Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obama's $500 Billion Lie

Even in a life-long conservative, I told you so kind of way, I take absolutely no pleasure in the following statement: At no time in our history have the President and Congress jointly and willfully deceived the American people so egregiously as have Barack Obama and the Democrats on the issue of health care reform.

Of the multitude of lies foisted upon us since the debates inception, none is as bald faced as the Democrats unanimous assertion that the legislation currently being considered will reduce the deficit.

Today, giddy Democrats held a press conference to tout the Congressional Budget Office’s numbers which score the bill at $940 Billion and which, on paper, claims that Obama’s new entitlement will not only be deficit neutral but will actually reduce the deficit over the next twenty years.

Tommorow, here in Fairfax County, Mr. Obama will stand before an adoring audience and make an identical claim. Those in attendance will cheer. Any brave soul who dares to yell out “You lie!” will inevitably be drowned out by the swooning hundreds, still entranced by the president’s celebrity status and rhetorical prowess. But this brave soul would be right.

It’s a fact that there is no deficit reduction in this bill. This bill will add to the deficit.

Yes the CBO is non-partisan. Yes their calculations are technically correct. The manipulation of the numbers happened before the bill was even in the CBO’s hands. You see, the CBO does not simply look at legislation and estimate its cost. What happens is,the CBO is given a list of expenditures and, in this case was asked to determine what the effect on the deficit would be IF a sum of hypothetical money was spent a hypothetical way. But, when the Democrats handed the plan to the CBO they included a fictional $500 Billion. For 13 months we’ve been told that this bill would be paid for in large part by half-a-trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare. The CBO estimate not only assumes that those cuts will be found and implemented (something that most of us familiar with Washington politics see as very unlikely) but it also counts the same $500 Billion twice. Once to pay for the new entitlement in which 31 million people will get a health care handout from the government and then again to make Medicare solvent. Add this to the fact that an additional $250 Billion in cuts in reimbursement rates to doctors has been hidden in another bill and what you have is a bill that very clearly ADDS too the deficit. So either the Democratic Party is really bad at basic math or they’re full of it.

True progressives can almost be forgiven for ignoring this whopper. If you sincerely believe that the expansion of the nanny state and a vast reworking of the American economy is a moral imperative and that it needs to be done by any means available then the lie may seem like a necessary evil.

However, for our highest ranking public officials or those who conveniently choose to ignore Obama and Pelosi’s Climategate style, budgetary magic in hopes of securing a political victory for the President, (I’m looking at you mainstream media) this blatent dishonesty is unforgivable.

What makes this even stranger is that this lying seems almost pathological.

The public isn’t stupid. The majority of them are not so ignorant as to think that congress can enact a huge entitlement and at the same time reduce the deficit in either the short or the long term. This majority already opposes the bill and at this stage their minds are made up. There is no way that they are going to swing back and give the president their stamp of approval at this point in the game. Convincing them is a lost cause. And it’s not as though the Democrats care about public opinion in the first place. They have been intent on ramming this bill through since last summer, regardless of the fact that the proposal has been upside down in the opinion polls for months.

President Obama and congressional supporters of this bill smile big at the podiums knowing full well of the deception in which they are taking part. The Blue Dogs know that their jobs will still be at risk even if some of their more gullible independent constituents buy into the farce.

So what, exactly, is the incentive to propagating this huge lie?

It’s partially being done to try and make up for the Democrat’s historic blunder in proposing a costly new entitlement at a time of economic uncertainty and when deficit reduction is on the minds of a growing number of American citizens. Not to convince us perhaps, but rather for Democrats to convince themselves that they are actually cleverer than the evidence suggests.

But even if it is an exercise in self delusion, it does not excuse the behavior of the President and his enablers. This particular lie is simply the latest and the greatest in a string of untruths that have come from the president since the inception of the health care struggle. His repeated claim that if passed the public option wouldn’t eliminate anyone’s ability to maintain the services of their current physician and the more recently floated falsity that the bill will lower costs for individuals and families both come to mind.

Right now, many Americans fear for their country and with good reason. They are obviously deeply distressed over the permanent economic damage the bill will result in and the havoc that it will wreak on the U.S. health care system if passed. But they also fear for the political process itself. Never in modern times has the sausage making been so underhanded and corrupt. Obama and the Democrats have decided to change the rules deep into the game. Reconciliation can now be used to pass just about anything. The House is flirting with the idea of eliminating the need for an up or down vote, even on the most consequential pieces of legislation. Favorites are being played openly and regularly whether they be labor unions or Senators from states whose votes are required for passage. But most importantly, it is possible that the Democrats will achieve victory on a piece of legislation that has been sold to the public almost entirely using pretenses that the leadership knows to be false. The idea that this could become standard practice not only for the current Democratic Party establishment, but for our future leaders on both sides of the aisle is a terrifying prospect.

For eight years we have heard the liberals repeat the assertion that George W. Bush “lied” us into war with Iraq. Yet, after all of this time the Left has never put up a shred of real evidence to prove this charge. When it comes to Obamacare however, the evidence is everywhere. It is easily accessed and overwhelming. It pains me greatly to say this about any commander in chief. I have always prided myself on holding back on using this particular term for our highest officeholder until there is an obvious and flagrant disregard for the truth and it is exhibited on multiple occasions. That standard has been met. President Obama is a funadamentally dishonest individual.

-Dan Joseph

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