The biggest political "lie" of 2010?
The winner is: the Republican assertion that ObamaCare is a "government takeover of health care." A website called PolitiFact based this on the votes of 4,000 of its readers. ABC's "Nightline" featured PolitiFact's editor, and "Nightline" reporter Jake Tapper heartily agreed this was the "biggest lie of the year." Tapper, normally pretty sane, concluded the piece by saying, "Way to deceive the public"!
Under ObamaCare, the federal government mandates that every man, woman and child purchase health insurance or face a tax; that insurers carry those with pre-existing illnesses and not drop anyone; that insurers allow "children" up to age 26 to remain on their parents' policy; that employers provide health insurance to employees or pay a tax; and that the states add 30 million previously uninsured to the Medicaid program irrespective of their ability to pay for it.
This is a "government takeover." And it is a lie to characterize it as a "lie." Calling an opinion, and a perfectly reasonable one at that, a "lie" stretches the definition into something unrecognizable.
OK, we're game. Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 political lies of 2010.
1. Ninety-five percent of "working families" received a tax cut.
No. The bill gave tax cuts to those who pay taxes -- and gave money, "tax credits," to those who pay little or nothing in taxes. We used to call this welfare.
2. The General Motors bailout "worked."
Did it? Tell that to GM's bondholders. CNBC's Larry Kudlow wrote: "The GM bondholders own $27 billion and they're getting 10 percent of the common stock in an expected exchange. And the UAW owns $10 billion of the bonds and they're getting 40 percent of the stock." What would have happened had the government stepped aside and let the private sector take over -- a natural and necessary consequence of running a business into the ground? What about "moral hazard" -- shielding a company from the effect of its poor decisions -- which, in turn, encourages negligence and sloth on the part of other companies deemed "too big to fail"?
3. ObamaCare will "bend the cost curve down."
The alleged "savings" occur only by assuming politically unlikely and unpopular cuts in Medicare. Then there are sub-lies, including: "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor." Obama later admitted, "I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge."
4. The tea party is "racist."