Lying. Dissembling. Peddling half-truths. Redefining words. Taking credit for something in which he had no part. Those words/phrases describe what President Barack Hussein Obama has said or done and is now saying or doing.
- Lying: “Big Oil” and Lobbying
“Big Oil” has become a favorite Obama target. On March 29, 2012, Obama said, “Congress up until this point has thought it was a good idea to send billions more of your tax dollars to the oil industry.” Obama appealed to Congress to “stand with the American people” and vote to end subsidies to the oil and gas industry. But there is one problem: “Big Oil” receives tax incentives. In no sense can what “Big Oil” receives be called a subsidy — the sending of “billions more of your tax dollars to the oil industry.” Further, the incentives (sometimes referred to as tax breaks) are available to any US company.
On November 10, 2007, candidate Obama said, “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”
The Obama administration recently hired former lobbyist Steve Ricchetti, a registered federal lobbyist for nearly a decade, to serve as counselor to Vice President Joe Biden.
Although Obama signed an executive order codifying this pledge on his first full day in office, the administration has made use of a loophole in the order that permits waivers for former lobbyists to serve. In some cases, the administration has hired former lobbyists without a waiver.
- Dissembling: ObamaCare and Oil Reserves
The Obama administration’s argument for ObamaCare had been that it will initially increase costs and deficits. But it pays for itself, the administration says, in the long run because it reduces costs in coming decades. However, the CBO says that in its second decade, ObamaCare significantly increases health care costs, increasing deficits even more than in the first decade.
Obama’s own first-decade numbers were built on arithmetic trickery. New taxes to support the health care plan began in 2011, but the benefits part of the program doesn’t begin until 2015. That excess revenue is one-time-only, making the first-decade numbers look artificially low, but once you pass 2015, the yearly deficits become larger and eternal.
Regarding oil, Obama has said numerous times, “With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices, not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil.” It turns out President Obama’s statement is not entirely accurate.
The 2% figure Obama uses refers to proved oil reserves and greatly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually has. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country has vast quantities of oil — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years. The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proven reserves, which is a little less than 2 percent of the entire world’s proven reserves, but proven reserves are a small subset of recoverable resources because they count only the oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.
When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S. according to various government reports. The U.S. has 60 times more oil than Obama claims.
- Peddling Half-Truths: Auto Industry Loan Repayment and Domestic Oil Production
While technically true, General Motors (GM) did, indeed, pay its government bailout loan early. How GM accomplished that feat had nothing to do with earnings, management, or sales. GM did it by taking Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money to pay off the bailout loan, and now it must pay off the TARP money. Overall, GM’s debt remained the same.
This is how GM and the Obama administration used a PR gimmick to fool the American public in hopes of winning some favor. All of these shenanigans were going on while Obama hailed auto industry’s comeback.
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) wrote in April 2010: “The taxpayers are still on the hook, and whether TARP funds are ultimately recovered depends entirely on the government’s ability to sell GM stock in the future. Treasury has merely exchanged a legal right to repayment for an uncertain hope of sharing in the future growth of GM. A debt-for-equity swap is not a repayment,” Grassley wrote, referring to the $60-plus-billion loan which the Obama administration allowed GM to convert to an “unsecured” “security.”
And here is a bit of news that you will not hear from Obama or the MSM. The Detroit News reported in February 2012 that the U.S. Treasury now says it has lost an extra $170 million in the auto industry bailout because the price of GM stock has fallen 35% from its high.
And, by the way, while Obama, his administration, and the MSM hail TARP money payback, how it was done is, at best, a half-truth.
On March 22, 2012, in Boulder City, NV, Obama said, “We’re going to continue to produce oil and gas at a record pace.” In another speech, he said, “Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.”
Again, what he said is technically true, but while domestic oil production may have increased under Obama, it has absolutely nothing to do with his policies. Again, Obama is telling a half-truth. Approximately 96% of the total increase in domestic oil production between 2007 and 2011 occurred on non-federal land, which Obama does not control. Not only did almost all of the production take place on land beyond the Obama administration’s control, but it decreased on land within his control.
So, yes, he was truthful, but not completely truthful. Are we being generous to credit him with half the truth?
- Redefining Words: “Subsidy” and “Fair”
One of the favorite words Obama likes to throw around is “subsidy.” A bill, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) — a bill that Obama favored — purports to “put an end to the unfair tax subsidies that only benefit Big Oil’s bottom line[.]” Further, they say the bill “will put an end to taxpayer handouts to the 5 largest oil companies making record profits.”
Obama, while in Boulder City, NV, said, “The current members of the Flat Earth Society in Congress, they would rather see us continue to provide $4 billion in tax subsidies, tax giveaways to the oil companies.” Isn’t it rather ironic that the word “subsidy” is being redefined in view of Solyndra, Beacon Power, and Ener1? It appears that, in light of Obama’s failed “green energy” policy, he is trying to hide behind his redefinition of the word.
Another of Obama’s favorite words to redefine is “fair” (adjective).” While speaking at Osawatomie, KS, in December, 2011, he called for rich to “pay their fair share.” If we are supposed to be fair, to play by the same set of rules, why do we need 30-plus “czars” to exercise powers over Americans who have committed no crimes? If we’re all going to be fair, to play by the same rules now, does that mean that Obama’s buddies are going to return their ObamaCare waivers?
The central concept of liberal and socialist thought, the progressive tax system, is founded on the concept of treating people “unfairly.” Obama didn’t speak of the huge number of “unfair” rules designed to penalize activities of which the government disapproves, or about subsidies received by activities of which the government does approve.
I guess “fair” depends entirely upon how Obama defines, or redefines, it.
- Taking credit for something in which he had no part: Keystone XL Pipeline, Fracking, Killing Osama bin Laden
Obama was in Cushing, OK on Thursday, March 22, 2012, to “fast-track” the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL Pipeline, announced that it will build the southern half of the pipeline and does not need Obama’s approval.
So what Obama did was make a photo-op of a private company’s project that was going to be built anyway. You will remember that in January 2012, Obama blocked the northern portion of the pipeline — the part that does need his approval. Obama’s attempt to take credit for a pipeline he blocked and against which he personally lobbied Congress is staggering in its disingenuousness.
In his State of the Union speech on January 24, 2012, Obama said, “And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock – reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), when questioning Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu, asked, “The president took two pieces of credit in his State of the Union that I wanted to just question you on factually. First of all, he said the Department of Energy created fracking. He took credit for that in the State of the Union. My understanding is fracking was created 60 years ago.” Chu replied, “It’s absolutely true that there were earlier ventures in the fracking [technology].” He said DOE invested in the technology from 1978 until about 1992, but then “got out.”
Regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama said, “[s]hortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al-Qaeda[.]” That statement was followed by a bunch of “I” sentences. “I was briefed … I met repeatedly … I determined today … at my direction, the United States launched…” Former President George W. Bush is not mentioned until Obama noted that Bush had made clear that this was not a war against Islam.
Obama never said anything about the CIA, the Navy SEALs, or the efforts of the Bush administration. Obama clearly built on efforts initiated during the Bush administration. It is true that ultimately Obama had to make the final decision on whether to proceed, but he may have given a bit more public credit to his predecessor.
I have highlighted just a few of Obama’s words/sayings/tactics. I’m quite sure you can easily expand on my effort.
Obama’s actions will only intensify as November 2012 draws near. The most disheartening part is that the MSM rarely, if ever, says anything about what comes from Obama’s mouth or what he does.