We fall for political lies

By Dick Miller


WE.CONNECT.DOTS:   Politicians and government officials speak a different language.

Because we accept these untruths, high taxes and poor services follow.

This time of year, “politspeak” gets a little deeper.

(Don’t ping your Merriam-Webster.  “Politspeak” is a new term.  A preliminary definition: “pledges by politicians to get re-elected, but – on the whole – have little chance of being fulfilled.”)

Every day governors and administrators wax philosophic about budgets.  Government budgets are works of fiction.  Counters by opposition parties are also fictitious.  The hole is so deep now that any politician telling the truth has no chance of being re-elected.

An exception for incumbency is President Trump.  He is going to lower our taxes, bring back jobs, end deficit spending, build a wall that will keep Mexicans out and reduce crime.   He has repeatedly made these campaign pledges, always leaving out the details.

Maybe we should look at “gerrymandering” as a reason we are not to listen.  After all, in Pennsylvania, these con artists picked us, rather than us picking them.  We have no say.  Re-districting stacks the deck.

The trick is to convince us they make the world a better place.  Truth is, most want to make their world a better place.

National and local media no longer have the resources to dig deep and publish the truth.  Easier to just paste in the politicians’ handouts.

Budgets are an obvious example.

In Harrisburg, Gov. Wolf says he has ordered a freeze on hiring.   Any job becoming vacant through retirement or any other form of termination – with certain exceptions – shall not be filled.

And yet, service will not be impaired.  At least, that is what he says.

Hiring freezes and downsizing are real world business tactics.  When done by attrition, however, remaining employees are re-assigned where needed.

That, of course, cannot happen in government.  Unions make sure their members’ comfort comes ahead of servicing taxpayers.

More confusing, when Republican lawmakers oppose Wolf’s budget without details, Wolf likely has better solutions.

Our governor is not entirely truthful when he claims his budget does not include gimmicks.  What about the proposal to offer early retirements to painlessly reduce the state workforce?

Under Wolf’s proposal, we save money in salaries this year.  He is silent on the greater draw on pensions in future years.  Pension unfunded liabilities are something discussed every year, but never solved.

At least from Gov. Tom Ridge forward – we keep kicking the can down the road.

The lies don’t get any larger or more frequent than when the subject is “jobs.”  President Obama got through eight years with an uneven economic recovery.

Based on all the belly aching from Fortune 500 CEOs over new immigrant policies, many of the better jobs Obama claims to have created went to migrants.

Despite Republicans doing everything possible to destroy our first president of color, Mr. Obama skated on the economic recovery.  Yes, jobs are up, just not family sustaining ones to most people born and residing in Western PA.

President Trump will not get that long, but he maintains support because of a promise to bring back jobs from overseas that – supposedly – will pay family-sustaining wages.

The devil is in the details, which are never provided.  And why this pledge is also a crock.

Bottom Line: Automation has created an oversupply of workers.  Cost of labor is less.

Robots do work humans once performed.

But that’s only the beginning.

The spotlight of technical evolution today shines on “artificial intelligence.”

Has anyone read or listened to an interview with Bill Demchak where he hasn’t bragged about doing more banking with less tellers?  Demchak, chairman, president and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group, drools when he talks about branch offices flush with computer screens and devoid of human labor.

Hence, income disparity will continue without government guaranteeing a different outcome.  At least Demchak doesn’t stand on “politspeak.”

“Politspeak” is becoming harder for the Republicans to sell.  For the better part of six years, they promised to end Obamacare.  Over 60 times they voted to terminate the program.

On the morning of November 9, they learned that by late January they would have unfettered power to deliver on this promise.  Still, no details.

How many times did “candidate” Trump pledge to terminate Obamacare on his first day in office?  He never said how.

President Trump didn’t create “politspeak.”  He just advanced it a level or two.

On the Flesch-Kincaid reading level, this article has been written to be understood by anyone who has mastered an eighth grade education.A small percentage of our readers practice “politspeak.”  Most are subject to it.

Updated: February 13, 2017 — 12:25 pm
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