James Simpson | AIM.org
Originally published on November 6, 2013
Our nation is being stolen before our very eyes. The American people are being robbed of their livelihoods, their security and their freedom. President Obama makes grand sweeping gestures and delivers soaring rhetoric about helping the poor and achieving fairness. But he merely draws our attention away from the hand that is reaching deep into our pockets. Such is the nature of his extremist legislative agenda. Call it Grand Theft Obama, but it is no video game; this is for real.
And it is not merely monetary theft, as is apparent from Obamacare. America is being fundamentally transformed, as Obama promised. This is one promise that he clearly intends to keep, no matter how many people lose their health insurance policies, their jobs, or their productive futures.
Even the liberal media have been forced to acknowledge President Obama’s lies regarding the Affordable Care Act, especially the whopper about being able to keep your own health insurance policy.
Consider what we have learned so far as the lies are being exposed:
- Despite repeatedly being told we could keep our healthcare plans and doctors, the White House estimated three years ago that 93 million people would lose their plans. Obama knew this and has been lying about it all along.
- Obamacare provides millions of dollars to leftwing community organizers, including ACORN descendants. A radical illegal alien is running the NYC Obamacare “navigator” program.
- Rather than provide healthcare, the Obamacare website is being used to boost low-income Democrat voter registration. Election integrity activists have called it “The biggest voter registration fraud scheme in history.” The Soros-funded Demos has bragged that Obamacare exchanges will register “68 million people to vote.”
- Progressive activist Jeanne Lambrew, now in charge of Obamacare implementation, traded confidential taxpayer information with the IRS.
While some of this is now being discussed and debated, the revelations come three years after the passage of the health care legislation. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi famously said they would have to pass the legislation to find out what was in it, but the media should not have used that same excuse. They failed in their jobs to uncover the hidden costs and real agenda. They failed, in other words, to do their jobs.
Simply put, they took Obama at his word—that he just wanted to help the poor. His actual agenda was political power.
For the most part, until the Obamacare lies became a national story, Obama was aided and abetted in this process by the institutionally corrupt and ideologically driven mass media. They attack, smear, and assassinate the character of anyone with the gall to speak the truth. Today’s media do not provide information, but misinformation. As Pat Caddell famously said, the mainstream media have literally become the “enemy of the American people.”
For modern-day progressives, lying is not merely something one does to avoid getting caught, lying is tradecraft. Thus our President lies. But these are no ordinary lies; they are grand, sweeping, all-encompassing lies. He says exactly the opposite of truth, consistently, to confuse people, and tops it off by accusing his opponents of doing what he does.
This may sound harsh, but Obamacare provides the proof.
During the 2008 election one commenter stated, “It’s like running against God. The media have anointed him.” Clinton campaign manager Terry McAuliffe claimed 90 percent of the media were behind Obama. This was reflected in the unwillingness of the major media, such as The Washington Post, to subject candidate Obama to elementary vetting. Hence, his relationship with Communist Frank Marshall Davis and backing from the Democratic Socialists of America were topics considered off-limits. Even some conservatives in the media thought Obama would turn out to be a centrist.
The important film “Media Malpractice” catalogs the breathtaking conspiracy of media advocacy for Barack Obama during the 2008 election.
This may be changing, judging by media reporting on the Obamacare lies and the belated coverage by the CBS “60 Minutes” program of the official lies about what caused the Benghazi terror attacks.
Shutdown Police State Tactics
To understand how lies drive the administration’s policies and agenda, consider the coverage of the recent government “shutdown.” From what you probably heard in the media, Republicans forced the government shutdown. Actually, Republicans provided funding for most government activities except the problematic Obamacare. Obama orchestrated the shutdown to pin blame on Republicans and improve chances for Democrats to retake the House of Representatives in 2014. With media help, the strategy worked perfectly.
Unlike previous shutdowns, agencies got specific orders to “make life as difficult for people as we can.” In many cases this actually cost the government more than if they left things running. Breitbart compiled a list of 47 outrages the Obama administration committed to pressure Republicans, while Obama consistently refused to negotiate. This list included:
- Suspending Treatments for Children Suffering From Cancer
- Barricading the World War II Memorial
- Blocking sports and entertainment programming to overseas troops
- Closing the Vietnam Memorial and Overseas Memorials
- Closing base exchanges but leaving the Andrews Golf Course open for Obama.
- Forcing residents out of private homes
- Locking Yellowstone tourists in hotel rooms under armed guard
- Closing 1,100 square miles of Florida ocean to fishing
- Closing private businesses on federal land
- Attempting to block people from even LOOKING at Mt. Rushmore
Finally, Obama furloughed intelligence operatives, putting our entire nation at risk, according to his own Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.
When protests over one aspect of the shutdown, the barricades in front of the monuments, became too impossible to ignore, the media smeared the protesters. Leftist “comedian” Bill Maher said, “[WW II veterans are] the greatest generation—nobody said they were the brightest generation.” Radio host Bill Press called veterans of the Million Vets March “Idiots.” Meanwhile Democrats called Republicans everything including jihadists, arsonists, blackmailers, and terrorists running around with bombs strapped to their chest.
As a result, the conventional wisdom is that Republicans have suffered from the shutdown. The “conventional wisdom” is provided by the media, and their often-skewed polls designed to exaggerate that effect.
Debt Limit Brinkmanship
Prior to the latest debt limit agreement, Obama threatened to default on the federal debt—sending jitters through financial markets. It would have been the first default in history. Obama’s Treasury Department also issued a report titled, The Potential Macroeconomic Effect of Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship. But President Obama was the one engaged in “brinkmanship,” even while accusing Republicans of doing so.
To avoid default, the government needs only to pay interest, about $35 billion per month. The Treasury collects about $250 billion per month, more than enough. But Obama claimed he didn’t have the authority.
To call him on it, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act, making the authority explicit, but Obama promised to veto it—implicitly admitting he could avoid default if he wanted. But Obama was willing to threaten a major financial collapse to achieve short-term political objectives.
However, all we heard from the media was a non-stop barrage of angry “news” reports accusing Republicans of trying to destroy the economy.
Stimulating his Cronies
Obama’s background as a “community organizer” was well-known when he ran for the presidency. But less well-known was his role as a board member of five non-profits in the 1990s, when he used his position to shower money on friends and political associates. When he later ran for office, they returned the favor. President Obama has applied this corrupt, Chicago machine method on a national level, most spectacularly with his so-called “economic stimulus,” the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The secret goal of the stimulus was to execute Obama’s political agenda. The bill was originally crafted by Obama transition staff and congressional Democrats almost as soon as he was elected. It recommended a Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RATB), to oversee disbursement of stimulus money, and incredibly, gave RATB power to block IG investigations into their activities. Subsequent events demonstrate why the “most transparent administration in history” needed RATB.
In 2004, the Apollo Alliance—a constellation of radical leftist labor, environmental, civil rights, business, and political leaders—was specifically created to direct “green jobs” funding. Its New York branch was led by Jeff Jones, a former Weatherman terrorist and friend of “Bomber Bill” Ayers. He quit when his identity was revealed.
Yet, Apollo’s national steering committee had included Van Jones, the former communist who was Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” until exposed by Trevor Loudon and Glenn Beck and forced to resign. Jones landed back on his feet, as a “fellow” at the Center for American Progress and later as a co-host on CNN’s new “Crossfire” show.
The fate of Van Jones is instructive. No matter how disgraced they become, Obama’s leftist allies never give up and always maintain their credibility with the media. Likewise, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who left four Americans to die at Benghazi, is running for president in 2016, with media interest and encouragement. Even Republican Senator John McCain (AZ) makes headlines by saying she did a good job, except for Benghazi.
The Green Jobs Scam
Although the Solyndra bankruptcy served as a glimpse into the use of tax dollars for political purposes in order to benefit Obama’s cronies, the story is not over. In total, $150 billion, including $80 billion from the stimulus, is supposed to be spent on “green energy” projects between 2009 and 2014.
So far, 33 companies that were provided $7.4 billion in tax dollars have either gone bankrupt, are declaring bankruptcy or are on the edge. And this is just the beginning. Even The Washington Post agrees that the entire “green energy” program has been “infused with politics,” with Obama supporters invested in green energy companies selected for stimulus funds, and others joining the administration to oversee the program.
But we have to dig deeper, in terms of the effect on the economy. President Obama promised that the “stimulus” would “create or save” 3.5 million jobs by 2011 and that the unemployment rate would never rise above 8.5 percent. His economic advisors predicted that unemployment could rise to 8.8 percent if the stimulus was not enacted.
A 2011 study by the Mercatus Center showed just how wrong they were. Chart 1 compares the President’s forecast unemployment rates assuming the stimulus bill was passed (blue), and the unemployment rates that actually obtained (red).
The President’s advisors further forecast that by 2012, unemployment would be down to 6.0 percent. The official civilian unemployment rate is now 7.3 percent.
By any objective measure, the Obama policies have failed. But were they designed to succeed? Or just benefit Obama and his allies?
The more accurate measure of unemployment includes discouraged workers—those who have given up looking for work. This stands at 13.7 percent, more than six percentage points higher than the official rate. Furthermore, the gap between the official rate and the discouraged worker rate has grown, suggesting that a greater proportion of the working age population is staying out of the labor force. (See Chart 2).
Obamacare Could Cost Over $1 Trillion Per Year
With the media finally paying attention to the lies that gave rise to Obamacare, it is worth taking a detailed look at this program, dubbed Obama’s “signature” legislation.
The number of lies, deceptions and payoffs that went into enacting Obamacare could fill an encyclopedia. People who criticize Senator Ted Cruz for his historic 21 hour Senate speech should recognize that he focused the nation like a laser beam on Obamacare’s many flaws. His stand was vindicated by the seemingly endless series of stories now appearing about not only the Obamacare website malfunctions but the millions of Americans losing the health policies they were promised they could keep.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) initially estimated Obamacare’s 10-year cost at under $1 trillion. They dishonestly counted costs from 2010, though the program wouldn’t officially start until 2014. And with $900 billion in “savings” from increased taxes and Medicare cuts, Obamacare would be free! As humorist P.J. O’Rourke quipped, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”
CBO’s projected cost for 2014 to 2023 is $2.5 trillion. But the CBO ignored additional burdens faced by businesses and individuals that government does not pay. This and other factors could raise the 10-year cost to over $6 trillion.
Even this doesn’t tell the full story. Market distortions and future law changes are sure to add more costs as Obamacare is likely to be transformed into a single-payer system as in Britain, where expenditures have grown 1,000 percent since the program began. Currently they spend $170 billion annually, serving a population of 53 million. Extended to America’s 315 million people, it would cost $1.2 trillion per year.
Whatever the final cost, Obamacare will not save money. According to a Senate Budget Committee report, Obamacare will add $17 trillion to the government’s unfunded mandates over the next 75 years, raising the total to $82 trillion, including Social Security and Medicare.
Subsidies will lower costs for about 15 percent of the population, who will defend the program once it becomes entrenched, but quality will decline for everyone. Ultimately it will falter, just as Britain’s system is failing now. More taxpayer dollars and more central government control will be required to prop it up.
Clearly, Obama’s goal was not improved healthcare, but more political power and benefits for his political party and his allies. A good example is Canadian website contractor CGI.
- CGI Federal received a $93.7 million Obamacare website contract, as part of a $678 million contract for work on the Medicare/Medicaid websites.
- CGI executives have donated extensively to Obama, while website contractor CGI Federal’s Senior VP attended Princeton with Michelle Obama.
- The CGI CEO became an Obama donor after being awarded the contract.
- CGI gave a website design subcontract to a former Obama campaign manager—When this became news, all evidence was erased. When evidence that it was erased became news, they put it back.
- CGI received an $11 billion contract for IT security from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this spring.
- CGI received a no-bid contract to distribute $1.7 billion of aid to Hurricane Sandy victims. The victims are still waiting.
Before the Obamacare website rollout, the media mindlessly fawned over it. CNN’s new Crossfire co-host, former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones, heralded it “a huge breakthrough” for the uninsured. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz enthused that it was easy to navigate. Bloomberg’s Peter Gosselin equated it to shopping on Amazon. CBS’s Jill Schlesinger thought it was like Travelocity. ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis compared it to mall shopping.
Premeditated, Manufactured Chaos
Considering the debacle it has become, the media should not only expose the glaring problems that continue to unfold, but also examine whether this is the result of incompetence or design.
Following the shutdown/showdown debacle, Obama gratuitously accused Republicans of a “manufactured crisis.” It is interesting that Obama accused Republicans of such a plan, given the title of a viral 2008 article, “Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis.” There is such a strategy; Obama has known about it for decades and is using it now.
It was developed in the 1960s by Columbia University professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who published an article in Nation magazine titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” By packing welfare rolls with new beneficiaries, they hoped to bankrupt local governments and foment a blazing revolution when benefits dried up. It came to be known as the “Cloward Piven Strategy,” or simply “Crisis Strategy.”
The strategy helped explode welfare rolls in the 1960s and 1970s, and precipitated New York City’s near bankruptcy in 1975. Speaking of that crisis, New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani accused the pair of economic sabotage.
Cloward and Piven created the organizations tasked with executing this strategy, most notably ACORN. Subsequently, the strategy was applied to: 1) Housing, where the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and similar groups colluded with the Clinton White House to foment the subprime mortgage crisis that led to the 2008 crash; 2) Voting, through enactment of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, (aka Motor Voter), again with Clinton complicity; and 3) Illegal immigration.
Cloward and Piven were the authors of Motor Voter, which turns motor vehicle and other state offices into defacto low income voter registration drives. This law allowed the nationwide explosion of voter registration fraud conducted by ACORN, and is largely responsible for today’s 24 million bad registrations nationwide. Motor Voter also made Obamacare’s online voter registration possible.
Obama has connections to Cloward and Piven, ACORN and its voter registration arm, Project Vote, going back to the early 1990s. The Holder Justice Department has been caught colluding with Project Vote in Motor Voter lawsuits. Matthew Vadum, author of the ACORN exposé, Subversion Inc, reports that former ACORN leaders are still working with Obama.
One has to consider the distinct possibility that Obamacare is part of a deliberate strategy to overwhelm the American people with crisis upon crisis until they throw up their arms in despair and give up.
Obama and the Democrats’ latest complaint is that voter ID laws suppress the vote. The Holder Justice Department has turned that accusation into a legal assault against voter ID laws. The charge is absurd on its face. The reason that Democrats don’t want voter ID laws is because they don’t want their various vote fraud schemes exposed. We know they engage in vote fraud.
But even if they had not stolen a single vote, Democrats have been using tax dollars to buy off entire voting blocs of Americans with trillions of dollars in benefits and created thousands of taxpayer-funded non-profits that are actually ground armies for leftist activism.
This has been going on for decades. In 1961, Richard Cloward co-founded a welfare program that became the model for President Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” which birthed the Office of Economic Opportunity. Conservative activist Howard Phillips ran OEO in 1973, and identified Cloward and Piven as OEO’s “ideological architects.” He said OEO financed “10,000 organizations employing several hundred thousand people” to radically transform U.S. policy outside the political process.
Democratic politicians justify the burgeoning welfare state as reflecting compassion for the “poor and oppressed.” Cloward and Piven were much more honest: “If organizers can deliver millions of dollars in cash benefits to the ghetto masses, it seems reasonable to expect that the masses will deliver their loyalties to their benefactors.”
It worked. In 1960, only 58 percent of black voters were Democrats. By 1968, 92 percent were Democrats and only three percent were Republicans.
In 1932, FDR used this same kind of strategy to deliver Democrat majorities in Congress for the next 60 years. Cloward and Piven explained:
Although these [New Deal] measures were a response to the imperative of economic crisis, the types of measures enacted were designed to secure [a] new Democratic coalition.
Today, close to 50 percent of Americans pay no taxes, and lower income groups can obtain government benefits that provide the equivalent of up to $50,000 per year, strongly encouraging welfare dependency.
Democrats don’t care. It was Cloward and Piven’s explicit goal to create misery and strife sufficient to trigger a blazing revolution. As they reported in their “Weight of the Poor” article:
“Moreover, this kind of mass influence is cumulative because benefits are continuous. Once eligibility for basic food and rent grants is established, the drain on local resources persists indefinitely…”
The consequences of welfare state policies are evident everywhere. Consider the following statistics:
- 49 percent of Americans receive some kind of public assistance.
- More people collect means-tested benefits today (108.6 million) than there are full-time workers (101.7 million)
- 1.2 million homeless children attend public school, up 72 percent since the recession began.
- 46.6 million people receive food stamps, the highest number in recorded history.
- 46.5 million Americans live in poverty. This is the first time the poverty rate has remained at or above 15% three years running since 1965.
- Median household income is 9% below what it was in 1999.
Witness the burned out, abandoned buildings staining our cities, especially Detroit. Think of the entrenched crime, drugs, prostitution, and abandoned children that are the face of inner city ghettos, and reflect on Cloward and Piven’s enthusiasm that “the drain on local resources persists indefinitely…” In Detroit, the response of the Obama administration has been to pour more federal money, an estimated $300 million, into the city, in part to demolish public housing originally constructed with federal funds, and then to construct more.
Incredibly, Bill de Blasio, poised to become New York City’s new Democratic mayor on November 5, says, “The federal government must get back in the affordable housing business, and the federal government must get back in the mass transit business and infrastructure business.”
On top of failure after failure, this Obama-backed Democrat wants more of the same. He might as well be a spokesman for the Democratic Party as a whole. Perhaps that will be his role in the years ahead.
Obama and the Democrats are now feverishly working to inflate this roster of the needy by pushing through amnesty for illegal aliens, officially numbering 11 million, but probably more like 30 million people. Congress is currently debating this plan, with some Republicans, such as John McCain, willing to accommodate Obama’s scheme, in the name of “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Spending is THE Problem
The ARRA is the largest single Keynesian stimulus program since the 1930s. And that wasn’t all. There was the $100 billion auto bailout, endless unemployment benefit extensions and the $26 billion teacher bailout. Obama proposed an additional $447 billion “jobs” bill in 2011, which, fortunately, never passed.
As the unemployment analysis showed, these programs do not help; they merely transfer dollars from the private market to government.
Government spending will continue to increase substantially in the coming years. This is a deliberate effort by Obama, who learned from Cloward and Piven how to collapse an economy. The strategy has moved from the local to the national. It will have global repercussions.
This was originally published at Accuracy in Media.