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January 24, 2005
Bill Thomas Flies In Emergency Supply Of New Lies
If there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's that American politicians don't lie enough. Sure, the Bush administration launched a war based on hundreds of lies. But we're a big country. With a population of 293,027,000, even a thousand lies means every lie has to be split between 293,027 Americans. There's simply no excuse for this in a nation as rich as ours.
Fortunately, Social Security is an opportunity for public-spirited politicians to produce many more lies. For instance, here's Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, yesterday on Meet the Press:
MR. RUSSERT: President Bush has said Social Security is in a crisis. Democrats say hold on, not so fast, it's not a crisis. Is it?
REP. THOMAS: Well, couple of weeks ago, the president had one of his forums in Washington, and if you'll look at what he said actually at that Washington forum, he used the term "problem" 27 times. He used crisis zero.
The forum to which Thomas is referring is the White House Economic Conference last December 16. This is from Bush's closing remarks:
The problem with that when it comes to a modernization of Social Security is, is that the longer we wait, the more expensive the solution becomes. And so one of my jobs, one of my charges is to explain to Congress as clearly as I can, the crisis is now.
The best part of Thomas' lie is its brazenness. Usually when politicians lie, they leave themselves some kind of out, like "To the best of my recollection..." Here, Thomas says he knows the number of times Bush said "problem." So he can't really claim he didn't read the speech at all. This is worth ten of the low-quality "the British government has learned..." lies to which we've grown accustomed.
Kudos also to Tim Russert for letting the lie go by unchallenged. A lie challenged is often a lie destroyed, which leads to the kind of lie-shortage we've faced in the past.
So: thanks, Rep. Thomas! And thanks, Tim! Every lie-hungry American salutes you!Posted at January 24, 2005 02:03 AM | TrackBack