A grand, misbegotten scheme

Rich Lowry marvels at President Obama’s ability to continue telling bald-faced lies about the costs of his health plan in the face mounting evidence that its a fiscal disaster:

The Left branded George W. Bush a “liar” for making assertions about Iraq’s weapons that were supported by the evidence, but turned out not to be true. Obama is saying things that aren’t even supported by the evidence. They are routinely debunked by the independent Congressional Budget Office, but that doesn’t stop Obama from continuing to say them. It’s as if the CIA issued reports every other week in 2002 explaining that no, Iraq didn’t have a nuclear program nor any stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, and Bush kept warning of the nonexistent WMD anyway.

Since the phantom cost-saving measures that Obama touts can’t be detected by anyone else, including Blue Dog Democrats and the CBO, Obama’s team came up with a deus ex machina. They’d create a council to come up with recommendations for Medicare. If Obama accepted them, they’d automatically go into effect unless Congress voted to block them. CBO looked at the council and estimated it’d only save a minuscule $2 billion during the next ten years, adding that “the probability is high that no savings would be realized.”

Will this stop Obama from selling health-care reform as a cost savings? Of course not. He can’t admit that he is bending the famous cost curve upward, any more than he can admit that the House plan might throw millions of people out of their private coverage or that the bill will — despite its raft of new taxes — add another $239 billion to the deficit over ten years. In its latest missive, the CBO says the numbers get even worse beyond the ten-year window. So the entire budgetary rationale of Obamacare — improving the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook — has been obliterated.

Lowery writes about how people are coming to miss the Obama of 2008, who seemed so cool, competent, and moderate. But those who paid attention know this was a carefully crafted “Potemkin village” of an image, meant to slip a radical Progressive past a generally Center-Right nation. The mainstream media colluded in this, in all but a few cases preferring to dwell on key issues such as Sarah Palin’s tanning bed and how good Barack Obama looks in jeans rather than investigating the Democratic nominee’s background and record.

But facts have a way of forcing themselves through even the most carefully crafted image. The people are seeing more and more the disconnect between the president’s words and the likely results of his plan, especially in the wake of the colossal failure of his pork fiesta stimulus package to meet any of his stated goals. They gave him his chance when he said it had to be passed NOW, before anyone had the time to really read and consider it. They can see how well that worked, and they’re wary of trusting him again with yet another massive program.

Call it a teachable moment for the public. Today’s lesson: “fool me once…” .

RELATED: Speaking of “teachable moments,” Byron York writes today on the GOP’s Teachable Moment on the Risks of Obamacare. The August recess is crucial to stopping this train wreck before it happens.

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