Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A true lie from President Obama

In the fact checking game, it's typically difficult to dependably divine the motives behind a given communique.  PolitiFact, for example, doesn't even really try, sticking with determinations of true or false as to the fact, except when designating a "Lie of the Year."  This despite the fact that PolitiFact rates "ridiculous" claims with a "Pants on Fire" rating, recalling the "liar, liar, pants on fire" taunt still used today by children and clever adults.

Fox personality Bill O'Reilly's interview of President Obama preceding the Super Bowl drew a whopper of a response from the president, however.  In answer to one of O'Reilly's questions, Obama gave a two part statement in support of his answer.  PolitiFact graded the two different parts like so:

The first rating is probably generous according to PolitiFact standards, ignoring as it does the considerable taxation embedded in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The second rating is fair.

The gravity of the president's deceit is really only apparent in the context of O'Reilly's question.  PolitiFact did quote O'Reilly in both fact checks but never offered any determination about the truth value of Obama's answer to that question.

It was a softball question in some respects.  But apparently the president couldn't bring himself to admit who he is:
O'REILLY: Do you deny the assessment? Do you deny that you are a man who wants to redistribute wealth.

OBAMA: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You deny that?

OBAMA: Absolutely. I didn't raise taxes once, I lowered taxes over the last two years.
Politics Daily
Obama categorically denies that he is a man who wants to redistribute wealth, and he offers as proof his tax record.  He says he did not raise taxes ("once," just in case that's important) and he lowered taxes over the last two years.

Neither claim, given the underlying facts, can support his denial.

Obama did raise taxes.  The most obvious example in the past two years is a cigarette tax hike.  Since that hike is regressive it suits Obama's argument reasonably well.  But the tax hikes embedded in PPACA tend to strike at the wealthy, such as the tax on high-end health insurance and a surtax on investment income.  At the same time, PPACA strongly subsidizes health insurance for poorer demographics.

Obama's key tax cut, the "Making Work Pay" tax credit, allowed workers who paid no federal income taxes to receive money back from the government based on the tax credit.  It was a "tax cut" that worked like welfare for lower-income workers and gave a gradually smaller tax break the more money workers made.  It was a tax policy that accentuated the progressive nature of the tax system and explicitly redistributed wealth, in other words.

The president cannot be ignorant of these facts.  Both of his justifications for denying he wants to redistribute wealth end up contradicting his claim.  He was again doing his artless impression of President Clinton, who also shamelessly twisted the truth in his public statements.

None of this should come as any surprise, given Obama's past statements and policy plans such as his proposal to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year.

He must think you're pretty stupid.


  1. "But the tax hikes embedded in PPACA tend to strike at the wealthy, such as the tax on high-end health insurance..."

    This specific facet of the PPACA is especially telling regarding Obama's intentions when you consider the carve out granted to Unions. The 'Cadillac' plans enjoyed by Obama's largest donors are exempt from the tax. It's redistributive alright, but it only confiscates from *some* of the *wealthy*.

  2. True, true. His statement was magnificently misleading and apparently uttered that way on purpose.


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