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November 11, 2014

Meet the Guy Who's Single-Handedly Doing All of the Media's Jobs for Them

The Man Who Actually Listens to Jon Gruber's Conferences.

Rich Weinstein is not a reporter. He does not have a blog. Until this week, the fortysomething's five-year old Twitter account had a follower count in the low double digits.

"I'm an investment advisor," Weinstein tells me from his home near Philadelphia. "I'm a nobody. I’m the guy who lives in his mom's basement wearing a tinfoil hat." (He's joking about the mom and the tinfoil.)

He's also behind a series of scoops that could convince the Supreme Court to dismantle part of the Affordable Care Act. Weinstein has absorbed hours upon hours of interviews with Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor who advised the Massachusetts legislature when it created "Romneycare" and the Congress when it created "Obamacare"...


The story metastasized when Penn briefly pulled the original video. Jonathan Adler, one of the attorneys in the anti-subsidy cases, was among the people tweeting about the apparent censorship until Penn restored the video. Gruber himself crawled out of view, refusing to comment when reporters asked about his newly discovered argument that the ACA was "designed to dupe a gullible American public." Even Snopes.com waded in, attempting to debunk the conservative theory that an Ivy League school was trying to hide a damaging gaffe that could hurt the legal case for the ACA.

Weinstein, back at home, was stunned at the reaction. Why did he keep finding Gruber gaffes? Why didn't the press glom onto this stuff first?

"It's terrifying that the guy in his mom's basement is finding his stuff, and nobody else is," he says. "I really do find this disturbing."

Ah, Snopes.

I've left out the part about his motive. Click the link to find that.

Keith Hennessey has a good post about Gruber's bracing honesty about his serial lying.

Apparently Dr. Gruber thinks it’s OK to lie to American voters when his allies are in power to enact policies that he wants but the voters wouldn’t. He then says American voters are “stupid” both for not agreeing with his value choices and for not figuring out the deception.

I disagree.

When you strip away all the complexity, economic policy is ultimately an expression of elected officials making difficult value choices. If over time these officials make value choices that do not reflect the values of the people whom they represent, they can, should, and will be replaced.

When these same elected officials, and those who advise them, deliberately construct policies to hide value choices that would be unpopular were they transparent and explicit, we end up with two terrible outcomes. We get policies that do not reflect our values, and we re-elect representatives who are lying to us.


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posted by Ace at 02:58 PM

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