Editorial: America sorely needs truth in government
Nov 11, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Americans always have held different political and social opinions, but what’s missing in our political discourse is honesty and integrity. It seems a contest as to who lies best for the benefit of the “low information” audience which will take whatever’s offered at face value.Two recent examples illustrate.Last year, Democrats railed against voter ID laws being pushed by Republicans in advance of the fall elections. It seemed logical to ensure anyone casting a vote in a national election demonstrate eligibility and ensure honesty. Never mind logic, Democrats painted this as a plot to disenfranchise voters.Asked President Obama’s opinion, Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “This administration believes it should be easier for eligible citizens to vote — to register and vote. We should not be imposing unnecessary obstacles or barriers to voter participation.”But in the midst of his $100 million vacation to Africa last week, the White House announced its support for “Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa,” part of which is a “My ID, My Life” campaign in Kenya, under which a half-million young Kenyan voters obtained a national identification card by which to vote.Not good enough here, but good enough in Kenya; a violation of voter rights here, but a step forward in Kenya. And this on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling freeing nine states and local jurisdictions in seven others from elections oversight by the federal government based on criteria outdated by half a century.Texas, one of the affected states, immediately put its voter ID law in effect, a plan Obama’s Justice Department labeled a “poll tax.” “Texas may now implement the will of the people without being subject to outdated and unnecessary oversight and the overreach of federal power,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry.Then there’s the sequestration — a program initiated by Obama to call the Republicans’ bluff, which went into effect when their bluff was not called. Democrats railed against the catastrophe that sequestration would cause, that the armed forces would be decimated, that the economy would collapse, that hundreds of thousands of federal workers would join the unemployment lines.One effect on the military was seen this week when a few military bases cancelled July 4th fireworks. Otherwise, the economy seems to be humming along. And about all those jobs, well, we were told that sequestration would devastate the Washington region, costing 154,000 jobs in Virginia, 84,000 in Maryland, and 92,500 in D.C.In fact, Virginia gained 48,200 jobs between May 2012 and May 2013, and the jobless rate dropped more than half a percent; Maryland gained 35,600 jobs and D.C., 3,500 with the jobless rate dropping from 9.1 to 8.5 percent.In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Obama administration and Congress haven’t cut one dime of spending; to the contrary, spending for the current fiscal year is $18 billion higher than last year.We need more jobs, we need less government involvement in the economy, we need, well, we need lots of things. Foremost, we need truth in government.