Humpty Dumpty Meets Heraclitus

Thursday, July 31, 2014

There is an interesting column by Larry Elder out regarding the two recent conflicting federal court rulings on ObamaCare tax credits. I do not know how important to any Supreme Court decision the following information will be, but Elder shows Jonathan Gruber, the architect of the Affordable Care Act, contradicting himself on the matter, and trying to sweep it under the rug.

Twice in 2012, Gruber made it clear that the language of the bill excluded from the tax breaks anyone purchasing from a federal exchange:

By not setting up an exchange, the politicians of a state are costing state residents hundreds and millions and billions of dollars. ... That is really the ultimate threat, is, will people understand that, gee, if your governor doesn't set up an exchange, you're losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens.
And, a week later:
The federal government has been sort of slow in putting out its [health insurance exchange] backstop, I think, partly because they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it. I think what's important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you're essentially saying to your citizens you're going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.
More recently, this is what Gruber -- Add a second "b" and you have a perfect name for a villain in an Ayn Rand novel -- had to say:
We can go to the people who wrote it and say did you ever intend this as a poison pill or is it a typo every single one says it's a typo? [sic] And every single one of them will say this is just a typo. So there is no mystery here.
Regarding the contradiction, obvious once he learned that someone noted his earlier remarks, Gruber called those "speak-os".

Elder is confident of a Supreme Court ruling against ObamaCare, since, as Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute  puts it, "This is not a constitutional challenge to the law. It's not asking any court to strike down the law. It's actually asking them to uphold the law."

That might be nice, except that for who we have in charge of enforcing the law and the extremely limited likelihood of Congress exercising the appropriate remedy.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

While pursuing one of your links I came across this one.

The 'artist' credits Mike Judge but I thought they bore more similarity to the interim cartoons employed by Monty Python's Flying Circus. Particularly the first one.

In regard to your previous post with Larry Elder speaking of the power grubbing Gruber, I think that this is the textbook example, also displayed by Obama and others of his regime, of not just subjectivism, but primacy of consciousness in the form of re-writing history. Oh, I've been caught in a contradiction? Easy Enough! Why, Why, I just misspoke. It's the modern, personal equivalent of Orwell's Memory Hole into which, with the connivance of the media, one's inconvenient utterances, can effectively disappear.

The poison ivy post reminded me of my initial approach to manually exterminating parasitic wasps in leaf-cutter bee houses. You basically sat in the house, surrounded by bees until the wasps appeared to lay their eggs in amongst the eggs of the bees. Then (a very high tech approach here!) you squashed them with your thumb. The first day on bee house duty, I went in full apiary gear at the urging and subsequent amusement of the other farm workers. Leaf cutter bees only bite when constrained. They're small enough that even apiary gear doesn't keep them out and that volume of clothing makes for plenty of constraint. And leaf cutter bees are not restricted to "just one bite."

I'm sure the payoff for the guys was when I exited said bee house in full speed stripping mode; one of the little buggers had made it nearly to my crotch before 'feeling constrained.' Thanks Guys...

From then on, it was a light pair of tennis shorts and shoes with low cut socks.

And as to Charles Babbage; that seems like an early statement of the GIGO motif, and I'd apply it to the MPs asking the question more than to the machine itself.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


Regarding the magical thinking exemplified by Gruber, the press has a perverse incentive to join in: How heady it must feel to a journalist to"create reality" by permitting/enabling someone like him to do this.

They will bet that most people can't or won't read, or care, if they do.