11-11-14 – “Stupid” Voters Smart Enough To Know They’re Getting Scammed

Posted by Rob Roper

People may not always know the details of political policy proposals, but they can generally get a good sense for when they’re getting smoke blown up their backside.

The November 4 election in Vermont, in which Peter Shumlin received a serious smack-down from the voters, was a referendum on the governor’s management of the state. A big part of that mismanagement has been the secrecy and misinformation surrounding the policies moving Vermont toward a single payer healthcare system. Why has the governor refused to tell people how he plans to raise the $2 billion in new taxes necessary to pay for Green Mountain Care? Why wasn’t he above board regarding how Medicare and other federal health insurance programs will be integrated into a “single” payer system?

Now we know the answer: We voters are too stupid to deserve the truth.

At least that is the assessment of Jonathan Gruber of MIT, architect of Obamacare and, most notably, a $400,000 (our taxpayer money) consultant to Peter Shumlin on Green Mountain Care.

In a recently captured video Gruber, who is apparently too stupid to be trusted anywhere near a camera (see earlier captured “speak-os” about exchange subsidies that could doom Obamacare) said about the Affordable Care Act:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, 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… 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… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

You can see Gruber whispering this same advice into the governor’s ear, and hear Peter Shumlin, Mike Fisher, Mark Larson and other single payer advocates expressing similar sentiments. If businesses knew they would get slammed with a massive payroll tax to pay for single payer, Act 48 dies. If seniors knew the state would try take over administration of their Medicare under the the single payer system, it would not have passed. Etc. So we, the stupid Vermont voters, were misled so that single payer could become law, if not in the dark of night than certainly the dark of ignorance.

However, even if voters can’t see everything that’s going on, we can still smell. And the Shumlin Administration’s plans for single payer healthcare smell a lot like what we spread on the fields every spring. The November 4 election should send a loud and clear message that we have no intention of stepping in it.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute (www.ethanallen.org)

Correction: An earlier version of this post listed Gruber’s contract with Vermont as $200,000. It is $400,000.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

H. Brooke Paige November 12, 2014 at 4:25 am

The Vermont voters spoke and clearly said that they wish to have “Anyone but Shumlin” as their governor. In recent days Shumlin has said that he has heard the message of Vermont voters, however his cannot be true since if he had really heard them he would be planning to announce his resignation in January.

As to Shumlin’s “Hocus Pocus” healthcare scam, with the sea change in Washington which surely dooms “Obamacare” its little sister “Shumlincare” will wither from a lack of additional funds and subsidies. Good riddance to “Shumlincare” and hopefully with a little divine inspiration and bravery by the new Vermont Legislature – Goodbye to “Flim-flam” Pete Shumlin !

H. Brooke Paige
Washington, Vermont


Joseph Fortner November 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Unfortunately, many politicians have adopted Rep. Pelosi’s Obamacare statement, and campaign using a “You have to reelect me to know what I’m going to do” approach. Not only is that arrogant, but it is classically undemocratic, as it prevents the voters from actually being heard regarding a politician’s policies. Moreover, by inevitably timing the “reveal” to shortly after reelection, the politicians hope that by the time of the next election, the voters will have forgotten.

It was refreshing to see the voters of Vermont reject Gov. Shumlin’s adoption of that approach to governance. It would be even more refreshing to see even more voters reject it, regardless of which party uses it.


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