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Obama, Too Subtle to Lie, Misleads on Health Reform

Presient Obama during his Sept. 9 address to Congress.
Presient Obama during his Sept. 9 address to Congress. (Pool Photo By Jason Reed)
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Moreover, if half a trillion is waiting to be squeezed painlessly out of Medicare, why wait for health-care reform? If, as Obama repeatedly insists, Medicare overspending is breaking the budget, why hasn't he gotten started on the painless billions in "waste and fraud" savings?

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Obama doesn't lie. He merely elides, gliding from one dubious assertion to another. This has been the story throughout his whole health-care crusade. Its original premise was that our current financial crisis was rooted in neglect of three things -- energy, education and health care. That transparent attempt to exploit Emanuel's Law -- a crisis is a terrible thing to waste -- failed for health care because no one is stupid enough to believe that the 2008 financial collapse was caused by a lack of universal health care.

So on to the next gambit: selling health-care reform as a cure for the deficit. When that was exploded by the Congressional Budget Office's demonstration of staggering Obamacare deficits, Obama tried a new tack: selling his plan as revenue-neutral insurance reform -- until the revenue neutrality is exposed as phony future cuts and chimerical waste and fraud.

Obama doesn't lie. He implies, he misdirects, he misleads -- so fluidly and incessantly that he risks transmuting eloquence into mere slickness.

Slickness wasn't fatal to "Slick Willie" Clinton because he possessed a winning, nearly irresistible charm. Obama's persona is more cool, distant, imperial. The charming scoundrel can get away with endless deception; the righteous redeemer cannot.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com


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