Op-ed: Just tell us the truth, Mr. President
It's never comforting to have one's longstanding fears confirmed. Yet, that's exactly what's happened over the last week as Americans have been presented with a stunning array of facts that diminish faith in our government.
Whether it's on foreign policy, taxes, or the health-care system our lives depend on, members of the Obama Administration are making it harder to trust them to perform the most very basic functions of public service.
We deserve better. We deserve the truth.
President Obama, tell us the truth about what happened in Benghazi, the truth about political groups being targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, and the truth about how problematic Obamacare is turning out to be.
First, Benghazi. Long-simmering skepticism over the State Department's contention four Americans were murdered in the midst of a "spontaneous" protest against an anti-Islamic YouTube video was confirmed when it was revealed high-ranking administration officials edited out the references to terrorism in their talking points.
Why? The State Department worried the information "could be abused by members of [Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings..."
The lives of our countrymen are surely more important than any concerns about political fallout. How could such a statement be written in the wake of these tragic murders? And why did the White House, just last week, falsely tell the American people that the State Department never edited the talking points?
Next, the Department of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has found that conservative and Tea Party groups, after complaining for years of being unfairly targeted by the IRS, were indeed, singled out for extra scrutiny - harkening back to the dark tactics employed by the Nixon Administration and its "enemies list."
Likewise, it appears that Jewish and pro-Israel groups were also targeted. Senior officials at IRS have known since 2011 that the agency had inappropriately flagged these groups, yet, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified - falsely - to Congress in March 2012, "There's absolutely no targeting."
It's not coincidental, and it does nothing to lessen skepticism that voters had no knowledge of the Benghazi coverup or IRS scandal in the run-up to the 2012 elections, even though members of the Obama Administration were well aware of the facts at that time.
Finally, there's Obamacare--legislation that was passed for the stated purpose of making healthcare more affordable. News stories are published almost daily showing how it's destroying jobs and driving up the cost of care.
The Associated Press reported this week that now the law could make life-saving cancer drugs prohibitively expensive, possibly increasing prices to $2,000 a month.
And, this comes after reports that the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has taken the alarming step of asking for donations from the very organizations she regulates to pump more cash into Obamacare. So much for the "Affordable Care Act."
Keep in mind, these are only the most recent examples where the Obama Administration hasn't been talking straight with the people.
Obama still refuses to admit his signature economic policy initiative, the stimulus, never produced the jobs promised. And, sadly, the billions of tax dollars that were wasted on flimsy projects for well-connected donors and lobbyists will never be recaptured.
Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to disclose details about the administration's drone policy, coupled with the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, has done irreparable damage to the Department of Justice.
American society functions largely on trust. Without it, our laws have little meaning, and our people have no certainty. Simply put, a government that systematically misleads its people threatens the underpinnings of our democracy.
If Obama truly cares about uniting the country and moving forward, he must act to restore truth in our system of government. Please, Mr. President, tell us the truth.