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Limbaugh Debate Analysis: Governor Perry Sticks to His Guns
September 8, 2011

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BEGIN TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: Now, to the debate.  Rick Perry was obviously the target last night, the target of both moderators: Brian Williams and John Harris of Politico.  Rick Perry was the target as the front-runner.  They were doing everything that they could to take him out, take him down.  I understand that.  I just don't understand why we continue to subject ourselves to these debates, knowing full well that the enemy is questioning us.  

I don't know why this continues to happen.  Actually I do know why it continues to happen, and it's frustrating. "Well, well, we need to show we're not like the Democrats. We're willing to take the arrows from whatever direction."  I understand taking tough questions. I understand all that.  I don't agree or understand this notion that we've got to do whatever we're doing to show the independents and to show the American people that we are not what is said of us, which is why we subject ourselves to this. "Well, we gotta prove we're not racists, we gotta prove we're not bigots, we gotta prove we're not all this," and, of course, the effort is always going to be made to prove otherwise by virtue of whoever is chosen to moderate these debates.  Now, Rick Perry as the target last night stumbled unnecessarily and disappointingly so at the end of the debate on climate change.  

Jon Huntsman is out there saying something that's totally untrue that 98% of all scientists agree that manmade global warming is real.  There's no such thing as 98% of all scientists agreeing.  So the answer for Rick Perry is simply to say, "No, 98% of all scientists don't agree with this," but he stumbled over that.  That was disappointing to me, but that was about it that was disappointing.  Through the balance of the debate I thought he hung tough on a lot of things. I thought he looked good and his composure was fine. Romney did well. Bachmann did well.  She continues to impress me, and I think she's being hurt by Palin's indecision, or lack of announcing what she was going to do. (interruption) Well, I know. This is a problem.  The Fox panel was actually not that much better than the MSNBC panel, but for different reason.  

The Fox panel was trying to get credit from people like those who were on the NBC panel.  It's very frustrating.  We continue to seek the approval of the people that hate our guts.  We continue to seek the approval of people trying to defeat us.  Now, Byron York has a piece out today about how Perry has maybe ruined his candidacy by sticking to his guns on Social Security.  Karl Rove is also talking about, "You guys, you can't talk about Social Security."  Now, I know that people like Byron York and Karl Rove. I understand what they're saying about you just don't talk about Social Security, third rail of politics and so forth.  Now, Rick Perry. Rick Perry was close to being right when he described Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.  It's actually worse than a Ponzi scheme because Ponzi schemes are voluntary, and Social Security is not.  

I'll have more on this when we come back.
BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: What did he say?  Rick Perry said what? (interruption)  Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm. Well, I don't know that... Snerdley is telling me that when he heard Rick Perry say what he said about Social Security, he said, "This guy listens to Rush."  Let me just talk about this for a second, folks.  How many years have all of us been acknowledging -- not discussing, acknowledging -- that Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are out of money?  How many years have millions of Americans been demanding that something be done about it?  A lot.  The answer to both questions is "a lot."  So Paul Ryan... Let's look at him first.  Paul Ryan proposes a budget.  He dared to discuss Medicare and Medicaid in really almost microscopic changes.

And he started out by assuring every current recipient: Nothing is going to change.  If you're on Medicare, you're on it.  It's not gonna be taken away from you.  And he was targeted by left and right, and he was targeted by people on the right who said, "You better not do this! We can't win elections if you start making senior citizens think that you think the program isn't any good or you don't like the program or you're gonna get rid of the program." The same thing happened to Rick Perry.  Now, Perry stuck to his guns last night.  Perry was the main target.  They were gonna prove, these two moderators last night, that Rick Perry could not stand up to them and their guy, Obama.  

So they made sure to attack him with a bogus jobs issue, the minimum wage jobs supposedly in Texas.  You heard in the montage accusing him of Texas being last in education and health care.  Sorry, that's Arkansas, where the Clintons are from.  We know that Texas is getting killed from the influx of illegal immigrants if you want to talk about wages, unemployment, education and so forth.  The problem for Perry on that is that he's spent so many years... (sigh) I don't know, pandering? He spent a lot of years not opposing illegal immigration as governor of Texas.  He has supported in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants.  

So it's difficult for him to answer these allegations on that issue, which is why -- go back, grab audio sound bite number three -- which is why I have been trying to warn everybody on the Republican side, do not get sidetracked by this stuff, because this stuff is not what this election is about.  Illegal immigration is a problem, and it is a factor in our economic malaise, but it is not why the Tea Party exists per se.  The Tea Party and the American people that are opposed to Obama are opposed because of what he specifically is doing policy-wise to their country, and these moderators know full well that Obama is who's vulnerable here.  So that debate last night had one focus: That every Republican that you were watching is a hater, is a killer, is a racist, is a bigot, is a what have you.  

That was the message that NBC wanted that audience to come away from that debate with last night.  Can you sleep at night, the 249, whatever it is, executions in the state of Texas? Perry hung in there, and he hung in there on this Social Security business.  Now, Byron York's piece today says Perry is in grave danger because of what he said about Social Security, and Karl Rove says the same thing.  Frankly, folks, to be quite honest with you, this reaction... We've had Paul Ryan, we've got Rick Perry. We have some people who are willing to tell the truth about issues that need to be addressed, and we know the Democrats are gonna take 'em out on it, are gonna try to.  But when our own side does it, this is what causes me grave concern about the future of the country.  

Look, the Social Security trustees say it is going broke.  It is going broke.  It is a Ponzi scheme.  When Social Security started, it took the taxes of 140 people to support the benefits for one recipient.  So that was spreading the burden around quite well.  But, folks, it has always been a Ponzi scheme.  Rick Perry is right about it.  The difference between this and the Madoff Ponzi scheme is you didn't have to invest with Madoff.  Social Security is mandatory.  We all have to pay into it.  It is a rotten, lousy investment.  Social Security was started by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the real name of the program ought to be "Democrat Security."  
The purpose of Social Security was to make sure that Democrats were in power in perpetuity.  It was to see to it that senior citizens credited Democrats for their retirement.  That was like the purpose of Social Security.  It is a Ponzi scheme.  But if you don't like that terminology, fine.  It's still unsustainable, and everybody knows it.  So when somebody has the guts to bring it up, we know the left is gonna try to take 'em out on it. But when our side does, as I say, it causes me grave concern about the future of the country.  A great hoax is being perpetrated on people as these politicians lie about a so-called trust fund. They lie about where the FICA money and your paycheck, the stub, the deduction, where that money goes.  

They're using that money to fund all kinds of other programs, it's why Social Security is broke, and when they're called on it, the person who calls them out is said to be toxic or whatever! Paul Ryan, as I say, dared to address Medicare and Medicaid in even a modest way and he was attacked, too.  Now, I think that this is a situation, we're at it again. You know, George W. Bush tried Social Security reform and used the word "privatize," and of course the important word in Social Security is "security," and it was demagogued and all this.  But we're at a point here where we've got real problems.  Our country cannot handle four more years.  

Our country, as we know it, can't survive four more years of this regime and these kinds of policies.  I want to applaud Perry for hanging in and sticking with it.  Now, he wrote the book "Fed Up" and he's got the description in the book of Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.  How can it not be a Ponzi scheme if we can take a payroll tax holiday from paying into it whenever we feel like it? Do you realize a payroll tax holiday is exactly that? They give us a year off from paying in to the Ponzi scheme.  That's something that they sometimes throw around even from Obama. The Democrats even throw it around as a way of getting the economy jump-started.  

Romney last night did pretty well. He did pretty well in the previous debate.  He dances around Romneycare and he's not gonna give that up, clearly. So he's sticking to that like Perry is sticking to his guns be on the way he refers to Social Security.  The point was made last night that whoever, anybody on that panel, is preferable to Barack Obama -- and whoever out of that panel is nominated is gonna be supported by everybody else, because the objective is Barack Obama and defeating him; and this debate last night was oriented entirely toward taking Obama out of the equation, making these guys look like they're something that they are not.  Here, grab audio sound bite three.  This again, ladies and gentlemen, is crucial for all of us going forward and staying focused.

RUSH ARCHIVE:  Anything that distracts our effort from the economy, jobs, higher taxes, federal regulations, is not a good thing. ...  We've just got 14 months here, folks.  Fourteen months to save this nation, 14 months to stop the assault on the private sector.  ... Over the next six, seven months or longer, you're gonna see ramped-up stores about gay marriage, social issues, illegal immigration, what have you, as a means of distracting the Republican presidential field from jobs, stimulus spending, higher taxes.  

RUSH: Anything where Obama is vulnerable -- anything: jobs, stimulus spending, higher taxes, economic destruction, hopelessness, whatever Obama is responsible for -- they are going to try to distract everybody from.  Now, I know that illegal immigration is a very important issue to a lot of you and is to me, too.  Right now it's going to be used as a distraction.  Capital punishment? Second Amendment? Give me a break! What does it have to do with anything going on in the country right now, as they hit Perry last night, "How do you sleep at night?"  

Gay marriage, ditto.  Now, overall, don't misunderstand. I felt better about last night's debate than I did the one out in California.  For some reason that one, if you remember, I was fit to be tied after that one.  The first debate felt great.  Conservatism on parade.  I thought conservatism was on parade last night was obvious and it was good, and aside from a couple of examples by a couple people, it was well articulated last night.  Properly so.  Responsibly so.  And there were some people last night on that panel with some guts that stuck to what they believe despite the barrage, and that's exactly the kind of people that we need.  
BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Folks, look, frankly, the best thing you could be doing with your time right now is listening to me anyway, so you know that we've got another two hours and ten minutes to go here. So be patient. It's all gonna get done. It's all gonna get done in the right way at the right time and you're gonna be imminently satisfied and pleased.  Snerdley wants to know, who do I think won. Well, let me review that. The first thing I want to say is it's hard to proclaim a winner last night.  Perry was the target.  Rick Perry was targeted. 

Look, okay, how did Perry bear up under the target?  Romney clearly came away unscathed last night.  Perry was not unscathed.  Perry had problems with the climate change thing.  It was very frustrating to me.  This is a hoax! You got this guy Huntsman out there spreading a bunch of garbage that 98% of all scientists agree that manmade global warming is taking place? It's a hoax! It's bogus.  And Perry knows it, and there was some reluctance to say so. I'm not expecting him to say it's a hoax, but there was clearly some reluctance here to say what he really thinks about it that answer, which came at the end of the debate. 

But before we get into that, look, Governor Walker in Wisconsin, look at him.  His decision to speak openly, factually about how state worker pension plans are bankrupting Wisconsin paved the way for others to do the same thing -- and he was a pioneer, and he took the arrows, but he prevailed.  I've explained to you how all the state workers and their pension plans and their lifetime health care benefits are nothing other than a money laundering operation for the Democrat Party.  Now, Governor Perry, you could say, is following Governor Walker's lead.  He may not think of himself as following Walker's lead, but he's walking the same path. 

Governor Perry wants the country to solve a problem that's bankrupting us all, and he wants to do it with facts and a considerable amount of political courage.  Social Security.  I think he should be encouraged and defended, not proclaimed a political fool by people on our side.  I happen to think the country's at a tipping point.  I also happen to think that the seasoned citizen population of this country fully understands that the Tea Party is made up largely of seasoned citizens; and it is seasoned citizens, because of the breadth of their life experiences, who understand better than young punks the irresponsibility of spending money that you don't have and assuming debt that you can't repay. 

They understand it.  They're worried about their kids and grandkids.  I don't think that the seasoned citizen population today is as pliable and malleable as it was 20 or 30 years ago to Democrat charges.  I think they see through all of this.  I think they full well understand, and I think they can deal with an honest discussion of the problems of Social Security.  Because we all know, and they do, too, that the country is at a tipping point -- and if we want the country to survive as you and I grew up in it and know it. It's time to do the right thing and tackle this stuff and when somebody's got the guts and courage to do it, don't take 'em out! We know the Democrats are gonna do that.  I guess I'm saying get rid of politics-as-usual for a minute.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: One thing I was gonna say previous hour: When Social Security started the way it worked was that, in practical terms, every recipient's benefits were spread out over 140 contributors.  In other words, the taxes of 140 people paid the benefits of one person.  So that's spreading the burden around pretty well.  Social Security never was, "You put in X and you get back X."  It was always somebody else's money you were getting.  Always.  Frankly, folks, I don't care.  We've probably got Republicans on Capitol Hill saying, "Oh, my God, Limbaugh's killing us on Social Security! Oh, my God, he's making it sound like we hate the program."  I don't hate the program.  It's not about hating the program.  It's about fixing it.  But it's never been the case. Not one Social Security recipient was getting his or her money back. 

It's always been somebody else's contribution that was paying you as a Social Security recipient.  Now, I'm sorry if this bursts your bubble. I'm sorry if you think that Social Security was a little bank account over there and it had your name on it and that when you turned 65 or whatever, that money came back.  That's not how it worked.  Now, here's the point: When it started, it took the taxes of 140 people to pay the benefits of one recipient.  So that's spreading the burden out.  You know what it is today?  Three.  It takes the taxes of three taxpayers to pay the benefits of one recipient.  So we've gone from spreading out the burden of payment from 140 taxpayers to three, and that number is getting smaller -- and that's why this is unsustainable.  So it has to be fixed, pure and simple. 

The Social Security trustees, Obama's own debt commission panel, whoever has looked at this, they've all said the same thing, and it's ditto for Medicare.  Medicare is probably in worse shape than Social Security is in.
BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Charlotte, Lancaster, California. Hi.  Welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  It's an honor to speak with you.

RUSH:  Thank you very much.

CALLER:  I want to get to it real quick because I have so many points and I'm gonna probably sound really silly, but you've covered so much this morning, I'm just so excited that you have covered these things with Social Security and all that and everything.  I think seniors, a lot of them -- of course your prior caller kind of helped me to understand that there are seniors out there actually that do understand the truth, and we need to keep getting the truth out there because there are so many seniors that are scared to death because they're believing the lies that are being told.  We have not heard the truth in so long that we are... We don't know it from the lie.

RUSH:  Let me tell you something, though, Charlotte.  And I've been tracking this.  When I started this radio show actually in Sacramento in 1984, I remember Alan Cranston -- who at the time was dating Morgan Fairchild or something.

CALLER: (giggles)

RUSH: It was before Viagra, so it must have been real, said that Republicans want to kick old people out of their homes by eliminating Social Security.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm.

RUSH: And back then, old people, senior citizens, believed it.  And for the years before that, they believed it.  That's all they had.  If all you've got is your Social Security check and a United States senator, who you don't know other than he's a senator and therefore he has respect, tells you that the Republicans want to take it away from you, you're not gonna roll the dice that he may be lying to you; you're going to believe him.  If that's all you've got.  Well, I've been tracking it.  Over the years, that has not been working.  In Florida it is not electing Democrats.  Florida's nickname is "God's waiting room."  That means there's a lot of senior citizens here, and the Democrats have been trying that technique in election after election, and Democrats are not getting elected here.

CALLER:  Well, I hope we keep getting that message out.  That's the point I want to make.

RUSH:  I think don't think it's working anymore.  

CALLER:  Well, I know.  I know.  But, you know what?  The truth will prevail and we need to get out... Concerning the debate last night, right now Perry is my choice, and there's a lot of people up there that would be excellent, but I don't think they can win against Obama.  I really think, you know -- and Palin, let me just put this out here real quickly.  Palin I -- I hope she doesn't get in I love her, but I hope she'll get behind whoever the nominee is and really help because she has tremendous power for that in that area.  We really need to win this... uh ... this election in 2012, or we're going to lose our country, and I hope people will take their eyes off of what the little marbles that the Democrats are throwing out there in front of everybody. We need to take our heads out of the sand because we need to remember what part of our body is exposed when our head's in the sand and we need to stand and take this country back, by getting someone in there.  Now, the people that are up there that are in Washington right now that make this statement, "It's the way it's always been done in Washington, DC," they need to get their pink slips.  We need to clean those people out of there, and we need to get people... We need to send reinforcements for the Tea Party that are in there in the House.  We sent them up there, and that's great. They're holding the line, but we need reinforcements to help them to change these things and they're getting beat up like crazy, and I pray that Republicans, the conservatives, the Tea Party, all of us together will stand behind those people.  We're going to lose our country.  You know, Obama, the reason he's not involved in a lot of things is because he has people behind the scenes doing things to our country that we have no idea of what's gonna happen until they become law.
RUSH:  Well, that's true.

CALLER:  And people better wake up to that or we're gonna lose our beautiful, wonderful country that has been fought for through all these years.  I'm concerned about that, Rush, and I pray that we, the American people, we have one more chance. We have one more chance to get our country back, and we better not blow this.

RUSH:  I agree with you, and I don't think we will.  I feel confident about it.  I'm gonna be upfront, open and honest and tell you: I feel confident about it.  I think if the election were today, that Obama would lose in a landslide.  I don't think there's any question about it.  Now, 14 months is a long time, and any number of things can and will happen unpredictably. So it would be foolish to predict election results today, 14 months out.  But if it were today, there's no way, and everybody at the White House, they know it. Their internal polls show it.  So I appreciate the call, Charlotte.  Thanks very much.  Folks, let me try this again. If Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme, how about this: How about the Social Security Administration refund us all the money that we've put into it and let those of us who want to fend for ourselves do so?

Like every dime I've put into Social Security, give it back, and I'm gonna assume total responsibility for it.  If I invest it and lose it, that's fine -- and if at the end of my life if it's gone, I'll live in the gutter.  But give me my money back.  And any and all of you who want to follow in this technique, just call the Social Security Administration and say (you'd have to pass a law for this, of course, but), "I'd like my money back. I'd rather take care of it myself. I don't want to be a burden to anybody else. I don't want to have anybody's taxes have to support me, so what have I've put in, I'm 60, just give me the money back."  They can't give us our money back 'cause it isn't there.  Do you realize that?  "Give us our money back. Those who want out, give us our money back with interest."

See, if I go to the bank, if I go to the bank, I can take out my money.  If I own stock, I can sell the stock. I can get my money.  Well, if Social Security has all these segregated funds and we all have our accounts with our money in it, then we all ought to be able to go get our money back -- those of us who want our money -- with interest.  We should all write Obama, send him a demand letter and insist on cashing out our contributions to Social Security, with interest, and insist that they cut each of us a check.  Do you think they would be able to do it? If that law were passed, do you think the money is there?  Do you think that there is an account with your name on it?  I know you get a letter from Social Security if your nearing retirement age or a current recipient, but I'm here to tell you that there is no account with your money in it.  So if it isn't a Ponzi scheme, what is it?  As I say, it's involuntary.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Illinois: This is Bob.  Welcome, sir, to the EIB Network.

CALLER:  Yeah.  Hi, Rush.  Thanks.  Longtime listener.  Can you hear me okay?

RUSH:  Yeah, I just... Wait a minute here, Bob.

CALLER:  Yeah?

RUSH:  I was just handed here a CNN story.  The headline here: "Are Jobs Obsolete?"  Who wrote this?  Douglas Rushkoff. I never heard of Douglas Rushkoff.  It's a column.  I'm gonna have to read this.  The point of this is the whole concept of jobs may be "obsolete" in America now, which is the most amazing attempt to excuse Obama I have net seen, but that's just at cursory glance.  Bob, I'm sorry. Go ahead.  What was the point you were going to make?

CALLER:  Hi.  I just recently got an e-mail that shows a Social Security office in Texas, and there wasn't a gray hair in the place.  There were hundreds of people in the room, and they're all young people, different ethnicies, all the ethnic groups and everything.  Here's the problem with Social Security.  It's no different than anybody's pension, if you looked at the private sector and you looked at government sector, everybody gets some kind of pension.  Well, we get Social Security.  Yet everybody gets put on Social Security, we have disabilities and everything else.  Now, I want to give you an example.  Let's say I was a school teacher for five years and then I got sick.  Well, I wouldn't be able to go to my teacher's pension and get a full pension 'cause I didn't pay into it all the way, but under Social Security, they get their pension or their payments through Social Security.  So what I'm saying is that there's a big inequity in the United States here if they're putting all people under disabilities and all kinds of other groups to collect under Social Security.  That's hurting the people that actually have paid into the policy; and then we have government agencies that are now saying that we have to wait 'til we're older to collect Social Security?  Well, how about these pensions that the government has? How come they're not having to wait to collect their pensions or how come they're not gonna take a hit?

RUSH:  You know, actually, folks, this is a good point here, little Bob from Illinois, is making.  You see a picture of the crowd at a Social Security office, and it's not a bunch of blue-haired gummers.  It's a bunch of young people in there try to collect on their parents or grandparents under the guise of Social Security disability or what have you.  That's right.  It is.  Social Security has become a welfare program for a bunch of bottom feeders.  I'm not talking about the seasoned citizen population here.  No, that's right. Go to any federal building, or even state office building, and take a look at who's in there and why.  They're all in there getting a check of some kind for some reason.  That's actually an excellent point.  The people drawing out Social Security funds are far more than just retired Americans.
BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know my story about Alan Cranston? This is important here on this Social Security business.  You go back to 1984, and you're talking about Social Security recipients, those are people whose experiences with presidents are FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, that sort of thing.  Now, I can't believe this.  I, El Rushbo, am 60.  So theoretically I am five years away from Social Security, right?  What age do you starting getting it?  I mean, if you play by the rules? It's 65?  Okay.

So I'm five years away from getting it.  I don't know.  My impression of FDR is he ain't God.  My point is that seasoned citizens today are more likely to have had their presidential experiences be with people like Nixon and Reagan and Bush and so forth, not FDR.  So the whole effort that the Democrats make of trying to tell senior citizens that the Republicans want to kick you out of your house and take your money away from you, they've been saying it for so many years, and it's never happened that I don't think audience is there for it anymore. I don't think it works, but it's a page from their playbook.

They don't give up and they're not going to give up.  But I just don't think it works.  I think if you look at it, isn't Tea Party membership noteworthy because of the number of seasoned citizens that are members?  So I think you can throw the book out on the whole class envy technique the Democrats have used in Social Security to scare all these old people into voting for Democrats.  I don't think it works, anymore. The evidence here is clear in Florida: It doesn't.  
END TRANSCRIPT
Read the Background Material...
Washington Examiner: The Reagan Library/MSNBC/Politico Debate
Media Research Center: NBC Debate Moderators Pepper Republicans with Questions from the Left
Hot Air: Karl Rove: Let's Face It, Perry's Views on Social Security Are "Toxic"
Washington Examiner: Perry Comes Out Strong, but Faces Grave Danger - Byron York
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