Patterico's Pontifications

7/25/2014

Jonathan Gruber’s “Speak-o” Number Two

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:09 pm

Hoo-boy. If you had any doubts about why you look at the words of a statute rather than some inchoate “intent,” this ought to dispel those doubts lickety-split.

So this morning, we saw how the chief architect of ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber, had said, “if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.” D’oh! Looks like the Halbig plaintiffs didn’t make up that concept!

A lefty writer from the New Republic asked him why on earth he said that, and his answer was that it was an off-the-cuff remark — not a “typo,” but a “speak-o”:

I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it. . . . But there was never any intention to literally withhold money, to withhold tax credits, from the states that didn’t take that step. That’s clear in the intent of the law and if you talk to anybody who worked on the law. My subsequent statement was just a speak-o—you know, like a typo.

Well. As it turns out, it was a “mistake” very much like Congress’s “mistake” in limiting subsidies to plans bought on exchanges “established by the state.” Namely: it wasn’t a mistake at all. How do we know this? Meet “Speak-o Part Two: The ‘Prepared Remarks’ Version”:

The key passage:

Through a political compromise, it was decided that states should play a critical role in running these health insurance exchanges.

. . . .

Now, I guess I’m enough of a believer in democracy to think that when the voters in states see that by not setting up an exchange the politicians of a state are costing state residents hundreds and millions and billions of dollars, that they’ll eventually throw the guys out. But I don’t know that for sure. And 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.

SPEAK-O!!! Except:

Morgen is the fella who found this clip, by the way. The best part?

Asked over email whether those remarks were a mistake, too, Gruber wrote back, “same answer.”

Four points.

First: I don’t generally like to call people liars. But when Gruber says he was making the oral equivalent of a typo, Gruber is lying — and this is exactly what lefties are doing by claiming that the “established by the state” language is a typo. Isn’t it funny how all these supposed errors say the same thing? — namely, that subsidies are available only on exchanges being run by the states. When Congressmen and women say the written language of the law is a mistake, they are lying, just as surely as Gruber is lying when he describes his repeated and prepared point as a “speak-o.”

Second: I know I keep saying this, but it’s important: This is why you can’t allow the interpretation of a law to be government by intent. It’s easy to lie about intent, and not so easy to lie about the wording of the law — because, there’s the wording, right there in black and white.

Third: in listening to other interviews with this guy, it has become more and more clear that tying subsidies to state establishment of exchanges was deliberate. Not only was it a “political compromise” (as Gruber says in the quote above), but it is consistent with his oft-repeated talking point that ObamaCare did not represent a federal takeover of health care. If you listen to any extended interview with him, he makes that point again and again. The people who wrote this law really thought all the states would set up these exchanges, and that bad assumption explains everything.

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot point four! Four:

Another point that comes up in one of Gruber’s interviews is another reason that federal exchanges would have been created even though they didn’t offer subsidies. Namely, the exchanges are cited by Gruber as being part of a cost-containing measure. He says that Blue Cross is able to charge more just because they’re Blue Cross. On an exchange, where all the insurers’ prices are placed side by side, the direct comparison will lead to lower prices — or so the theory goes. Again: this is yet another reason that the Halbig decision makes sense.

51 Responses to “Jonathan Gruber’s “Speak-o” Number Two”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. They don’t care if you believe it. They don’t care if it’s ludicrous. That’s not important. What’s important is that their corrupt judges will accept the ludicrous lie as if it were truth.

    I hope someday the GOP has 67 Senate votes and the balls to use them, and clean house of some of these corrupt judges.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  3. As I said: truth bends to conform to what they want at any given time.

    They play with it, like a child plays with dolls.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  4. John Roberts will explain this to everyone’s satisfaction in due course

    everybody just stay calm

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  5. wow!

    a lying liar lies….

    unexpectedly

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  6. Well Gruber also told John McClane he’d never fired a gun before at Nakatomi Plaza, so we already knew he was a liar.

    Gazzer (e04ef7)

  7. I hope someday the GOP has 67 Senate votes and the balls to use them

    as long as some of those 67 are RINO POS like McLame, that is as likely as me being Miss America this year.

    8-)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  8. So what was point number 4?

    Patrick, you need to call liars liars because a) that’s what they are and thus is the truth (truth is still a defense, right?) and b) because you need to make it clear what they are to the people who don’t know or don’t realize that they actually are lying.

    J.P. (bd0246)

  9. WHPS Earnest claims Gruber wrote an amicus brief in Halbig or the other case (In virginia) decided this week in which he states the intention was for all to receive subsidies. Anyone seen these briefs?

    Are briefs such as this subject to any perjury sanction?

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  10. Well, if this guy’s goal is to implicitly say, “Don’t hold what I say against ObamaCare–I’m obviously a pathological, ideologically driven liar,” he’s doing a bang up job of it.

    M. Scott Eiland (8d3966)

  11. Since I’m not a lawyer, I have no idea. Could these videos be used by the plaintiffs during the en banc hearing and possibly before the Supreme Court?

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  12. 4. John Roberts will explain this to everyone’s satisfaction in due course

    everybody just stay calm

    happyfeet (8ce051) — 7/25/2014 @ 6:54 pm

    But how can I stay calm; I’m aquiver with excitement awaiting to see how the Roberts court is going to pull this one out of the fire for Obama?

    Plus I just got the gen-u-wyne Freddy Kruger style 20″ chainsaw I ordered online from Sears that is going to make the fruit trees in the backyard behave.

    No waiting lists. No cooling off periods. No nothing.

    Sorry. Just a little worked up. Like I was when I first got my Milwaukee Sawzall.

    Steve57 (70f802)

  13. By the way, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley (Blackhole)Price was arrested today on federal fraud charges.

    I denounce my racist self for mentioning.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  14. Ag80–is Mr. Wiley a member of any particular organized political party?

    elissa (ddfa15)

  15. UPDATE: Oh, I forgot point four! Four:

    Another point that comes up in one of Gruber’s interviews is another reason that federal exchanges would have been created even though they didn’t offer subsidies. Namely, the exchanges are cited by Gruber as being part of a cost-containing measure. He says that Blue Cross is able to charge more just because they’re Blue Cross. On an exchange, where all the insurers’ prices are placed side by side, the direct comparison will lead to lower prices — or so the theory goes. Again: this is yet another reason that the Halbig decision makes sense.

    [Thanks, J.P.]

    Patterico (9c670f)

  16. I believe that Gruber sincerely does not remember making these remarks. Memory is fallible; at some point, Gruber probably changed his mind and forgot that he had ever believed otherwise. People show a strong tendency to edit their recollections of prior beliefs to reflect the “correct” answer, and even brilliant economists are not immune to this common cognitive bias.

    But though I do not fault his honesty*

    What I take from this is that Megan McArdle is a pathetic ass-kissing phony who thinks in her phony ass-kissing rotisserie chicken-loving little head that she can lie with all the glorious adroitness of her obamacare hero Mr. Gruber.

    But nope she just makes it very clear that she’s every inch the cheaply glib obamaslut Mr. Gruber is.

    I’m disgusted.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  17. holy unruly fruit trees baman

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  18. This was one of those Kinsley gaffes…you know when a politician screws up and tells the truth.

    gahrie (a05ed4)

  19. elissa: He is a Democrat and he rules Dallas County. The Dallas County Judge of the County Commissioners is beholden to him. Apparently, someone in the Justice Department has gone south.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  20. On topic, thougt, the gig may actually be up. Hat’s off to the plaintiffs.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  21. Campaign updates from the windy city:
    Michelle was in Chicago last night to raise money from rich Democrats..

    …Headlining an event for the Democratic National Committee at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago, she told donors there was something each of them could do “right now” to make a difference.
    “And that is to write a big, fat check. I kid you not. I’m going to be honest with you, that’s what we need you to do right now,” she said. “We need you to write the biggest, fattest check that you can possibly write.”“Writing those checks is the single most impactful thing that you can do right now,” she continued. “When you dig deep, when you max out, that translates into staff hired and offices opened and ads running where they need to run.”…Tickets for the fundraiser started at $500 per person and ranged upwards to $10,000 and $20,000 per couple.

    http://politics.suntimes.com/article/washington/michelle-obama-donors-write-biggest-fattest-check-you-can/thu-07242014-630pm

    In other news, Gov. Christie was in Chicago today to raise money and to deliver a check from the RGA for 2.5 million to Bruce Rauner the R gubernatorial candidate (who is slightly ahead in the polls)–and to mingle at a local hot dog joint.

    …On Friday, Christie came to Chicago for a series of closed-door fundraising events to boost the RGA, Rauner and Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Tickets for Rauner’s event ranged from $500 per person for the general reception to $2,500 per couple for a VIP reception and photo.
    ….Christie and Rauner shook hands with Portillo’s patrons, and the New Jersey governor responded quickly to one woman who encouraged him to run for president. “I’m thinking about it,” he said with a smile.
    Christie, who underwent weight-loss surgery in 2013, said he ordered the jumbo chili cheese dog with onions because “that’s what I like, baby.” He also ordered a large vanilla shake. Rauner got a jumbo hot dog with everything and a small chocolate cake shake. In addition to bringing Rauner the $2.5 million, Christie paid the $15.29 food bill.

    elissa (ddfa15)

  22. 18. holy unruly fruit trees baman

    happyfeet (8ce051) — 7/25/2014 @ 8:40 pm

    They’ve been very naughty and it’s time someone did something about it.

    Steve57 (70f802)

  23. as nasty and vile as michelle obama is, food stamp still married up

    whereas Mrs. Christie married jumbo chili cheese dog with onions

    I’m honestly not sure what to make of that

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  24. you have to be firm but gentle Mr. 57

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  25. There are some other possible conclusions you could draw from the articles, Mr. feets.

    elissa (ddfa15)

  26. “I want to be really clear with my friends: If you think folks who work 40 or 50 hours a week shouldn’t have to live in poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth, if you believe in science and you care about the planet that you’re leaving for your kids and grandkids, if you don’t want women’s bosses making decisions about their birth control, if you want your kids to have quality preschool and the college education they need to fulfill every last bit of their God-given potential, then you need to step up.

    that’s where is stopped reading

    she creeps me out cause she so nasty

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  27. that’s where *i* stopped reading i mean

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  28. I’m thinking someone aught to be monitoring Steve with a chainsaw. We got a regulatory agency or something?

    Megan Kelly nailing Bill Ayers to his own cross, right now on Fox.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  29. “It’s gotten so bad, they’re even trying to block the work that I do on childhood obesity. And that’s really saying something,” she said, referring to Republicans. “I mean, for most folks in this country, making sure our kids get decent nutrition shouldn’t be that controversial.”

    ooh pout for me baby

    yeah that’s really hot the camera’s loving you sweetie

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  30. Yeah, she and Barack are both kinda thin-skinned i think. Funny she didn’t mention that millions of dollars of lunchroom food is being put in the garbage each month because kids won’t eat what she’s forcing schools to serve.

    elissa (ddfa15)

  31. they’re not “our kids” you just think they are cause you’re an angry pouting communist who needs a hobby

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  32. what is that silly cow blabbering about?

    most j*bs these days in the wonderful ObamAmerica are <30 hours a week, with no bennies, thanks to the other idiot she lives in the White House with.

    if stupid was illegal, they'd both be facing the death penalty.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  33. 26. you have to be firm but gentle Mr. 57

    happyfeet (8ce051) — 7/25/2014 @ 9:27 pm

    I don’t always use a chainsaw.

    But when I do.

    It must be firm, but gentle.

    Live thirsty, my friend.

    Steve57 (70f802)

  34. 34-

    Comment of the Day!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  35. speaking of the nutritions, first lady hoochatha

    i give you meghan trainor

    #54 with a bullet this week

    she don’t want your skanky lunchmeat

    so cute i love her more than pickles

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  36. looks like she’s at #5 or so on itunes sales

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  37. if stupid was illegal, they’d both be facing the death penalty.

    redc1c4 (abd49e) — 7/25/2014 @ 10:07 pm

    Ease up there, Red. You run the risk of vapor locking Vota.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  38. You run the risk of vapor locking Vota.

    that would be a trifecta of fecklessness, wouldn’t it? 8-)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  39. I believe that Gruber sincerely does not remember making these remarks. Memory is fallible; at some point, Gruber probably changed his mind and forgot that he had ever believed otherwise. People show a strong tendency to edit their recollections of prior beliefs to reflect the “correct” answer, and even brilliant economists are not immune to this common cognitive bias.

    Tell that to Scooter Libby.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  40. Verum Serum found speak-o numero tres. I doubt this will have any kind of admission of guilt effect for this @$$h@t. I’ll bet he doesn’t even blush.

    Hadoop (f7d5ba)

  41. There should be a “Hard Drive” death watch for Gruber’s hard drive.

    Haile Tsada (0fd3cd)

  42. McArdle’s certainly savvy enough to know Gruber’s own words put the lie to her silly excuse-making. Maybe she’s been influenced by Sammy’s comments.

    ropelight (903039)

  43. “through a political compromise, …”
    Compromise between whom? Certainly not
    Repubs and Democrats?

    jb (c66d8e)

  44. Max Baucus said the same thing during the writing of the bill, of which he was the author. Maybe he saw this coming when he decamped to China.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  45. This Herr Gruber is throwing away any respect he has built for himself over a life of professional work. But I don’t feel bad for him. It is a choice he made in favor of the Liblie.

    I just spent a moment on the MSNBC blog ( I know, I know). I voted in a survey they have up. 67% of those voting say the statute says federal exchanges are authorized to pay subsidies. Gruber won’t suffer ignominy in his Marxist bubble, only in the eyes of the rest of the world. Libruls have little to no regard for the truth.

    Fred Beloit (8019de)

  46. it’s not what they said
    but what they had meant to say
    won’t pass red-face test

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  47. no not Hans Gruber
    this be Jonathan Gruber
    speak-o is suck-o

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  48. This country is running downhill so quickly that I suspect (and fear) the main response to the recent court decision is not to make Obamacare look even worse than it already does, but to make states that haven’t set up their own healthcare exchanges, thereby preventing their residents from having access to wonderful, beautiful, generous federal subsidies, look like party poopers.

    I was looking at a recent opinion poll on whether Obama should be impeached and noted the differences between Americans saying yes or no about him compared with their response to the same question regarding George W Bush. Obama is a far more grotesque, arrogant, dogmatic, foolish, irresponsible, constitution-sneering president than Bush (or even Jimmy Carter, etc) was on his worse day, yet public sentiment doesn’t necessarily reflect that.

    So far, we may not be quite as Hugo-Chavez-ized as Venezuela is, or as Evita-Peron-ized (or Christina-Kirchner-ized) as Argentina is, but we’re getting there. (And with ultra-liberals like Obama slowly but surely — and happily — breaking down the southern border and transforming the demographics of this society, it’s only a matter of time.)

    Mark (2604a9)

  49. Thank god my Union gives crap loads of money to the DNC or I would have to worry about this Obamacare nonsense.

    highpockets (b8830b)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2165 secs.