You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,
Limbaugh responded to the President when he spoke to Byron York of the National Review.
To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective. Obama's plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR's New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing "eternal" power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle.
Now, what's interesting about Rush's analysis of the stimulus is how eerily similar it is to Dick Morris' analysis.
The most pernicious of his proposals will be the massive Make Work Pay refundable tax credit. Dressed up as a tax cut, it will be a national welfare program, guaranteeing a majority of American households an annual check to “refund” taxes they never paid. And it will eliminate the need for about 20% of American households to pay income taxes, lifting the proportion that need not do so to a majority of the voting population. Unlike the Bush stimulus checks, this new program will be a permanent entitlement, a part of our budget that can only go up and never down. Politically, it will transform a majority of Americans from taxpayers, anxious to hold down government spending, into tax eaters, eager to reap new benefits.
Both Morris and Limbaugh believe that Obama is using the so called tax cuts as a means of creating a Democratic majority. Both point out that these so called tax cuts, really tax credits, are in fact no more than a pernicious way of making sure that more than 50% of the population pays no federal income tax. By doing so, more than half the nation becomes dependent on the very larger government that President Obama is proposing. This would create the very electoral majority that both Limbaugh and Morris allude to.
Here is what Limbaugh sees as the strategy for going after him.
One more thing, Byron. Your publication and website have documented Obama's ties to the teachings of Saul Alinksy while he was community organizing in Chicago. Here is Rule 13 of Alinksy's Rules for Radicals:
"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
Now, it's important to also examine how ambitiously President Obama views the Presidency.
Eking out a bare Democratic majority isn't good enough," he writes in The Audacity of Hope. "What's needed is a broad majority of Americans--Democrats, Republicans, and independents of good will...." After the New Hampshire primary, he told his supporters "you can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness." A month later, after winning the Wisconsin primary, he explained what he called "my central premise," that "the only way we will bring about real change in America is if we can bring new people into the process, if we can attract young people, if we can attract independents, if we can stop fighting with Republicans and try to bring some over to our side. I want to form a working majority for change." That's easier said than done, of course, and likely would require several elections. Speaking to the AFL-CIO in 2003, he laid out the long march that would be necessary:
I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program.... [a] single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.
So, it would be foolish to believe that President Obama has goals that merely amount to governance. President Obama also believes in grander ideas like creating a sustained new Democratic majority much like the New Deal created a sustained Democratic legislative majority for about half a century.
If all of this is in fact the case, then Rush would be dead on. President Obama would like nothing more than to create a bi partisan stimulus bill. That would insulate him if in fact the bill fails. It would also signal to the country that government spending is a bi partisan goal. By putting the debate centered on the issue of bi partisanship, he also moves it away from the specifics of the bill.
In fact, he has tried since the beginning to bum rush this bill and turn it into law. This will insulate the bill from any serious examination by the public. Yet, his so called tax cuts speak for themselves. They are in fact not tax cuts. No marginal tax rate is cut. Rather, everyone gets a check back from the government and that check is the same whether you make $25,000 or $125,000. (it only goes up for married couples) As such, this tax rebate will in fact mean that an extra 20% of the population will wind up paying no federal income taxes. It will in fact mean that more than half the population will be the beneficiary of the entitlement government culture that is the hallmark of the Obama administration. It will mean that more than half the population will be natural Democratic voters.
If this is what President Obama meant to misdirect the public from, then he way overstepped. The last thing he should have done is got into a food fight with someone with as big a megaphone as Rush Limbaugh. Rush will now be preaching what he has asserted from his microphone three hours daily five days a week. Sure, Rush preaches to the converted, but Rush is also a media figure. By starting this, he has also created a media story. The media can't simply ignore Rush's thesis in covering this story. So, at some point, what Rush is hypothesizing will at least become a part of the media story.
This stimulus package continues to be less and less popular with each passing day. That's because no matter how skilled and charismatic you are, you can't dress up a pork filled spending spree to be anything but that. By throwing a shot at Rush Limbaugh, what President Obama has done is added a layer to this story that only political junkies would be interested in, and allowed that the mainstream might be exposed to this. If, in fact, the MSM is soon debating whether or not this stimulus bill is in fact a means by which President Obama is attempting to create a sustained electoral majority, then the bill is dead. With it will go his extraordinary approval ratings.