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Posts Tagged ‘tax cut’

Obama Lies, Quotes Lincoln “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true”

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

President Barack Obama, pictured here at the House Democratic Caucus meeting today, implausibly claimed that after the passage of Obamacare, all Americans will keep their present health plans and doctors despite clear indications to the contrary

In his last speech before the historic vote on his Obamacare package in the House of Representatives set for tomorrow, President Barack Obama gave a speech to a members-only House Democratic caucus meeting today.   In his speech, the President sadly repeated many of the same lies and misrepresentations he made yesterday at George Mason, including his false claims that everyone can “keep their doctor” and “keep their plan” while also falsely asserting that Obamacare will be an “historic” deficit reduction bill.  Obama made these claims despite their debunking by even establishment media sources many months ago, and the CBO’s addendum to their scoring made public late yesterday that reports an addition to the deficit of $59 billion over the next 10 years from Obamacare once the “doctor fix” is factored in.

Despite making these misleading and explicitly false statements in his speech today, Obama recited an Abraham Lincoln quote about speaking the truth in his speech today, twice:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true”

Apparently the establishment media has no interest in reporting on the explicit lies (you can keep your doctor, you can keep your health plan and Obamacare will be “historic” deficit reduction) repeated again by the President today, as the NYT, CNN, WaPo and the AP all focus on the rhetorical grandeur, the “history being made” and the “impassioned plea” in Obama’s speech to Democrats today while ignoring the substantively false claims made by the President.

Amazingly, none of the above-linked articles make any reference to the President’s claims that all Americans will be able to keep their doctor and keep their insurance after the passage of his reform plan; instead, the establishment media just completely ignores these explicitly false statements.

The Associated Press epitomizes the frenzied, wrongful efforts of the establishment media to cover for the explicit lies of the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats regarding Obamacare, printing this as if it is fact:

The sweeping legislation, affecting virtually every American and more than a year in the making, would extend coverage to an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans, forbid insurers to deny coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions and cut federal deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade.

Congressional analysts estimate the cost of the two bills combined would be $940 billion over a decade.

In repeating the explicitly false claims above, as made by Obama and the Democrats, the AP fails to mention the fact that the CBO admitted last night that Obamacare will actually add $59 billion to the deficit over 10 years when the pending “doctor fix” is enacted and further fails to mention that the CBO has also stated that at least $50 billion in additional funds will be required to administer Obamacare over 10 years after its passage, meaning Obamacare will add at least $109 billion to the deficit over the next decade. Sadly, that $109 billion in deficit spending resultant from Obamacare does not account for the many additional budget gimmicks used by the Democrats to entrench the false perception that the bill that creates over $100 billion a year in new federal entitlement spending will actually be an “historical” deficit reduction bill. Even the NYT’s Obama-loving (literally) columnist David Brooks listed the many ways the CBO score is explicitly rendered false by no less than seven Democratic “dodges” designed to game the CBO scoring process:

They’ve stuffed the legislation with gimmicks and dodges designed to get a good score from the Congressional Budget Office but don’t genuinely control runaway spending.

There is the doc fix dodge. The legislation pretends that Congress is about to cut Medicare reimbursements by 21 percent. Everyone knows that will never happen, so over the next decade actual spending will be $300 billion higher than paper projections.

There is the long-term care dodge. The bill creates a $72 billion trust fund to pay for a new long-term care program. The sponsors count that money as cost-saving, even though it will eventually be paid back out when the program comes on line.

There is the subsidy dodge. Workers making $60,000 and in the health exchanges would receive $4,500 more in subsidies in 2016 than workers making $60,000 and not in the exchanges. There is no way future Congresses will allow that disparity to persist. Soon, everybody will get the subsidy.

There is the excise tax dodge. The primary cost-control mechanism and long-term revenue source for the program is the tax on high-cost plans. But Democrats aren’t willing to levy this tax for eight years. The fiscal sustainability of the whole bill rests on the naïve hope that a future Congress will have the guts to accept a trillion-dollar tax when the current Congress wouldn’t accept an increase of a few billion.

There is the 10-6 dodge. One of the reasons the bill appears deficit-neutral in the first decade is that it begins collecting revenue right away but doesn’t have to pay for most benefits until 2014. That’s 10 years of revenues to pay for 6 years of benefits, something unlikely to happen again unless the country agrees to go without health care for four years every decade.

There is the Social Security dodge. The bill uses $52 billion in higher Social Security taxes to pay for health care expansion. But if Social Security taxes pay for health care, what pays for Social Security?

There is the pilot program dodge. Admirably, the bill includes pilot programs designed to help find ways to control costs. But it’s not clear that the bill includes mechanisms to actually implement the results. This is exactly what happened to undermine previous pilot program efforts.

All of the above-referenced “dodges” and gimmicks to obtain a good CBO score are based on publicly available information, yet nowhere in the establishment media can you find this information actually reported to rebut the ridiculously false claims by Obama and Democrats over the past few days that Obamacare will actually reduce the deficit and be “one of the biggest deficit-reduction plans in history.” The NYT yesterday even manages to lionize the CBO scoring as unimpeachable and nonpartisan while attacking those who dared to note some of the above-referenced dodges and gimmicks listed by Brooks. In short, the establishment media is allowing the President and the Democratic Party to use an explicit lie (Obamacare reduces the deficit) to sell their comprehensive plan to the American public without informing the public in any way of illusory basis for such claims. Such conduct is a true abdication of the 4th Estate’s role as a watchdog of the American government.

The Misinformation and Lies on Obamacare Presented by President Obama and Deemed by the Media as Truthful Remind Some of the World Described by George Orwell in his classic work, "1984"

Further, Obama concludes by claiming that Democrats must pass this bill for “the American people”:

“Help us fix this system,” Obama said. “Don’t do it for me. Don’t do it for Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid — do it for all those people out there who are struggling. . . . Do it for the American people. They’re the ones who are looking for action right now.”

Amazingly, the Washington Post and the other establishment media articles fail to note that CNN’s latest poll found 73% of Americans want Obama and the Dems to either stop or start over from scratch and only 25% are “looking for action right now.” Similarly, Fox News’s latest poll found that 64% want Obama and the Dems to stop or start over from scratch and only 30% are “looking for action right now.” Even the highly left-wing Kaiser Foundation’s latest poll shows that 56% of Americans want Obama and the Democrats to stop or start over, while 42% want to proceed to a vote now. All of the establishment media reporting also omits any reference to the fact that a full 80% of the American public are satisfied “with the quality of medical care available to them” in the much-reviled “status quo”. Based on these polls, it is impossible to claim with a straight face that passing Obamacare now is what the American people are looking for “right now” – yet this is exactly what Obama is saying, and the media simply cheers without retort, notwithstanding the indisputable facts noted above.

Finally, Obama today made the equally ridiculous claim that Obamacare “runs straight down the center of American political thought” and “is a middle of the road bill” and, again, no one in the media even bothers to rebut this claim with the obvious fact that the only bipartisan thing about Obamacare is the opposition to Obamacare, as at least 31 House Democrats are joining a unified Republican opposition to the bill. Sadly, facts such as these go unmentioned by the establishment media reports as they scurry to defend their hero President Obama as the final hours tick away before the all-important House vote on Obamacare.

When the 4th Estate (media) work so strenuously to support both the President and the Congress in an effort such as Obamacare, avoiding the reporting of any facts which could possibly hinder the Democratic effort to “remake one-sixth of the U.S. economy” while cheerleading every step of the way, the continued viability of the American political system moving forward can reasonably be questioned by centrists and independents as such coordinated misinformation brings to mind the world described by George Orwell in his classic work “1984”.  Should Obamacare pass the House and become law, years from now historians will review Obama’s speeches from yesterday and today and likely designate them as some of the most misleading speeches by an American President in the history of our country.

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Momentum Shifts to Obama as Economic Debate Heats Up and Media Narrative Turns to Obama’s Advantage

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

With the glow of the conventions fading, Barack Obama has blunted John McCain’s momentum as built by his VP pick of Sarah Palin and convention speech excitement by successfully altering the media narrative and taking advantage of the rough economic news of recent days.   Obama was on his heels at the end of the convention period, looking up at McCain for the first time since wrapping up the Democratic nomination in June – trailing by up to five points in the Gallup daily tracker last week.  After the 9/11 Forum, the Obama campaign changed gears by first pushing a media narrative depicting McCain as out of touch and deriding his campaign as “sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history.”  While presidential historians generally scoffed at the Obama “sleaziest” claims, the Obama campaign has been successful in changing the subject from Obama’s gaffes (see lipstick on a pig) to the claimed untoward tactics of the McCain campaign.

On Sunday, news broke that giant investment banker Lehman Brothers was facing insolvency, and when neither the Treasury Department nor any private company wanted to pitch in, Lehman Brothers filed the biggest Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing in U.S. history on Monday morning.   Tuesday was American International Group’s (AIG) turn to look for suitors to save their flailing company, and late Tuesday night a 85 billion dollar federal loan was arranged.   The federal loan did not shore up the market, and America has been shocked by the huge market losses in the first three days of the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping over eight hundred points this week to close today at 10,609.66, off almost 8% for the week.

Obama has seized upon the economic anxiety spreading amongst voters to make his case for change by blaming the GOP policies and by extension McCain for the collapse of the corporate giants.  As noted by the Obama campaign today, headlines across America shouting out horrible economic news are helping drive voters back to Obama.  As expected, the cable news media is playing along with Obama by airing hourly segments about how bad economic news helps Obama and hurts McCain.  McCain hasn’t helped himself by providing on Monday a sound bite for Obama’s use (“the fundamentals of the economy are strong”) in his “out of touch” narrative.   Meanwhile the Obama campaign’s release this morning about the AIG loan didn’t exactly instill confidence in his economic expertise with the inability to proper identify AIG (Obama’s release discussed the American Insurance Group, not the actual company in question, American International Group).

The combination of the rough economic news and the strongly negative Obama messaging about McCain and his campaign have served to buoy the previously slumping Obama campaign.   A mainstream media that appeared to strongly support the Obama campaign’s negative messaging has helped to amplify the effectiveness of Obama’s change in strategy on the public’s view of the candidates.  Indeed, the back and forth between the campaigns has been to Obama’s decided advantage so far this week, and the advantage is beginning to show up clearly in the national and state polls.  Obama jumped back ahead in the Gallup daily tracker today to a two-point lead, 47%-45%, his first time since the week of the GOP convention that Obama has had a lead.

As for Obama’s claim that McCain is running the “sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history,” and the mainstream media’s strong endorsement of Obama’s claims, reality runs counter to this narrative.   The media and Obama point to two main examples of “dishonesty” from McCain:  the kindergarden sex education ad, and the “lipstick on a pig” controversy.  Both claims appear to this observer to be more differences in interpretation as opposed to dishonesty.   Regarding the sex education ad, McCain’s ad states that Obama supported comprehensive sex education for K through 12th grade.  Obama countered that the kindergarden sex curriculum was limited to “age appropriate” matters and hence McCain was lying, and the media readily agreed.   In reality, the substantial change advocated by the proposed Illinois state legislation at issue does indeed call for comprehensive sex education for grades K-12 instead of only grades 6-12 as the previous law allowed for.    The bill is unclear as to what exactly the kindergardeners would be taught, i.e. what is “age-appropriate”.   Accordingly, McCain’s ad is not a lie and instead is a difference of interpretation between the campaigns in which the wording of the bill actually supports McCain’s ad.

As for the “lipstick on a pig” controversy, the Obama campaign managed to turn his arguably inartful comments back upon McCain by claiming that McCain campaign was lying when it pushed the message to the media that Obama was targeting Palin with the comment.   To this observer whether Obama was referring to Palin or not is a matter of interpretation and accordingly the view of the McCain campaign can hardly be classified as dishonesty.   If one watches the video clip, the crowd clearly appears to understand Obama’s comment as a ding on Palin and the initial press accounts of the comment from the Obama beat writers backed up this perception by the crowd.    Obama managed to posit several different interpretations of his own comment, ranging from the pig being the Bush administration policies and the lipstick the new McCain “change” message to the pig being McCain and Palin being the lipstick.   As Obama and his campaign could not definitively state what he meant by that comment, and the crowd who watched inferred Obama was dinging Palin, calling McCain a liar because of his campaign’s messaging here is disingenious at best.

Cutting through the fog of the present media narrative, it appears to this observer that neither candidate has developed a strong message that connects with voters on how to confront the present financial crisis and resolve it.   Obama has touted his $1000 tax cut for the middle class while speaking in generalities about reducing the influence of special interests and lobbyists, while McCain has highlighted his intent to streamline and reform government agencies which regulate the economy to make such agencies more effective and less compartmentalized.   Both candidates will surely continue to work to strike the right chord over the next few days with rattled voters who are looking for realistic solutions and not soundbites.  The next few days are sure to continue on with the “McCain’s out of touch//sleazy” narrative unless McCain can find a way to break the news cycle’s present direction – something the campaign appears at present to be incapable of doing.

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