Commentary Magazine


Barack Obama Once Again Bearing False Witness

In a conference call with a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis, and other liberal religious leaders who support his plan to reinvent American health care, President Obama said:

I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate and there are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness. I need you to spread the facts and speak the truth.

In fact, the number of examples in which Obama himself has borne “false witness” is itself staggering—on everything from the cost of his plan, to its effects, to the endorsements he claims he has received, to the agreements he claims he has made. One reason support for ObamaCare is collapsing is that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has blown apart various false claims made by Obama about his plans. And in the call yesterday, Mr. Obama once again was, well, bearing false witness. “Many of you have older members of your congregations. They’re all now scared to death that somehow we’re talking about cutting Medicare benefits,” he said. “That is, again, simply not true.”

The president’s statement is what’s simply not true. President Obama announced on Saturday, in fact, that he was proposing an additional $313 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts—which the White House euphemistically refers to as “savings”—over 10 years, on top of the $309 billion in his 2010 budget. (My colleague James Capretta writes about it here.)

President Obama has developed a nasty little habit. It is not enough for him to spread false and misleading information on an almost daily basis; he has taken to portraying himself as America’s intrepid truth teller. He really should stop doing so. And since Mr. Obama appears to be fond of quoting Scripture to advance his liberal policy aims, he might consult Matthew 7:5 before he speaks again. In that passage, Jesus warns, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”