A 17 minute Obama re-election “infomercial”, narrated by Tom Hanks, turns out to be like a typical Obama speech: full of half-truths, and if I may, lies. But don’t take my word for it, go to http://www.factcheck.org, the non-partisan site which compares facts to claims made by politicians, and see how they pan the infomercial’s claims. I don’t know what upsets me more, that Obama’s false claims are believed by the naive left and may lead to his re-election, or that Tom Hanks (once one of my favorite actors and human beings, and probably one of yours too) is the narrator of this piece of propaganda. Tom Hanks, telling known untruths, in a political infomercial. Ugh.
Below are some examples of the latest Obama distortions as told to us by Tom Hanks:
1. It claims that the auto companies have “repaid their loans”. The auto companies were given $80 billion by the government (i.e. us taxpayers) and they have paid back $40 billion of it. They have no more “repaid their loans” than we have “repaid our loans” after we make our 180th mortgage payment out of 360 payments. We are owed $40 billion (not counting the additional $13 billion noted below).
2. Hanks says that the Bush administration gave $13 billion to the auto companies “without asking for anything in return”, and that the money was gone (and implied, wasted) by the time Obama took office. In actuality, this was a “bridge loan” from the Bush administration to get auto companies through until they provided their “economic viability plans” (which were the conditions upon which the auto companies were provided the loans), and these plans were due by March 31, 2009. And, in fact, members of the Obama administration appreciated (whispered of course, never praise the predecessor) and respected the way Bush handled the transition of the auto industry crisis so as not to hand Obama a complete disaster in transition. Note, the Obama administration decided to “forgive” the $13 billion loan from the Bush administration, so that’s money the taxpayers will never be “repaid”.
3. Further on Hanks claim that Bush asked for “nothing in return”, Bush actually requested the following in a 372 page document: “limiting executive compensation and perks, eliminating dividends, concessions from creditors and unions, provide the government veto power over transactions exceeding $100 million, reduce unsecured debt obligations by 2/3rds, and to fully open their financial books to the government. How much does it disturb the VOR that Tom Hanks claimed Bush requested “nothing in return”, in light of the long list of things he did ask for in return?
4. The video claims that because of Obamacare 17 million kids cannot be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, implying that’s how many had been denied prior to Obamacare. An emotional claim that just happens to be patently false. As it turns out, very few kids (if any) were being denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
5. Hanks says, astoundingly: “Not since days of Roosevelt had so much fallen on shoulders of one president. And when he faced his country; he would not dwell in blame or idealism.” Can I ever enjoy a Hanks film again? This President, who has at least 200 times blamed “my predecessor” and used the two words “I inherited…” a thousand times, didn’t dwell in blame? We have never had a President in my lifetime who has expressed such disdain for a predecessor and shown so little decorum when it comes to our traditions of mutual respect between past and present Presidents, and who has an eye towards such a large rear view mirror. Accountability is a foreign term for President Obama, and how Hanks and the left miss this simply scares me to death. As Karl Rove suggests, Google “Obama Blame Bush” and watch your screen fill up with examples.
6. The video touts 3.5 million jobs created or saved (or saved? What’s the metric for that one?). It forgets, I’m sure in an unintentional oversight, to mention the 6 million jobs that have been lost during this Presidency. Wouldn’t it be fun to have the discussion on this one with Hanks over a latte at Starbucks?
7. Hanks also says that “health care costs had been rising three times the rate of inflation, crushing family budgets and choking businesses,” and that “Obama couldn’t fix the economy without fixing health care”. As it turns out, healthcare costs have continued to rise, and at an even greater rate than in 2009. In addition, even the most optimistic non-partisan analyses shows that Obamacare will generate $4 trillion or more in additional and unfunded costs over the next 12 years. (The VOR estimate is $9 trillion). There is not a single person I have seen on either side of the aisle who claims that Obamacare “helped” our economy, and most experts say it slowed employment significantly and created great economic uncertainty which lingers on.
8. The film claims that Obama was fair-handed in his handling of the bailout, offering no concessions to unions. Uh, I guess so, unless you count giving the union a 17.5% ownership stake in GM, and a 55% ownership stake in Chrysler, a concession.
We must not let these claims, which can only survive a voting public that does not focus, allow the President to gain re-election. That Tom Hanks tells us this “success story” makes it compelling, until you end up where I am– and that is at a point where Tom Hanks word just doesn’t mean as much anymore.