Kelley Williams, Chair Bigger Pie Forum, December 8, 2014
“Mama says stupid is as stupid does,” Forest Gump. Dr. Jonathan Gruber, PhD, is the MIT professor who devised the strategy to package and sell the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). It assumes voters are too stupid to understand what’s good for them and need really smart people like Dr. Gruber, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, et al to look after them.
But voters figured out they don’t like Obamacare or the democrat congress and senate that passed it. So Republicans now control both. And Nancy Pelosi has lost her memory about using Dr. Gruber to tout the bill.
Stupid voters figured this out on their own before the recent elections. Since the elections, videos have surfaced showing the smirking professor bragging about the intentionally convoluted language that hid the purpose of the Obamacare and its disastrous consequences.
“Grubered” voters. Now that stupid voters realize they were Grubered, they really don’t like Obamacare and those responsible for it. Half of the senators responsible for it are no longer senators. The major news sources which sat on the videos are also responsible. They are like Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Jessup in “A Few Good Men.” They know: “You can’t handle the truth.” So they don’t give it to you. You are not credentialed. Therefore, you are dumb. So much for the Second Amendment and a free and watchful press.
Is it smart to deliberately mislead voters and then brag about it publicly? Mama might say that’s stupid does. But then Mama was all about common sense, honesty, and fair play. Although she wasn’t credentialed, she wasn’t dumb. Today Mama might not know about selective news coverage to protect really smart people who say dumb things. Many people don’t. But dumb things are still dumb things even if not reported. And sometimes they are so dumb that stupid voters figure out they are dumb even without being told by a credentialed professor, or a talking head, or a newspaper of record.
Republicans acting like Democrats. You may be thinking this is a lead in for another article about Mississippi Power’s Kemper County Lignite Plant. Kemper is a really big and really dumb thing that’s been Grubered to make it look good. But this is about a bigger problem. It’s about Republicans acting like Democrats to centrally plan and micromanage Mississippi’s economy. They don’t come right out and say voters (or customers) are stupid. They just treat them that way.
That bothers me. I’m one of those stupid voters who thinks there should be more than a dimes worth of difference between the parties. And that checks and balances are good. And that competition makes for choices that make for better products and services – and laws and government. It’s discouraging to see both parties trying to use government to “improve people’s lives.” Same playbook. People are better at improving their lives than government regardless of the party trying to do it. Where’s the party of less government and more people? Where’s the choice for voters? What’s the difference?
The President said Obamacare will cut insurance premiums. And you can keep your doctor if you like him. And your insurance plan too. Turns out it’s all lies. Deliberate lies. The Governor (two, in fact) said Kemper will save customers money – in effect you can keep your electric rates if you like them. Turns out it’s not true. Kemper hasn’t saved customers’ money. Rates are up. What’s the difference?
Grubered EPA regs. The EPA and environmental Grubers tout renewable energy. They say it is good for the planet and you. Not to worry that it’s expensive. Not to worry that it doesn’t work. The President pushed Solyndra’s solar experiment. His cronies got million in grants. It didn’t work. Taxpayers paid for it. The Governor pushed Kior’s pine trees to diesel experiment. It got a $70 million state “loan” with no collateral. A state senator said it’s an unbelievable technology. It was. It didn’t work either. Mississippi tax payers are on the hook. Same green illusions. Same government knows best mentality. Same results. What’s the difference?
Now new and more punitive proposed EPA regulations are in the works. Their target is coal fired generation of electricity They are based on Gruberizations by other academics, researchers, and bureaucrats whose jobs depend on them. If implemented, they will kill existing jobs and make energy more expensive. More expensive energy will kill more jobs (e.g., recent Peavy Electronic layoffs due to Kemper’s higher rates). Their cost is real. Their benefits are theoretical. Another example of government knows best what stupid voters need. However, stupid voters’ representatives now control the house and senate. They could block these harmful regs. Will they do it or kick it to the courts? Will they make a difference?
Too many regulations and adversarial enforcement also kills jobs. Capital goes where it is welcome and creates jobs there. Mississippi competes with other states for capital and jobs. We compete with tax breaks and handouts such as state loans for Kior. Sometimes we disadvantage existing business like Cooper Tire to attract new businesses like Yokohama Tire. We justify this by saying everybody does it. So we have to play the game too. What’s the difference?
How about a hands off state? What if Mississippi decided to be a hands-off state instead of just another handout state? What if we cut and simplified regs to make it easier to do business? What if our enforcement agencies worked with businesses to find economical, common sense solutions to problems? What if we tried to keep the businesses we have and encouraged them to grow instead of trying to lure businesses from other states? What if we got out of the crony capitalism business and encouraged entrepreneurs instead of political opportunists? Would it make a difference? Would we stupid voters notice it and vote for those who tried to make a difference? Just might work.
Photo Credit: www.sodahead.com