In a moment of lucidity, Rush Limbaugh used all the wrong reasons to try to explain to Republicans that President Obama is playing them on taxes.
Excerpts via Rush Limbaugh:
LIMBAUGH: Let’s take this in order. Here McConnell says, “Okay, the tax deal’s done.” Now, this is what the Republicans think, folks. We talked about this last week. Give up a core issue, go along with tax increases, takes it off the table, now that focuses everybody on spending. The media’s gonna go after Obama on spending, “Okay, Barack, the Republicans gave in, now it’s time for you to.” They think that’s what’s gonna happen. It’s not gonna happen. We’re not through with tax increases. The Democrats are promising more. They’re salivating for more.
Okay, so that’s the prevailing wisdom. But the reason why the Republicans think that new “revenues” are finished is for this very reason: The Bush tax rates, which were set to expire, are now locked in, in perpetuity. And those are tax rates on the middle class. And they didn’t go up. They didn’t go down, but they stayed the same. Now, it is true that you can’t fund a welfare state without taxing the middle class. You just can’t do it. We’re proving it.
These guys don’t know what they’re up against with Obama. They still don’t know who he is. They still don’t know what he’s about, and they still make the mistake of assuming he’s telling them the truth. Does anybody really believe that Obama really believes we don’t have spending problem? He knows we got a spending problem. It’s a problem he enjoys. It’s a problem he wants. He wants to spend more! I don’t believe Obama’s sitting around in the cover of darkness telling himself that he’s a big spender. Democrats spend big on the big welfare state. That’s how they empire themselves.
Most people in this country who vote, a majority of them, believe the rich have all the money. The middle class think they all used to be rich at some point, and when they weren’t looking the rich stole all their money. They believe this. I mean, it’s what they’ve been told. It’s just like African-Americans today can be convinced that they are still slaves. Jamie Foxx does it every day. Samuel L. Jackson, the Reverend Jackson, try to make the case that there’s sill slavery in this country. Well, the middle class is made to believe every day that one point they were rich, but the rich came along and screwed them out of everything and the rich have all the money.
They don’t. The middle class still the greatest contention of wealth on an aggregate basis, and if you’re not going to raise taxes on them then you’re not gonna be able to pay for the welfare state, and we’re not gonna have a welfare state that’s growing. We have one now. If it’s gonna continue to expand, it’s gonna be unfunded. But this idea that there aren’t gonna be any new taxes, that they’re off the table? I think the Republicans really believe that this. I said last week, “How many core beliefs are we going to throw away in hopes that we’ll get down to what’s really important?”
Limbaugh’s reasons for believing that Obama is playing the Republicans are totally wrong, but his overall point that Democrats are looking for more revenue is totally right. Limbaugh’s claim that the president is lying to Republicans about not wanting more revenue is not even close to reality. Right after the House passed the fiscal cliff deal, the president said on national television, “But we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity. Cutting spending has to go hand-in-hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can’t take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans. And we can’t keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in a 21st century economy. So we’re going to have to continue to move forward in deficit reduction, but we have to do it in a balanced way, making sure that we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending.”
Somewhere along the way to passing the fiscal cliff deal, congressional Republicans started believing their own lies. Obama and the Democrats have never said that the fiscal cliff deal would be the only revenue increase they would be coming after.
Beneath Rush Limbaugh’s inaccuracies and fantasies was a nugget of truth. Congressional Republicans don’t have any idea who they are dealing with. They think that just because they say no more revenue, that is exactly what is going to happen. The reality is that Republicans still have no leverage over Obama.
The situation is so obvious that even Rush Limbaugh can see that Obama has the upper hand on the sequester and the debt ceiling.