A summer whose entertainment headlines were dominated by Taylor Swift and her blowout concert tour just…
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Event Ticket Purchases: The Proposed BOSS Act Would Empower Biden’s Rogue FTC and Make Matters Worse, Not Better

A summer whose entertainment headlines were dominated by Taylor Swift and her blowout concert tour just came to an end.  Unsurprisingly, a significant number of those headlines centered upon the ongoing public policy debate over the consumer ticket purchase experience, along with varying and differing calls for reform.

Unfortunately, some of that discussion served to introduce terribly ill-advised proposals that would only make the industry and American consumers’ enjoyment of it far worse.

To be sure, the genesis of the problem underlying various reform proposals is the issue of predatory ticket resellers who engage in harmful practices that hurt fans as well as the artists themselves.  As just one illustration, resale ticket prices at StubHub alone have increased over 100% since…[more]

September 26, 2023 • 07:25 PM

Liberty Update

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From “Honest Abe” to “Double-Talk Barack” Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 22 2009
Whereas we once had 'Honest Abe,' we now appear to have 'Double-Talk Barack.'

Lie:  1.  A false statement purposely put forward as truth:  falsehood.  2.  Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.  Core meaning:  an untrue declaration. 

Double-Talk:  1.  Meaningless speech consisting of nonsense syllables mixed with unintelligible words:  gibberish.  2.  Evasive or ambiguous language. 

--Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary 

Was Congressman Joe Wilson (R – South Carolina) merely stating the obvious when he accused Barack Obama of lying during his healthcare address to Congress? 

Each American will have to decide for himself or herself in applying the straightforward definitions set forth above.  Of course, Obama himself seems to take exception to having dictionary definitions applied to his behavior, as illustrated by his notorious umbrage toward ABC’s George Stephanopoulos when he recited the dictionary definition of “tax” during their recent interview.  Nevertheless, Obama’s record already provides ample evidence that steadfast honesty will not be the trademark of his presidency. 

Whereas we once had “Honest Abe,” we now appear to have “Double-Talk Barack.” 

Back in February 2008, during the Democrats’ primary campaign, Obama stridently attacked Hillary Clinton’s healthcare proposal because she would mandate that all Americans purchase health insurance, just like drivers are required to purchase auto insurance. 

Obama protested that it was unfair to force people to buy insurance, saying that, “the only difference between Senator Clinton’s healthcare plan and mine is that she thinks the problem for people without healthcare is that nobody has mandated, forced them to get healthcare.”  He later added, “if they cannot afford it, what are you going to do about it?  Are you going to fine them?  Are you going to garnish people’s wages?” 

For good measure, Obama specifically cited the disastrous healthcare “reform” and mandatory coverage law in Massachusetts, saying, “Massachusetts has a mandate right now.  They have exempted 20% of the uninsured because they have concluded that that 20% can’t afford it.  In some cases, there are people who are paying fines and still can’t afford it, so now they’re worse off than they were.  They don’t have health insurance and they’re paying a fine.” 

Seems unequivocal enough. 

Now fast forward to Obama’s September 9, 2009 healthcare speech before a joint session of Congress, when he declared, “under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic insurance.” 

Then, in his interview with Stephanopoulos, Obama labeled his health insurance mandate a “penalty” while bizarrely disputing whether it fit the dictionary definition of “tax,” saying, “for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.” 

Obama’s double-talk extends to other solemn promises that he made when it was convenient to do so. 

Perhaps his most prominent promise came when he assured voters that nobody earning under $250,000 per year would suffer increased taxes, saying in September 2008 that, “I can make a firm pledge – under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax, not any of your taxes.” 

Now, Obama has retreated to a deceptive form of Clinton-speak, saying that the cost of his healthcare plan should not be “completely shouldered on the backs of middle-class families,” and that, “if I see a proposal that is primarily funded through taxing middle-class families, I’m going to be opposed to that because I think there are better ways to do it.” 

Notice the shift from “not any of your taxes” to “primarily” shouldering his healthcare bill burden. 

The fact is that Obama’s healthcare plan will significantly raise taxes on millions of Americans earning under $250,000.  This will occur primarily through individual mandate taxes, an excise tax on health insurance plans and almost $100 billion in new fees on medical device manufacturers, insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies.  According to an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) and former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, approximately 90% of the new taxes will fall upon Americans earning under $200,000 annually. 

And under Max Baucus’s Senate Finance Committee plan, which is the most moderate of the existing proposals, there will also be new taxes upon employers who cannot offer insurance, penalties against Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and caps on Flexible-Spending Account (FSA) contributions. 

In other words, passage of Obama’s healthcare proposal will impose both direct and indirect taxes, with middle-class Americans hit the hardest.  And that’s just the beginning of the pain, with destruction of the world’s most effective healthcare sector to follow. 

Americans can decide for themselves whether Obama’s deception fits the dictionary definition of “lie,” but such evasive double-talk is both un-presidential and unseemly.

Notable Quote   
 
"The Biden administration recently issued yet another outlandish immigration action, but most Americans likely did not realize it. I'm talking about the Department of Homeland Security's decision to extend and 'redesignate' Temporary Protected Status for more than 700,000 illegal aliens from Venezuela that the Biden administration has already allowed into the U.S. For many Americans, this may sound…[more]
 
 
— Chad Wolf, Former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Executive Director of the Center for Homeland Security & Immigration at the America First Policy Institute
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any sitting president publicly pick either side in a private labor dispute?