With throngs of K-Street lobbyists, special interest groups and even local governments pushing for more spending, it is hard enough to limit the size and scope of government without taxpayer resources being used to push trillion dollar-spending schemes. But we now know that taxpayer resources were used to lobby Congress to enact ObamaCare, thanks to an investigation by Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch has discovered that that from October 2010 through February 2011, the Obama administration spent $1,435,009 on an online advertising campaign to promote ObamaCare, including campaigns with Google and Yahoo, at almost $300,000 per month. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch suggest the campaign’s budget could reach as high as $200 million.
“The Obama administration is using taxpayer dollars to manipulate public opinion regarding his socialist healthcare overhaul while also trying to get a leg up in the 2012 presidential campaign,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The American people should be disturbed that the Obama administration is using taxpayer funds to try to brainwash people simply searching the Internet for information on health care. This Big Brother campaign is underhanded, potentially unlawful, and it must be stopped. As the congressional ‘super-committee’ begins negotiations to cut the deficit, this wasteful ObamaCare propaganda campaign is the first place they should look.”
It’s not the first time that the Administration has used taxpayer resources to try to change public opinion on ObamaCare. In November 2010, Judicial Watch obtained documents from HHS regarding a series of three Medicare TV ads featuring actor Andy Griffith. The Obama Administration spent $3,184,000 in taxpayer funds to produce and air the ads on national television in September and October 2010 to educate “Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and family members about forthcoming changes to Medicare as a result of the Affordable Care Act.” However, according to FactCheck.org, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, the ads intentionally misinformed the American people.
But there is another layer to this waste of resources. It is well known that Google is a major contributor to the White House. They invested heavily in Barack Obama’s campaign for president, raising over a million dollars for is campaign and lending staff to help build the campaign’s online fundraising presence. Since his election to president, Obama and his team has rewarded Google ten times over for their support doling out contracts from federal agencies to the Silicon Valley giant and not handing taxpayer dollars to the company to push ObamaCare. One can assume that if the Bush White House was rewarding taxpayer dollars to major contributors there would be outrage from the New York Times but thus far, the love award and the contracts to Google keep flowing without a hitch.
Government should never spend taxpayer dollars to try to shape taxpayer opinion and the certainly should not do so while rewarding their political benefactors in the process.