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Neil Cavuto Gives Rush Limbaugh A Fond Farewell From New York

Reported by Ellen - April 9, 2009 -

Co-authored by guest blogger Brian

Rush Limbaugh has announced he's leaving New York due to the latest tax hikes. Mind you, he doesn't live in New York, he says, but he's still liable for taxes here. According to Salon.com, the tax hike will cost Limbaugh roughly an extra $60,000 of his $38 million a year salary, less than one percent, and Limbaugh repeatedly bragged to viewers of yesterday's (4/8/09) Your World with Neil Cavuto that he could afford the extra tax. But if Limbaugh thought the state was going to beg him and his fat paycheck, “please don't go!” Limbaugh had another thing coming. “If I knew that would be the result,” New York's Governor David Paterson responded, “I would’ve thought about the taxes earlier.” So Cavuto picked up the slack and gave Limbaugh the kind of stage he was seeking from which to go off in a huff. Cavuto was even considerate enough not to draw attention to Limbaugh's flip-flop when he suggested that the real reason he was leaving the state was because he was facing tough audits. With video.

"If they're glad I'm leaving, Neil, then I assume that the Governor of New York, the unelected Governor, has no interest in the tax revenue he collects from me in which case I would ask him to call off his audit dogs,” Limbaugh said. Then he confided, “You know one thing that hasn't been reported in this, and I've mentioned it each time I've talked about stopping doing business in New York, is I left New York as a resident in 1997. I moved down here to Florida, and I have been audited every year."

Limbaugh first claimed that his “tipping point” for leaving New York was the tax increase “because it isn't worth it, and furthermore Neil, it isn't going to work." With classic sour grapes, Limbaugh implied that despite his not being a resident, he was almost singlehandedly supporting the state and city economy and not getting enough reward for his invaluable role. “They have no idea the shortfall of tax revenue that their own policies are going to be creating... It's not that I can't afford it, but why would I be stupid? What do I get for it? They've got their own separate welfare state that people like me are promoting in New York.” He went on to claim that if taxes were going to be raised on the wealthy, New York should be “wining and dining them. They need to be thanked.”

Cavuto, showing what kind of man of the people he is, said that “you need very little” to qualify for the tax increase, “about 300 grand will do it for you and even less in some instances.” Maybe that's barely above minimum wage at FOX News but where I sit, that's a lot of dough.

When Cavuto asked where Limbaugh would stay when he comes to New York, Limbaugh answered that he won't be coming. Then, moments later, he said, “I'll come on weekends, if I want to see some friends or do whatever, if I want to go play golf... I'm not going to work there.” But you'll still be paying taxes, won't you, Rush? New York has a hefty sales tax, a hotel tax, etc. Or are you planning on staging a tea party protest in the lobby of your (undoubtedly pricey) hotel?

But after complaining about having to prove he really lived in Florida "14 different ways,” Limbaugh later claimed that “the hassle of these audits has just reached a tipping point.” So which is it? The audits or the new taxes? Or a ploy to get attention when he goes?

Cavuto never asked. He ended the interview by saying, "Thank you, my friend."