Time and again during the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton gave a televised speech, old timers here in West Texas would say they could tell he was lying because his lips were moving. And looking back, it’s patently obvious that Clinton, the second President in American history to be impeached, had a problem with the truth.
And while we despised Clinton for things like the deaths his incompetence led to in Mogadishu (“Black Hawk Down”), we also learned to laugh at him, as if to admit we couldn’t expect any thing better from the man whom Ann Coulter labeled Arkansas’ “horny hick.”
But with President Barack Obama, the lies are not so easily shrugged off. And that’s not because we expect more from him than we did from Clinton—he is, after all, a Democrat—but because the lies Obama perpetuates place our nation at peril.
This was particularly evident via the falsehoods and the bait and switch tactics Obama employed to hide the ugly truth about healthcare reform when it was still in the proposal stages.
It was while Obama was still vying for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008, that he railed against Hillary Clinton’s support of healthcare mandates on the grounds that they would force U.S. citizens to buy health insurance. Yet last week, he signed a bill into law that literally orders every American to get health insurance, whether they want it or not.
Then there were the endless speeches during his first year in office, where he promised the healthcare overall was going to be “deficit neutral.” While numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that the recently passed legislation will not increase the deficit, much of that conclusion was based on accounting gimmicks. And given the CBO’s poor track record of estimating future entitlement costs, don’t be surprised when Obamacare’s costs exceed projections.
And remember Obama’s pledge that he would not increase taxes on any household making less than $250,000 a year? In the healthcare bill he just signed, there are seven new taxes which apply to everyone regardless of income.
Although these falsehoods and underhanded tactics are bad, they are nothing compared to the lies and rhetoric Obama has used since the healthcare legislation passed.
For example, while speaking at the University of Iowa on March 25, 2010, Obama mocked Republican criticism of the newly passed legislation. He laughed at Republican congressional leaders who’ve referred to the passage of the legislation as “Armageddon” and literally dared them to repeal it. Said Obama: “If these congressmen in Washington want to come here to Iowa and tell small business owners that they plan to take away their tax credits and essentially raise their taxes, be my guest.”
But the truth is that just days after the passage of healthcare reform, businesses across the country realized that the cost of abiding by Obama’s new regulations will be quite high. AT & T reported the legislation will cost them $1 billion in “corporate losses” this year. It will cost the makers of John Deere tractors $150 million. It will cost “Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million.”
Sounds something like “Armageddon” to me.
But there’s more. In an attempt to shame critics like House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) into silence, Obama told Iowans that if the legislation is repealed it will drive up healthcare costs. Yet in reality, less than a week after healthcare reform was passed, wireless giant Verizon realized the legislation is going to force their operating expenses up to such an extent that they’ve “warned [their] employees about…new higher healthcare costs.”
In other words, implementing Obama’s healthcare reform is what’s going to drive costs up, while repealing it would keep costs where they are (or would allow the market to eventually drive them down).
And as if these lies weren’t enough, Obama upped the ante by intimating that senior citizens will be left without insurance if Republicans repeal the healthcare legislation. But the truth is that benefits for seniors, like plans covering prescription drugs, are greatly diminished under the new legislation. This explains why “the consulting firm Towers Watson estimates that the total [cost to businesses] for this year will reach nearly $14 billion, unless corporations cut retiree drug benefits when their labor contracts let them.”
It’s all smoke and mirrors. And the lies leading up to the passage of healthcare reform, as well as those now being used to shield it from criticism, have been shameless. They are intended to make us look one way while Obama goes another or to get us to sit down and shut up when we should be standing and shouting “Armageddon” from the rooftops.
I’m starting to get an old, familiar feeling every time Obama’s lips are moving.