Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Politicians Really Do Find Us Stupid and Contemptible - Part 2

Now that the midterm elections are over, the political winners and losers have come and gone, let’s get down to a basic fact of life. Most, if not all, politicians hold the American people in contempt. They may have been nice to us while they needed our vote but we are already seeing signs that they really disrespect us, the think us stupid (their word, not mine), and we are just a means to their ends of personal enrichment and ego gratification.

Don’t believe me? Before we look at the latest smack downs and instances of contempt, let’s review just a handful of examples we have previously covered in this blog:
  • When ordinary citizens dared to have doubts and misgivings about Obama Care when it was first passed, rather than consider and respect our well founded views, Congressional people like Charles Rangel and Shelia Jackson Lee immediately declared that we must all be racists for having a valid opinion, an opinion that has certainly been validated over the past year or so: Obama Care is a disaster of unheard of proportions.
  • When Congresswoman Maxine Waters disagreed with the opinions of a sub segment of Americans, namely Tea Party supporters, rather than engage in a meaningful dialog to understand each others’ positions, she just publicly wished that this segment of Americans go straight to hell.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo showed his disdain for about half of the country when, according to an article by Marta Mossburg writing for www.spectator.org, “…conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay have no place in the state of New York.” That’s right, welcome back to the intolerant 1960s when it was “love it or leave it.” One would have thought that we had advanced more as a tolerant nation over the past fifty years but apparently that is not the case with the top politician in the state of New York.
Those are the insults and condescending remarks from past posts. Yesterday, we discussed some of the newer insults including discussing examples where sitting politicians called ordinary Americans racists, crackers, put us on White House enemy lists, and demeaned our middle class status. 

The following are the latest examples of disdain that our politicians have for us, all of which focus on the revelations of an MIT economist who was a primary architect of Obama Care and who felt, publicly, that Americans were too stupid to understand what was in the legislation.

1) Jonathan Gruber is that MIT economist and Obama Care law writer who states in a video found by the group, American Commitment, that passage of Obama Care, in his mind, depended on the “stupidity” of Americans. In the video, he also brags about how non-transparent the whole legislation writing process was and how that was key to getting passage: “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 for the thing to pass.”

His remarks out of his own mouth can be seen at the following link:

Given how badly this legislation is failing, how does it feel that not only were we stuck with a bad law but they lied, demeaned us, and hid the facts from us in order to pass this hideous piece of legislation?

And we paid good tax dollars, in the millions of dollars, to this guy and others to be insulted and conned. Pathetic.

2) The problem Gruber has, as does the Obama administration, is that there is not just one instance of Gruber mocking Americans’ intelligence and assuming their stupidity. There are at least five videos floating around the Internet where he is caught bragging, in his own words, about how deceptive the whole Obama Care enactment process was, how the stupidity of Americans mad it easy to exploit the situation.

For example, a video from Vermont shows Jonathan Gruber mocking a Vermonter who expressed concern about single-payer health care. The 2011 video was shot by TrueNorthReports.com and it shows Gruber appearing before the Vermont House Health Care Committee to present recommendations for a universal, publicly financed state based health care program. His recommendations were part of the 2011 “Hsiao Report” submitted to the legislature by economist William C. Hsiao and co-written by Gruber.

In the video, the committee chair reads a comment from a Vermont citizen who expresses concern that the Obama Care approach and strategy might lead to “ballooning costs, increased taxes and bureaucratic outrages,” among other things. These are obviously good points since, as we have reported many times in this blog:
  • Dozens of taxes have been imposed on Americans, American businesses, and the economy, resulting in lagging economic growth and increased unemployment and under employment. (“Increased taxes”)
  • Health insurance premiums, deductibles and other health insurance costs have generally gone up, not down, and gone up substantially as a result of Obama Care. (“Ballooning costs”)
  • The handling of the entire rollout process was badly bungled from day one and the pathetic development of Obama Care’s data systems have left millions of Americans susceptible to identity theft. (“Bureaucratic outrages”)
In other words, everything that this Vermont citizen was worried about actually happened and probably happened in worse ways than the Vermonter could have ever imagined when he wrote the letter.

How did Gruber react? Did he discuss the merits of his approach and factually rebut the Vermonter’s concerns? No, after hearing the Vermonter’s worries, Gruber responds, “Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?” Not a real adult and mature response to a “stupid” American who got it right, unlike this condescending “elitist,” as described yesterday by Howard Dean, who got it wrong.

This kind of attitude is uncalled for from any adult. But besides being wrong and the Vermonter being right, the letter was not written by Gruber’s kids: “It was actually written by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems,” said John McClaughry, a two-term Vermont state senator and adviser to President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

“No one should trust this man [Gruber],” McClaughry said. “Based on the rest of the stuff that’s come out on the videos, nobody can trust this guy. He has no use for transparency. He thinks people are stupid, and he’ll do anything to get this thing through and pocket his $400,000. That’s not in the interest of the people of Vermont.”

To see the condescending tone and pathetic attitude of Gruber in this instance, go to the following link:

3) I recently came across an article written by Ron Fournier that appeared on the National Journal website. The title of the article was, “Obamacare’s Foundation of Lies.” Mr. Fournier describes how he was an advocate for Obama Care at one time, how he supported the administration’s efforts to get a bill done and how he could not understand how anyone could be against such a noble pursuit.

However, in the context of Gruber’s comments and the disdain and lack of transparency that drove the bill to enactment, he steps back and describes his new feelings of anger, disappointment and general disgust on what Gruber has revealed about the process and the people who operated that process of deceit. 

Rather than me trying to capture his emotions, consider some excerpts from his writing:

This truism came to mind when I read a Washington Post story headlined, "Who Is Jonathan Gruber?" It was an important and workmanlike report on the Obamacare adviser who bragged about the political advantages of deceiving voters, whom Gruber called stupid: "Those comments have struck a nerve on the right," wrote Jose A. DelReal, "with some of the law's critics pointing to Gruber's comments as evidence that the administration intentionally deceived the American public on the costs of the programs."

My first reaction was, "No! No! Not just on the right!" I strongly support bipartisan efforts to expand the availability of health coverage to the working poor, and bending the cost curve that threatens federal budgets for years to come. While I think President Obama and congressional Democrats helped contribute to the 2009 standoff over what became the Affordable Care Act, I've openly rooted for Obamacare's success. I've denounced the knee-jerk opposition from the GOP, a party that once embraced key elements of Obamacare. My ideology is amorphous; I am not "on the right."

All of that, and yet: Gruber's remarks struck a nerve with me.

Appearing on an academic panel a year ago, this key Obamacare adviser argued that the law never would have passed if the administration had been honest about the fact that the so-called penalty for noncompliance with the mandate was actually a tax.

"And, basically, call it 'the stupidity of the American voter,' or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass," Gruber said.

He called you stupid. [my emphasis] He admitted that the White House lied to you. Its officials lied to all of us—Republicans, Democrats, and independents; rich and poor; white and brown; men and women.

Liberals should be the angriest. Not only were they personally deceived, but the administration's dishonest approach to health care reform has helped make Obamacare unpopular while undermining the public's faith in an activist government. A double blow to progressives.

On top of that, Gruber has helped make the legal case for anti-Obamacare lawyers. In July, a year-old video surfaced in which Gruber said Washington legally withholds money from states that don't create their own health care exchanges. That could be construed by the Supreme Court to buttress the case against health insurance subsidies

Well spoken on how government and those operate it have again failed us in so many ways. And wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony, as Mr. Fournier points out in his last paragraph, if the “smart” Mr. Gruber’s words came back into the Supreme Court case and toppled the whole house of Obama Care cards? If that happens, we need to have a reassessment of who was the stupid one in the whole debacle.

4) The following link is a compilation of tweets from Twitter users that erupted once the Gruber videos hit the Internet. They are funny, angry, and mocking of the man who things we are all too stupid to understand his brilliance and shenanigans:

5) While Gruber is getting crucified for his words, a more serious aspect of this whole lying and deception scandal is that the President may have been involved in it. According to a recent Gateway Pundit website story:
  • On June 13, 2012, Obama Care Jonathan Gruber was interviewed by Frontline where he told them that the Cadillac tax issue was addressed in 2009 in a White House meeting attended by the President. 
  • He claimed that President Obama knew it was going to be a problem, and they all agreed to lie about it.
  • While the White House denied this meeting, took place, White House logs show that Gruber did attend any number of meetings in the White House to work on the Obama Care strategy. 
  • According to those logs, on July 20, 2009, a person named Jonathan Gruber met with the President in the West Wing for a four hour meeting.
  • Thus, we now have to decide who to believe, Gruber or Obama, both of whom have a record of lying and deception. 
If the President and the White House are lying about concealing the reality of the Obama care Cadillac tax, what other deceptions was the White House and President involved in to hide the reality of disaster from the American people?

Check out the following links for more details on the President’s involvement in Gruber’s deception:


6) A few loose ends to tie up regarding this chapter of how politicians hold us in contempt:
  • Ÿ Nancy Pelosi has denied even knowing Gruber even though in 2009 on videotape she extolled his work by name in helping to develop Obama Care, either a lie or a really faulty memory, you decide. 
  • There are now videos of John Kerry quotes from 2009 that praise the work that Gruber did with the Obama Care legislation.
  • The President recently tried to distance himself from Gruber by stating that Gruber was not on any government staffs, implying that he was a minor, background player in the whole debacle. However, Gruber has made millions and millions of dollars from the whole Obama Care effort from such diverse Federal government entities such as Health and Human Services, the Justice Department, and others. If he was such a minor player, then he was well paid for his minor efforts by the American taxpayer.
But it is what the President did NOT say about the whole sordid affair that is so disappointing and disgusting. He never denied that Americans were assumed stupid in the whole Obama Care development, as Gruber claimed. 

He never denied that Obama Care developers were intentionally non-transparent in order to hide the truth of the Obama Care implications, as Gruber claimed. 

He never denied that Americans were exploited by the process, as Gruber claimed. 

He never denied that the administration lied to the Congressional Budget Office in order to get a favorable financial rating, as Gruber claimed.

Given his responses, one of only trying to distance himself from yet another scandal, he showed how the Washington politicians really do hold us in contempt, as the title of this post claims. By not denying we were lied to, withheld information from, deemed exploitable, and forced to live with a Congressional Budget Office analysis that was intentionally flawed, his contempt is obviously an insult to every American who all deserve more respect than what we get from the whole lot of them.

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