What’s up with GruberGate?
Is it up to three cynical tapes about Obamacare now? I’ve lost track.
I’m not so interested in pushing through the mud on this one. It’s a healthy world where academics can speak their minds at conferences and the like without their words becoming political weapons in a bigger fight. Or how about blogs?: do we want a world where no former advisor can write honestly about the policies of an administration? I’ve disagreed with Gruber from the beginning on health care policy and I thought his ObamaCare comic book did the economics profession — and himself — a disservice. But I’m simply not very interested in his proclamations on tape, which as far as I can tell are mostly correct albeit overly cynical. (If anything he is overrating the American voter — most people weren’t even paying close enough attention to be tricked.) Criticisms of Gruber are not criticisms of a policy, and it is policy we should focus upon and indeed there is still a great deal of health care policy we need to figure out. It’s hardly news that intellectuals who hold political power, even as advisors, very often do not speak the truth. If anything, I feel sorry for Gruber that he has subsequently felt the need to so overcompensate by actively voicing such ex post cynicism, it is perhaps the sign of a soul not at rest.
In the meantime, I’d like to see more open discourse, not less. Perhaps we should subsidize people who end up looking foolish, rather than taxing them.