Key Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has been under a hot spotlight recently for disparaging comments he made about his fellow citizens.
In a series of videos taken at various conferences and lectures between 2010 and 2013, Gruber claimed that the effects of Obamacare had to be hidden from Americans because of “the stupidity of the American voter.” The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor said that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” in writing such legislation and likened its critics to “my adolescent children.”
Gruber was echoing a common sentiment among the American Left: You are too stupid to run your own life.
Adding, well, injury to the insult, it’s been discovered that Gruber received almost $6 million in taxpayer dollars for his various services in designing and consulting on Obamacare.
This rolling disgrace culminated Tuesday in a particularly stern hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which gave the penitent Gruber a thorough dressing-down.
While I hate to disagree with the formidable Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., I think Gruber should be given a medal for honesty!
Don’t get me wrong: Gruber’s erstwhile opinions about his fellow Americans are despicable. But he was only echoing a common sentiment among the American Left: You are too stupid to run your own life. It’s just rare that they tell us directly.
The attitude of the Washington political establishment in general—and liberal elites in particular—is that Americans aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions. The public must be cajoled, misled, threatened and flat-out lied to in order to achieve the greatest good.
Take, for example, Gruber’s assessment of the tax/fee argument at the heart of Obamacare’s passage and later Supreme Court fight:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Ok, so it was written to do that.
This is absolutely true. Everyone in Washington—on both sides of the aisle—knows that this was a key maneuver in getting Obamacare passed. The scandalous thing here is not what Gruber said, but that he dared to admit it.
He follows in a grand tradition of progressives who posture themselves as champions of the common man, only to realize that the common man doesn’t necessarily share the same goals. Thus, regular Americans must be duped into acting a certain way. It’s for their own good, don’t you know!
This is a profoundly undemocratic mindset but all too common amongst those in power. Earlier this year the Associated Press recognized the Obama administration as the least transparent in history. This administration has prosecuted whistleblowers, attacked journalists and had the IRS put the squeeze on activist groups. It excuses this behavior with a “father knows best” attitude.
If you assume that your political opponents merely “cling to guns or religion” out of bitterness, it’s much easier to rationalize impinging upon the First and Second Amendments. If you’re convinced that folks couldn’t possibly live a healthy lifestyle on their own, you end up micromanaging their lunches or downsizing their beverages.
You might even be tempted to mandate their healthcare options.
Thinking you know what’s best for the American people—better than they do, in fact—leads to a far greater violation of their best interests: taking away their freedom to decide for themselves.
Unfortunately, there are a lot more people in government who think like Jonathan Gruber.