Obama's Teachable Truthiness Moment
President Obama blames Republicans for the collapse of his latest government jobs bill. But in the end, he has only his tall tale-telling tongue to blame.
After hyping the TARP, Obamacare, Stimulus I and EduJobs spending behemoths as economic saviors, Obama just couldn't help overselling his half-trillion-dollar American Jobs Act. The teachable moment of "truthiness" for this taxpayer-subsidized scam came last week when Obama made an unwitting Boston teacher the botched poster child for his campaign.
"Hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers have been laid off because of state budget cuts. This jobs bill has funding to put a lot of those men and women back to work. It has funding to prevent a lot more from losing their job," the Pinocchio of Pennsylvania Avenue told reporters during his East Room press conference in Washington, D.C., last Thursday.
For example, Obama spelled out: "I had a chance to meet a young man named Robert Baroz. He's got two decades of teaching experience. He's got a master's degree. He's got an outstanding track record of helping his students make huge gains in reading and writing. In the last few years, he's received three pink slips because of budget cuts."
Going in for the heartstring-tugging kill, Obama lamented: "Why wouldn't we want to pass a bill that puts somebody like Robert back in the classroom teaching our kids?"
Well, for one thing, Obama never "met" Baroz. They were in the same place at one point for a jobs bill rally at the Rose Garden in September. But the two never shook hands, never took photos, never spoke and never communicated with each other in any way that might be even remotely construed as "meeting."
Which would help explain why Obama got the most basic fact about his sob story wrong: Baroz doesn't need Obama's jobs bill to "put him back in the classroom teaching our kids" — because he already has a job. As the Boston Herald reported, Baroz "works as a literacy and data coach at the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain, analyzing MCAS data and applying it to teachers' everyday lessons."
Let me spell that out again for the reading comprehension-challenged: Baroz doesn't need Obama to redistribute other people's money to get him a job.
White House press secretary and former Time magazine journalist Jay Carney attempted to gloss over Obama's crystal-clear whopper about having met Baroz and his transparent insinuation that the teacher would benefit from passage of the bill:
"The president — as you know, he was in a group of people that were — I think he was this close to the president as you are to me. And the president knows his story. ... I mean, it's just indisputable — as we found out again this morning — that all around the country, teachers are being laid off. The president has a plan to solve, OK, or to address that problem. ... So I think the principle is just indisputable, as Mr. Baroz himself makes clear."
How would Carney have reported on such narrative-stretching spin when he was covering the Bush administration for Time magazine?
Obama's tall teacher tale is of a piece with the rest of his economic stimulus fables — from the Ohio bridge he stood in front of that wouldn't see any jobs act money until 2015, if ever, to the thousands of promised construction jobs that would only go to a sliver of union-exclusive projects, to the pie-in-the-sky green jobs funding for weatherization projects that have mostly benefited Obama cronies.
All the little lies serve the larger Obama fraud of endless Keynesian intervention as a "cure." It's a deception even Senate Democrats refused to whitewash: "If spending money would solve our problems and crisis in America, we wouldn't have a problem right now because we sure did our share of spending money in the last few years," West Virginia Senate Democrat Joe Manchin said last month in casting doubt on the doomed Obama jobs bill. "It's just common sense to me. If some of the recommendations that are out there hadn't worked in the past, why would we do them over again?"
For his part, as an Obama true believer, the teacher Robert Baroz is excusing his hero's fabrications because they serve a supposedly higher truth: "To me, the question he posed to the people was a rhetorical question. The emphasis was on 'like Robert.' It's people who are like me, highly qualified, and are not working. That's the spirit of it."
Egad. If Baroz uses the same logic in his "literacy and data" coaching methods in the Boston schools, perhaps students would be better off without him.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
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