Have you ever heard of Jonathan Gruber? Gruber is an economist and a professor at MIT, the Massachusetts Institution of Technology. Gruber also served as a consultant on a panel which wrote the language in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. As a consultant he was paid over one million dollars.
I am going to paraphrase some of what this individual has recently said regarding the language of the act. He claims they had to use “tortured” language in order to get by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO would have had to call the individual mandate a tax unless they essentially lied about what was really going on. He went on to say that the American voters were too stupid to know what was good for them. In his view the lack of transparency was necessary to get the bill by the voters because if they knew what was really in the Act, they would be just too stupid to vote for it. He further added that he would rather lie to get the bill passed than to tell the truth and have the bill die because the resulting Obamacare was good for the American people. That, by any definition, is unbridled elitist arrogance. What he is actually saying is that you, the American people, are too stupid to know what is good for you. You need some elitist arrogant snob to make your choices for you. You cannot be trusted to decide for yourself.
Well let’s see what has happened since this law was passed. First, the Supreme Court has found that in fact the individual mandate is a tax. And, in response to that finding, the “stupid American voters” rejected the Congress people who voted for it. The next thing that is going to happen is bills to repeal Obamacare will be reintroduced in the new Congress. Without doubt the president will veto them but, Democrats who watched in horror as their colleagues were trounced in the midterms may want to rethink their positions. Obviously the final chapter on Obamacare has not yet been written.
This column is not about the merits of Obamacare, though. This piece is about the arrogance of some individuals who think they know what is best for us. From the foods we eat to the light bulbs we use to the kind of cars we drive. Obamacare will live or die on its own merits or lack of them. Elitist arrogance, however, goes on forever. These self anointed guardians of the public can’t seem to understand that America was founded upon the proposition that we are free people. We are responsible for ourselves and our choices. If you lie to us to get your point across, we will find out and we will respond. And you are probably not going to like our response.
And now a special message to Professor Gruber and people of that ilk. There is not a person on this earth who is intellectually or emotionally qualified to make my decisions for me. I will choose for myself as have my forefathers. I and I alone am responsible for my choices and their consequences as are you. I promise not to interfere in your life. Please show me the same respect, whether you think I am smart enough or not. If my choices are unwise, I will suffer the consequence. I am neither your servant nor your subject. I am a free person and I choose to live that way and I pity your seeming inability to understand that basic American notion.