The one-man Armageddon for ObamaCare plods on, as videos of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber boasting about the successful fraud perpetrated against the American people keep popping up, the efforts of Democrat politicians to pretend they never heard of the guy grow more comically inept, and the hard blackout of this story on major news networks approaches its expiration date.
On the latter point, I've been warning our Obama-loving "gatekeepers" of the media that they would be unable to ignore this story any longer, once Republicans began emerging from Sunday-show greenrooms with Gruber quotes on their lips, but as of Friday morning the story was still embargoed on ABC and NBC. (Kudos to Jake Tapper of CNN for refusing to play along with this silly game, and a golf clap to CBS News for accepting the inevitable and reporting on Gruber at last, although the Media Research Center dings CBS for failing to report on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's ridiculous attempt to lie her way out of association with the Prof.) At this point, if you're not reporting on the Gruber story, you are not a "news" organization; you are primarily concerned with suppressing politically inconvenient news, to give the Democrats time to come up with something better than "we never heard of the guy."
On that score, the Washington Examiner whipped a quick little "then and now" supercut of Pelosi praising Gruber to the skies in 2009, and then claiming she doesn't know who he is today.
And here's Harry Reid hailing Gruber as "one of the most respected economists in the world" during his 2009 push to foist ObamaCare on us:
You can do this too, Big Media. It's super-easy.
Three more Gruber clips have surfaced since the first two rocked the world of everyone who doesn't rely on the mainstream media for all of their news. The first had him praising the ObamaCare "Cadillac Tax" on premium insurance plans as a "basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter." Which is, in fairness, no different than what people like me have been saying since 2009. The difference is that we said it out loud, to the American public, in 2009. The video below covers his entire speech to the University of Rhode Island from 2012.
What he's describing is the oldest trick in the Left's book: forcing companies to pay a tax and pass it on to consumers, effectively hiding the tax from the people who pay it. A great deal of the modern Leviathan State is funded through such trickery. In ObamaCare's case, it was decided to suck in revenue through an excise tax on expensive high-quality insurance plans - hence the "Cadillac" nickname - rather than directly taxing the insured, or capping the tax deduction given to them for purchasing health insurance. As Gruber noted, it would have been "politically impossible" to get something like that through Congress, so as Big Government has done so many times before, it drafted industry into service as stealth tax collectors.
Incidentally, it's interesting that all of the subterfuges Gruber is crowing about pulling off today were deemed vital to the passage of ObamaCare in a year when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. That's how bad ObamaCare is. No Republicans voted for it, Republican constituents were always against it, and the Tea Party movement evolved in part from spontaneous town-hall protests against ObamaCare. What Gruber is congratulating Democrats for doing is making patsies of their own constituents, and willing media. If you're a Democrat voter, you are the one Gruber called "stupid" in those first clips. You're the one who had to be hoodwinked, to keep your elected representatives on board with this scheme.
Which leads into the fourth Gruber clip, probably the one that will cause Barack Obama the most direct and personal political damage, as Gruber praises his brilliance for tricking the American people into surrendering control of their health care by browbeating them with the plight of the uninsured, and emphasizes the crucial importance of Obama's lies about how his scheme would "bend the cost curve down." If today's soaring premiums and deductibles had been honestly presented to the American people in 2009, this turkey of a health-care "reform" wouldn't have made it through even the bluest of Democrat legislatures.
For his final act (as of today, anyway), Gruber salutes the late Senator Ted Kennedy for finding clever ways to rip off the American taxpayer (yes, he used the words "rip off") to the tune of $400 million a year, to keep ObamaCare v1.0 afloat in Massachusetts. Who are we supposed to rip off to get the money to keep this shell game floating now that it's a federal program?
As big of a deal as Grubermania is for ObamaCare - especially if the Supreme Court shows great interest in his wit and wisdom while deciding the fate of subsidies for federal exchange customers - it should be an even bigger deal for the corrupt and tyrannical philosophy of government President Obama and his Party have embraced. As mentioned above, none of the scam tactics Gruber praises for sticking us with ObamaCare are new. Hiding taxes, pumping moribund programs full of Treasury blood to make them look successful, doctoring cost estimates to manipulate the Congressional Budget Office, making false promises to the public and hanging up a "No Refunds" sign when they complain about the infuriating reality... these are all well-worn tools in the Big Government toolbox. You will get fooled again, unless you take these tools away from Jonathan Gruber, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and everyone else who thinks the way they do. It's a very lucrative rolling scam - Gruber was paid nearly half a million dollars of your tax money for his assistance in fooling your Congressional Budget Office into scoring ObamaCare as tax-light and revenue-neutral.
We're not "stuck" with ObamaCare - that's a ridiculous totalitarian fiction peddled with words that no free American should ever tolerate from the lips of a single politician. Laws can be changed, and repealed. We are not a banana republic where our right to control our own health care plans was forever sacrificed because X number of people screwed up and voted for Obama in 2008. It's particularly silly to hail the Affordable Care Act as the "settled law of the land" when Obama keeps changing it on the fly, to avoid political crises, and the Left is trying to convince the Supreme Court that the actual words of a law matter less than whatever its authors say their intentions are today.
Funny how those very same liberals are now shrieking that what Jon Gruber says of his intentions today is completely irrelevant, and should be ignored. The treatment of Gruber by his erstwhile political allies makes it more clear than ever that ObamaCare was a tyrannical writ of unlimited power, not a "law" with conditions that bind both the government and the people. It's not a law - it was a lie. Let's dispose of it and proceed to a new reform with our eyes open, and our politicians watched like hawks for dishonesty. It's incredibly dangerous to give control of your life to people who cannot be sued for fraud or breach of contract, even when they admit their misdeeds on camera, over and over again.
Update: This isn't over yet. Not by a long shot. Jonathan Gruber is a bottomless well of "holy crap!" quotes that will not rest easily in the ears of a nation that never liked ObamaCare, and will like it even less, now that so much delayed honesty is raining down upon it.
??? Morgen (@morgenr) November 14, 2014
Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air put together a list of the predictions from a knowledgeable ObamaCare critic that Gruber sneeringly dismissed as something that could have been "written by my adolescent children" in 2011:
- Coercive mandates
- Ballooning costs
- Increased taxes
- Bureaucratic outrages
- Shabby facilities
- Disgruntled providers
- Long waiting lines
- Lower quality care
- Special-interest nest-feathering,
- Destructive wage and price controls
Even in the moment, in 2011, it was obvious that criticism number 1 was correct - ObamaCare is brimming with coercive mandates. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10 have already come to pass, and will get much worse in the years to come, if ObamaCare is not stopped. Number 5 is happening right now, as ObamaCare kills off rural hospitals. I included number 8 as a done deal because of "doc shock" and the difficulty of many ObamaCare customers in keeping their existing physicians, but the hardcore deterioration of care will happen in concert with Number 7 in the years ahead, as the supply of doctors is choked off.
So either Jon Gruber is an arrogant ass, or his adolescent children are really smart.