Barack Obama has spent the last three-and-a-half years avoiding any substantive discussion of economic realities by dividing Americans according to income levels, gender, race, religion, immigration status and age. He does it through innuendos, distortions and downright lies. Tonight???s debate will be no different. If he can continue to convince people that Mitt Romney and Republicans despise the ???middle class,??? women, immigrants, etc., and are more concerned about millionaires and billionaires than children with autism and Down syndrome, than he can avoid defending his indefensible economic record.
Just in case Mitt Romney doesn???t hit every one of these out of the ballpark, the blogosphere better be ready to do its part as the instantaneous fact checkers. It is a fair bet that the national media will be more interested in continuing the Obama-narrative than digging to find the truth.
Here are five of the top divisive lies we can expect to hear, almost verbatim, but in no particular order, out of the president???s lips.
1) ???We are on the right track. But the situation I inherited from Republicans was so bad that I just need more time to finish the job.???
Unemployment is at 8.1 percent, having been over 8 percent for the past 42 months. Nearly one-fourth of Americans between the ages of 25 and 55 are unemployed. The gross domestic product growth rate is now at 1.3 percent. It was 3 percent at the beginning of the recession. Durable goods orders are down 13.2 percent–a huge indicator of the direction of the economy. Gas prices have more than doubled over the past 4 years. Grocery, electricity and health care premium costs are all rising, not falling. Food stamp recipients have risen by 15 million people. And of course, the national debt has increased by $5.4 trillion under Obama. Surely this is not the ???right track.??? And if this is the direction in which he wants to take our country, we can only imagine that ???finishing the job??? means bankruptcy and economic collapse.
2) ???Impartial analysts have assured us that Governor Romney will jack up taxes on the struggling middle class in favor of tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.???
Barack Obama relies on the Tax Policy Center for an ???impartial??? analysis of Romney???s plan. He doesn???t mention that the co-author of the study used to work for the White House. Nor does he mention that Romney???s plan will cut everyone???s taxes by 20 percent. But Romney has promised to close the loopholes for the wealthier among us, so their taxes would not necessarily go down that 20 percent. But if they did? Everyone would benefit. Call it trickle down if you want. Ronald Reagan cut the top income tax from 70 percent to 28 percent, and government revenue (taxes) for that tax bracket DOUBLED, meaning more Americans moved up the income scale, and consequently paid more in taxes. More of us moving UP the income ladder is a GOOD thing, contrary to what Obama suggests when he talks about how Americans should be able to move into the middle class ???and stay there.???
3) ???I have cut taxes for the middle class by $3,600 per typical family.???
This line contains deceit by omission. While Obama did cut taxes by for those making an average of $50,000 by around $3,600, not per year as he implies, but over four years, the cuts all expire by the end of this year, resulting in an increase for next year.
And of course, it???s not the whole story. The president leaves out the inconvenient hikes that he has implemented and those that will come crashing down on the middle class over the next two years in order to pay for the rising national debt and Obamacare.
Obama has already pushed through taxes on cigarettes, tanning salons and the ???medicine cabinet tax???; Obamacare calls for increased Medicare taxes, , surcharges on investment income, taxes on medical devices, decreases in pre-tax dollars that can be put in flex savings accounts, and the biggie: in 2014 the massive tax on Americans who choose not to or simply cannot purchase health care. He also wants to let the Bush tax cuts on wealthier Americans and small businesses expire, which will lead to less productivity, and in short order, decreased revenue. That will lead to a vicious cycle, as long as Democrats have control, of increased taxes for all income levels.
4) ???Governor Romney and the Republicans are out of touch with women and their health needs and are threatening women???s reproductive rights.???
One of Obama???s favorite areas to divide Americans is over gender???he assumes they are silly enough to be exploited over typical leftist talking points while their economic fortunes and gains diminish. Unemployment for women is a full point higher than it was in 2009; the poverty rate for women is at a 17 year high; 40 percent of households headed by women are in poverty. The rising cost of essentials such as gas, food and electricity are devastating to these women. The massive infusion of 20 million more Americans into Medicaid will hit women and children already dependent on that entitlement particularly hard.
Women are weary of being patronized and exploited for political benefit by this president, whose campaign yesterday urged them to ???vote like their lady parts depend on it.??? Their concerns are not one-dimensional, as Obama likes to paint them. For Obama, ???women???s health issue??? seem to run the gambit from ???a??? to ???b??????abortion to birth control. Far from threatening ???reproductive rights??? or the availability of contraception, Mitt Romney has simply defended the rights of religious organizations to decline to offer insurance that covers practices antithetical to their beliefs, based on their First Amendment rights. Women are capable of understanding that distinction. Obama ought to be careful about who he calls out of touch.
5) ???The obstructionist Congress, controlled by the Republicans, have kept me from getting through many of my signature proposals that would have vastly improved our economic situation.???
When he was inaugurated, Obama said to Republicans that he wanted to ???listen to you, especially when we disagree.??? Three days later, he told Republican Congressman Eric Cantor: ???I won, I trump you on that.??? So much for listening. Since then he has tried to marginalize Congressional Republicans by calling them ???hostage-takers??? and ???the enemy.??? Hardly the language of compromise. Obama???s Democrats controlled Congress for the first two years of his administration, during which time he and Congressional Democrats lied to the American people that Obamacare was not a tax, shut them out of the proceedings and debate, and forced it on them. When Obama introduced his budget to the Senate, it was so outlandish, not a single member of either party voted for it. Obama has demonstrated he is not serious about working with members of Congress. He is simply interested in using them as a political punching bag in order to shift voters??? attention and angst away from him. He calls Congress obstructionist when it does not walk in lock step with his radical agenda. We call that vigilant.
Tonight, Obama will once again trot out his tired strategy of divide and conquer. He will seek to vilify his opponent and his supporters, yet again attempting to pit Americans against each other???not based on facts or ideas, but distortions, flagrant lies and character assault. He will do this because it has been his strategy all along: characterize your opponent as the enemy; stir up rancor, distrust and discord; avoid any genuine discussion about opposing philosophies; and ram through your agenda. His strategy banks the American people being dim-witted enough to fall for it. Economic realities, though, as stark as those we face now, have a tendency to sharpen even the dimmest of our wits.
Kate Obenshain is a conservative commentator and author of “Divider-in-Chief: The Fraud of Hope and Change“, published by Regnery, a unit of Eagle Publishing, which also owns The Human Events Group.