Limbaugh tells caller with personal economic troubles: "Well, you might want to consult history. ... It was much worse than this 26 years ago"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

Rush Limbaugh responded to a caller's account of her own economic troubles as a homeowner and small business owner and her assertion that she "need[s] people to start believing that America is going to turn that corner" by stating, "Well, you might want to consult history," adding: "It was much worse than this 26 years ago."

During the January 21 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh responded to a caller's account of her own economic troubles as a homeowner and small business owner and her assertion that she "need[s] people to start believing that America is going to turn that corner" by stating, "Well, you might want to consult history." He went on to add: "It was much worse than this 26 years ago, Ronald Reagan's second year."

The caller, a self-described "small business owner" named "Marie," asserted that she has a "house that's now valued at $200,000 worth less than what we bought it for" and that her "own business" is "hurting." She went on to state that she "didn't vote for [President] Obama" and does not support his policies. Nonetheless, she stated: "But God, I need the hope. I need people to open their wallets. I need them to start spending and believing that the economy is going to get better, or myself and hundreds of other people up and down my street are going to lose our houses, are going to lose our families and everything. And that's the thing that kills me -- the thing that I really need for people to believe in."

After asserting, "I should care more about the policy and all that stuff, but I need people to start believing that America is going to turn that corner, because we've got to get to the bottom of this and start moving up," she asked Limbaugh, "What do I do, Rush?"

Limbaugh responded:

LIMBAUGH: Well, you might want to consult history. I don't know how old you are, but I've got a story in the stack that I'll get to quickly. It was much worse than this 26 years ago, Ronald Reagan's second year. The 1970s were an absolute disaster: double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates. Nobody could borrow because they couldn't afford it. You couldn't -- and back then, you had to have 20 percent down to buy a house unless you went FHA, and even -- and that was very tough to qualify for back then. I mean, there's a reason that 20 percent down for a house -- it shows a commitment to the purchase.

Limbaugh also asserted that Obama "did not mention incentive" in his inaugural address and asked the caller, "What do you expect Obama to do to make your customers start spending money?"

Later in the show, Limbaugh referred back to "Marie," stating:

LIMBAUGH: Now, it strikes me as sad in a way because honest, folks, if I -- if I were hurting like Marie in Discovery Bay, and about to lose my business -- and by the way, I've been broke twice in my life. I've described the circumstances. I wouldn't be sitting around waiting for somebody to tell me what I should do, wouldn't be sitting around waiting for somebody in Washington to come up with a plan that's going to start getting people to spend money. And I -- it's just something that I cannot relate to. I would be doing everything I could to make money. If that meant a different line of work, so be it. But that may sound harsh to people in today's America, because we live in an age where a great economy with burgeoning opportunity is something the American people expect. And when it's not there on a cyclical basis, then a crisis ensues. And I think poor Marie has been subjected to how many years of media attempts to create a crisis mentality where the economy is concerned. For five years, at least, the media's been trying to convince every one of you that we're already in a recession, and now, they're trying to convince you we are in a depression, that it is worse than the Great Depression, and it isn't.

We haven't even gotten close to how bad it was in the 1970s. We haven't gotten close to the recession in 1982. Yet this willingness to -- I mean, she started her own business at some point, but now she's willing to put aside whatever she did at that time to start the business and sit around and hope that there will be some change come down the pike because of a change in occupants in the White House.

From the January 21 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

CALLER: Well, I wanted to just phone in because I adore you, but I have to hold you account for the little person out here. I am a small business owner -- one person, home-based. I have a house that's now valued at $200,000 worth less than what we bought it for it five years ago. And up and down my street are all home-based self-employed contractors. You name it: GCs, window guys, electricians. We all do our own business, and we're hurting.

And I didn't vote for Obama. I don't believe anything -- any of the socialist policies he's got going on. But God, I need the hope. I need people to open their wallets. I need them to start spending and believing that the economy is going to get better, or myself and hundreds of other people up and down my street are going to lose our houses, are going to lose our families and everything. And that's the thing that kills me -- the thing that I really need for people to believe in. I almost -- like I really --

LIMBAUGH: OK.

MARIE: I should care. I should care more about the policy and all that stuff, but I need people to start believing that America is going to turn that corner, because we've got to get to the bottom of this and start moving up. What do I do, Rush?

LIMBAUGH: Well, you might want to consult history. I don't know how old you are, but I've got a story in the stack that I'll get to quickly. It was much worse than this 26 years ago, Ronald Reagan's second year. The 1970s were an absolute disaster: double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates. Nobody could borrow because they couldn't afford it. You couldn't -- and back then, you had to have 20 percent down to buy a house unless you went FHA, and even -- and that was very tough to qualify for back then. I mean, there's a reason that 20 percent down for a house -- it shows a commitment to the purchase.

At any rate, the country came around with policies that got government out of the way, that lowered business and personal income taxes. It encouraged -- you know the one word that Obama did not mention yesterday in his speech? There were many words he didn't mention -- one word key: did not mention incentive.

CALLER: Oh, that's true.

LIMBAUGH: No incentive. What do you expect Obama to do to make your customers start spending money?

CALLER: You know, I don't know, but I know -- you know, when you're watching the -- and I have to admit I agree with you that the fawning and the -- you know, I was waiting for the great golden idol to be put up in the middle of the square. You know, forget --

LIMBAUGH: But you are -- look, I've got to run here, but you are willing to put up with that if you think some of this is going to come your way. And this, unfortunately, is the trick that they are playing. They're roping in otherwise responsible people like you with policies that have put you where you are in the first place.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: We just had a fascinating phone call, and I made a mistake in not asking the caller to hang on so I could continue to talk with her personally in this hour. Her name was Marie. She was calling from Discovery Bay. Discovery Bay where, Mr. Snerdley? Do you -- yeah, Discovery Bay, California. And she was a very important caller in many ways. Her business is in trouble. Nobody -- I didn't get what her business is, but she -- I didn't ask her -- but she said that everybody in her neighborhood, everybody on her block, is in trouble, that nobody has any money to spend, that the value of her home has plummeted. And she just -- she's all for the stimulus, because she -- she wants somebody to do something. And she's not particularly fond of Obama, but at least somebody's going to do something, and she needs something to be done.

And I think, in Marie from Discovery Bay, we heard probably the prototype example of why millions of people -- millions of people supported Obama. He doesn't provide any answers to her problems, but she has hope that he does. And she said that the people need to have hope and confidence in the economy. They need to open their wallets. They need to start spending in order for her business not to go under, and the value of her home, thus, to become what it once was, to wipe out that loss. So, the hope to have confidence in the economy is something she thinks that Obama might bring. She was -- I don't know, not begging, but she was -- she was plaintive, she was asking me what she should do.

Now, it strikes me as sad in a way because honest, folks, if I -- if I were hurting like Marie in Discovery Bay, and about to lose my business -- and by the way, I've been broke twice in my life. I've described the circumstances. I wouldn't be sitting around waiting for somebody to tell me what I should do, wouldn't be sitting around waiting for somebody in Washington to come up with a plan that's going to start getting people to spend money. And I -- it's just something that I cannot relate to. I would be doing everything I could to make money. If that meant a different line of work, so be it. But that may sound harsh to people in today's America, because we live in an age where a great economy with burgeoning opportunity is something the American people expect. And when it's not there on a cyclical basis, then a crisis ensues. And I think poor Marie has been subjected to how many years of media attempts to create a crisis mentality where the economy is concerned. For five years, at least, the media's been trying to convince every one of you that we're already in a recession, and now, they're trying to convince you we are in a depression, that it is worse than the Great Depression, and it isn't.

We haven't even gotten close to how bad it was in the 1970s. We haven't gotten close to the recession in 1982. Yet this willingness to -- I mean, she started her own business at some point, but now she's willing to put aside whatever she did at that time to start the business and sit around and hope that there will be some change come down the pike because of a change in occupants in the White House.

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.