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September 15, 2009

On the Right Side: Don't let truth get in the way


I had to wait to write this column until Obama's ego was assuaged by giving yet another prime-time campaign speech.

He wanted bipartisanship, yet continually scolded Republicans and conservatives.

Yes, Joe Wilson was right, Obama doesn't let facts get in the way, and he has no problem telling untruths to advance what he wants. We should be used to this by now.

Yes, in many ways he is enjoyable to watch. He has all the moves down pat. He is a great reader of the teleprompter, he does have charisma and he still thinks these skills are going to get him anything he wants.

Fortunately, ordinary people who got fooled once are starting to see right through him. Just take a look at his plunging approval ratings and his soaring disapproval scores. But yet he plods on. As is his typical style, great rhetoric but no substance.

But, almost everyone, except for Obama, the mainstream media (who are becoming more irrelevant each day), and the liberal left wing of the Democrat Party realizes a change of such magnitude should be taken slowly, cautiously and in phases.

He has pretty much used up his political capital and should have thought of this before he wasted it on his failed stimulus bill and his soon-to-fail cap-and-trade legislation.

The Republicans have a lot of good advice for you, but you haven't been bothered to listen to them at all since last April or May. Please define bipartisanship for me once more, Barack.

Here's some advice for you.

Baby steps, Barack, baby steps. An outline first and then I'll expand.

1. Tort reform. I know you are in the front pocket of those ambulance-chasing malpractice trial lawyers, but you have to give more than lip service to it.

You don't think it is a little laughable to appoint your Health and Human Services secretary to run trial tests, on a small scale, in several states when for many years she was the director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association? Only you could not see the irony in that. Also, start to show our medical professionals the respect they deserve. They are not a commodity but dedicated individuals who you consistently accuse of lining their pockets with profits from unnecessary tests and procedures.

You know that is simply not true, Barack, and I am going to hammer you hard on that one in a later column.

2. Medicare and Medicaid waste and fraud. Why don't you prove that the government is up to taking care of this problem before you try to convince us the government can be a beacon of efficiency on a much grander scale?

I can't wait to see how you are going to get $544 billion of savings out of this program. You never seem to be able or willing to tell us the specifics.

3. Stop lying about the number of uninsured. You know that 46 million or 47 million individuals involuntarily without insurance coverage is blatantly not true.

Why do you need 1,000-plus pages of legalese to cover the more accurate figure of 10 million to 15 million truly uninsured? Darn those facts, huh, Barack?

4. Open up competition on a national level so that there is more free-market activity between many more insurance companies, rather than the monopoly of two or three companies in each state. I guess your experience with ACORN and your radical associations didn't teach you much about free-market capitalism.

5. Stop lying about not funding illegal aliens or abortions. If this was true, as you say it is, why did your radical Democrat leadership disallow very plain, clear-cut amendments to make this certain?

6. Stop lying about a single-payer system that is not government-run. This is what you have preferred all along and have called for it repeatedly, even well before you campaigned. Your bait-and-switch, smoke-and-mirror tricks aren't going to hide this one.

7. Finally, there are plenty of ways to use our tax code to provide deductions and credits so that it will be easier and less costly for individuals to provide for their own insurance coverage if they want it.

So, Barack, it looks like I'm going to have a lot of fun these next few columns. I promise I will only use facts to back myself up.

I thought at one time Jimmy Carter was going down in history as the worst president ever and that you were simply going to be "Carter lite." I think I got it wrong. Jimmy is going to end up as "Barack lite."

For the sake of the country, let's hope your history is limited to four years.

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Tom Sears is a professor of accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He can be reached at SearsT@hartwick.edu. His column appears every other week.