It's been all over the news - Rush Limbaugh packing up camp and abandoning his operations in New York City. It's been the subject of a Jon Stewart "The Daily Show" tirade and even drew the attention of New York Gov. David Paterson.
Limbaugh appeared on Fox News Channel's April 8 "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and explained why he was leaving and how he felt about those that were glad he was leaving.
"Well, 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. "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. This has been going on since '97. This is 12 years that I have been audited. The most recent audit is for the last three years. It's been going on since October."
Limbaugh told Cavuto he'd lead the modern-day "Atlas Shrugged" exodus out of the New York, but didn't think everyone would follow. He said some would stay behind.
"I've joked and I said, ‘Look if he wants to drive people out of there, I'll lead the way.' I'm sure that there are people in New York who will stay and put up with this," Limbaugh said. "I mean, liberals are liberals first, and they will be convinced that they're doing the Lord's work here by having more taxes confiscated. If there was some value for it that one could see, but look at the out of control budgets this state has, the out-of-control spending, and the ‘spending cuts' are always mythical. I've never seen a budget get smaller at a state or federal government level. You might have individual bureaucracies that get cut, but overall, budgets never go down."
He told viewers he was a victim of his public persona and that his tax dollars are being wasted by the state and local governments.
"The only reason I'm a poster child for it is because I'm hated, envied, and despised by people that live there in the media and so forth," Limbaugh added. "I'm a convenient target, and this is another way for people to have fun. I think it's more serious than that. I left New York in '97 specifically to escape the onerous income taxes I was paying then. It's not a question, like I said, of, ‘I can afford it,' or it's something that I don't need. It's stupid! It's stupid to waste money - and taxes in a profligate and wasteful state like New York are wasted. They do not accomplish anything. You know, really, Neil, if you look at the structure of New York City, with all the high-rise condominiums and apartments and co-ops, those streets ought to be paved with gold just from the property taxes collected from one building."
The auditors, Limbaugh claimed, even went as far as requested to go to Limbaugh's residences to determine which one he lived with their aggressive tactics.
"And they claimed I owed them x-number of millions," Limbaugh said. "They even wanted to come, Neil, to both my residences, New York and Florida, to see which one was really more lived in, which one had all the pictures. I mean, the hassle these audits has just reached a point."