Professor Jonathan Gruber of MIT, who designed the Affordable Care Act, used to be the symbol of the Democrats’ technocratic bona fides, and an example of how big government with its “scientific” experts can solve social and economic problems from health care to a warming planet. Yet a recently publicized video of remarks he made at a panel in 2013, along with 2 other videos in the same vein, has now made him the poster child of the elitist progressives’ contempt for the American people, and their sacrifice of prudence and reason to raw political power.
In the video Gruber explains the spin and lies the Dems used to give cover to their Congressmen so they could vote for Obamacare. Especially important was avoiding the “t-word.” So, Gruber crows on the video, “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional
Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.” He also explained how the bills’ writers covered up the obvious redistributionist core of the legislation, which to work has to take money from the healthy young to pay for health care for the sick and old. “If you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.”
Then this handsomely paid consultant to the “most transparent administration in history” revealed the foundational contempt progressives have for the “people” whose champions they claim to be: “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 to getting the thing to pass.” As David Horowitz tweeted, “Progressive totalitarianism: We know what’s good for you and will lie, cheat and then compel you to agree with us.”
This modern version of the Platonic “guardians,” who possess superior knowledge but who must camouflage their tyrannical rule with lies, is now over 100 years old, and has become deeply embedded in our politics. It was the fundamental assumption of American Progressivism, which argued that modern technology and social change had rendered the old constitutional order a dangerous relic. The native common sense and wisdom of ordinary people to know their own interests and pursue them primarily at the local and state levels were now replaced by the allegedly scientific knowledge of “experts,” who alone could solve the problems created by the modern world. As Progressive Theodore Roosevelt said in 1901, the “very serious social problems” confronting the nation could no longer be solved by “the old laws, and the old customs,” especially the power given to state governments and laws, which “are no longer sufficient.” Woodrow Wilson agreed, complaining in 1913 that “the laws of this country have not kept up with the change” of economic and political circumstances. To achieve “social justice” and eliminate income inequality, the “laws,” particularly the Constitution, had to change.