There were so many examples of presidential mendacity on view Wednesday night that I had planned to itemize a few in this column. But since even the New York Times is challenging a number of presidential whoppers -- for example, Obama's assertion that "If we had done nothing, if you had the same old budget as opposed to the changes we made, the deficit over the next 10 years would be $2.2 trillion greater" is pure deception. OK, the Times didn't use that word, but reporters Peter Baker and Robert Pear did say, "In fact, $1.5 trillion of those 'savings' are mainly based on an assumption that the United States would have had as many troops in Iraq in 10 years as it did when Mr. Obama took office. ... Before leaving office, President George W. Bush ... mandat(ed) the withdrawal of all American forces within three years. So Mr. Obama is claiming credit for not spending money that ... would never have been spent in the first place."
Congratulations to the New York Times. It's starting to seem that Professor Slughorn's antidote to the love potion has worked. If Obama is being that dishonest about the budget deficit numbers, how much can we trust his numbers on the costs of health care reform?
Though President Obama was at his smooth and polished best the other night, two aspects of his worldview came into sharper relief -- his reflexive hostility toward and misunderstanding of business, and his reliable resort to left-wing fables about race relations.
Most Americans, unlike Mr. Obama, do not believe that a capitalist system is inherently corrupting. Is that too strong? Look at the president's explication of what goes on in the mind of a physician confronted with a sick child: "Right now, doctors, a lot of times, are forced to make decisions based on the fee payment schedule that's out there. So if they're looking and -- and you come in and you've got a bad sore throat, or your child has a bad sore throat, or has repeated sore throats, the doctor may look at the reimbursement system and say to himself, 'You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out.'"