Johnny Isakson joins the un-truthers

For most of his 30 or so years in public office, Johnny Isakson has been a gentleman —  thoughtful, prudent, conservative but eminently reasonable. Lately, though, as his party has shifted to a confrontational, hard-right stance, led by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to oppose everything President Obama proposes, Isakson has shown signs of joining the know-nothing naysayers. In his Saturday response to the president’s weekly radio address, Isakson went all the way over to the dark side, distorting, misinforming and outright fabricating about the president’s health are reform plans.

Much of Isakson’s response (which wasn’t really a “response” since Obama discussed international affairs in his talk) was the typical deceitful blather — “government takeover,” etc. etc. If the government is taking over health care, why are private insurance companies so happy about millions of new customers?

But the fabrication Isakson added to the usual litany was this:

And it would still impose taxes on virtually every American and small business.

If you have insurance, you get taxed.

If you don’t have insurance, you get taxed.

If you’re an employer who cannot afford to provide health insurance to your employees, you get taxed.

It’s simply not true that “If you have insurance, you get taxed.” The Senate Finance Committee has proposed a tax on so-called Cadillac policies owned by a very few Americans. The rest of us may well be hit by higher insurance premiums, since several companies have already announced hikes, but not taxes imposed by the government.
Isakson knows better. He had already behaved shamefully when he backed away from support for a policy that he proposed two years ago: encouraging the elderly to seek counseling for end-of-life decisions. First, he rightfully told The Washingt Post that the controversy over end-of-life counseling was ridiculous:

“I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s Web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end-of-life directive, or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up.”

But after Obama pointed out that Isakson supported end-of-life counseling, the senator, perhaps under pressure from GOP hard-liners, angrily backtracked. He issued a statement that said, in part:

“The White House and others are merely attempting to deflect attention from the intense negativity caused by their unpopular policies,” Isakson was quoted as saying. “I never consulted with the White House in this process and had no role whatsoever in the House Democrats’ bill. I categorically oppose the House bill and find it incredulous that the White House and others would use my amendment as a scapegoat for their misguided policies. My Senate amendment simply puts health care choices back in the hands of the individual and allows them to consider if they so choose a living will or durable power of attorney. The House provision is merely another ill-advised attempt at more government mandates, more government intrusion, and more government involvement in what should be an individual choice.”

It’s too bad Isakson has chosen to abandon intellectual honesty. Johnny, we hardly know ye.

36 comments Add your comment

catlady

September 26th, 2009
4:13 pm

Been hanging around ole Suxby too long. His golf game has probably gone to *&%$! as well.

Tom Middleton

September 26th, 2009
5:43 pm

Just one more bit of proof – maybe the last one we need – that Republicans have no interest in today’s government, except destroying this president and bringing back Dubya’s policies, Act lll. Please, God, say it ain’t so!

The last Boy Scout

September 26th, 2009
5:59 pm

Republicans are trying to kill the middle class, wipe out better paying jobs, and destroy public education. What made any of us vote for these losers. It is time to wake up and vote. This loser is gone from the Senate next go around.

Greg Lee

September 26th, 2009
6:21 pm

I just saved a bunch of money on my taxes with Geico… er, I mean with Republicans.

mike

September 26th, 2009
8:57 pm

Tucker talking about intellectual honesty? Who is she to judge anyone on that?

mike

September 26th, 2009
8:58 pm

The last Boy Scout –

“Republicans are trying to kill the middle class, wipe out better paying jobs, and destroy public education. ”

You forgot to accuse Republicans of “fear mongering”. LOL

mike

September 26th, 2009
8:59 pm

Tom Middleton –

“Republicans have no interest in today’s government, except destroying this president and bringing back Dubya’s policies”

Another partisan idiot who thinks that any party other than his own is evil.

Grow up, little boy.

Question

September 26th, 2009
9:09 pm

definition of “tax”—”a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

…when the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t [buy insurance]. . . . How is that not a tax?

It turns out the President thinks a health-care tax is not a tax if he thinks the tax is for your own good.

Real

September 26th, 2009
9:18 pm

Seems PresBO joined (or leads) the ranks of the un-truthers some time ago –

CBO contradicts Obama on healthcare – again…This is getting to be a pattern:

WASHINGTON – Congress’ chief budget officer on Tuesday contradicted President Barack Obama’s oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn’t see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.

The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators that seniors in Medicare’s managed care plans could see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.

The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years.

Rascal

September 26th, 2009
9:19 pm

Cynthia spews just a little more rubbish till time is up. RIP 2010 AJC

Sam

September 26th, 2009
9:21 pm

Reid’s position is quite convenient one might say, or is it another “don’t confuse me with the facts”… —

“Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is refusing to hold a Senate hearing on ACORN’s activities,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee complained Wednesday.

Mr. Reid replied additional investigations might distract lawmakers from addressing more important matters, including health care and economic recovery.

Michael H. Smith

September 26th, 2009
9:41 pm

In regards to intellectual honesty, Comrade Cynthia:

“The Senate Finance Committee has proposed a tax on so-called Cadillac policies owned by a very few Americans.”

Is it true that many members of unions who are covered under these so-called Cadillac plans will be exempt from paying the tax a few other Americans will have to pay?

“The rest of us may well be hit by higher insurance premiums, since several companies have already announced hikes, but not taxes imposed by the government.”

The population of the U.S. is aging, as we grow older we use healthcare services more than when we are younger. Given these facts alone is it true that it will costs everyone in the country more money for healthcare insurance irregardless of any other contributing factors?

If government imposes a tax on business for healthcare who will actually pay that tax?

The trouble with the unhinged left wing fringe truthers is neither they nor Obama can do any wrong worthy of any criticism.

Footnote: For the record I don’t agree with Senator Isakson’s involvement with end of life counseling. Furthermore, I don’t agree with ANY of the healthcare reforms proposed to date by either political party. The Senate finance committee proposal still a work in progress which I hoped would be acceptable is turning sour.

oldtimer

September 26th, 2009
9:44 pm

Thank God for Isackson….He speaks with wisdom!!I wish others in the governmnt would be as forthcoming!!

TnGelding

September 27th, 2009
1:58 am

Has Johnny lost weight? His suit is a little too big.

Regardless of what he said, the bill is a stinker and only complicates matters, and increases the cost of health care. There are simpler and better proposals out there. To reduce costs insurance companies have to be eliminated, not enriched. Ditto for advertising.

MichaelinAtlanta

September 27th, 2009
6:01 am

It’s at least in part because we have so many “leaders” who lie to us all the time that Americans are so ignorant. Perversely, there is an inverse proportion to the appeal of lies and the effect of truth: for every ten reasonable truths you might tell, Americans find one idiotic lie enough to nullify the information the truth gave them. We don’t need external enemies to fight: as long as we have career liars like Isackson to shepherd us to the slaughterhouse, we are certain to be our own undoing.

lovelyliz

September 27th, 2009
7:47 am

Johnny Isakson is just looking out for his constituents. His big $$ corporate lobbyist constituent, but his “people” none the less

Michael H. Smith

September 27th, 2009
7:58 am

If insurance companies are eliminated only two choices remain: Non-government non-profit consumer owned mutual insurance cooperative healthcare or in very point of fact, a complete government take over healthcare insurance.

The latter of the two can go to blazes!

I’ll take my chances with my fellow Americans not with the government of, by and for Democrats and Republicans.

dmac

September 27th, 2009
8:53 am

Look let’s face the facts. Isakson lies because he has received large amounts of campaign money from the business interests. He also lies because the Republican base in Georgia cheers whenever he opposes Obama. Some of his base cheers even more loudly when Isakson’s opposition is baseless. To them baseless criticisms are personal insults to Obama. Their goal is to insult not to improve legislation. Isakson merely panders to that crowd.

jconservative

September 27th, 2009
9:32 am

Michael H. Smith “The population of the U.S. is aging, as we grow older we use healthcare services more than when we are younger. Given these facts alone is it true that it will costs everyone in the country more money for healthcare insurance irregardless of any other contributing factors? ”

Yes, it will cost you more for your health care insurance. It will also cause your FICA to increase & it will cause your federal income tax to increase. And that’s true if we sit & do nothing. Remember, millions of baby boomers are going on the medicare rolls starting in 2011. But apparently you taxpayers just want to sit & do nothing.

Medicare/medicaid & SCHIP will spend $803.1 Billion in fiscal year 2010.
In a few years that will double. The money will come out of all you
taxpayers’ pockets.

I would say I am sorry but I see no evidence that any of you really care. So, if you do not care, why should I?

Donovan

September 27th, 2009
9:40 am

Comrade Tucker and her left wing associates are now realizing that the Republican Party has finally taken off the gloves and are tired of being Mr. Nice Guy for too long. George W did not fight back while her gang of mean spirited partisans ripped into their political opponents with reckless abandon for 8 years. Now that the liberals control Congress and the White House any and all opposition to their ideology of lunacy generates a strong reaction and predictable name calling attack. We shall see how things turn out in the elections of 2010. I think it would be safe to say that there will be a major turn over of Tuckers, based on their track records. This country has had enough of government interference, loss of freedoms, and stupid left wing ideas.

Michael H. Smith

September 27th, 2009
9:47 am

If the government is taking over health care, why are private insurance companies so happy about millions of new customers?

A better or more “intellectually honest” question might be, if private insurance companies are all so happy and content with millions of potentially new customers, then why is the major health care interests in this country, which includes the private insurance company lobby, spending $1.4 million per day lobbying Congress to either defeat or reshape reforms to – as though one could only guess – protect their interests i.e. profits?

Like to answer that happy question, Comrade “Honest” Cynthia? (smiles for miles)

Jack

September 27th, 2009
9:52 am

Maybe Tucker will share with us the kind of health insurance program she enjoys. Since she knows what’s good for us, we’d like to know what’s good for her.

jconservative

September 27th, 2009
9:53 am

Donovan – “We shall see how things turn out in the elections of 2010.”

Correct. The 2010 election should see the Republicans gain seats in both houses. Historically that is what happens in off year elections.

The key is what will happen in 2012. And the Republicans have built themselves a real problem. They have alienated a major portion of several constituencies. Looking at the 2008 election John McCain only received 28 electoral votes from states he carried by 60% of the vote.
Obama received 146 electoral votes from states he carried by 60% of the vote. This is a big mountain for Republicans to climb in 2012.

norman ravitch

September 27th, 2009
10:03 am

Don’t criticize Isakson, we need every sensible republican we can get to stick around. Too many republicans are semi-Fascists and too many democrats semi-socialists.

dgroy

September 27th, 2009
10:33 am

Me thinks something smells fishy….there’s something wrong, definitely…….If the Health Care Proposal the Dumbocrats are proposing is so good for the American Public, why did they defeat a bill to have the plans points, i. e., an Executive Summary posted on the Internet for everyone to see. Seems to me that someone is hiding something. Cynthia, since you’re obviously in love with the dumbocrats proposal, I nominate you to be first in line to sign up…..I hope you’ll be very happy :)

DirtyDawg

September 27th, 2009
11:20 am

Johnny has disappointed many of us that have admired him all those years. Guess that the money and power he fell into in Washington – first appointed by an, ahem, Democratic Governor by the way, changed him for the worse and forever. Knowing Johnny’s background and having been a staunch supporter of his – one of the original ‘Yellow Dogs For Isakson – I’ve wanted to ask him if he thinks Richard Hamilton would be proud of the man/politician he has become…he’ll know what I mean.

boatrunner

September 27th, 2009
12:16 pm

I’m sorry…. Sen. Isakson’s remarks don’t cut it with me. He and the rest of the republicans are acting in a sense as a syndicate to protect and preserve the increasing profits and status quo for those who have no health care woes. How does the senator address the fact that insurance premiums… as mine as an example…. for a family has increased 4-fold in the past 6 years? How is this increase in payments unlike the term “tax increase” that they use to incite people’s emotions? I mean, come on…. cost increases in medical insurance are eating middle income families alive and at the same time we are getting less coverage than we used to, with less quality, more waiting times, and more time spent fighting with the protected insurance company bureaucrat’s whose prime incentives are to deny me and my family care and coverage. How are so many people taken in by these flimsy, emotionally-charged rhetorical strategies that the republicans employ for health care and anything else that comes up to protect these robber baron wannabes who own their party?

booger

September 27th, 2009
1:01 pm

If my insurance company, which I am very happy with, is forced by govt. regulations to accept anyone who walks through the door, my rates will go up. That is a fact. Call it whatever you want, the reform plan cost me extra money. I’ll go with Johnny and call it a tax. All the rest of the taxes are spelled out in the bill.

This is like libs. refusing to accept the word welfare to describe earned income tax credits.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed, a lot of independents have drifted to the dark side lately.

The truth, which dems. refuse to accept, is that we cannot afford this program. Medicare and medicaid is broke. Social security is broke. We are printing money faster than at any time in history and servicing our national debt is becoming one of the countries largest expenses. But what the heck. Obama wants health care reform, and he really doesn’t care what it cost.

Bo Chambliss LOBBYIST

September 27th, 2009
1:53 pm

Johnny has finally learned what Saxby has been teaching him…. Lobbyist FIRST, Taxpayer LAST..

jconservative

September 27th, 2009
6:46 pm

Columnist William Safire dies. AJC headline.

Ms Tucker, one of your Pulitzer Prize colleagues has just died. As I said on Jay’s post, we lost one of the good guys. He really turned out a lot of work. I really enjoyed reading him. Like you, he could always surprise. And that always makes for good reading.

marie

September 27th, 2009
10:22 pm

Many of us Georgians have no representation in Washington. Phil Gingrey, Saxby Chambliss, and Phil Gingrey represent the wealthy and powerful. I am so glad that there are some of us who see what these Republicans are trying to do. As the old saying goes, “is you have to tear someone or something else down to build yourself up, there just isn’t much to you.” By the way, we do have some hope in Representative Mark Butler (R) in Carrollton. I am frightened by the trend of some citizens toward ultra conservatism in this country. They scare me almost as much as terroists.

3rd Party Guy

September 27th, 2009
10:33 pm

Keep spewing Dems/Repubs, that will fix everything. Get it straight. Whenever they “compromise” America loses. Oh well, as long as they get to keep their pensions and lavish lifestyles.

Chia Hair Plugs

September 28th, 2009
1:21 am

Good thing he did not commit political suicide like Herb Johnson. LOL

The White Devils You Say!

September 28th, 2009
6:53 am

Ms. Tucker – I know that you were demoted as editorial page editor, but you have really gone too far with this one. (1) Senator Isakson has not lied about a thing. (2) The President does not even have a plan – he’s just relying on a hodge-podge of left-wing Congressional plans. And you are no lady, therefore, it is quite hypocritical for you to make the statement that he is not acting like a gentleman. Please fix your bad hairdon’t and crawl back under your rock.

John John

September 29th, 2009
9:33 am

“If my insurance company, which I am very happy with, is forced by govt. regulations to accept anyone who walks through the door, my rates will go up. That is a fact.”

Well, in my economics class we were taught that the more people in a risk pool, the less each individual has to pay. Furthermore, what about the 1 in 5 Americans (soon to be 1 in 3 by next summer) who are underinsured or uninsured. Is it ok with you that you have yours but they don’t have theirs? Or do you maintain 1 in 3 are worthless parasites on society. There but by the grace of God go you my friend.

Proud American

September 30th, 2009
2:51 pm

I told myself that I would not comment on the Princess’s editorial that I have said no enough times to Obamacare, but…. then I read the words Cadillac policies for select individuals. HUH ???? I thought this was about giving equal care to everyone? What care will I not be afforded? Obama and his cronies get Cadillac care while we underlings get mediocre care under Obamacare. VOTE NO or find a new Currier.