LETTER TO FAMILY & FRIENDS
I was asked recently to comment on the use of lies, flip flopping, and spin in the presidential campaign. Politicians from both parties and their surrogates are and have been guilty of all these methods of distortion. I will concentrate on those of the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party in this blog because I believe the distortions here are more dangerous to our nation than those of their opponents and are more outside the normal use of truth twisting. I am aware of my own bias in favor of centrist policies and hope I will not offend my many Democrat friends, present or past. I’m going to present the case in bullet form without paragraphs of evidence.
*President Obama is often mistakenly accused of lying when he simply failed to reach one of his goals: Unemployment under 8 percent and cut the deficit in half in his first term if he was given more than 800 billion of stimulus to spend. Those are not lies; they are simply failures of management and leadership.
* Obamacare will be deficit neutral. No one now believes that will happen. Lie? Probably not. But the denial of movement of 700 plus billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare is much closer to the definition of a lie. Many would say that is just slight-of-hand budgeting and more in line with spinning the truth. It seems clear this transfer happened but the faithful will say it was all going to a medical fund for the American people. The choice is yours.
* Repeated charges that the Republican Party is waging a war on women is a hard stretch to fit under political spin. Did Secretary Sebelius of HHS anticipate the firestorm that followed her decree that the Catholic Church had to pay for contraceptives for women who worked in all Catholic hospitals, clinics, and schools? The issue was and is, simply: Could the president force the Catholic Church to pay for something that is against their religious beliefs? To me this is clearly an example of the Big Lie strategy. Speakers at the DNC expanded on the extent of the “war on women” to fears of losing their right to vote or exercise of their right to decide on having an abortion. Maybe they were reading too much into the Republican Party platform. Platforms of both parties, no longer, if ever, follow principles. They are used to give radical and fringe elements evidence of their influence in return for their support.
* If only Congress, especially the House, would pass the president’s Jobs Bill or bills, millions of jobs would be created. Lie or an example of the vast difference between Progressive and Republican financial theories? I think this is not the president or his surrogates lying. This issue is a philosophical chasm that divides conservative from progressive. The Keynesian theory, in simple form is that government spending or pump priming can grow the economy and bring an economic system from recession to a growth mode. It can add jobs in the public sector and in infrastructure improvements as long as the taxpayers continue to pay the costs. It does not create wealth or long-term growth. Only the private sector by expanding the supply of goods and services to sell in the free market can create wealth and improve the gross national product.
Henry Morgenthau, FDR’s Secretary of Treasury and financial guru, remarked after several years of trying Keynesian economics that it just doesn’t work. Contrary to folklore, the unemployment rate late into President Roosevelt’s tenure was more than 12 percent. Many communists and socialist nations have tried to develop growth and national wealth through varying forms of Keynesian schemes. All failed. Yet it remains a mantra of the far left, while to Progressives supply side economics is still the enemy of growth, even though its record shows a very high rate of success. While it is true that the House and the Senate have not passed the president’s jobs plan nor any of his budgets, their failure is due more to their lack of fiscal reality than to partisan politics. Not one Democrat voted for any of the president’s budgets. (This is an example of political spinning and differing beliefs and not lying.)
* Political spinning is also the answer to conflicts about the amount of jobs created, when, by whom, and at what cost. The whole rationale of how the unemployment rate is computed gives wide latitude to different claims. Progressive ads and political claims are often not lying, just avoiding the unpleasant facts in favor of partisan sound bites. And every time a politician, from either party, changes his or her mind in the face of new information or an internal conviction, their new position should not be called flip-flopping. Maybe it was the right thing to do.
Rather than labeling opposition statements as lies, wouldn’t it be better to shed light on the truth, even the relative truth?
http://www.factsandfictions.com The author of the Jack Brandon thriller series.