Great op-ed from the esteemed Mr. Sowell:
The most important thing about what anyone says are not the words themselves but the credibility of the person who says them.
The words of convicted swindler Bernie Madoff were apparently quite convincing to many people who were regarded as knowledgeable and sophisticated. If you go by words, you can be led into anything.
No doubt millions of people will be listening to the words of President Barack Obama Wednesday night when he makes a televised address to a joint session of Congress on his medical care plans. But, if they think that the words he says are what matters, they can be led into something much worse than being swindled out of their money.
One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess -- for a program that would not take effect until 2013!
Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years -- more specifically, until the year after the next presidential election?
If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect? And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next presidential election?
If it is not urgent that the legislation goes into effect immediately, then why don't we have time to go through the normal process of holding congressional hearings on the pros and cons, accompanied by public discussions of its innumerable provisions? What sense does it make to "hurry up and wait" on something that is literally a matter of life and death?
If we do not believe that the president is stupid, then what do we believe? The only reasonable alternative seems to be that he wanted to get this massive government takeover of medical care passed into law before the public understood what was in it. Moreover, he wanted to get re-elected in 2012 before the public experienced what its actual consequences would be.