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Keller @ Large: Voting For Your Self-Interest Doesn't Make You Stupid

BOSTON (CBS) - Perhaps you've heard by now about the remarks made by MIT economics Prof. Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of Obamacare and the Massachusetts health care reform it was based on, in which he acknowledged that the federal health reform law was written to disguise how it worked.

In the video, Prof. Gruber admits the federal law's authors wanted to somehow hide the fact that "healthy people pay in and sick people get money" because if that were known "it would not have passed…. call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass."

Once again we see the accuracy of writer Michael Kinsley's observation that the definition of a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.

Gruber's comments were foolish and arrogant, an indictment of the legislators who voted for Obamacare, and not the first time he let his hubris off the leash. You may recall his casual confession that, as a member of the board of the Massachusetts Health Connector, he paid too much attention to his Blackberry and not enough to board meetings when decisions were being made that led to the Connector website's collapse.

While it's a stretch to call Gruber stupid, it's also out of line for him or anyone else to casually hang that same label on the rest of us. The fact that it's the default excuse of the losing side in any election doesn't make it right.

Do people vote their self-interest?

Yes they do.

Does that make them "stupid"?

I don't think so.

As Lincoln once said, professor, "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Listen to Jon's commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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