Actually, Obama Does Kinda Lie (No. 5 in a Series)

Congress has declared that it is no longer appropriate to say that the President lied. You can also, apparently, no longer accuse the President of being intellectually dishonest…which is difficult considering how intellectually dishonest this President can be. Of course, the rules only apply to this President. Three years from now you’ll be allowed to accuse President Romney of causing cancer.

Then again, Dear Leader doesn’t “lie” as much as he subtly has fun with the facts and says things that aren’t completely true. They say it’s not a lie if you honestly believe what your saying, even if what your saying is totally insulting to your audiences intelligence.

Charles Krauthammer watched his most recent most important speech ever, and found a few examples

“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future,” he solemnly pledged. “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future. Period.” Wonderful. The president seems serious, veto-ready, determined to hold the line. Until, notes Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, you get to Obama’s very next sentence: “And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.” This apparent strengthening of the pledge brilliantly and deceptively undermines it. What Obama suggests is that his plan will require mandatory spending cuts if the current rosy projections prove false. But there’s absolutely nothing automatic about such cuts. Every Congress is sovereign. Nothing enacted today will force a future Congress or a future president to make any cuts in any spending, mandatory or not.

Just look at the supposedly automatic Medicare cuts contained in the Sustainable Growth Rate formula enacted to constrain out-of-control Medicare spending. Every year since 2003, Congress has waived the cuts. Mankiw puts the Obama bait-and-switch in plain language. “Translation: I promise to fix the problem. And if I do not fix the problem now, I will fix it later, or some future president will, after I am long gone. I promise he will. Absolutely, positively, I am committed to that future president fixing the problem. You can count on it. Would I lie to you?”

Obama said he would largely solve the insoluble cost problem of Obamacare by eliminating “hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud” from Medicare. That’s not a lie. That’s not even deception. That’s just an insult to our intelligence. Waste, fraud and abuse — Meg Greenfield once called this phrase “the dread big three” — as the all-purpose piggy bank for budget savings has been a joke since Jimmy Carter first used it in 1977. Moreover, if half a trillion is waiting to be squeezed painlessly out of Medicare, why wait for health-care reform? If, as Obama repeatedly insists, Medicare overspending is breaking the budget, why hasn’t he gotten started on the painless billions in “waste and fraud” savings?

So see, the President doesn’t lie. He just, as Dr. K puts it, he implies, misdirects, and misleads.

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