PALM BEACH, Fla. – Barack Obama is in a perfect position right now to do “maximum damage” to the U.S. economy, according to radio giant Rush Limbaugh, who believes the president has no intention of improving the financial state of the nation.
“He’s at maximum damage potential right now, max damage. He can inflict the greatest damage possible for the purpose of transforming the country from capitalism to Western European socialism,” Limbaugh said Monday afternoon.
“He’s got two years here to double down, triple down, max out on it – and that’s if he cares about the 2014 midterms. But if you listen to Democrats talk, they don’t care about that.”
Limbaugh was commenting on Obama’s push for tax increases as Republicans continue to negotiate with the Obama administration on how to prevent plunging off the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
In 2010, Obama said taxes should not be raised, fearing it would harm the economy.
“That’s because he still had another election to worry about. Now he doesn’t for at least two years,” Limbaugh said.
The topic was discussed as the Associated Press reported that hovering in the background of the “fiscal cliff” debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas.
“This is the real cliff,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. “Many of these people are struggling to pay mortgages, to provide education for their children.”
Limbaugh says neither political party wants to be blamed for the loss of jobless benefits during the holiday season, so he expects them to be extended without a fight.
“The real irony is, unemployment benefits are ending because unemployment rates are falling. It’s the way the law was written,” said Limbaugh. “States with jobless rates below 9 percent are losing their extended benefits. It was originally written, and this made perfect sense, that the unemployment compensation extensions would end as the employment situation improved. Well, statistically, the unemployment situation is improving. The unemployment rate nationally, 7.7 percent, down from 8.3, down from 8.2, down from 8.1, down from 7.9.”
But while on paper it may seem the employment picture is showing improvement, Limbaugh noted, “you and I both know that the job situation is really not improving, but reality doesn’t matter. Perception is what matters here. The perception is it’s getting better.”
The AP reported that “since the collapse of the economy in 2008, the government has poured $520 billion – an amount equal to about half its annual deficit in recent years – into unemployment benefit extensions.”
Limbaugh said no matter how much is spent on unemployment, it’s still never enough, and thus, the continuous push for extensions.
“And don’t forget this,” he concluded.
“From [Nancy] Pelosi to Chuck Schumer to Obama and to all the Democrats, unemployment benefits are now an economic stimulant. Every dollar of unemployment benefits generates $1.73 of economic growth, you see.
“And the people who voted for Obama believe that crock. But they believe it, and so we have arrived at the point where the recipient of unemployment benefits is told that he or she is helping to grow the economy! So we’ve even turned the morality aspect of this upside down. Now it is perfectly moral to extend unemployment benefits because those are growing the economy, without jobs. It’s magical! It’s a beautiful thing.”