​The Obamacare advisor and the sorry state of politics

In this May 12, 2009, photo Jonathan Gruber, professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participates in a Capitol Hill hearing on the overhaul of the heath care system in Washington.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

I was dumbstruck when I heard the comments that are surfacing from an economist named Jonathan Gruber, who was paid $400,000 to help shape the President's heath care plan.

First, he allowed as how the plan passed only because of a "lack of transparency" and -- this is a direct quote -- "the stupidity of the American people."

Then Friday, our Nancy Cordes found a couple of other things he'd said going back to 2011:

"First by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we all know it's really a tax on people who hold these insurance plans."

And there was this about Massachusetts' heath care plan:

"The dirty secret in Massachusetts is, the feds paid for our bill, OK? . . . Ted Kennedy and the smart people in Massachusetts had basically figured out a way to rip off the feds for about $400 million a year."

I'll be honest: While I favor health insurance, I am not wild about the new plan and how it became law, either.

But here is my question for Mr. Gruber: If all this was as bad as you say, why did you take the money you earned as an adviser?

Nor is it too late to give it back!

What we have here is another example of the sorry state of American politics, where people take money for things in which they don't believe, and whether it's good for the American people is not even a question.

As for the president, he may want to consider that old politician's prayer: "Lord, I can take care of my enemies, just protect me from my friends."

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.