Paternalism is a desperate gamble that lying politicians will honestly care for those who fall under their power. This axiom has been made stark with the controversy arising from a video of Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of Obamacare, admitting that the administration conned the American public and blaming dumb voters for the flimflam.
Mr. Gruber, an MIT economist, received a $297,000 contract for his 2009-10 work on health care reform and helped lead the charge for the Affordable Care Act. In a video from an October 2013 panel at the Annual Health Economists conference, Mr. Gruber explained how Obamacare was sold to the public: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to get this thing to pass.” In another 2013 appearance, Mr. Gruber declared that one provision of Obamacare was included because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”
Mr. Gruber also expressed his disdain for Americans’ intelligence with a comic book he co-wrote on the virtues of Obamacare. In one panel, he boasts that “I was part of the team that came up with the reform that changed the way Massachusetts handles medical coverage for the uninsured.” Congress should investigate whether Mr. Gruber’s emails and comments as part of the Obamacare legislative team explicitly advocated deceptive packaging or expressed derision for the American public.
The issue wasn’t transparency or voter stupidity, though. The real problem was the systemic deceit at the highest level of the Obama administration. Mr. Gruber admitted that the Obamacare “bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies.” Unfortunately, five members of the Supreme Court chose to sanctify this charade, thus exempting Mr. Obama’s masterpiece from federal law and the Constitution.