Beware of the half-truth
With all the accusations about lying of late, I thought it a good idea to see what some great minds had to say on the subject.
These quotes shed some interesting light:
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on." -- Winston Churchill
"An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper." -- Kahlil Gibran
"What I tell you three times is true." -- Lewis Carroll
For several weeks, President Obama has been relating whoppers to push his health-care agenda along -- does anyone believe the government will make costs go down? -- but the truth is finally getting its pants on.
Sure, opponents of Obama's vision have exaggerated some of its various shortcomings, but folks worry there's truth in the exaggerations. There may not be death panels, but government-run systems ration care.
Nonetheless, Obama keeps relating his whoppers, hoping they'll become true.
Which brings us to the origin of such whoppers:
"Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true." -- Demosthenes
"No one lies so boldly as the man who is indignant." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place." -- H.L. Mencken
Obama said on video a few years back that a government insurance option was the best way to attain a single-payer government system, a system he prefers.
Many folks worry that that is what he is up to now -- that he hopes to grease the skids to enable an eventual government takeover.
They worry because his speeches drip with indignation. They worry that he believes massive government intrusion is the only way to insure the uninsured - that he believes he is on a moral crusade.
They know that if they were in his shoes -- trying to sell something most Americans don't want -- they'd probably be slinging the same whoppers.
And folks are becoming wary of Obama's justifications, as these quotes help illustrate:
"There are lies, damned lies and statistics." -- Benjamin Disraeli
"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election." -- Otto von Bismarck
"Beware of the half truth. You could end up holding the wrong half." -- author unknown
After years of broken promises, is there anyone who believes the government will pay for a new program with cost savings from an existing one?
We know Obama's yarn-spinning has been in high gear. If his monstrosity of a government "solution" were to go through, we know many of us would end up holding the wrong half.
Our costs would certainly go up. The quality of our care would certainly go down.
The truth is that the government already accounts for half of the $2 trillion America spends annually on health care. Excessive government intrusion is the cause of much of our current mess.
More of the same is not "meaningful reform."
Obama says his opponents offer no ideas, but that is baloney. There are numerous ideas and innovations that can unshackle the mess our health-care system has become.
There are simple ways to unleash individual choice and true competition. Why can't I buy a policy from insurance carriers in other states?
There are good ideas to rein in out-of-control lawsuits. Why does a surgeon have to pay several hundred thousand dollars a year for malpractice coverage?
There are several creative, cost-effective ways to extend portability, cover folks with pre-existing conditions and cover the uninsured that don't require excessive government meddling.
We live in the era of Google -- an era of massive gains in creativity, efficiency and productivity -- and most folks know there are better ways to go than the tired old government "solutions" Obama is prescribing.
This is why we're fired up, Mr. President. Our car needs a new muffler and you want to replace the motor -- with one that doesn't run nearly as well.
It is not ignorance or racism or even politics that motivates most of us. To borrow from Harry Truman, we're not trying to give you hell.
We're just screaming our concerns and you think it is hell.
Tom Purcell is a humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.