AP Rips Obama Infomercial On Facts, Honesty

By and large, the media has utterly failed to analyze Obama’s fanciful rhetoric to check for facts or for honesty.  Study after study has shown a profound mainstream media bias favoring Obama and attacking McCain.  A prominent ABC journalist called this bias “a very, very dangerous game … with the Constitution.”

A brand new study by the Project for Excellence in Media came out yesterday with absolutely devastating results on rampant media bias.

We’ll quickly be able to see the media bias, as people appearing on Obama’s infomercial – such as Roberta Johnston, Larry Stewart, and Mark and Melinda Dowell – either get their lives microscopically investigated the way Joe the Plumber did or not.  The media witch hunt (a.k.a. “investigative journalism“) into the life of Joe the Plumber – who drew a vicious media backlash for merely asking Obama a simple question outside his own home – was an unprecedented intrusion into a private citizen by a media machine that was determined to dredge up dirt on him.  If they go after Obama infomercial’s citizens the same way (can she really only afford to buy half a gallon of milk?  Did that mother buy herself a pair of shoes rather than buy snacks for her children?) I’ll be very much surprised.

Still, every so often some reporter actually tries to be fair.  And in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s $3 million infomercial spectacular, in a campaign in which Obama is outspending McCain 4-1 after Obama broke his promise to accept public financing, a little bit of objectivity is better than nothing at all.  So it was refreshing that Associated Press writer Calvin Woodward finally took a critical look at claims that Obama has been making with virtually no media scrutiny for months:

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office.

Obama’s assertion that “I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond” the expense of his promises is accepted only by his partisans. His vow to save money by “eliminating programs that don’t work” masks his failure throughout the campaign to specify what those programs are — beyond the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

A sampling of what voters heard in the ad, and what he didn’t tell them:

THE SPIN: “That’s why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.”

THE FACTS: His plan does not lower premiums by $2,500, or any set amount. Obama hopes that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, among other steps, consumers will end up saving money. He uses an optimistic analysis to suggest cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. Many economists are skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are, it’s not a certainty that every dollar would be passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.

THE SPIN: “I also believe every American has a right to affordable health care.”

THE FACTS: That belief should not be confused with a guarantee of health coverage for all. He makes no such promise. Obama hinted as much in the ad when he said about the problem of the uninsured: “I want to start doing something about it.” He would mandate coverage for children but not adults. His program is aimed at making insurance more affordable by offering the choice of government-subsidized coverage similar to that in a plan for federal employees and other steps, including requiring larger employers to share costs of insuring workers.

THE SPIN: “I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost.”

THE FACTS: Independent analysts say both Obama and Republican John McCain would deepen the deficit. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates Obama’s policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years — and that analysis accepts the savings he claims from spending cuts. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, whose other findings have been quoted approvingly by the Obama campaign, says: “Both John McCain and Barack Obama have proposed tax plans that would substantially increase the national debt over the next 10 years.” The analysis goes on to say: “Neither candidate’s plan would significantly increase economic growth unless offset by spending cuts or tax increases that the campaigns have not specified.”

THE SPIN: “Here’s what I’ll do. Cut taxes for every working family making less than $200,000 a year. Give businesses a tax credit for every new employee that they hire right here in the U.S. over the next two years and eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Help homeowners who are making a good faith effort to pay their mortgages, by freezing foreclosures for 90 days. And just like after 9-11, we’ll provide low-cost loans to help small businesses pay their workers and keep their doors open. ”

THE FACTS: His proposals — the tax cuts, the low-cost loans, the $15 billion a year he promises for alternative energy, and more — cost money, and the country could be facing a record $1 trillion deficit next year. Indeed, Obama recently acknowledged — although not in his commercial — that: “The next president will have to scale back his agenda and some of his proposals.”

There are some facts to consider about Barack Obama’s health care plan that he failed to tell you last night:

One thing is extremely important to understand: Obama’s health care plan is modeled on the Massachusetts plan.  How are things going there?  Well, in the three years of the program’s existence, the tiny state is now already facing cost overruns of over $400 million.  Does that sound like a rousing success?  Massachusetts is facing a projected 85% increase in its costs by 2009 – which should set up a serious red flag that such programs are MASSIVELY underfunded.

Barack Obama’s health care plan is estimated to cost $1.6 trillion in 10 years.  But that doesn’t take into account the very sort of cost overruns and cost increases that are even now plaguing the very state that Obama is basing his own plan upon.  What is going to happen to our economy given the extremely real likelihood that Obama’s massive national plan runs into similar issues?  Do you believe our economy is strong enough to bear the brunt of these massive cost increases in this current climate?

In the aftermath of the unpopular $850 billion bailout of the economy, it is extremely relevant to question what Obama would do in light of a $1 trillion annual federal budget deficit and an over $10 trillion national debt.  That said, you’d probably want to hear about Obama’s sponsering of an $845 billion Global Poverty Act:

Sen. Barack Obama, perhaps giving America a preview of priorities he would pursue if elected president, is rejoicing over the Senate committee passage of a plan that could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars in an attempt to reduce poverty in other nations.

The bill, called the Global Poverty Act, is the type of legislation, “We can – and must – make … a priority,” said Obama, a co-sponsor.

And it is also critical to realize that while Obama promises to provide alternative energy which will free us from dependence on foreign oil, his plan will produce nowhere near enough energy to even begin to end our dependence on foreign oil.  Obama has been part of the Democratic trifecta with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and you simply cannot trust them to dramatically increase our production of domestic oil, which we desperately need.  Gasoline and heating oil have dropped recently, but it is only a matter of time before OPEC cuts its production in order to drive the prices back up, and the very real possibility of a crisis in the Middle East could cripple us at any moment.

It’s too bad that Woodward didn’t more critically examine Obama’s tax plan, and questioned whether it was a good idea to dramatically increase taxes on capital gains, and on corporations and businesses during a time when we need more jobs and a stronger economy.

All that said, it’s good that at least one journalist from one publication took a stab at taking a critical examination of Obama’s infomercial promises and claims.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: