Beck cites his dubious predictions to claim his "global governance" theory is credible
Research ››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN
Highlighting several of his past predictions, Glenn Beck used false or misleading claims to purportedly demonstrate that those predictions had been accurate. Beck cited those supposedly vindicated predictions as evidence that his claim that that "we're heading for global governance" should be taken seriously.
Beck provides examples of "the truth of" what he's said in the past to support his "global governance" theory
Beck: "I need you to understand ... the truth of what I say." On the May 25 edition of his Fox News show, Beck claimed that "we are heading towards global governance," and announced that in order to combat people who seek to "discredit" him, he was going to provide evidence of "the truth of what" he had previously said, which had been "dismissed" by his critics but subsequently supposedly occurred:
Beck pushes $165 billion union "bailout" falsehood that he "warned you about"
Beck: Sen. Casey "is pushing" a "$165 billion bailout for troubled union pension funds. Exactly what I said in 2008 is now happening." As an example of "the truth" that he's stated in the past, Beck falsely asserted Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) "is pushing" a "$165 billion bailout":
BECK: In August of 2008 I started warning you about the union pensions. I said they were unsustainable. And they're going to be pushed around and eventually they're going to end up with federal bailouts. Take a look.
BECK [audio clip]: There is no way that you're going to be able to survive with these gigantic union pensions. It's just not going to happen. And so they're going to pass them off to the unions, and if the unions get them they'll pass them off to the state, and then they'll go all the way up to the feds.
BECK: Senator Bob Casey today is pushing a bill that, if passed, would be a $165 billion bailout for troubled union pension funds. Exactly what I said in 2008 is now happening.
Bill is not a union "bailout." The bill in question would improve the solvency of multi-employer pension funds, which have been weakened due to the bankruptcy of companies that supported them, forcing the remaining companies to pay benefits for pensioners who didn't work for them. Casey's bill would allow pension funds to "partition" former employees of defunct firms from those of active employers within the fund, helping to preserve solvency for the fund and preventing employers paying into the fund from having to pay for the benefits of workers they never employed. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation -- a federal corporation that insures private pension plans and takes over insured plans that go into default -- would then separately guarantee benefits for those former employees of bankrupt companies.
Bill does not cost $165 billion. A March 24 Journal of Commerce article reported that "Casey said the bill could cost the federal government between $8 billion and $10 billion." The $165 billion figure Beck referenced is an estimate made in a September 2009 report by Moody's Investor Service of the total underfunding of multi-employer pension funds, not the underfunding of such funds related to former employees of defunct companies.
Beck falsely claims doc fix changes the cost of health care reform, as he "told you"
Beck: "[T]hey're closing the doctor's gap. OK? I told you when they were arguing health care, they were lying to you." Beck also pointed to the "doctors' gap," or "doc fix," as evidence "they were lying" about the cost of the health care reform bill:
BECK: I told you the bailouts will never end. They may change the name, but the bailouts will never end. You add these to the newest stimulus, and now there is a $355 billion bailout -- $355 billion. In that $355 billion, they're closing the doctors' gap. OK? I told you when they were arguing health care, they were lying to you. They had to keep it under $1 trillion. They're lying to you. They have this doctors' gap. They will close it after they pass it. There it is. They lied to you.
But the "doc fix" needed to be resolved irrespective of health care reform. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein explained that the so-called "doc fix" is a remedy to faulty legislation that will need to be passed irrespective of health care reform. He added that the doc fix "is a policy in a Republican bill that Republicans delayed three times and Democrats delayed twice," and that it "predates health-care reform and exists irrespective of health-care reform's fate. Attempts to lash the two together are nonsensical." Similarly, The New York Times' David Leonhardt described criticisms of the "so-called doc fix" as "pretty flimsy," explaining that the fix would rectify an "accounting fiction" resulting from the 1990s legislation that has been repeatedly overridden since 2003.
Beck misleadingly claims Obama admin is providing "reparations" as he's "told you in the past"
Beck: "$4.5 billion for Native Americans and black farmers in reparations" as he "told you in the past." Beck also claimed that the administration is providing "$4.5 billion for Native Americans and black farmers in reparations":
BECK: There's another $4.5 billion for Native Americans and black farmers in reparations. Now, I've told you in the past that some of these programs, you could label them reparations. Some of this money could be labeled. "You watch,' I said. I was called crazy, but that's OK. All I did was play their words on tape.
VAN JONES [video clip]: Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth! Give them the dignity. Give them the respect that they deserve.
BECK: He was calling here for money to Indians. We're now paying it.
In fact, the provision will simply "resolve longstanding discrimination claims" and "a class action lawsuit," not provide reparations. As The Hill reported, the bill does not provide "reparations," as Beck claimed; rather, it is a proposed resolution to "a longstanding lawsuit brought by black farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture" and "a class-action lawsuit" over "federal government's mishandling of more than 300,000 individual Native American trust accounts":
At issue is a longstanding lawsuit brought by black farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The suit said USDA had discriminated against black farmers by not providing them with loans and grants that were given to white farmers.
A federal court ruled in favor of the group of black farmers in 1999, but several farmers filed too late to receive compensation from the ruling.
Congress included language in the 2008 farm bill authorizing payments to those who filed late. The tax bill would appropriate $1.15 billion to fund these claims.
The deadline to find funds for the black farmers' settlement is May 31. If the deadline is missed, lawyers for the black farmers and the Justice Department both would have to agree to seek a deadline extension or they would have to renegotiate the settlement's terms.
More than $3.4 billion would go to fund claims by Native Americans resulting from a class-action lawsuit known as the Cobell settlement that was initiated in 1996.
At stake in that suit is the federal government's mishandling of more than 300,000 individual Native American trust accounts, funded by the lease and sale of natural resources on tribal lands. Plaintiffs in the suit have asked the government to provide a better system to manage the accounts going forward, as well as a full and accurate accounting of trust beneficiaries.
The deadline to find the funds for the Cobell settlement is May 28.
Beck distorts statements of admin officials to claim he was right about health care rationing
Beck claims Obama official Berwick "doesn't even need an emergency to justify rationing." Purporting to debunk statements from critics that he had been "fear-mongering" about rationing during the health care debate, Beck claimed that while White House adviser Ezekiel Emanuel devised an "emergency program" to "justify rationing," Donald Berwick, President Obama's nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "doesn't even need an emergency to justify rationing":
BECK: Now, that leads me to something else we talked about on this program, something that was very, very heated: rationing. Rationing under the health care bill. Critics said that that would only happen in some sort of emergency. That was the best, most honest kind of critic. The rest of them said I was only fear-mongering, trying to scare old people, there was no rationing, there was nothing of the kind. Well, I showed you the emergency system, the rationing designed by them. I played their own words. I showed you their plans. It was called the "complete lives system," but the truth didn't matter in August 6, 2009.
BECK [video clip]: If you look at the chart, you will see the probability going up is the probability of intervention, getting some sort of medical treatment. You will see if you're very, very young, or very, very old -- about 55 years old -- your chances of getting care, not healthy.  I want you to understand this is an emergency program. I have more amazing quotes for you coming up in this few minutes, but I want to make it very, very clear: What these people are talking about is how to ration in the case of an emergency. They define that as a shortage -- a shortage of kidneys, hospital beds or flu vaccine. A shortage. But what we have to remember is universal health care creates another shortage: a shortage of money. And when we are out of money, these people will begin making the rules governing your health care.
BECK: OK. From The New York Times to the basement blogs, "Glenn Beck is irresponsible, he's lying, he's causing fear, he's scaring old people. It's irresponsible to do this to people, almost seditious. There will be no rationing." Today's headline: Obama's new nominee for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald Berwick, recently said this: "We make those decisions all the time. The decision is not whether or not we will ration care, the decision is whether we will ration care with our eyes open." He doesn't even need an emergency to justify rationing. Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ezekiel Emanuel. He had it, his "complete lives system." There is going to be rationing. How do I know? Look at Europe. We're becoming Europe, and Europe is collapsing.
Emanuel's paper on the "complete lives system" was about the allocation of "very scarce" resources, not healthcare in general. The basis of Beck's criticism of Emanuel's theory of the "complete lives system" seems to come from a January 2009 paper Emanuel co-wrote about the allocation of "very scarce medical interventions," not about health care in general. As The New York Times wrote when Betsy McCaughey similarly distorted Emanuel's remarks:
Ms. McCaughey seemed to have evidence for her conclusion that "he explicitly defends discrimination against older patients" in a recent New York Post opinion article. She quoted from a paper he co-wrote for Lancet in January: "Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25."
But she did not report that the paper was addressing the allocation of "very scarce resources" like kidneys or vaccines, not the system in general.
Dr. Emanuel's argument -- that young adults should take priority in vying for limited health resources because they will get more years of life from them -- is a fairly mainstream if unpleasant approach to a problem with only bad choices, ethicists and doctors of varying persuasions say.
"These kinds of dilemmas go on every day in clinical practice," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a physician and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research group. "There's a very big leap to say his contemplations about how doctors contend with these issues extends to saying he believes government should take on these issues."
Beck misleadingly cropped Berwick's call to "ration with our eyes open."As the context of Berwick's call in a 2009 interview makes clear, Berwick's remark had nothing to do with Emanuel's paper on what to do with "very scarce resources." Instead, Berwick was saying that the U.S. system already rations. In fact, immediately after the portion of the interview Beck quoted, he stated, "And right now, we are doing it [rationing] blindly." As Berwick was arguing, rationing is already occurring, which the insurance industry has readily admitted to, and health care experts have explained.