Jonathan Gruber: Lies & Glue


The recent revelations of statements by a professor from MIT named Jonathan Gruber, about how the Obama White House purposefully deceived the American people concerning the costs associated with Obamacare, are intriguing on a few levels.

Mr. Gruber’s statements about the deceptive intent of the drafters of the Affordable Care Act, are, of course, outrageous and insulting on their face.

But it is interesting to note the attitude of Mr. Gruber and the apparent attitude of the audiences he addresses about the lies he and others told to get the bill passed.

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There seems to be no amount of guilt or remorse for these deceptions at all.  On the contrary, the entire affect presented in the tone and attitude of Mr. Gruber and those who defend the deceptions reveals a blasé, smug, implicit pretext.

Simply stated, it goes like this:

We are the ruling class and we will lie to you for your own good.  Further, if you catch us at it, it doesn’t matter at all.

We will have our way.  You will do our will.  We will lie to you if it suits us.

The dangerous result of this approach is that truth — and truth telling — are no longer things that we can rely on when we deal with government.

This is most serious and most dangerous.

Why?

Because truth telling, and the reliance on truth telling is the glue that holds a society together.

Without the “glue” of truth telling, our transactions and interactions with government, and with each other, become extremely burdensome and eventually impossible.

Frederick Bastiat, in his famous work “The Law,” wrote that “no society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree.”  The way to make laws respected, Bastiat said, “is to make them respectable.”

But “when law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

When those in authority show their contempt for truth telling, as Jonathan Gruber and his boss at the White House have done, then the “glue” – the respect for lawful authority – cannot long survive.

If we can’t rely on those in authority to tell us the truth, then we will very soon lose faith in their leadership.  When we lose faith in their leadership we will stop following their dictates.  To keep us following their orders they must then resort to despotic, tyrannical force.

That’s why truth telling is so important.   That is why these revelations are so damning. 

Mr. Obama said he was going to transform the country.  He is doing so by tearing it apart.

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