, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

October 10, 2013

Re: Mike Kappler’s “My Opinion”

Representative Kappler’s weekly “My Opinion” column is often proof that you don’t actually have to lie in order to deceive voters.  All you have to do is tell only the portion of the truth that supports your views on an issue.  In fairness, politicians on both sides are often guilty of forcing voters to dig for the full truth, but Mr. Kappler brazenly elevates this deceptive practice to an art form.   

In his September 25th column, mainly devoted to bashing Obamacare and Medicaid Expansion, he makes several statements of “fact”, but what he doesn’t say is just as important as what he does say. Here are a few examples.

Mr. Kappler says that Obamacare will be partially funded at the expense of $700 billion in Medicare cuts, suggesting that seniors “may” see reduced benefits, fewer choices, and higher costs.  Actually, those $700B in cuts come mainly from reductions in reimbursements to providers, but none come from a reduction in benefits. Mr. Kappler also fails to note that the Ryan budget touted by his failed presidential candidate, Mr. Romney, included the very same cuts he now misrepresents in order to scare his senior constituents. 

Mr. Kappler warns of a hidden tax on investment income, but does not disclose that 401K’s and IRA’s are exempt from the tax.  In addition, the tax itself only applies to a small group of high earners (<5% of taxpayers).  But Mr. Kappler wants to scare everyone, so he consciously omits these specifics.

Lastly, Mr. Kappler invokes the deficit. He knows that most voters see the deficit as one of our biggest problems.  He even cites some Congressional Budget Office data to bolster his claims about Obamacare funding.  However, he conveniently forgets to mention that the very same CBO told Speaker John Boehner in response to his request for an analysis that repeal of Obamacare would actually increase the deficit by more than $100 billion.

Mr. Kappler and his fellow Republicans’ panicky warnings about Obamacare are beginning to sound like the hysterical Y2K predictions of more than a decade ago.  And they are surely as unwarranted as those turned out to be.  Or perhaps Mr. Kappler and his colleagues are really afraid that if they don’t kill Obamacare, a year from now, when the sky hasn’t fallen, voters will remember their fear-mongering and take it out on them at the ballot box.

Andrew Weir


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