Walter E. Williams

President Obama and congressional supporters estimate that his health care plan will cost between $50 and $65 billion a year. Such cost estimates are lies whether they come from a Democratic president and Congress, or a Republican president and Congress. You say, "Williams, you don't show much trust in the White House and Congress." Let's check out their past dishonesty.

At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee, along with President Johnson, estimated that Medicare would cost an inflation-adjusted $12 billion by 1990. In 1990, Medicare topped $107 billion. That's nine times Congress' prediction. Today's Medicare tab comes to $420 billion with no signs of leveling off. How much confidence can we have in any cost estimates by the White House or Congress?

Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin FREE

Another part of the Medicare lie is found in Section 1801 of the 1965 Medicare Act that reads: "Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize any federal officer or employee to exercise any supervision or control over the practice of medicine, or the manner in which medical services are provided, or over the selection, tenure, or compensation of any officer, or employee, or any institution, agency or person providing health care services." Ask your doctor or hospital whether this is true.

Lies and deception are by no means restricted to modern times. During the legislative debate prior to ratification of the 16th Amendment, President Howard Taft and congressional supporters said that only the rich would ever pay federal income taxes. In 1916, only one-half of 1 percent of income earners paid income taxes. Those earning $250,000 a year in today's dollars paid 1 percent, and those earning $6 million in today's dollars paid 7 percent. The lie that only the rich would ever pay income taxes was simply a lie to exploit the politics of envy and dupe Americans into ratifying the 16th Amendment.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Walter Williams' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.