How do you know a politician is lying? His lips are moving. Ha ha ha ha ha. OK, seriously, you will have no trouble convincing me that politicians’ struggles with reality cross party lines with neither party having a particular monopoly on bending the truth. But, I think we’re seeing something fundamentally different from the current president and analyzing his particular brand of deceit has helped me understand the nuances of political obfuscation.
I recently posted something to a friend’s Facebook page referring to President Obama as a “pathological liar.” She pushed back on that, commenting that my characterization of him suggested some underlying illness that made him unable to tell the difference between his lies and the truth. In other words, I was giving him an out. As I reflected on this, I think she’s right. But, there’s more to the nuance than that.
It made me realize the big difference between broken promises and lies. I would submit that 100% of politicians make promises to get elected and then break them. There’s a fair debate to be had around whether they ever intended to keep the promise or not. Maybe it doesn’t matter. A broken promise is a broken promise. I voted for George H.W. Bush in large part because he promised no new taxes. He even told me to read his lips. I did. A few years later, under immense pressure from democrats (not that that is an acceptable excuse), he broke the promise and threw the economy into recession by so doing. I think President Bush actually did intend to hold the line on taxes so technically he wasn’t lying when he said it. Nonetheless, he broke the promise and I can never quite forgive him for that, despite his good intentions.
But, here’s the big difference between President Bush’s broken promise on new taxes and President Obama’s unique ability to look into a camera and flat out lie to the American people. The day after President Bush consented to higher taxes, he didn’t give a speech saying “I have not raised taxes.” No, rightly or wrongly, he defended his decision to raise taxes and attempted to explain why he broke his promise. It cost him reelection, but to his credit, he was honest. He raised taxes and he told people he raised taxes.
Therein lies the difference with the current Liar-in-Chief. He breaks his promises then lies about doing it. Taxes are again the best case in point. Over and over he has said he will never raise taxes on the middle class; only on “millionaires and billionaires.” Let’s put aside for a moment the inherent lie that raising taxes on the top earners will have any positive impact on the economy and look only at the promise itself. Has he, in fact, raised taxes on the middle class? He continues to say he hasn’t and won’t, but the evidence is clear that he has and he knows it. That makes it a lie, not a broken promise.
A case in point is the recent complaint from Interstate Power and Light against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Because wealthy liberals have this pipe dream of running the country on “green energy,” middle class folks in places like Iowa and Minnesota are being taxed to pay the bill for this green dream. Maybe this is a good time to pause and define the word “tax.” Here is the dictionary definition:
“A contribution for the support of a government required of persons, groups, or businesses within the domain of that government.”
Back to Iowa. When the federal government forces IPL, as they now have, to pay $170 million to connect wind farms to the national power grid, IPL has no choice in their heavily regulated industry but to pass those costs on to customers in the form of higher energy bills. Unambiguously, President Obama has forced middle class Iowans and Minnesotans (Minnesotites?) to pay for this silly wind power crap that will not be economical in your or my (or our children’s) lifetime. In very simple terms, he has taxed them. And, yet, he continues to lie to them by saying he has not. Here’s what the locals say about his tax on their middle class citizens. In their complaint to FERC, IPL says, “The burden of these huge costs is unrelated to any benefits that may accrue to IPL and its customers.” In other words, Obama is taxing middle class Iowans and Minnesotans, giving them nothing in return, and lying about it. And he knows he’s lying.
As egregious as this lie is, and there are many more like it from Obama (see: Railway, High Speed), it is still child’s play relative to the Obamacare tax, which will run into the billions and hit the middle class the hardest. When Obama was lying about the bill to get it passed, he promised it would bend the cost curve. Well, it has – upward that is. Now, all estimates show that healthcare costs will increase under the bill. But, this falls into the category of lying with a lowercase “l” or maybe just a broken promise. The Lie with a capital “L” is that he won’t tax the middle class to pay for it. He tried to obfuscate this lie by calling it a penalty, but Chief Justice Roberts said, “not so fast.” If it’s a penalty, it’s unconstitutional. Not so if it’s a tax and a tax it is. Yet, again, President Liar still looks into the teleprompter and tells us he has only raised taxes on millionaires and billionaires. He’s lying and he knows it.
So, Bonnie, you were right. Obama is not a pathological liar who can’t tell truth from deceit. He’s a conniving Liar with a capital L who knows exactly what lies he is perpetrating on the America public and he does it repeatedly, without hesitation and, thanks to his adoring liberal media, with impunity. Shameful.