Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I've been torn like everyone else over the behavior on the House floor when Rep. Wilson (SC-R) blurted out an accusation against the President of the United States. I wondered why is is acceptable to stand and applaud and cheer in overt demonstrations, but not acceptable to show disagreement. Perhaps Rep. Wilson should have stood with thumbs down and his mouth shut. Or perhaps he should have joined his colleagues with bills and or signs in his hand or lap. Regardless, he did not lie.
The liar that evening was the President, not Rep. Wilson. Neal Boortz shared a very well put together summary of an answer to the predominant lie of the evening by Obama, that the Republicans have not offered substantive suggestions or solutions to the health care debate. According to Markay on Newsbusters.com, the Republicans have done precisely what the president has asked them to do, echoing his own ideas, and, in some cases, his own words. Yet in his last speech delivered to the House and the Senate, he repeatedly claimed that Republicans have refused to or have yet to offer input. The lies were so prevalent, that Republican Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina could not contain his disgust as he audibly uttered words heard around the world, “You Lie.” So, let’s look at the “truths.”
• The President told the Joint Session of Congress that his "guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition." In full agreement with this Rep. Shaddeg (AZ-R) introduced a bill last summer to allow us to shop for health insurance in any and all states. The Energy and Commerce Committee is still sitting on that bill (HR 3217).
• The President claimed that, “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions." But when four republican Representatives; Deal (GA), Johnson (TX), Cantor (VA), and Souder (IN); offered amendments to specify that this would not be the case, the amendments were killed by votes along party lines.
• Obama claimed that he “will not sign” a health care bill that “adds one dime to the deficit." Again, Rep. McClintock (CA-R) offered an amendment to explicitly prohibit any legislation that is not “deficit neutral” from going into effect. The result? Another “squash” by democrats.
• The President asserted that "I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need." Again, in agreement, Rep. Gingrey (GA-R) penned an amendment that would state in no uncertain terms that no federal official could make a decision about an individual’s health care. Henry Waxman (CA-D) and his crew killed the amendment.
• Besides misrepresenting Sarah Palin, again, Obama also denigrated those who make claims about “death panels” and rationed care for the elderly. However, when Rep. Herger (CA-R) submitted an amendment to forbid the government from conducting “comparative effectiveness research (and thus nullify the need for yet another expensive and expansive agency, office, staff, etc.), the lawbreaker Charlie Rangel and his committee killed that idea.
• Another “promise” from our leader was that taxes would not be raised on those making under $200K/year. But amendments by both Rep. Ryan (WI-R) and Rep. Rodgers (WA-R) offered to “insure” this promise both suffered an unnoticed but purposeful death. And the “promise” not to cut Medicare benefits for seniors that was put into motion by Rep. Brown-Waite (FL-R) in an attempt to totally remove any language in the bill that would even suggest such for Medicare Advantage suffered the same fate, as did several amendments to protect small businesses charged with offering health insurance for their workers.
• In proposed HR 3200, the employer mandate would result in 1.6 million fewer jobs, a $200 billion contraction in GDP, 1.2 million fewer work hours per week, and an annual decline in wages of $71 billion, within five years of its enactment. Reps. Hoekstra (MI-R), Herger (CA-R), Reichert (WA-R), Hunter (CA-R), and McKeon (CA-R) offered a variety of amendments to protect employers in the event of high unemployment or proven financial hardships from the mandate itself. Democrats had no use for them.
When Rep. Joe Wilson uttered his infamous, “You Lie,” statement, it was in response to the President’s assurance that illegal immigrants would not be covered in his health care bill. Numerous attempts to specifically block this had been thwarted prior to this breech of decorum. However, it is now being proposed that some form of ID system be used for anyone seeking health insurance in the United States.
So, Mr. President and Democratic officials, stop lying and claiming that the Republicans are inactive, inert, incapable, uncooperative, or disengaged. They are speaking. Listen!
Afterthought: As this was being posted, the House officially condemned Representative Wilson’s conduct, the first such action in the history of the United States. “If you don’t agree with the President, you are a racist.” Shame on the House.