From the October 14 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Everybody's seen those pictures, the Great Depression. When you try to tell a propaganda-believing, willfully ignorant, mainstream media-watching, math-challenged consumer that we're in the midst of a greater depression, they act as if you've lost your mind. They will immediately bluster about the 5.1 percent unemployment rate -- “Depression, what are you talking about? You see the unemployment rate? It's 5.1 percent.” And then they'll tell you about record corporate profits. And then they'll tell you about how well the stock market's doing. The cognitive dissonance of these people is only exceeded by their inability to understand the basic mathematical concepts involved.
The reason you don't see huge lines of people waiting in soup lines in this depression is why? Let me just ask you. And let me give you a number. Do you know what the number of, at the peak of the Depression, at the height, do you know what the number of unemployed were? Now, granted, population of the country was less than it is today. There were 12.8 million Americans unemployed during the Great Depression. These were the men pictured in those soup lines. Today, there are 46 million Americans unemployed. And 94 million not working. I don't care what-- now these 46 million people these are the counted unemployed, this is the U-3 number. The counted unemployed represent 14 percent of the population. There are 23 million households on food stamps. There are 123 million households in America and 23 million of them are on food stamps. Therefore 19 percent of all households in America require food stamp assistance to survive.
In 1933 there were approximately 126 million Americans living in 30 million households. The government did not keep official unemployment records until 1940, but the Department of Labor estimated 12.8 million people were unemployed during the worst year of the Depression, or 24.9 percent of the labor force. We have the lowest labor force participation rate since 1977, the country today. We have 48 percent of the labor force not working. 62 percent -- or 38 percent! 62 percent is working, 38 percent not working. Now I'm going to stop with the numbers because numbers get confusing to keep track of when you're hearing them you don't have them in front of you to look at. But why do you not see these soup lines? What's the difference of 1933 and today?
Well, obviously, in 1933, there were no food stamps. In 1933, there was no welfare. In 1933, there were no welfare debit cards. In 1933, if you were out of work, you didn't eat. You had to stand in a soup line and depend on charity. In 2015, you can be among the 94 million not working and have a roof over your head, have a cell phone, a car, your air conditioned home probably-- or your home is probably air conditioned and, you're eating as much as you want. 12 million unemployed people standing in soup lines gave us these horrible pictures of the Great Depression. Today, the numbers of people out of work dwarf, even when you factor the population difference. Far more people not working today than the Great Depression. We are $18 trillion in debt today too. We are paying people not to work. We are paying people comfortably not to work. This is why I keep making the point, 94 million Americans not working but they're all eating. It does matter. What you want people to starve [mocking]? No, that's not the point. Don't get side tracked here. If you can eat, and have a house, and a big screen, and a cell phone without working, who in the world is paying for it? Back during the Great Depression, if you couldn't pay for it, you didn't have it.