Obama, 1. Merriam-Webster’s, 0. ….Wait, what?

There is one point on which the president may not be criticized: he is a skilled verbal gymnast and there is no denying it.  Most recently, he has denied that the government taking more of our money as a penalty for not living up to our supposed “responsibility to get health insurance” would be a tax increase, despite the dictionary’s assertion to the contrary:

“I don’t think I’m making it up,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said. He then had the temerity to challenge the Philologist in Chief, with an assist from Merriam-Webster. He cited that dictionary’s definition of “tax”—”a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

Mr. Obama: “George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. . . .”

Riiight…because checking with the dictionary is always indicative of stretching the truth.

Also interesting is Obama’s framing of his health care plan as an appeal to personal responsibility — rather odd since that responsibility would be required: “The—for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore . . .” 

“[N]ot going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore”?  Really?  Really?   Tax-funded health care wouldn’t require some people to carry other people’s burdens?

More of this ridiculous rhetoric here.

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