What are the sources of our disbelief these past four years? We have certainly had presidents who did not tell the truth — Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton most notably. But what is different this time is the attitude of the media. It is quite good at hounding right-wing fakers and dissimulators — and there are many — and so-so in going after centrists like Clinton. But once it invested in the present untruth, then our government understands that they have rolled over. The theme of this presidency is not just that the media is on its side and invested in its redistributionist vision, but that the administration is so certain of that fact that it need not worry even about the most blatant evidence of dissimulation and untruth.

Besides the media, the sheer affluence offered by high technology, mass production, and generous entitlements makes the old notion of poverty almost obsolete. And that fact makes us not believe almost anything that the present administration says. Why do flash mobs target sneaker or electronics stores rather than Costco’s food bins? How can it be that almost everyone we see using an EBD card has both a cell phone and a nice enough car? I don’t begrudge them, but I don’t believe that this is 1933 and we need a new FDR to keep us alive one more day. Obesity not malnutrition is the scourge of the poor. When I visit local health clinics, the plague among the patients is diabetes brought on by obesity and a diet of sweets and starches, not vitamin deficiencies or insufficient calories. There is little scurvy or rickets in my hometown, but an epidemic of high blood pressure. Federal rhetoric does not resemble reality: I drive with the radio on and hear Obama blasting the fat cats who have shorted the poor; I pull into the local parking lot, and watch the full bus head up to the foothill gaming casino; I then enter the food market and see most with EBD cards, and note that lotto tickets sell like hotcakes. Again, I accept the welfare state, but not the lies about it. Perhaps that is why I quit believing.