The alternative media has been calling Mr. Obama a liar and worse for quite some time. His State of the Union (SOTU) messages are rich in untruths, told right in front of our elected representatives solemnly assembled. Googling "Obama tells us" turns up skeptical reactions from all over the world such as these from Canada and Israel.
Do the mainstream press call him on these whoppers? Hardly. The closest we can find to a major paper pointing out the administration's fibs was the reliably-liberal Washington Post saying:
The White House of course has a right to its own opinion, as wrongheaded as we believe it to be. It doesn’t have a right to make up facts... [emphasis added]
The WaPo was commenting on the White House's assertion that the Republican-driven DC school voucher system hadn't improved test scores despite plain evidence that not only had the private schools done a better job than the union-dominated public schools, they'd done a better job for less money per pupil.
Some commentators have pointed out that Mr. Obama's threats that Social Security checks might not go out unless the debt ceiling is raised are unsophisticated at best. The Wall Street Journal explained:
So, when the president says that thanks to the debt ceiling "there may simply not be the money in the coffers" to send out the $20 billion in August Social Security checks, he either does not understand the way the system works, or the administration intends to spend the money on something else. [emphasis added]
The Journal has it right - not letting the government borrow any more doesn't stop government spending because tax money still flows to Washington. They can spend what they take in without increasing the debt, just not a penny more.
The is Mr. Obama's dilemma - his Democrat-dominated Congress authorized massive amounts of spending so he could take care of people who vote for him. Unless he can get the new Republican Congress to let him raise the debt ceiling, he'll have to spend less than Congress said he could.
That would be terrible - he and he alone would have to decide to pay some and not to pay others. His preferences would stand revealed for all to see. He might spend the Social Security money on something else, for example.
So what does he do? He tells more lies. USA Today published an op-ed which they said was written just for them by Mr. Obama himself:
For years now, America has been spending more money than we take in. The result is that we have too much debt on our nation's credit card — debt that will ultimately weaken our economy, lead to higher interest rates for all Americans, and leave us unable to invest in things like education, or protect vital programs like Medicare.
Neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this debt, ... [emphasis added]
What a whopper! It's true that debt went up under the Bush (R) administration - but his biggest debt increase was in Mr. Bush's last years when Congress was dominated by big-spending Democrats. Debt exploded after the Democrats took over the Senate in 2008 - not one Republican voted for the huge costs of Obamacare. He's trying to duck the blame for his fiscal sins.
Having admitted that he'd spent too much, Mr. Obama laid out his plan to reduce the deficit:
But the American people deserve the truth from their leaders. And the truth is, you can't get rid of the deficit by simply eliminating waste and fraud, or getting rid of pet projects and foreign aid, like some have suggested. Those things represent only a tiny fraction of what we spend our money on.
At the same time, it's also true that if we tackle our deficit with spending cuts alone, it will likely end up costing seniors and middle-class families a great deal. Retired Americans will have to pay a lot more for their health care. Students will have to pay a lot more for college. ...
That's why people in both parties have suggested that the best way to take on our deficit is with a more balanced approach. Yes, we should make serious spending cuts. But we should also ask the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations to pay their fair share through fundamental tax reform. Before we stop funding clean energy research, we should ask oil companies and corporate jet owners to give up the tax breaks that other companies don't get. [emphasis added]
This sounds very reasonable and measured, but Mr. Obama always sounds reasonable when he tries to prolong his unaffordable vision of a society that takes care of everyone regardless of cost. There are two problems with his plan, and they're serious enough for us to call the whole thing a lie.
Having watched the Democrats do the same thing to President Reagan years before, we were agog and aghast at seeing Mr. Bush get sucked in by the same lie. Having raised taxes without cutting spending, Mr. Bush I lost his re-election bid to Mr. Clinton.
No matter what Mr. Obama says, there's no way anyone can trust a Democrat's promises about cuts.
To paraphrase a Supreme Court justice, we say, "The only way to cut spending is to cut spending." Congress, do not increase the ceiling no matter what!
Shutting off the credit card would force a spending cut of about 30%. Let's see who Mr. Obama funds and whom he stiffs. Then we'll know what his spending priorities really are, and either way, we'll owe less.