President Pinocchio: He clearly lied about ObamaCare
“All we've been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it. ... I'm infuriated because I was lied to,” one woman told the Los Angeles Times as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of ObamaCare.
And that lie looks like the biggest lie about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president.
The most famous presidential lies have to do with misconduct (Richard Nixon's “I am not a crook” or Bill Clinton's “I did not have sexual relations”) or war. Woodrow Wilson campaigned on the slogan “He kept us out of war” and then plunged us into a calamitous war. Franklin D. Roosevelt made a similar vow: “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”
Roosevelt knew he was making false promises. He explained to an aide: “If someone attacks us, it isn't a foreign war, is it?” When his own son questioned his honesty, FDR replied: “If I don't say I hate war, then people are going to think I don't hate war. ... If I don't say I won't send our sons to fight on foreign battlefields, then people will think I want to send them. ... So you play the game the way it has been played over the years, and you play to win.”
The burning question about Barack Obama is whether he was simply “playing to win” and therefore lying on purpose, or whether his statements about ObamaCare were just another example of, as Obama once put it, “I actually believe my own” spin, though he used another word.
“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people,” he told the American Medical Association in 2009. “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
No matter how you slice it, that was a lie.
As many as 16 million Americans on the individual health-insurance market may lose their insurance policies. Just in the last month, hundreds of thousands have been notified by their insurers that their policies will be canceled. In fact, it appears that more Americans may have lost coverage than gotten it since Healthcare.gov went “live” (a term one must use advisedly). And when the business mandate finally kicks in, tens of millions more probably will lose their plans.
Ah, but they'll get better ones!
That appears to be the new rationalization for Obama's bait-and-switch. “Right now all that insurance companies are saying is, ‘We don't meet the requirements under ObamaCare, but we're going to offer you a better deal!'” explained Juan Williams on “Fox News Sunday.”
A better deal according to whom?
Say I like my current car. The government says under some new policy I will be able to keep it and maybe even lower my car payments. But once the policy is imposed, I'm told my car now isn't street-legal.
Worse, I will have to buy a much more expensive car or be fined by the IRS.
But, hey, it'll be a much better car! Why, even though you live in Death Valley, your new car will have great snow tires and heated seats.
This is what the government is saying to millions of Americans who don't want or need certain coverage, including, for instance, older women — and men — who are being forced to pay for maternity care. Such overcharging is necessary to pay for the poor and the sick signing up for ObamaCare or for the newly expanded Medicaid.
At least Darth Vader was honest about his bait-and-switch: “I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.” Obama won't even admit he lied.
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Obama talked at great length about the middle class and not once about the poor. His critics on the right said he was lying, that he was really more interested in income distribution. Such charges were dismissed as paranoid and even racist. But the critics were right. Obama was either lying to himself or to the rest of us — because he was playing the game to win.
Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor-at-large of National Review Online.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
- Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
- Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
- Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
- Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
- Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
- Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
- Emails among Governor Wolf’s aides reveal concern over AG Kane
- Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
- Traded after Stanley Cup, Saad not alone in being dealt after title
- Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall