett Rule would raise $3.2 billion a year, and take 514 years just to pay off Obama's 2011 budget deficit.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On the decision by the Romney and Obama presidential campaigns to suspend operations in the wake of the Colorado mass shooting…
These seem slightly strange reactions to me, I have to say. I gather the official position is that at a time of what both candidates called a tragedy -- it’s not, by the way, it’s not a tragedy -- it’s an outrage, it’s a criminal act, it’s a criminal act of mass murder and there wasn’t quite enough emphasis on that in either man’s statement from my point of view. It’s not a tragedy. A tragedy is like a tsunami or a hurricane or whatever. This isn’t a tragedy. Both men have suspended their campaigns, taking their ads off the air… The decision to not politicize the event in a sense becomes itself political.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On the profound systemic unreliability of the Congressional Accounting Office…
One of the things I would like to see proposed is that we abolish the Congressional Budget Office – in fact that we blow it up, and we salt the ground so that nothing grows there ever again. Because this particular accounting device – ten years, ten-year cost projections – is unique to the United States. They don’t do it even in crazy countries like Greece and Spain and Portugal and Ireland and Italy, the so-called PIGS of the European Union. Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain. They don’t have this ten-year phony-baloney accounting trick. I mean for starters, it’s ridiculous. Senators’ terms are six years, Congressmen’s terms are two years, Presidents’ terms are four years. The idea that anyone’s in a position to say what anything’s gonna cost in ten years is absurd, because one of the most basic principles in free societies [is] that a parliament can’t bind its successor… so to “cost” things on the basis of what’s gonna be happening in 2022… none of us knows what’s gonna be happening in 2022, which is why the entire CBO accounting trick should be blown up. That should be the “Line 1” of Paul Ryan’s plan: “I’m going to abolish the Congressional Budget Office and get the United States back to an honest accounting system.”
Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush today… On Democrats’ peculiar understanding of “wars on women”…
It is interesting… to see the things that Hillary Clinton, today, is talking about, what is it, International, whatever it is, International Women’s Day. She’s comparing protestors in Burma with students in Georgetown Law School. There’s a real war on women going on in the world today – so-called “virginity tests”, which are in fact a form of legalized rape in the new, post-“Arab Spring” Egypt, and oddly enough – oddly enough – Hillary Clinton doesn’t seem to have anything to say about that. And Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem don’t seem to have anything to say about that either. So there is a war on women, out there, but it’s not one that the feminists seem to be very interested in talking about.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On the sheer scale of the coming Obamacare disaster if it is not repealed…
Everybody – everybody – has to comply with Commissar Sebelius when it comes to the health care arrangements that you make… It’s one size fits all, from Maine to Hawaii, for everybody… Obamacare is one size fits all health care for 310 million people, from Maine to Hawaii. That’s why it’s going to be a bigger disaster than Canadian government health care, or [the] British National Health Service, of health care in Europe, because nobody has ever attempted government health care on this scale before. And as Commissar Sebelius makes clear, this administration is now going to impose one size fits all for everybody. Doesn’t matter if you receive federal dollars or the rest of it. If you’re an employer, this is what you do, this is what you’ve got to do. And that’s why this election is critical. Because if a stake is not driven through the heart of Obamacare, early next year, as soon as the next president takes office, this thing will never be killed. If it’s not killed in this next presidential term it will never be killed, and we will be stuck with this thing for good, and government health care fundamentally transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to junkie and pusher and eventually any competing institutions with a different view of things – whether it’s the Catholic Church or anybody else – just shrivels away, and you just have this one big government monolith determining everything.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On the utter irrelevance of the payroll tax controversy…
Economists say that to sustain a healthy housing market, this country needs to sell 700,000 new homes every year. It was 315,000 in 2011. Now, that 700,000 figure is not going to be reached under any conceivable circumstances because Fannie and Freddie and the subprime mortgage and all the rest of it so distorted the housing market that this country now has about twice as many large family homes as it’s gonna need for the foreseeable future. So the problem here is an immense structural one. And the idea that giving you an extra $20 a week for another eight weeks… if you earn $50,000 a year, you will benefit from this dramatic Christmas gift from the President, $20 a week for an extra eight weeks, so what’s that? Two, twenty by eight, that’s $160. One hundred and sixty dollars. And we are supposed to be grateful that President Obama was so serious about this $160 – he cared so much, about you getting your extra $20 a week – that he was willing to stay in Washington, and not fly out to Hawaii for his vacation until today.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today … On Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax proposal…
I’m wary about a national sales tax or a national value-added tax… once you give a new tax, introduce a new tax – they always say, with taxes, “Okay, we’ve got Tax A, and it’s 40%, so if we introduce Tax B, it’ll enable Tax A to come down to 20% and Tax B will be introduced at 5% and will never go higher.” And then the next thing you know, once they’ve got two taxes they can raise, oddly enough, both of them manage to go up… You can’t bind government, now and forever into the future, so Herman Cain can talk about his 9% VAT rate, but if he were to introduce that tax, you can bet it wouldn’t stay at 9% for long, and it would start to go up pretty quickly. But Herman Cain is right to attack the tax code in this country. Because it is disgusting. It’s absolutely disgraceful in a free society that people on relatively low salaries need professional help in order to complete their taxes.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On America’s woefully inadequate education system …
An educator was touring a mid-western middle school in the early 1990s and walked into the vestibule and was very struck by a banner of all these hands applauding, school-childrens’ hands applauding, under the motto “We Applaud Ourselves”. And she was struck at the sort of horrible narcissistic self-absorption of the American education system in the early 90s. We applaud ourselves. Well those middle-schoolers, what do you think they did? The middle-schoolers went to high school, and then they went to college to do Complacency Studies for five and a half years, and when they finished their Bachelor’s in Complacency Studies … the kids who grew up with the big banner saying “we applaud ourselves” went out and voted for a presidential candidate who told them “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”. There are consequences. There are consequences for the wasteful, the fiscally profligate, wasteful self-indulgence of the education system.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On the political correctness which is likely to mar many 9/11 commemorations this Sunday…
What those guys did, at 9:28 when the plane was hijacked, 9:58, half an hour later, half an hour later, Todd Beamer cried "Let’s roll!" and they fought back against those terrorists. We can’t put up a memorial to them in ten years either, the stupid ‘Crescent of Embrace' that’s supposed to be in that field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania still isn’t ready. There’s something wrong – there’s something wrong not just in the sclerosis of the American bureaucracy, but there’s something wrong in that we don’t even agree on what it is those guys did. You know Todd Beamer is an all-but-forgotten man. "Let’s roll!" – it was the only good news of the day. Every aspect of national government failed that day. All the big, expensive, money-no-object federal alphabet soup, CIA, FBI, FAA, INS, failed. Floppo. Did nothing. Useless. The only government that worked was lowest-level metropolitan municipal government, the fire department, firemen of New York, pounding into that building, pounding up with a hundred pounds of equipment on their backs, pounding up into that burning building. That was the only bit of government that worked. So naturally the only functioning bit of government is eliminated from Nanny Bloomberg’s commemoration. And the courage – the raw courage of Todd Beamer and his fellow passengers, who got on an ordinary commuter flight, and when they discovered that it wasn’t an ordinary commuter flight – they didn’t sit there following the stupid 1970s hijack procedures. They acted, as citizen volunteers in an ad-hoc militia, and provided the only good news of the day. And we’re going to commemorate that ten years on with a lot of weepy, huggy, feely, touchy, weepy, multi-culti mushy, wimpy pansified drivel for the most part about, quote, “tragic events," unquote. It’s not good. It doesn’t say a lot about us, and if that’s what it is like at your 9/11 commemoration, complain about it. Make sure that this commemoration is addressed honestly and understood for what it is.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On the rapidly swelling social security disability rolls in the United States and Great Britain…
A lot of these guys rioting, looting, torching, burning in London were officially categorized as disabled because in the late 90s, in order to so called “reduce the unemployment rate” the British government found it convenient to reclassify the long-term unemployed as “disabled”. They weren’t actually disabled. They could hold most jobs. Yes you might be disabled if you were asked to rappel into the presidential palace in Tripoli and depose Ghadafi – you might be a wee bit too disabled for that. But you are certainly not disabled enough to hold down the majority of jobs… and yet they essentially for political reasons, to give the appearance of lowering the unemployment rate, they classified a big chunk of the unemployed as disabled. By the way this is profoundly wicked, because what you’re doing is, the state is inviting somebody, is incentivizing a citizen to collude in a lie because somewhere, somewhere deep inside, you know – you’re sitting around at home all day, you’re “disabled”, you’re claiming your disabled benefits – but somewhere deep down inside you know you’re able to work, you know there are jobs you can do and so there’s something actually evil about the welfare state classifying someone as unable to work when they are in fact able to.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On the enormity of the U.S. debt problem.
I would love it, if there was no debt-ceiling deal, and on August the third, every little item of federal expenditure had to be justified, because this waste is sick, it’s sick and decadent. And you can’t go on like this. Nobody’s doing it on this scale. We look at the Greeks and we laugh at the Greeks. We look at the Portuguese and we laugh at the Portuguese. We look at the Spaniards, laugh at them. All these Mediterranean layabouts – HA HA HA HA. You look at the numbers. You look at the numbers of the Mediterranean layabouts. The T-word isn’t involved. Trillion isn’t involved… Trillion was a word that was of no use to anyone except astronomers, until a couple of years ago.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today… On economic signs of the times under the Obama Administration
Sales of ovens and stoves are at their lowest in twenty years. So if you want to stick your head in the oven and light the gas because you can’t stand the way the economy’s going, you won’t even be able to do it in a new oven… And while we’re giving out all these numbers, here’s my favorite number of the day. It’s an absolutely ingenious statistical comparison from Mark Tapscott in the Washington Examiner. According to Jim Messina, his campaign manager, through the second quarter of 2011, President Obama now has 552,000 contributors to his 2012 reelection campaign. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that during the same two quarters the US economy generated 260,000 jobs. In other words, Obama attracted twice as many campaign donors as his economic policies created new jobs.
Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush... On the reason the United States is in Libya...
What is at stake, for the United States, in this war? This war is like Kosovo, this is liberal war-mongering. War to the modern liberal progressive – you never go to war in your national interest, because it's vulgar, it's simply vulgar for nations to have a national interest. An advanced western nation should only go in for multi-lateral, compassionate humanitarian war-mongering, like we did in Kosovo. Nobody remembers who the good guys in Kosovo were – the answer by the way is Neither of the Above. Nobody remembers what the hell the point of it was, nobody remembers why we went in there, and oddly enough, the fact that there was no rationale for it, was the rationale.
Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush today... On the First of April...
It's April first, April Fool's Day – a day when the papers are full of lame, pathetic stories that purport to be true but are obviously just pathetically, limply amusing spoofs. Papers are full of 'em... Hilary Clinton calls Bashir Assad a reformer. True, or just an April Fool's story. In Libya, the United States and its allies are thinking of arming Al Qaeda. True? Or just an April Fool's story. According to the Wall Street Journal, twice as many Americans work in government as in manufacturing. True? Or just a pathetically obvious April Fool's spoof.
Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush today...On the issue of Obama's birthplace...
One reason... I never got excited about the birther business – I don't want this President discredited and kicked out on a technicality... I don't want this President to be convicted on technical grounds. I don't want this Presidency to end on the technicality of whether he was born in Hawaii or whether he was born in Mombasa or whether he was born on the planet Krypton. I want these ideas to die. The ideas on which he got elected. Because these ideas are killing your country. And in that sense Obama is not a foreigner. He's like millions and millions of the Americans he's lived among in Hyde Park, Chicago, at Harvard, at Columbia, at Occidental. These are the people who take these ideas about economic growth, the inequities of American foreign policy – they're all entirely normal. This is the swamp in which he's been marinated his entire life... what's embarrassing about it is not that it's utterly foreign to the United States but that it's so normal to a huge swath of American elite. All the views Obama holds are entirely normal to huge swaths of the American elites. Those ideas have to be discredited. It's not enough to end his presidency simply on some rinky-dink technicality like where the guy happened to be born.
On the political culture of the United States...
What we've created is a world where almost every key institution in society is in the hands of people who think like Barack Obama... everybody thinks that all you need to do to make stuff better is to have more government spending. All you need to do to make the planet a safer place is for America to retreat from the world, and then all the nice people will get on without America bombing them all the time. Every key lever, every key institution in society is now controlled by forces profoundly hostile to conservatism... don't be surprised when a country raised under those kind of institutions then elects somebody like Barack Obama in November of 2008. Why wouldn't they? When the air that you breathe is liberal. When the schoolhouses are liberal. When the sitcoms are liberal. When the pop songs are liberal. When the air that you breathe is liberal, it's asking an awful lot for people raised in that environment to then go and pull the lever for a small-government conservative every other November.
Mark Steyn is guest-hosting for Rush today.
On the vote in Congress against raising the debt ceiling, in which prominent liberals joined Republicans and voted no.
We're winning this argument. We've won it with the Republican party – there were no defections on this issue. Republicans understand that raising the debt ceiling unconditionally is a disaster... Now obviously Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz – they don't care about the debt ceiling one way or another... but they understand that for the moment it's politically problematic for them to be seen to be approving more out-of-control spending.