Breaking faith with the American people, on everything from health care to oil drilling.
When he was asking for our vote in 2008, then candidate Barack Obama most famously promised the American people:
And I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” [Emphasis added]
He didn’t just make that pledge once or twice. He promised it to the American people over and over, making it the centerpiece of his campaign.
His now enacted health care takeover bill directly violates that pledge. If you do not obtain the health insurance that Obama and Congressional Democrats now demand by law, either through your employer or directly yourself, then you must pay a new 2.5% income tax, or a minimum of $695 per person up to $2,085 per family. This applies to everyone making less than $250,000 per year as well as those making more than $250,000 per year. It cannot be logically denied that this violates a pledge not to impose any form of tax increase on such workers, though President Obama has, indeed, tried to so deny it.
But it gets worse. Because you don’t really avoid an effective tax increase by buying the required health insurance. Even with the budget crushing new entitlement subsidies in Obamacare, the mandated health insurance, with all of the required politically correct benefits and subject to highly expensive giveaway regulation, will be quite expensive, ranging up to 2% of income for people at 133% of poverty to 9.8% of income for people at 400% of poverty. That is like a new payroll tax, and everyone making less than 400% of poverty is making less than $250,000 per year.
But the pattern gets even worse. The above quoted pledge came right after an attack by Obama on his then GOP opponent John McCain for proposing to tax the Cadillac health plans of all workers, including those making less than $250,000 a year. Obama said then, “The better your health care plan, the harder you fought for your good benefits, the higher the taxes you’ll pay under John McCain’s plan.” But the health care legislation President Obama just signed taxes precisely the Cadillac health plans of workers making below $250,000 per year, as well as those making above $250,000, albeit after 2018.
The last time a President so blatantly violated a similar pledge was during the Administration of the first President Bush. After campaigning and winning in 1988 on a pledge of “Read my lips, no new taxes,” he broke that pledge in agreeing to the 1990 budget deal. The public rightly voted him out of office in the next election, because if a candidate once elected can so blatantly violate what he campaigned on, then we have lost our democracy, as there is then no way to express the will of the people among different policy choices.
President Obama owes John McCain an apology, not to mention the American people. But he owes one to Hillary Clinton too. During the Democrat primary battle, Obama attacked Hillary for supporting an individual mandate forcing people to buy the health insurance the government specifies. But the health care legislation he just signed includes precisely such a mandate.
The pattern goes all the way back to Barack Obama’s first appearance on the national stage, at the 2004 Democrat national convention. There he trumpeted as a central theme a call for a new era of post-partisanship, or bipartisan cooperation. He continued promoting that popular theme right through the 2008 election.
But since the election, what has been bipartisan? He laughed Republicans out of the room during the stimulus debate, saying “I won the election.” His Cap and Trade energy tax proposal squeaked through the House on a virtual party line vote, with no concessions to Republicans. Congressional Democrats locked Republicans out of health care deliberations, and then passed the legislation on a total party line vote in both houses, without a concession sufficient to win a single Republican vote. And so it has gone on every issue.
Health Care Deceptions
The pattern continues to this day. On April 1, Obama was in Portland, Maine, trying to sell the just enacted health care legislation. He proclaimed, “And over time, costs will come down for families, businesses, and the federal government, reducing our deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades. That’s what this reform will do.”
Is it not deceptive for the President of the United States to run around the country saying that the Congressional Budget Office scores his legislation as reducing the deficit by a trillion dollars over the next two decades, without revealing that this deficit reduction estimate is based on an assumed $2.5 trillion in Medicare cuts as specified in his legislation? Such draconian Medicare cuts will sharply reduce the health care services that doctors and hospitals will be willing to provide to seniors. More and more seniors will be told in the coming years to just take the painkiller and go home, as President Obama suggested last year. With those cuts, and others, incentives will be squelched for investing the billions necessary for development of the breakthrough health care technologies, the life saving health care innovations applying the latest medical science, and the now possible miracle cure drugs improving and saving lives.
I thought the Obama health care gravy train was about providing health care for all. Or was it really about creating health care dependency for all, capturing voters for the Democrat political machine?
But President Obama continued last week in Portland, Maine, saying that under his now enacted health care overhaul “Insurance companies won’t be able to drop people when they get sick.” But that was, in fact, the law long before Obama ever came to Washington, because health insurance that can be canceled just because you get sick is like fire insurance that can be cancelled after your house catches on fire, or like flood insurance that can be canceled after the flood. That’s not insurance at all, and the prohibition on such cancellation can and should be strictly enforced without Obamacare’s trillion dollar new entitlement, 100 new health care bureaucracies, government mandates, multitrillion dollar tax increases, health care rationing, and draconian Medicare cuts.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?