Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

09/12/2009 (4:01 pm)

Mr. President, You Lie

“Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe. No message has been more welcomed by the gullible, in countries around the world, than the promise of something for nothing. That is the core of Barack Obama’s medical care plan.”

Thomas Sowell, “Rhetoric and Fraud,” GOPUSA, Sept 9, 2009.

Sowell captures it succinctly. Something for nothing. A con.

Moderates and Democrats want us to take the President’s speech on its face and consider the plan as he presented it Wednesday night. I am not apt to do that. Why? Because it’s a lie, and we know it.

The man who currently holds the office of President of the United States looked straight at his teleprompter and said that he stood for “a new kind of politics.”

Our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, commonsense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can’t tackle the big problems that demand solutions. And that’s what we have to change first.

He proceeded to send dozens of researchers to destroy the reputation of his opponent’s candidate for Vice President, sent out armies of supporters to hack and interfere with opponents’ web sites and videos, and raised hundreds of millions of dollars through unfiltered sources that looked strangely like a money laundering scheme. Then he passed stimulus legislation that was written by Democratic partisans who shut Republicans out of the room, appointed dozens of the farthest-left administrators and judges the country has known, launches attacks through shills to demonize any opponent, and continues to govern from the far left, only occasionally tossing a bone in the direction of the Republicans.

He lied.

The man who currently holds the office of the President of the United States promised to run the most transparent administration ever, with major meetings broadcast on C-SPAN. He then proceeded to ram complex legislation through Congress in the dead of night, before anybody had read the bill, which had been written with his opponents locked out of the room (and then, after excusing such tactics because of the urgency, took a family vacation for four days before signing the bill.) He tried to do it again with health care legislation. He holds secret meetings with major corporate interests at secret locations, and cuts deals protecting the largest of them. He dissembles about his proposals and sends minions to besmirch anybody who blows the whistle on it.

He lied.

The man who currently holds the office of the President of the United States declared an end to lobbying and big money influences. Then he wrote a bill worth almost $800 billion, and nearly all of it aimed at contributors to his political campaigns. He took over automobile companies and attempted to shut down the dealerships of those who opposed his candidacy. He continues to write legislation that protects the biggest players in every market he touches, giving them near-monopoly status as he makes it impossible for smaller competitors to rise up and displace them. Instead of politics without influences, he practices the worst sort of Chicago ward politics.

In a mere 8 months of the Obama administration, after having him on the national scene only since 2007, we have become accustomed to Barack Obama looking straight at the teleprompter and saying precisely what he thinks the public wants to hear. Then, he goes and does precisely what he wants. Any connection between the two is either coincidental, or forced by public outcry.

So, when the President looks at the teleprompter and says “I do not intend to put health insurance companies out of business,” or “Nothing in this plan will force you to change your doctor or your insurer,” or “No federal money will go to pay for abortions,” what should we imagine that has to do with the actual contents of the bill?

Answer? Not a thing.

Two accusations of lies were made Wednesday night. One was made by a frustrated Representative of the people of South Carolina. He apologized after the fact. He should not have. He was correct.

The other was made by the President of the United States. He did not apologize for his accusation. He was wrong; his opponents are telling the truth, and I believe he knows it.

The plan proffered by the President loads insurance companies down with new requirements. It forces them to accept the highest-cost new customers without allowing charges to balance the costs. It forces them to cover various sorts of preventive checkups. It promises even more stringent limits on their profit-making ability. Then, it forces them to compete with a government program that the President guarantees will be lower-cost than private insurance. The plan also sets a tax penalty for employers’ failure to offer health insurance that is far below the actual cost to an employer of offering health insurance — which incents employers to dump their coverage and pay the penalty instead. The plan also prohibits citizens from shopping for a new insurer, or finding a new one they like if they change jobs. This is a picture of a plan carefully designed to drive private insurers from the market.

madbobIn the face of this, the President says “I do not intend to force insurance companies out of business.” He lies.

The President cites a problem of limited competition between insurers as his excuse for forcing a government insurance program into the mix (which will eventually become the sole payer in American medicine.) He fails to mention that the only reason, the only reason, that there are so few insurers competing is that government will not permit them to. Companies would gladly compete in new markets, and would offer products tailored to specific customer needs, if liberals in state governments had not long ago passed laws preventing it. The same liberals loaded insurers down with requirements that health insurance policies for 70-year-old, childless couples must cover them if they need breast implants, which is one of the main reasons insurance costs so much. He claims we need to spend a trillion dollars in the next ten years to solve these government-caused problems. He lies.

The President still maintains that he can finance the entire program through premiums collected. Even he could not possibly believe this; his own plan provides ten years of funding to cover eight years of program, and relies on savings that he has no idea how to obtain, and that Congressional researchers claims simply will not work. He lies.

The President maintains that it is somehow irresponsible for individuals to choose not to purchase health insurance. He said,

Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those – particularly the young and healthy – who still want to take the risk and go without coverage. There may still be companies that refuse to do right by their workers. The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don’t sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for those people’s expensive emergency room visits. If some businesses don’t provide workers health care, it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors.

I don’t recall hearing anything quite so twisted yet this year. We don’t pick up the tab for those who don’t buy health insurance if they pay their bills; but we doggone well do pick up the tab if they’re insured by the government and we’re in the insurance pool. What does he think? That if a person has insurance, they get care for free, and nobody pays? Actually, while I imagine the President does understand how insurance works, I’m fairly certain he’s counting on the fact that most people listening to him don’t, and that they somehow imagine that if people have insurance, their care costs nobody anything. And he offers this twisted analysis to sucker them in.

Furthermore, businesses not offering their employees health insurance costs none of us a penny. But even if it somehow “forces us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick” as the President said (I can’t imagine how this occurs), the result would be higher prices for that employer, and they would go out of business. If the President’s reasoning held (it does not), employers would be powerfully incented to cover their workers.

So, on the basis of this twisted nonsense, he intends to force us to buy what some of us choose not to have. Tell me, where does he obtain the right to do this? Certainly not from any governmental document I’ve ever read. It’s frankly unconstitutional. But it’s something worse than that. It’s a blizzard of words that mean absolutely nothing, and he knows it. It’s just more of saying what he thinks people want to hear. He’s a con. He lies.

I could go on, but I will not. Nobody sane believes this plan will finance itself, and will not add to the deficit. Nobody sane believes abortions will not be funded. Nobody sane believes illegals will not get into the program. Nobody sane believes the government will not deny care to far, far more people than insurers are currently denying, in order to cut costs.

I learned a long time ago, if you’re dealing with somebody that you already know is trying to trick you, the only safe play is to stay the hell away from them. Even if you catch some of the tricks, there’s always the possibility — probability, really — that there’s some other item that you missed. It never pays to deal with liars; you have to be able to trust the people with whom you strike deals.

The only way I will ever support any plan produced by this President, no matter how cooperative he seems, is if by some miracle he goes for the next few years without uttering a single falsehood, without demagoguery, without lies about his opponents, without weasel words and fluff. I think if he did that long enough, I might regain enough trust to believe he’s actually dealing straight, and not trying to put one over. But let’s face it, that is not going to happen. People are the way they are, and they seldom change. We’ve seen enough of Barack Obama to know this without a shadow of a doubt: he lies. Constantly. With ill intent.

No, I will not support his health care program.

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September 12, 2009 @ 7:35 pm #

You might find this an interesting read…


September 12, 2009 @ 7:54 pm #

An example of what an unanswerable health board can do. Will this happen if Obama’s plan gets approved? I don’t know. But _could_ it? Who ever would have thought it could have happened in Great Britain??


September 12, 2009 @ 11:01 pm #

Terrific post, Phil.

(Author’s note: Thanks.)

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