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Darrell Huckaby - 08/02/09

Have you ever been to a time share presentation? You know the ones I mean. You're at the beach, enjoying your vacation, and when you walk out of a nice restaurant a nicely dressed young man, or maybe a pretty girl, hands you a flier describing how you can get a free dinner or maybe a couple of show tickets or a $50 bill just for listening to a short presentation that will change the way you think about vacations forever.

Usually I just smile and say "no thanks," but once in a great while, if there is a rainy day in the forecast or the girl is particularly pretty - OK, so I'm a sexist pig; sue me - I will make an appointment for the presentation. Sometimes I even keep the appointment.

And they are all the same. For the rest of my life I will be able to vacation in absolute luxury at a fraction of the price I am spending for my current vacation. It always sounds wonderful - too good to be true, in fact - until you read the fine print. And the fine print always confirms what I really already knew. When something sounds too good to be true - it is.

That price they quoted me up front? Well that wasn't really for the week of the Fourth of July. That's the rate if you want to take your beach vacation every year during the week before Christmas. And it is never the total price. There is always a booking fee and a maintenance fee and a documentation fee and if you want to trade your week at local beach for a more exotic destination - well, there's a fee for that, too.

And the special price is only good on that one day you are listening to the presentation. You have to take the deal right then and there, within the next 10 minutes, in fact. The deal won't be honored later that day. Heaven forbid you want to go home and sleep on the deal overnight.

I always just take my dining voucher and go home - which really irritates the people making the presentation. And we all know the reason they try so hard to make the deal right then and there. They are afraid - they are so afraid - that if we actually have a chance to take the contract home and examine it and read the fine print that we will realize that the deal is not what it appears to be at all. They are afraid that we will use common sense and logic to arrive at a decision instead of an emotional reaction to empty promises.

Some car salesmen are the same way. At any time in my life that a car salesman has told me "this offer won't be good if you walk out that door," I immediately walk out that door.

You get the same thing from Amway salesmen and pyramid schemers who are determined to convince you that you can get rich quick and make lots of money without working at it at all.

And quite frankly, I guess it is OK to sell time shares that way. Or used cars. Or overpriced cleaning products. But we shouldn't run our government that way. We really shouldn't. And yet, the tactics that the Obama Administration has used so far in an effort to get its pie-in-the-sky programs passed very closely resembles the tactics used by the time share folks at every resort in America.

Promise them anything to get them in and then give them the old razzle dazzle and close the deal before they have a chance to read the fine print.

And it worked on the stimulus spending bill. Riding the wave of popularity from the November election Obama and his henchmen pushed the bill through, spending trillions of taxpayer dollars even though not a single legislator had time to read the pork-laden bill.

Here we are, months later, and the jobs that were supposed to have materialized haven't and Vice President Joe Biden admits, "I guess we all just guessed wrong."

Ya think, Joe?

Not to be deterred, the administration is attempting to do the exact same thing with a 2,000-page health bill and the wordage of the actual bill in no way - in no way - resembles the pie-in-the-sky promise that the president is proclaiming publicly. It doesn't. Go online and actually read the provisions.

The president says that people who are happy with their health plan can keep it, with no changes. That is not what the proposed law says.

The president says that the government will not have any say in choosing our doctors or treatments. That is not what the proposed law says.

The president says that the government will not prevent senior citizens from seeking life-prolonging treatments, but that is not what the proposed law says.

No wonder Barack Obama wanted to rush the bill through Congress, like he did the stimulus bill, before we had a chance to know what was in it.

P.T. Barnum said that you can fool all of the people some of the time. He also said that you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Hopefully Barack Obama is about to be exposed.

Tell me. Would you buy a timeshare from that man?

Darrell Huckaby