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Lie like a rug–American politics in the 21st century

July 19, 2011

Last Friday, President Obama was frustrated with Republicans about the impasse over the debt limit so he peevishly cancelled a negotiating session and held a press conference instead. In that press conference, he made the following statement about how the American public wants the federal government’s budget problems solved:
“You have 80% of the American people who support a balanced approach. 80% of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically.”
That statement, which formed the crux of the whole press conference, is a lie. What’s more, it’s not a debatable point, or a “mistake,” or a matter of interpretation, or a difference of opinion. It was a lie. Most Americans, in fact, would prefer that taxes remain at their current level while the government concentrates on getting spending under control. Poll after poll verifies this, including the latest national poll on the topic, from Gallup, which is the one the president was misrepresenting on Friday. According to that poll, only 32% favor a balanced approach, while 50% prefer only or mostly spending cuts.

What is the nation supposed to do when our president is a bald-faced liar? How can the republic have constructive political dialogue when the most visible member of the government, the CEO of the country, the man who keeps trying to “broker a deal,” is liable to step up to the nearest microphone at any moment and make wild-assed claims that everybody listening knows are false the moment he says them?

“80% of the people want tax increases–health care legislation will reduce the federal deficit and it won’t pay for any abortions and won’t cover illegal aliens–we’ll have a five-day comment period before I sign any bills–as my mother died of cancer she had to worry about whether her health insurance company would cover her bills–the vast majority of the money for my campaign came from small donors across the country–I’ll close GITMO within one year–no lobbyists will work in my administration–my wife, Michelle, is beautiful…"

One lie after another.

What other president has been called a liarjustifiably and aloud–by a sitting congressman while he was addressing a joint session of Congress? The man’s history of lying has become so notorious that it might be easier to list the times he told the truth, rather than list all of his lies (like JPAttitude is trying to do).

Sadly, he’s not the only politician who makes a habit of lying. Yesterday it was Harry Reid’s turn to address the debt limit impasse and this is what he had to say:
"Default would be a plague that would haunt our nation for years to come. Our credit rating would take years to rebuild, and the country would never ever be the same."
Reid’s lies are more subtle, but he manages to pack two of them into two sentences, which is a pretty good batting average even for an all-star (s)hitter like him. Number one–and this is the clever part–he pre-assumes that failing to raise the debt limit will result in default by the U.S. on its debt obligations. That’s completely false. A lie. He makes that assumption so he can carry on with his scare-mongering and list the various calamities he wants to blame on Republicans. Fact is, there is plenty of income to handle interest payments on our debt and thereby avoid default–and send out social security checks, too, while we’re on the subject. Refusing to raise the debt limit means only that the government can’t issue more debt, not that we can’t service our old debt.

They can roll over expiring obligations and there’s plenty of money coming in to make interest payments, so default is not an issue. Every single time you hear a politician equating failure to raise the debt limit with default, you know you’re listening to a liar. Harry Reid is just one of many spreading that one.

Harry’s second lie is exposed by asking a simple question: if failing to raise the debt limit is the worst thing that could happen to our country, then why doesn’t Harry Reid raise the debt limit? As Senate Majority Leader it’s well within his power to do so. All he has to do is agree to the budget cuts proposed by the Republican-led House, and that’s the end of the problem. Voila.

But Harry Reid would rather keep ethanol subsidized and bullet trains financed and Volt rebates flowing and all the other federal government foolishness undiminished. He’s more concerned about the putrid, pork-laden, "stimulus" boondoggles he and his Democrat robber-barons have been doling out for the last two years than he is about the debt limit, so failing to raise the debt limit by August 2 is not the end of the world in Harry’s opinion, no matter what he said yesterday.

He was lying.

So many lies are being told by so many politicians that it’s tempting to excuse them by saying, “This is the way it’s always been.” But this is not the way it’s always been. Politicians have always exaggerated and avoided direct answers and stretched the truth to the breaking point trying to support their political viewpoints, especially during election campaigns, but shameless bald-faced lying that gets exposed almost the moment the lie is uttered is a relatively new phenomenon. Remember Richard Nixon? He resigned from the presidency because he got caught lying, plain and simple. He didn’t break into the Watergate Hotel or even know about the break-in, but he did learn about it afterward and lie about what he knew, and in 1974 that was considered awful enough and shameful enough to make a president of the United States resign from office.

Think about that. Think about how many lies Barack Obama has uttered as president, many of them in the well of the House of Representatives while addressing joint sessions of Congress. Think about Bill Clinton lying under oath about having sex with Monica Lewinsky, or Anthony Weiner’s indignant lying to ABC’s Jonathan Karl about his Twitter scandal, or John Boehner’s lies about the budget deal he made back in April, or Senator Blumenthal from Connecticut constantly lying about having served in Vietnam...

Just thirty seven years ago getting caught in a lie was considered shameful enough to make a politician resign. Now, the president and the leader of the senate do their lying as a tag team and it’s merely business as normal.

If Diogenes was alive today and went looking for an honest man in Washington, D.C., he’d run out of lamp oil.

From Reno, Nevada, USA       

July 23, 2011 - The rest of this article is missing. Did the Obama censors get to it? - K.B., Reno
J.P. replies: You must have the NEW Yahoo email. I learned recently that the new Yahoo doesn’t make URL references into live links like the old Yahoo did, so people with new Yahoo couldn’t click on the link and go to the actual column when they wanted to read more. For the July 22 column, I fixed that. Lord knows how many people have been unable to click on my URLs over the last few months. Sigh.

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