Democracy and Power 108: Obfuscation
Wherever politics intrudes upon economic life, political success is readily attained by saying what people like to hear rather than what is demonstrably true. Instead of safeguarding truth and honesty, the state then tends to become a major source of insincerity and mendacity. – Hans F. Sennholz
Seeking a favorable image, the politician talks in generalities, exaggerates and obfuscates.
ObamaCare – President was not and is not Truthful
In 2010, a supporter of Obamacare, Jack M. Balkin of Yale Law School, opined the “penalty” was actually a tax and deemed it Constitutional. Mr. Balkin also observed that President Obama was not being truthful with the American people. The New York Times reported:
Mr. Obama “has not been honest with the American people about the nature of this bill,” Mr. Balkin said last month at a meeting of the American Constitution Society, a progressive legal organization. “This bill is a tax. Because it’s a tax, it’s completely constitutional.
Previously, the President was untruthful when emphatically denying it was a tax. The Wall Street Journal reports:
President Barack Obama, talking to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, September 2009:
Stephanopoulos: Your critics say it [the mandate] is a tax increase.
Obama: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but—
Stephanopoulos: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?
Obama: I absolutely reject that notion.
Deceitfully, after ObamaCare became a law and lawsuits were filed challenging its Constitutionality, the Obama legal defense intentionally asserted that ObamaCare was actually a tax. The New York Times reports:
Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax
When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”
And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.
Thus, in court, the Obama administration claimed ObamaCare was a tax, but immorally continued to tell the public it was a penalty. Additionally deceitful, the White House claimed ObamaCare would not raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year. Again, the Wall Street Journal:
From the White House website, December 2009:
“The Truth on Health Care Reform and Taxes”
As we move into the final stage of the historic push for health reform, opponents of reform are testing the age old adage that if you only say something enough times you can somehow make it true. Yesterday, we heard a new version of the old, tired refrain that the health reform bills in Congress would raise taxes on the middle class. So let’s set the record straight: First, the health insurance reform bill being considered in the Senate does not raise taxes on families making less than $250,000.
Following the Obama Administration’s deceptions, the Democrats continued to intentionally mislead the public: The WSJ:
Then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, July 2010: “I don’t see this as a tax.”
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, February 2012: “It [the mandate] operates the same way a tax would operate, but it’s not per se a tax.”
Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients appearing before House Budget Committee, February 2012:
Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.): If I make under $250,000 and I do not buy health insurance as I’m required to under the Affordable Care Act, is that a tax on me or is that not a tax on me? A moment ago you said there are no tax increases.
Zients: There aren’t.
Garrett: So that’s not a tax?
Today, every sentient American knows five justices of the Supreme Court have ruled ObamaCare is a tax, which is the sole reason it is Constitutional. Despicably, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party continue to spin that ii is merely a penalty.
First, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, who has sworn to preserve and protect the Constitution, has said:
Call it what you will.
Worse, the Obama Administration continues their deceits. Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, continues to mislead and cover-up for their previous mendacities. As the UPI reports:
Carney: It’s a penalty, not a tax
WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) — The Obama administration believes those in the United States who choose not to buy health insurance will be paying a penalty, not a tax, a spokesman said.
It’s a penalty because you have a choice,” Carney said. “You don’t have a choice to pay your taxes, right? You have a choice to buy — if you can afford health insurance. … So if you don’t buy it, and you can afford it, it is an irresponsible thing to do to ask the rest of America’s taxpayers to pay for your care when you go to the emergency room. So your choice is to purchase healthcare reform or a penalty will be administered.
This tax/penalty obfuscation is the continuing deceit and corruption associated with all aspects of ObamaCare.
First, there were the “deals” between doctors, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, insurers, AARP, etc and the Obama Administration -exchanging support for the legislation and receiving an enormous, financial benefit in return.
Followed by legislators trading votes for political favors. Majority Leader Harry Reid bought the votes of a least two senators – the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback. Once ObamaCare became law, the federal bureaucracy had extraordinary rule-making power. Up to the present, arbitrary rules are being promulgated and politically motivated waivers are given to unions and some businesses.
Today, Jay Carney of the White House continues to spin it is a “penalty,” and the deceit is condoned by the President. Denying ObamaCare is a tax and it will not increase taxes exemplifies the lack of virtue of President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius and many of his supporters.
In the case of ObamaCare, all the moral transgressions have been caused by Democrats. However, as envisioned by our Founders, America has few people of virtue in political life – on both sides of the aisle. This must change. Without virtuous leaders, our freedom and prosperity will continue to decline and will be destroyed.
Immediately, America must elect virtuous leaders and stop the shenanigans of American politicians. This is absolutely essential in order to continue the freedoms set forth for us by our Constitution.
James Madison, John Adams and George Mason appreciated that no government will survive without virtuous leaders. As stated in a previous post on the President’s abuse of executive power:
The aim of every political Constitution, is or ought to be first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.
– James Madison
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our constitution as a whale goes through a net.
– John Adams
No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
– George Mason
Obama, Reid, Pelosi and their accolades have intentionally abused their power and deceived the American people. This violation of virtue is exactly what Madison, Adams and Mason feared would destroy freedom and prosperity in America. So far, their violation of virtue has caused a great mistrust of government and contributes to fascilitate America’s economic and moral decline.
FreedomWorks Letter to Congress in Support of Fiscal Commision Act (H.R. 5779)