Modern liberalism has long depended on concealing its true character and redistributive intent, and the faceplant of Obamacare threatens to expose the central flim-flam of liberalism as never before.
Even the New York Times has been forced to admit this, in its front-page story on Saturday, “Don’t Dare Call the Health Law ‘Redistribution.’”
These days the word is particularly toxic at the White House, where it has been hidden away to make the Affordable Care Act more palatable to the public and less a target for Republicans, who have long accused Democrats of seeking “socialized medicine.” But the redistribution of wealth has always been a central feature of the law and lies at the heart of the insurance market disruptions driving political attacks this fall.
“Americans want a fair and fixed insurance market,” said Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised Mr. Obama’s team as it designed the law. “You cannot have that without some redistribution away from a small number of people.”
But Gruber must think we’re all goobers if we believe that it will only affect a “small number of people.” The special twist to Obamacare is that it reveals the hoax of the claim of liberals that it only wants to tax “the rich” on behalf of the poor. This is always a cover for extending taxes on the middle class, because there aren’t enough rich people to expropriate to “spread the wealth around” (as Obama once too candidly admitted) to the poor. Obamacare has exposed this lie more directly than is healthy for liberalism.
Franklin Foer of The New Republic is not falling for Gruber’s goobers:
Liberalism has spent the better part of the past century attempting to prove that it could competently and responsibly extend the state into new reaches of American life. With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the administration has badly injured that cause, confirming the worst slurs against the federal government. It has stifled bad news and fudged promises; it has failed to translate complex mechanisms of policy into plain English; it can’t even launch a damn website. What’s more, nobody responsible for the debacle has lost a job or suffered a demotion. Over time, the Affordable Care Act’s technical difficulties can be repaired. Reversing the initial impressions of government ineptitude won’t be so easy. . .
The Affordable Care Act is the Russian novel of social policy, now totaling 20,202 pages. Loopholes and exemptions abound. As Ezra Klein has grimly warned, “Far from introducing innovation and efficiency into the system, the decision to build a complex, 50-state public-private hybrid has introduced towering complexity into the project, and seems, potentially, to be beyond the government’s capacity to do well.”
As of this morning, Obama is in free fall along with his eponymous policy. CNN’s new poll reports dismal news:
Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll. And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.
One of my favorite unheralded movies from the late 1960s was The Flim-Flam Man with George C. Scott. In the short bit below, we can see Scott explaining that “Speed is of the essence when one is—forgive the expression—‘makin’ tracks.’” Then he explains that bright things are ahead—just before the oncoming train comes around the corner. That describes the situation in the White House just now. They’re trying to make tracks from the disaster of their own making, but are being run over by a freight train called “reality.”