Obama told another lie when he claimed that the Democrats' health care plan does not set up "panels of bureaucrats" with the authority to withhold life-sustaining treatment from elderly patients. He compounded his lie by accusing anybody who talks about such death panels of "a lie, plain and simple" (which everybody recognized as a not-so-subtle reference to Sarah Palin).
Another lie in Obama's speech was saying that the plan does not jeopardize Medicare benefits that seniors currently receive. He plans to cut $500 billion out of Medicare "waste and inefficiency," which can't be done without reducing benefits.
Other lies in Obama's speech included his claim that the health care plan will not add to the deficit, that anyone who is satisfied with his current health plan can keep it and that his plan will not require raising taxes on people earning less than $250,000 a year.
The fundamental lie in all the Democrats' plans is the pretense that they can insure an additional 50 million people without increasing costs and/or without reducing benefits for the other 250 million people who are basically satisfied with their current health care. People are protesting at tea parties and town meetings because they realize this is not possible no matter how many passionate speeches Obama gives.
The tea party march down on Pennsylvania Avenue on Sept. 12 was not only impressive in its size (estimates range from 1 million to 2 million Americans) but also because of the messages on the handmade signs they carried. They proved the marchers were authentic grass-roots, not astroturf.
Here are some samples of the homemade signs that show the rising activism of We the People: "The change I hoped for was freedom." "Recycle Congress." "1 czar down, 43 to go." "Don't Tread on Me." "You are not entitled to what I have earned." "I love my country, but I'm scared of my government." "Investigate ACORN." "Your fair share is NOT in my wallet." "Obamacare makes me sick." "I'm not your ATM." "Nurses Against Obamacare." "Abortion is not health care." "Undocumented worker" (under picture of Obama). "Congress pack your bags; you're going home in 2010." "If you're not outraged, you're not paying taxes." "Read the bill." "Bolsheviks promised change, too." Quotes from John Adams. And a sign carried by a 2-year-old child: "I owe $38,000."
Some signs were carried by immigrants: "Latinos are conservative, too." "I had enough socialism in the USSR."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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