The Politics of Fear and Distortion

A key section of the Preamble in the President’s bi-partisan Deficit Commission report, with a deliberately chosen sub-title “The Moment of Truth”, reads as follows:

The American people are counting on us to put politics aside, pull together not pull apart, and agree on a plan to live within our means and make America strong for the long haul.

As members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, we spent the past eight months studying the same cold, hard facts. Together, we have reached these unavoidable conclusions: The problem is real. The solution will be painful. There is no easy way out. Everything must be on the table. And Washington must lead.

This is a serious document that no patriotic American could possibly read after 8pm at night and then sleep well.  It is like watching a graphically voilent movie, one which stays in your head no matter how hard you try to forget it. 

I’ve already stated in previous posts that the President ignored this report when it was released in December.  In retrospect, perhaps he began reading it and as he finished the preamble, he put it down and said to himself “I’ll never get re-elected addressing these issues”.

And so, forced to come out with a position by a combination of this report, the budget battles of the past month, and the Paul Ryan plan, the President speaks of a nebulous “framework”.  I can accept that for now, but what is completely unacceptable is the way he depicts the overall situation (moderately urgent and completely manageable), the Ryan plan (killing seniors and handicapped children), the “wealthy” (they don’t care, they just want to keep making more and more money on the backs of the less fortunate), and Republicans (heartless and wanting to support the wealthy so they can get the money too).

When we look back on his campaign rhetoric about uniting America (all the way back to his speech at the Democratic Convention when he was a state senator) and we look at the way he has behaved, they are diametrically opposed.  But has anyone noticed?  Never in our lifetimes have we had a President who seeks to divide us more than this President has.  It’s us versus them, the greedy versus the poor, the benevolent democrats against the heartless Republicans, management versus worker, business versus the people, Main Street versus Wall Street.

And so he is at least consistent when we look at how he is handling this great debt crisis we face.  Let’s contemplate what he is doing.  He is pretending that Paul Ryan, his plan, and his party really don’t believe in a safety net for the needy.  That their plan essentially fixes the debt problem by eliminating Medicaid and Social Security, and decimates Medicare.  This would be bad enough, but he is also alleging that the reason that they do so is so that rich people can put more money in their pockets.  And, amazingly, sickeningly, millions of Americans swallow this perspective hook, line, and sinker.

He also pretends that this is, in summary, about tax cuts versus program cuts.  As if we need minor reforms in entitlements, but that we could fix the bulk of the problem with taxes on “the rich” (billionaires, oh, and for that matter anyone making over $200k/year)None of this is true, and while it may be prudent to increase the tax burden of higher earners at some point as part of a comprehensive financial plan, this can be only a small percentage of the solution.

Let me try to say it another way.  The President knows we are facing a crisis.  He knows it.  He also knows that tax increases, if necessary at all, will only put a small dent in the problem.  He also knows that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security must be drastically reformed and reduced or the crisis exacerbates.

He knows these things, but instead of putting the issues in front of the American people as they are and aggressively working to fix things as they are, he distorts them for his own political gain.  Think about that one.  He is knowingly playing games with all 300 million of us simply for political gain.  This is an outrage.

But let’s look at a more specific outrage for a moment.  The Ryan plan clearly points out that changes to Medicare absolutely will not effect anyone over age 55.  The President and his hit men purposefully do not acknowledge this.  They WANT anyone over aged 55 to think that they will lose their Medicare and Social Security under the Ryan plan.  Pause, please, and think about that one.  Our President wants people over 55 to live in fear that they will lose their healthcare and income stream all just so he can get their vote in the next election.  Can you imagine the impact of this?  The number of seniors in America who are now turned upside down in fear of this, and who will be so for at least another 18 months?

We have heard the words come out of the President’s mouth that we need to work in a bi-partisan manner to solve the debt issue.  But his approach is dishonest, unrealistic, and could not be more partisan and antagonistic.   Are we destined for 18 more months of this as he campaigns for re-election?  God help us.

Here are a few more excerpts from the Deficit Commission report that may be of interest to my readers:

By 2025 revenue will be able to finance only interest payments, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Every other federal government activity – from national defense and homeland security to transportation and energy – will have to be paid for with borrowed money.

We cannot play games or put off hard choices any longer. Without regard to party, we have a patriotic duty to keep the promise of America to give our children and grandchildren a better life.

The American people are counting on us to put politics aside, pull together not pull apart.

If the U.S. does not put its house in order, the reckoning will be sure and the devastation severe.

In the weeks and months to come, countless advocacy groups and special interests will try mightily through expensive, dramatic, and heart-wrenching media assaults to exempt themselves from shared sacrifice and common purpose. The national interest, not special interests, must prevail.

Our nation is on an unsustainable fiscal path. Spending is rising and revenues are falling short, requiring the government to borrow huge sums each year to make up the difference.

Health Care Cost Containment: Replace the phantom savings from scheduled Medicare reimbursement cuts that will never materialize and from a new long-term care program that is unsustainable with real, common-sense reforms to physician payments, cost-sharing, malpractice law, prescription drug costs, government-subsidized medical education, and other sources. Institute additional long-term measures to bring down spending growth. (Editors Note– this is where the bi-partisan commission highlights that the health care reform package is a financial ponzi scheme that not only dramatically increases costs, it caters to special interest such as the tort lobby which donates huge sums to Democrat politicians).

The full report is available here:  Deficit Commission Report

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2 Responses to The Politics of Fear and Distortion

  1. Drew McFadden says:

    Good post, Dan. But I think that you didnt finish your last thought…

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