Delusional liberalism vs. Common Sense: ABC Democratic debate, December 19, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton hit Bernie Sanders for proposing a universal tax hike to foot the bill for his paid family-leave program — and Sanders shot back that “$1.61 (a week) is a pretty good investment.”

Clinton, at the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire, was criticizing Sanders for backing a proposal to impose a 0.2% payroll tax — deducted from checks much like Social Security and Medicare — to cover his plan.

She also made a firm commitment not to raise taxes on the middle class.

“That is off the table as far as I am concerned. That is a pledge that I am making,” Clinton said in the ABC debate.

She said that she’d cover the cost of paid family leave with higher taxes only on the wealthy.

Sanders, though, responded that his plan is backed broadly by Senate Democrats. And he said Clinton’s criticism of payroll taxes is out of step with Democratic giants such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who oversaw the creation of Social Security, and Lyndon B. Johnson, who shepherded Medicare into law.

“What the legislation is is $1.61 a week. Now you can say that’s a tax on the middle class. It will provide three months of paid family and medical leave,” Sanders said, arguing it was well worth it.

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Hillary Clinton drew laughs — but a bit of a rebuke from Bernie Sanders — when asked about her ties to corporate leaders.

ABC debate moderator David Muir asked: “Should corporate America love Hillary Clinton?”

A smiling Clinton responded, to cheers: “Everybody should.”

“I have said, I want to be the president for the struggling, the striving and the successful. I want to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share, which they have not been doing. I want the ‘Buffett rule’ to be in effect, where millionaires have to pay 30%,” Clinton said.

But Sanders gave a much different answer when Muir asked whether corporate America would love him.

“No, I think they won’t,” Sanders said.

He added that “Wall Street will like me even less.”

__________________

The Democratic presidential debate’s transition to the economy started with an awkward moment when Hillary Clinton was late returning from a break.

ABC moderator David Muir said he expected Clinton back momentarily, and started a question for Bernie Sanders.

But before Muir could finish the question, Clinton walked on the stage to applause from the crowd gathered in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Clinton stepped to the podium and said only: “Sorry.”

__________________

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred over the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — and regime change more broadly — during Saturday night’s Democratic presidential debate.

Sanders said Clinton is “too much into regime change and too aggressive without knowing what the consequences may be.”

Clinton swung back in the ABC debate, saying that Sanders had voted for regime change in Libya. She said that she had advocated a process to pursue the political ouster of Assad, saying it should operate on the same track as the U.S. fight against ISIS.

She also warned against any policy that would allow Iran to increase its role in Syria, equating such a move to “asking the arsonist to come and pour more gas on the fire.”

But Sanders stated, “We have got to get our foreign policy and our priorities right. It is not Assad who is attacking the United States — it is ISIS.”

__________________

All three Democrats had sharp words for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in Saturday night’s debate.

“He is becoming ISIS’ best recruiter,” Hillary Clinton said, pointing to the billionaire businessman’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

“He thinks low wages are a good idea,” Bernie Sanders said, directing his remarks at attendees of Trump rallies.

And former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said that the United States “must never surrender our American values to racists, must never surrender them to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths.”

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The candidates once again struck different tones on gun rights — with Clinton saying more citizens purchasing firearms wouldn’t help matters and Sanders focusing on a search for “consensus” on gun regulations.

“Guns in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 a year already to gun violence. Arming more people — to do what? — is not the appropriate response to terrorism,” Clinton said.

Sanders, though, pointed to his state — Vermont — and said more than half of its residents own guns.

“I’m not going to say that everybody’s in agreement — it’s a divided country on guns. But there is a broad consensus on gun safety regulation,” Sanders said, calling for background checks for potential gun owners and the closure of loopholes that allow easier purchases at gun shows.

O’Malley took a big swing at both candidates, saying that, “Secretary Clinton changes her position on this every election year, it seems.”

“What we need on this issue is not more polls. We need more principle,” O’Malley said.

The other candidates hit back — with Sanders interjecting, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.”

“We can do all the great speeches we want, but you ain’t gonna succeed” without broad-based support, Sanders said.

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Bernie Sanders, at the start of the third Democratic debate, apologized to Hillary Clinton for his staff’s exploitation of a Democratic National Committee computer vendor’s glitch to access her campaign’s proprietary voter files.

“This is not the type of campaign that we run, and if I find anybody else involved in this, they will also be fired,” the Vermont senator said in response to Saturday evening’s first question from ABC.

Sanders did take several shots at Clinton before apologizing, however, saying that “I am not convinced that information from our campaign may not have ended up in her campaign.”

“Don’t know that,” he added, while touting an agreement for an independent investigation.

He also complained of “many press releases from the Clinton campaign of late.”

Clinton, though, ignored those shots and dismissed the issue.

“Now that, I think, you know, we’ve resolved your data, we’ve agreed on an independent inquiry, we should move on, because I don’t think the American people are all that interested in this — I think they’re more interested in what we have to say about all of the issues facing us,” the former secretary of state said.

After addressing the data issue, the candidates quickly pivoted to terrorism, and issue they also each touched on in their opening statements.

Clinton took a shot at Republican contenders, saying that “despite all their tough talk about terrorism, (they) continue to let people who are on the no-fly list buy guns.”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley touted his recent visit to a Northern Virginia mosque and took a swing at Republican candidate Donald Trump, saying that the country must “must never surrender them to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths.”

Sanders said he’s running for president because he wants a new foreign policy — “one that does not get us involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East.”

But it was the data imbroglio that shaped the political environment in the hours leading up to the debate.

The encounter comes with Clinton in a dominant position after she survived House Republicans’ inquiries into her private email use during a hearing on the Benghazi attacks and Vice President Joe Biden’s decision not to make a late entry in the race. Sanders is fading from his summer high, struggling to broaden his appeal in a campaign increasingly focused on foreign policy, and O’Malley has failed to break out of the low single digits.

The timing seems unlikely to help Sanders, whose campaign is irked that the DNC slated it for a Saturday night, when viewership is lower than the weeknight bouts that have drawn massive audiences to the Republican debates.

Clinton, a 2-to-1 front-runner in most national polls, has largely avoided punching down at Sanders throughout the campaign, rarely mentioning him at campaign events and taking carefully calibrated swings at him on issues like gun control.

But the data breach left Clinton with a decision: give Sanders a pass, as he did with her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, or tear into the Vermont senator over it during the debate, which takes place in New Hampshire and will air nationally on ABC.

Sanders’ campaign seized on a glitch in a DNC-housed program to access Hillary Clinton’s proprietary data on early-state voters this week. In response, the DNC locked Sanders out of all voter data, including information gathered by his own campaign. So Sanders retaliated with a lawsuit seeking $600,000 per day. The two sides announced a settlement in the wee hours of Saturday morning, with Sanders’ access restored.

Clinton’s campaign sent signals Friday that the daggers are out.

Campaign manager Robby Mook called Sanders’ team’s actions “incredibly disappointing” on a call with reporters, playing up the significance of what Sanders’ campaign had accessed.

“This was a very egregious breach and our data was stolen. This was not an inadvertent glimpse into our data,” Mook said.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon similarly lashed into Sanders on CNN, saying the senator’s campaign acted “like kids in a candy store and “went hog wild” downloading data.

Clinton’s campaign on Saturday also attempted to drum up focus on the data breach story by publishing an open letter to the Sanders campaign that directs four questions at the senator.

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communication director, says that while the data breach has been “disturbing to our campaign and the volunteers who worked hard to build a strong organization,” it has also been “a distraction from the issues that the American people care about.”

Palmieri then went on to ask why the campaign said they didn’t store any data, despite logs showing that they may have, and why the campaign claimed the breach “was an accident” when the Sanders aides “conducted 25 targeted searches” within the Clinton data.

 

Comparing reaction to data access, Clinton emails

The Sanders campaign, for its part, has pinned blame on the DNC for the data’s accessibility. It has fired one aide, but has also accused national Democrats of overreacting.

“The failings of one or three or four young people who have made misjudgments in campaign is not cause for them to issue a death penalty on the Sanders campaign,” campaign manager Jeff Weaver told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

However, hours before Saturday night’s debate, Weaver told CNN not to expect the same fire from the senator.

“He is a very issue-oriented candidate. Always has been, always will be,” Weaver said. “He will, given the opportunity, talk about the substantive issues facing middle class and working-class people. Period. That is what he will do.”

He did add, though, “Now, if the issue is raised, I think what he will say is that the DNC dropped the firewall between the candidates, some young staffers on our campaign, inappropriately took advantage of that and may have looked at some Clinton data. One of them has been fired, others are being investigated. There may be more discipline handed out to employees as a result.”

Weaver stressed, “There is no one saying what they did is not wrong; it was wrong and we have taken it seriously. We have been investigating it and we will deal with it.”

When asked whether Sanders will echo Weaver when he said the DNC “gave our campaign the death sentence” by shutting off voter file access, Weaver responded, “No.”

The Clinton campaign’s criticism of Sanders’ team, meanwhile, is starkly different from how Sanders has handled Clinton’s use of a personal email address on a private server during her four-year tenure as America’s top diplomat.

Sanders said during the first Democratic debate that the American people are “are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails” — a line that won applause in the moment but diminished his ability to criticize Clinton on an issue that had hampered her campaign for months.

Republicans have repeatedly seized on the issue to assail the Democratic front-runner as untrustworthy, and have redoubled their criticism as the FBI reviews whether any classified information was mishandled.

 

Sanders challenges party establishment

But the dust-up over the DNC data breach could give Sanders new openings.

His campaign’s relationship with the party establishment has always been strained — and spats such as Sanders’ criticism of the DNC’s limited debate schedule, which Clinton’s challengers view as designed to shield the front-runner, have spilled into the open.

That powder keg of resentment has been ignited.

The timing of the debate could bolster Sanders’ argument. It’s the second Democratic debate to be held on a Saturday night, with the audience likely to be smaller than the viewership that would tune in on a weeknight, when Republicans have so far held their debates.

The debate comes as the 2016 race’s focus increasingly shifts toward national security and terrorism in the wake of the attacks in Paris and California planned or inspired by ISIS.

Sanders’ campaign has focused largely on the issue of income inequality — with Sanders latching Clinton to Wall Street and influential donors.

While Clinton has maintained her large lead nationally, Sanders’ message has resonated in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire — which are both whiter and more liberal than the broader Democratic electorate.

A Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll put Clinton ahead there by just nine percentage points — with 48% to Sanders’ 39% and O’Malley’s 4% — earlier this month.

In New Hampshire, Sanders has at times led. An early December CNN/WMUR poll showed him with 50% support to Clinton’s 40% and O’Malley’s 1%.

 

FACT CHECK: Glossed-Over Realities in Democratic Debate

In the latest Democratic presidential debate, oversimplification struck again.

Hillary Clinton spoke of fixing “glitches” in President Barack Obama’s health care law to address rising costs, skimming over deeper issues on matters of affordability and the Affordable Care Act. And in education, fancy dorms and football stadiums aren’t the big reason for higher college costs, as Bernie Sanders suggested.

A look at some of the statements Saturday night and how they compare with the facts:

CLINTON on rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the privately insured after enactment of Obama’s health care law: “I would certainly build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act and work to fix some of the glitches.”

SANDERS on his proposed single-payer health care system: “The average middle-class family will be saving thousands of dollars a year.”

THE FACTS: Obama’s law was mainly about expanding coverage for the uninsured, and even former officials of his administration say major work still has to be done on cost control. In other words, rising costs are more than “glitches.”

One of the health care law’s main brakes on costs — a tax on high-value workplace coverage — has been put on hold by the new federal budget deal. Clinton had called for complete repeal of that levy, known as the Cadillac tax. Many economists believe the tax would help keep costs in check by forcing people into leaner insurance plans.

Sanders says his plan for a government-run health care system along the lines of Canada’s and Western Europe’s would save money for families and taxpayers. But such a major transition would involve winners and losers, as well as new taxes in place of premiums.

When the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office looked at the concept back in the early 1990s, it concluded that a single-payer system had the potential to save money but that wasn’t guaranteed. Moreover, individuals would have less freedom to choose their insurance packages, a trade-off that not everyone would accept.

———

SANDERS: “The cost of college education is escalating a lot faster than the cost of inflation. There are a lot of factors involved in that. And that is that we have some colleges and universities that are spending a huge amount of money on fancy dormitories and on giant football stadiums.”

CLINTON: “States have been disinvesting in higher education … So states over a period of decades have put their money elsewhere; into prisons, into highways, into things other than higher education.”

THE FACTS: Clinton comes closest to diagnosing the problem accurately. College expenses are unsustainably high, but luxurious dorms aren’t the big driver that Sanders portrays. Public universities are charging more because they receive less in state government support.

Demos, a left-leaning think tank, said in a May study that the decline in state funding accounted for 79 percent of tuition hikes between 2001 and 2011. Just 6 percent was due to construction costs.

Sanders would make up that lost government money by providing free tuition, paid for with a tax on financial transactions. Clinton would offer federal dollars to encourage states to do more and keep students from having to borrow. It’s unclear how either plan would control colleges’ costs, though.

———

SANDERS, apologizing for his campaign improperly gaining access to Clinton campaign data, raised the possibility that Clinton’s campaign may have done the same thing. “I am not convinced that information from our campaign may not have ended up in her campaign,” he said.

THE FACTS: Sanders is speculating, at best. There’s no evidence so far that Clinton’s campaign has accessed Sanders’ voter lists.

During a conference call with reporters on Friday, Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said he could “unequivocally tell you that no member of our staff stole data from theirs.” And the contractor that manages the campaign data for the Democratic Party, NGP-VAN, issued a statement Friday saying “our team removed access to the affected data, and determined that only one campaign took actions that could possibly have led to it retaining data to which it should not have had access.”

———

CLINTON: “Assad has killed 250,000 Syrians.”

THE FACTS: Clinton appears to be blaming the entire estimated death toll of the Syrian civil war on just one side: the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Yet no matter how vicious his forces have been, deaths have come at the hands of all sides in the nearly 5-year-old multi-front civil war.

The Syrian conflict began with anti-government protests before spiraling into a war with many groups emerging in opposition to the brutal regime crackdown. Rebels in some of these groups are fighting and killing each other, in some cases with no involvement by Assad-backed troops.

The United Nations has estimated a death toll of 220,000 since 2011; other estimates are higher, and Clinton’s figure is roughly in line with them. But the death toll is attributable to all parties, not just to Assad.

———

SANDERS: “Middle class in this country for the last 40 years has been disappearing.”

THE FACTS: It’s no secret that the middle class is struggling. The costs of college, health care and housing continue to rise, while wages have barely budged for two decades. The Pew Research Center reported earlier this month that the majority of Americans are no longer “middle income.”

Things are not quite as dire as Sanders suggests.

Pew found the share of Americans that it defines as middle income — a family of three earning $73,392 — has slipped. It’s down to 50 percent of households from 61 percent in 1971.

More Americans are low income, but more are also upper income. “The closer look at the shift out of the middle reveals that a deeper polarization is under way in the American economy,” Pew concluded.

Pew defines the median upper income as starting at $174,625 — a lot of money, but hardly the billionaire class attacked by Sanders.

———

SANDERS: “One of the heroes who we should recognize in the Middle East is King Abdul II of Jordan. This small country has welcomed in many refugees.”

THE FACTS: With each new debate, the presidential candidates come closer to getting the Jordanian king’s name right.

Among Republican and Democratic contenders alike, King Abdullah II is considered an important figure in the struggle for stability in the Middle East. But darned if they can nail down his name.

Sanders said Abdul instead of Abdullah. Invoking the king again, he mumbled the name.

CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Yuuuuuuuge! Donald Trump’s Best GOP Debate Yet
Republican frontrunner Donald J. Trump has sometimes struggled on the GOP debate stage. On Tuesday night, he owned it.

Trump made few mistakes, despite efforts by the moderators and the other candidates to knock him out of the pole position. While Sens. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sparred over past Senate votes, and other candidates repeated lines familiar from the campaign trail, Trump looked comfortable–and solid.

He may not always have had the “right” answer, but he sounded more fluent with his own positions.

At one stage, he even felt confident enough to tangle with members of the audience–supporters, it seemed, of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
–who booed his idea to “infiltrate” Islamic State on the Internet.

“I just can’t imagine somebody booing. These are people that want to kill us, folks, and you’re objecting to us infiltrating their conversations? I don’t think so.”

Perhaps Trump’s rally on Monday evening was a useful warmup. There, Trump sparred jovially with left-wing hecklers and mocked the media for covering them.

Perhaps, too, grim events have conspired to affirm Trump’s “bombastic” (Carly Fiorina’s word) approach to national security: as he pointed out, both the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks have happened since the last GOP debate.

Perhaps Trump simply knows he is sitting on a big lead.

Regardless, Trump won on Tuesday night–at times by fighting hard, at times by letting the stragglers squabble.

There were few personal attacks, no misstatements of his own policies. He faced repeated (and repetitive) attacks from Jeb Bush–often instigated by the moderators, as Trump pointed out–and simply pointed to his poll numbers.

He took a pass on Hugh Hewitt’s question about the nuclear triad. His opponents will remember. No one else will.

The CNN moderators pressed Trump early on his recent proposal to stop Muslims from immigrating or visiting the U.S. His answer was simple and stark: “We are not talking about isolation. We’re talking about security. We’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about security.”

No one–least of all Bush–laid a glove on him after that.

The vaunted Trump-vs.-Cruz fight failed to materialize. Cruz allowed himself to become entangled in arguments over foreign policy between the interventionist Rubio and the reticent Paul, who blasted Rubio on immigration.

Dr. Ben Carson and Fiorina had moments, and the other two governors onstage sounded clear themes–New Jersey’s Chris Christie attacking Washington, and Ohio’s John Kasich calling for less bickering.

But it was Trump’s night.

When Hewitt asked Trump to re-affirm his commitment to staying within the Republican Party, Trump said he would do so, prompting Hewitt himself to applaud.

“I feel honored to be the frontrunner,” Trump explained.

After winning the last debate of 2015, Trump is not just the frontrunner. He is the favorite to win the nomination.

Link

 

The Donald Trump/Ted Cruz feud

Last week the conversation between Cruz and donors in New York City was leaked to the New York Times. Cruz said the following (emphasis added):

I like and respect both Donald and Ben. I do not believe either one of them is going to be our nominee. I don’t believe either one of them is going to be our president. I think both of them, their campaigns have a natural arc. And with both of them I think gravity is pulling them down. We’ve seen that, Carson is further in that descent. But I think in both instances — in particular, you look at Paris, you look at San Bernardino, it’s given a seriousness to this race. That people are looking for, who is prepared to be a commander-in-chief? Who understands the threats we face? Who am I comfortable having their finger on the button? That’s a question of strength but it’s also a question of judgment. And I think that is a question that’s a challenging question to both of them.

Cruz would privately make the case that he’s better qualified to be president than Trump. Yet he did also suggest voters wouldn’t be comfortable with Trump having his “finger on the button,” or with Trump’s “judgment.”

So someone decided to leak Cruz’s comments to the New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman and Matt Flegenheimer. And when Cruz tried to downplay the story and call it inaccurate, the Times published the full audio of what Cruz said.

The morning after the story broke, Trump tweeted the following:

Brigitte Gabriel gives a damn good answer to a Muslim and holds nothing back…

Brigitte Gabriel gives a damn good answer and holds nothing back…”We are here to discuss how four Americans died and what our government is doing,” Gabriel said, stating that the purpose of the panel was to discuss Benghazi…
“We were not here to bash Muslims,” she continued, “you were the one who brought up the issues about ‘most Muslims.’ Not us. And since you brought it up, allow me to elaborate with my answer.”

Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian by birth, launched into a speech: “There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not all of them are radicals! The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15 to 25 percent, according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75 percent of them peaceful people. But when you look at 15 to 25 percent of the world’s Muslim population, you’re looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization. That is as big [as] the United States. So why should we worry about the radical 15 to 25 percent? Because it is the radicals that kill. Because it is the radicals that behead and massacre. When you look throughout history, when you look at all the lessons of history, most Germans were peaceful. Yet, the Nazis drove the agenda and, as a result, 60 million people died. Almost 14 million in concentration camps; 6 million were Jews. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Russia, most Russians were peaceful as well. Yet, the Russians were able to kill 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at China, for example, most Chinese were peaceful as well. Yet, the Chinese were able to kill 70 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Japan prior to World War II, most Japanese were peaceful as well. Yet, Japan was able to butcher its way across the Southeast Asia, killing 12 million people, mostly killed with bayonets and shovels. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. On Sept. 11 in the United States, we had 2.3 million Arab Muslims living in the United States. It took 19 hijackers, 19 radicals, to bring America down to its knees, destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon and kill almost 3,000 Americans that day. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. So for all our powers of reason and for us talking about moderate and peaceful Muslims, I’m glad you’re here. But where are the others speaking out?

Gabriel received a standing ovation as the crowd rose to its feet.

“And since you’re the only Muslim representative in here, you took the limelight, and instead of speaking about why our government —” she paused for a moment.

“And I assume — are you an American?” she asked in a tone that was not meant to question the student’s motives.

Ahmed answered yes.

“So as an American citizen, you sat in this room and instead of standing up and saying a question or asking something about our four Americans that died and what our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a point about ‘peaceful’ moderate Muslims,” Gabriel continued.

“I wish you brought 10 with you to question about how we can hold our government responsible.

It is time we take political correctness and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.”

The crowd again erupted in applause!

Donald Trump’s numbers continue to rise

springfield_3

On stage in Springfield, IL

 

After every Republican presidential debate all the Smart People like to sit around and smugly laugh at the Drudge Report’s online poll showing Donald Trump won the debate. Then a poll-poll comes out and shows Trump won the debate. This of course never shuts up the Smart People because feeling smug will always be more important to them than being correct. Anyway, according to a poll-poll, Trump won Tuesday night’s debate

A full 24% of those polled (debate viewers) chose Trump as the winner of the Fox Business Network’s presidential debate. Florida Senator Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is virtually tied with 23% showing him as the winner. The fact that Rubio came in such a close second also proves that the polls of these debates are not skewed by popularity. Nationally, Dr. Ben Carson is polling as well as Trump but only 13% called the retired neurosurgeon the winner.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tied with Carson at 13%. Among Republican voters, Trump widens his first place lead over Rubio 28% to 23%. Cruz earns 16%; Carson 14%.

Everyone else was in single digits:  Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Carly Fiorina earned 7%; Jeb Bush 3%, John Kasich 2%.  Link

Mark Levin: There should be NO MEDIA MODERATORS IN GOP DEBATES…

top1snapshot

“Hilarious hearing talk show hosts today tell us John Harwood is awful and that the media should be removed from the debate process. I have pushed for the latter for months on my show. Even before the Fox debate. They said nothing. It is about time the others in talk radio have figured it out. And only now do they condemn the RNC. Again, there should be NO MEDIA MODERATORS IN GOP DEBATES. But I will address this further on my show later today. Hope you’ll join me.”

Link

Rush Limbaugh: Democrats Promise Free Everything

RUSH: First up is a montage here from the debate last night.  Bernie Sanders, Hillary, Lincoln Chafee, and they’re all talking about all the free stuff.  College and health care and whatever you want. If you’re an illegal immigrant, it’s all yours.  All you have to do is show up.

SANDERS:  Make every public college and university in this country tuition-free.

HILLARY:  Anyone to go to a public college or university tuition-free.

SANDERS:  We’re all gonna have medical and family paid leave.

HILLARY:  Make sure every child gets health care, including undocumented children and others.

CHAFEE:  Funding education, funding infrastructure, funding health care.

HILLARY:  Enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security.

SANDERS:  We should be putting money into education.  I want Wall Street now to help kids in this country go to college, public colleges and universities.

HILLARY:  I know we can afford it because we’re gonna make the wealthy pay for it.

RUSH:  (laughing)  We can afford it ’cause we’re gonna make the wealthy pay. We are $18 trillion in debt.  Now, you can afford anything if you ignore that, and if you don’t think that’s a problem and if that number is irrelevant, the money never has to even be serviced or paid back, then of course you can afford anything.  But the truth is, we can’t afford anything.  We can afford maybe, what, what’s the number that we drag in by tax revenue every year?  The numbers are confusing, but $3 trillion whatever we can afford every year, but we so exceed that.  We have exceeded it for so long. We’re already paying for things we can’t afford.  And these people just want to lap more and more on top of it.

You know, one of the biggest misdirections in public dialogue and politics is?  The taxpayers’ expense.  Taxpayers have to pay. The taxpayers don’t pay anything.  The reason is they’re not conscious of it.  Everybody’s taxes are withheld from their paychecks, those who work.  Very few people are independent contractors that actually pay their taxes themselves.  The vast majority of people never see the money they pay in taxes, any kind.  Property tax is part of the homeowners, the mortgage payment every month, very little tax do you ever see, particularly income and payroll taxes.

So people come along, “This is gonna cost the taxpayers X, and that’s gonna cost the taxpayer Y.” It doesn’t cost you anything.  We build a battleship, you don’t think it’s cost you anything.  What’s your share of it?  Whoever sent you a bill for your portion of a B-2 bomber?  So the idea of a taxpayers expense doesn’t mean anything because it has no basis in relatability.  So you can run around and talk about we’re gonna pay for this, we’re gonna do this, we can afford this, and the taxpayers are not gonna worry about it.  They’ve never gotten a bill for anything.  So the idea that it’s costing them something is totally over their head, totally escapes them without any consciousness or any awareness of an annual deficit and an accumulating national debt and what it actually means.  And I venture to say 90% of the population doesn’t have the slightest clue what it means. It can’t be a negative used against the Democrats.

For 50 years people on our side have been trying to prove and establish that the Democrats can be beaten by talking about all the excessive spending. But the fact is it doesn’t work, it doesn’t persuade anybody to not support or vote Democrat because they’re never aware of having to pay for any of it, be they taxpayers or recipients.  They’re not aware of having to pay for any of it.  They never see the tax revenue that’s collected from them in the first place, and they certainly aren’t aware how it’s allocated.

RUSH: Here’s Lee in Gilroy, California.  Great to have you on the program, Lee.  I’m glad you waited.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush.  Longtime listener.  Last night when I was watching the debate last night, was watching all the clowns debate each other, when they got to especially Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, when they got to the part where they promised all the free handouts, you know, I sat there and I really contemplated that. And I felt, just in my gut, I’m like, wow, you know, Republicans are really in trouble here.

RUSH:  Well, is your question, how do you compete with that?

CALLER:  Exactly.  How do you compete with all those handouts, especially —

RUSH:  See, that’s the scary thing.  This is the scary thing from the standpoint of whatever percentage you want to say supports this stuff, that we have to conclude we’ve lost that percentage of the country.  When you have what was on that stage last night, all these promises for a much bigger warfare state, free this, free that, you have to realize that there’s a portion of the population that does applaud it, think it’s great, think it’s cool, thinks that is the purpose of government, is to take care of people and to help people.

And what’s wrong with it, they will say?  What’s wrong with free college?  What’s wrong with food stamps?  What’s wrong with helping people?  What’s wrong with bringing illegals in so they can make something of themselves?  And that begins an entire education process of trying to explain to people how it’s hurting the people you’re trying to help.  It’s denying them their dignity.  It’s denying them their opportunity to be totally self-sufficient and to find out how good and capable they are.  And sometimes people look at that whole effort as a lost cause waste of time.  So, yeah, I mean, it’s my assessment following the 2004 election.  American people voted for Santa Claus.  Other 2008, I’m sorry.

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