MIT economist Jonathan Gruber has had a big influence on American life, much of it “behind the scenes.” He helped put together RomneyCare in Massachusetts, then Obamacare at the federal level. And he made a curious case for abortion that was picked up by Steven Levitt and made famous in Freakonomics.
But he wasn’t summoned before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee, yesterday, to talk about abortion. His boastings, in public, that the Affordable Care Act had been designed to deceive caught congressional attention.
And referring to voters as “stupid” doesn’t sit well with politicians — maybe because they’re living evidence.
Gruber started with some newfound humility. He had been bragging. In truth, he wasn’t that important to the process.
None of this was very convincing.
His explanations for his too-honest statements? Less than satisfactory: he chalked it all up to a spoken “typo.”
More entertainingly, when repeatedly asked whether he would give the committee his work product relating to his Health and Human Services contracts, he reiterated one simple answer: the committee should “take it up with my council.”
“You’ve been paid by the American taxpayer,” stated Rep. Jason Chaffetz, with escalating frustration. “Will you or will you not provide that information to this committee?”
But what was the Utah representative expecting?
A straight answer?
Yeah, yeah, I know . . . talk to Gruber’s lawyer.
Even with the stonewalling, I think we’ve already seen enough of Mr. Gruber’s “work product.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.