Let's Think Together
Deceit ... of Citizens and Foreigners Alike
Published on January 3, 2008 By ThinkAloud In Politics
My niece who is an Assistant Professor of Political Studies has been working, since June 2007, on a paper for publication on "Deceit as a Tool in US Foreign Policy" . Last week she asked me to review her draft before she submits it for publication. I did and pointed out few points to her. One of these points was this: "not telling the whole truth to a foreign leader is not a deceit" especially if that leader does not support the US Government's policies regardless of whether those policies are right or wrong.

The US Government is not responsible for making sure that foreign leaders know everything they should know before they make their own decisions. The US is not a custodian of the world. The US Government is responsible for pursuing the best interest of its own Citizens not the interests of other countries. If the two coincide then great, if they don’t ... then we tell them what we think is best for us and that is not deceit if what we say is true. If it is not the whole truth ... then it is up to them to fill the gaps ... it is good enough that we didn’t lie. They can ask question and we should answer honestly.... but if they don’t ask we have no responsibility to educate them....

Or Do we?

That is what got me started on this article. .... Then things got worse in my mind.

This is not only happening in foreign policy ... it is happening in Domestic policies too ... here at home from our Government and the think tanks which guide and control its domestic policies.

The Foreign component deserves a separate article and there are many reasons to adopt a not-the-whole-truth policy with foreign leaders. But this article is about using the same attitude with the Citizens who elected the US government to Govern, supposedly, in their name.

The question is not only addressed to the elected officials but to every one involved in shaping or supporting these policies.

Is it legitimate to portray certain proposed ideas in a way that deceives the public and get them to agree to something that is really not what they think it is?

When dismantling the Social Security program is presented as "giving the people control over their own money" while in fact it will destroy the program and leaves great number of people with no (or vastly reduced) income after retirement …. Is that legitimate?

Every one knew that the minority who know a little about finance will be ok and may be do a little better while the majority who don’t know much about financial planning or how things work in the financial markets will be either worse off or lose their shirts in the process which negates the whole idea behind the program being a "Security" not an investment. It is an income insurance not an investment vehicle. There is the 401 K and IRA and other programs for investment ..... The SS program is not one of them.

But it was portrayed to the citizens as a better way of investment..... Was that legitimate?

When Medical Expenses savings accounts are portrayed as more economical for the individual than paying for health insurance which in fact it is for the minority who can afford paying for expensive private treatments while the majority will face a financial disaster if they need a serious operation or treatment..... Is that legitimate?

When Universal Health Care is portrayed as socialized medicine while in fact it is more efficient and less expensive for all than the current system which only benefits the Insurance Companies..... Is that legitimate?

When "getting the government off your back" is portrayed as less taxes while in fact it makes almost everyone pays much more in property taxes, college education, local services for maintaining roads and school buildings, ..Etc than what they save from Fed Taxes ... Is that legitimate?

When a program is intended to increase emissions of air pollutants and is called "Clear Skies" ... is that legitimate?

When a program results in mass exodus of manufacturing jobs from the country to foreign lands and portrayed as giving Businesses the freedom to operate where it is more efficient.... is that legitimate?

When deregulation of the communication industry results in more filth and violence on public airwaves and portrayed as less interference by government ... is that legitimate?

The examples are endless but that is enough to make the point and illustrates the dishonesty of the policies and the policy makers and supporters.

The first thing that comes to mind is this: if all that was legitimate why was it portrayed otherwise?

If destroying the SS program is the intent and they are convinced that it is the right policy ... why be dishonest about it?

If You want to save money for businesses by not giving employees health benefits and you think that is really better for businesses and employees alike..... Why lie about it?

If you want to relax the air pollution standards to save money for businesses why not say so?

No reason to keep asking the same question again and again....

Is it acceptable policy or politics to lie in order to achieve your goal?

Every citizen needs to think about that and be careful in swallowing what he/she is being fed. Many times it is dangerous for your health.

Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 03, 2008

Is it legitimate to portray a program that only affects 2% of a person's Social Security as "dismantling" Social Security?

Is it legitimate to portray Social Security benefits as a primary retirement income... when it was never meant to be?

Is it legitimate to portay Medical Savings Accounts as a replacement for medical insurance... when it was never meant to be?

When people try to deny that "Universal Healthcare" and "Socialized Medicine" aren't synonyms, even though they are... is that legitimate?

Or were you just giving us examples of the deceit on both sides of each issue?

on Jan 03, 2008
kudos Ted....
on Jan 03, 2008
Congratulations.  You just practiced your preaching.  Every point you made is an opinion - with no basis in facts (or accompanied by any), not a fact.  You stated your opinions as if they were facts, and in so doing, deceived others as to the true facts.  Is that bad?  Not necessarily.  it is your belief.  Just as the instances you pointed out was the belief of those stating those.  Some I share, some I do not.  The difference is I am not calling them or you a liar for stating a belief, not a fact.
on Jan 03, 2008
When Universal Health Care is portrayed as socialized medicine while in fact it is more efficient and less expensive for all than the current system which only benefits the Insurance Companies..... Is that legitimate?


Universal health care is portrayed as socialized medicine because it IS socialized medicine, however you slice it. I believe we need to fix a broken system, but the proposals on the table aren't the way to do it.

Few of us are old enough to remember it, but hospitals used to be charitable organizations. It really is within my lifetime that the serious push to make them corporations began. When they were non-profits, they were more able to accomodate the needs of the indigent; as long as they are corporations, return on shareholder investment will ALWAYS be a primary concern! This means rural areas get the axe (can't make a profit unless you can pull in volume), and those who cannot pay will always get the short end of the stick.

When "getting the government off your back" is portrayed as less taxes while in fact it makes almost everyone pays much more in property taxes, college education, local services for maintaining roads and school buildings, ..Etc than what they save from Fed Taxes ... Is that legitimate?


Giving state responsibilities to state governments won't raise taxes, it will reduce federal taxes and allow residents the CHOICE at the state level. Suddenly, I don't have to pay for a Boston road project or an LA bridge. I can help ensure that funds are raised where I live and work, and SPENT where I live and work.

When deregulation of the communication industry results in more filth and violence on public airwaves and portrayed as less interference by government ... is that legitimate?


And yet every TV has an "off" button. Glad to see you're no friend of the First Amendment here...

When a program results in mass exodus of manufacturing jobs from the country to foreign lands and portrayed as giving Businesses the freedom to operate where it is more efficient.... is that legitimate?


NAFTA was signed into law by one William Jefferson Clinton. Last I checked, the man is not a member of the GOP.

When a program is intended to increase emissions of air pollutants and is called "Clear Skies" ... is that legitimate?


Let's talk for a moment about "carbon credits", the darling program of the left. How does allowing a company to buy pollution credits eliminate pollution, exactly? How does using more electricity in a month than most Americans use in a YEAR (Al Gore) helping to reduce our impact?

Yes, our politicians are lying to us, but they are Republican and Democrat alike. We need real solutions, and Washington isn't providing those.

on Jan 03, 2008
if a rock is going to hit new york tomorrow. do you tell the people of new york causing panic, or do you just prepare for the clean up.
on Jan 03, 2008
I thought this was a good, thought provoking article.  People just really have to dig deep and educate themselves about the issues.  Unfortunately truth seems to be in the eye of the beholder and there is definately a spin on everything.  Of course, they are going to present it in the best possible light to win the most support.  I have searched for a "just the facts" political site and most sites definately seem to promote a particular viewpoint.  I just read both sides and generally the truth is somewhere in the middle.  What frustrates me is when people just accept the spin and don't look any deeper. 
on Jan 03, 2008
Is it legitimate to portray a program that only affects 2% of a person's Social Security as "dismantling" Social Security?Is it legitimate to portray Social Security benefits as a primary retirement income... when it was never meant to be?


When your budget is not even balanced, and you cut your income 2% .... what happens Ted? would you tell me please. What would happen to SS if its receipts are less by 2%. it is already in trouble ..... so what would happen after that loss?

what i expected is to show me how it would survive after the cuts. Turning the question around is not an answer.

as for being the primary income .... well ..... do i really need to elaborate on that? if it wasn't why did the majority of working people revolt against the idea and it was shelved? dont you think people would like to increase their ROI? They objected because most people know that they are not good at handling financial investment. a low-ROI which is safe is much more acceptable to them than risky high yield one.

It is true it was never meant to be a primary income ..... but since humans are the way they are .... it is. it is an insurance and if it turns out that it is all what they have .... well .... it is bad enough... but why make it worse?
on Jan 03, 2008
with no basis in facts (or accompanied by any), not a fact. You stated your opinions as if they were facts, and in so doing, deceived others as to the true facts.


Oh Really? let's see:

You need a proof that the SS is already in trouble? if you dont already know that, then where were you in the last 10 years? living under a rock?

and if you know that, which i am sure you do, then tell me how would it survive after you cut its income by 2%?

And Tax credits for relocating manufacturing plants is not an incentive to relocate outside the country? you need a proof that we lost most of our manufacturing base since 1980's? Reagan plainly said he was going to transform our economy to service economy. and he did. what proof do you need more than that? and you didnt know that already?

And the health care systems used by Canada, France, UK, Germany is socialized medicine? these countries are following socialism systems? not free market? and they all pay less and get better service

what opinions did i mention? it is all known facts. If you are not aware of them ... please go and look for yourself.
on Jan 03, 2008
if a rock is going to hit new york tomorrow. do you tell the people of new york causing panic, or do you just prepare for the clean up.


you prepare for panic and for clean up And tell the truth.
on Jan 03, 2008
Yes, our politicians are lying to us, but they are Republican and Democrat alike. We need real solutions, and Washington isn't providing those.


Exactly. I dont care who is deceiving us .... it has to stop.

Gid, i am living in NJ. it is a very good State and I like it here. But all the problems of Washington exists in Trenton. and all I get from Fed tax reductions is higher property taxes and all the other higher payments i mentioned. I actually added it all up and subtracted what i got from Fed tax reductions .... i lost. Try doing it yourself and you will see.

We need to fix a lot of things. Washington is the first and all other State Capitals to follow.... we have a big mess .... Putting tax cut as cure-all fix-all policy is a fallacy that must stop.
on Jan 03, 2008
What frustrates me is when people just accept the spin and don't look any deeper


let's be realistic Loca. many people are not inclined to look for themselves. I am sure you heard that most people get their news from John Stewart show. How sad is that?

They dont even have the stomach to watch a real Tv news program.

Let's us try to limit the spin to a minimum. and expose the lies and deceit. that is all we can do. then let the chips fall as they may.
on Jan 03, 2008
Gid, i am living in NJ. it is a very good State and I like it here. But all the problems of Washington exists in Trenton. and all I get from Fed tax reductions is higher property taxes and all the other higher payments i mentioned. I actually added it all up and subtracted what i got from Fed tax reductions .... i lost. Try doing it yourself and you will see.


Oh, I know what's happening, TA. It's called tax shifting, and I don't approve of it either. But it doesn't justify maintaining a bloated federal budget.

I disagree that it needs to start in Washington, it needs to START in local communities and work its way up. If communities can show that they can truly make progress in addressing these programs WITHOUT throwing more money at it, then we can start a model for other communities to follow.

We need to fix a lot of things. Washington is the first and all other State Capitals to follow.... we have a big mess .... Putting tax cut as cure-all fix-all policy is a fallacy that must stop.


OK, we can agree there. Tax cuts should be part of a comprehensive reform that includes a lot more than just cutting taxes. Just as throwing money at the problem doesn't fix it, neither does removing money in and of itself fix things.
on Jan 03, 2008
Let's us try to limit the spin to a minimum. and expose the lies and deceit. that is all we can do. then let the chips fall as they may.


Yup.

While I am no Mikey Moore fan, I credit him for two things:

1) bringing up the debate on our broken system

2) pointing out that Dems are every bit as culpable as the GOP in perpetuating the deeply flawed health care industry as status quo.
on Jan 03, 2008

 

Oh Really? let's see:

You need a proof that the SS is already in trouble?

When your budget is not even balanced, and you cut your income 2%

See the quotes?  See the spin?  Both are your quotes.  SS IS balanced today. Yet you tell Ted it is not (in fact it is running a huge surplus).

The spin is here:

When dismantling the Social Security program

Show me where ANYONE has talked about dismantling it?  2%?  That is dismantling it?  Hardehar har.  Good one.  I did not know you also wrote comedy.

So tell me again about your "Facts"?

on Jan 03, 2008
I disagree that it needs to start in Washington, it needs to START in local communities and work its way up.


It really doesnt matter where to start. and why not start all at the same time. let's be smart in elcting those bums at Fed and Local levels. and not go for the spin of misguided slogans and agendas.

I was listening to Huckabee yesterday. He is going around talking about eliminating the IRS and replacing it with consumption tax. People actually cheered for that. Those people were mostly at or close to retiremnet age. Did they really know what they are cheering?

let's see:

A retired middle-class couple usually consumes as much as a middle age couple with no kids. may be even more since their medical bills are higher and they usually have grand kids to spoil.

the middle age couple are working and have income while the retired couple have a fixed income.

currently the retired couple pay a very low tax on their income while the working couple pays a lot more.

regardless of what is fair, the question that popped in my mind was this: do these older people know what they are cheering for?

I greatly doubt it .... but they did .... shouldnt he, Hucabee, has the responsibility to explain the idea to them in clear terms? shouldnt he tell them that they will pay much more taxes than they curretly do and the richer couple will pay less?

that is just a simple example of what is going on.