Will wonders never cease? One of the main complaints I have had with this election cycle is how the mainstream media has given Barack Obama a pass when it comes to questioning his facts and what he plans to do if he wins this election. They have refused to question him on his past relationships with William Ayers or ACORN and tried to sweep it under the carpet when he made his “spread the wealth” statement to Joe the plumber. It appears that for the time being, at least, they have decided to call him out on some of his facts. It started yesterday with CNN’s Campbell Brown issuing a commentary about Obama’s broken promise to except public financing for the Presidential campaign and continues this morning with articles from CBS and the Associated Press about Obama’s rhetoric and the facts that do not support his assertions.
As I encouraged my readers to do, I refused to watch or listen to Obama’s thirty minute infomercial last night, but according to CBS and the Associated Press, it was full of rhetoric with no facts to back it up. That just sounds like more of the same kind of campaign he has already been running. From the CBS article:
Without question, the Barack Obama infomercial served as a very slick and powerful recitation of the biggest promises he’s made as a presidential candidate. But the very bigness of his ideas is the problem: he seems blind to the concept his numbers don’t add up.
Let’s start with his highly suspect, and widely discredited, claim that he can find federal “spending cuts beyond the costs” of his promises. Very few independent economists believe he has identified the savings needed to offset his remarkable list of tax credits, tax cuts and spending pledges.
Fact: Even if you believe Obama intends to fix health care, most independent analysts say the cost is massive – $1.2 trillion over ten years, according to the highly respected Lewin Group. When the new Congress wakes up next year to a $1 trillion deficit, and answers the overwhelming new demands for another stimulus package, will the leadership really bite on a health care reform package that digs the deficit hole so much deeper?
From the Associated Press article:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office. Obama’s assertion that “I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond” the expense of his promises is accepted only by his partisans. His vow to save money by “eliminating programs that don’t work” masks his failure throughout the campaign to specify what those programs are—beyond the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
A sampling of what voters heard in the ad, and what he didn’t tell them:
THE SPIN: “That’s why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.”
THE FACTS: His plan does not lower premiums by $2,500, or any set amount. Obama hopes that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, among other steps, consumers will end up saving money. He uses an optimistic analysis to suggest cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. Many economists are skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are, it’s not a certainty that every dollar would be passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.
Throughout this entire campaign, Barack Obama has loudly proclaimed the need for change and how John McCain would be just four more years of the same policies espoused by President Bush. He has failed to show that he will be able to produce that change and even if he does, I am afraid it will come at a very high cost to our country and it’s citizens. In reality, Obama is not so much different than any other politician, with the exception that he is very polished with his words and the rhetoric that accompanies them.
What remains are the facts. It’s very clear that whoever wins this election is going to have a tall order in front of them and it’s going to take some doing to get it done. Obama’s big speeches and thirty minute commercials are not going to get it done. His rhetoric about how the Constitution is a fundamentaly flawed document is not the key and his Present votes in the Senate will not help him in the least. It’s going to take hard work from everyone in Washington to pull our country and it’s government out of the doldrums and so far, Barack Obama has not shown himself to be capable. Maybe it would help if he pretends he is just running for another office. That seems to be what he is good at and nothing else.
That’s my take!