A first-pass post on that genius “MIT professor and Obamacare architect” Jonathan Gruber could be in the category of “imagine if a Republican consultant had said this.”
In case some of you get your news mainly from Rhode Island and/or mainstream national sources, I should explain that Gruber was deeply involved in the policy and marketing development of ObamaCare, and he’s apparently made it a regular part of his speaking engagements to point out how the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats deceived the American people to get the legislation into law. Here’s one incident, and here’s another.
Inasmuch as the planners consider us too stupid to make decisions for our own good, they decided that they might as well leverage that stupidity to slip things into ObamaCare that would have sunk the legislation if the politicians had been forthright about them.
But a first-pass post wouldn’t get to the most egregious part of the story — namely, that there are people whose job it is to tell the rest of us what’s important in policy debates and other current events. Where were they?
In an advanced society like ours, people can’t possibly keep up with the minutia of 1,000-page bills. It’s presumptuous even to assume that a majority of people in a busy, diverse society can be expected to trace the economics of such bills even if they find out about their provisions. Whole industries and professions exist to translate the news into the basic concepts that everybody can understand, in order to help us make better decisions for ourselves and for our republic.
In this case, one such industry is organized labor, which didn’t really begin grumbling about their objections until after the debate was over, probably because they expected a friendly administration to open up loopholes or exemptions for their members later.
The industry that deserves the most criticism, though, is the one whose reason for being is to inform all of us: the news media. According to Gruber, then-Senator John Kerry (D, MA) was the one teaching him lessons in the stupidity of the American people. That means not only that Kerry knew a majority of Americans wouldn’t understand the deceptive mechanisms in the law, but that high-level Democrats knew the news media would either (1) not understand economics any better than the average American, or (2) not report to the average American what the administration was actually trying to do.
So which is it? To use the term of Jonathan Gruber: Are American journalists stupid or complicit?