As Congressman Cummings said in his opening remarks, putting MIT's lying economics professor Jonathan Gruber "on the stand" in the House hearing room was simple political theater.
Gruber did worse than I expected in defending himself but the House Oversight Committee Republicans did an embarrassingly terrible job of questioning Gruber. Democrat Congressman Lynch of South Boston did the best questioning job, forgetting the easy jabs and instead narrowing in on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's 40% Cadillac tax that will hurt1 union contracts Lynch negotiated before becoming a Congressman (as well as the policies of the other 50% of you out there that get your healthcare insurance from an employer and retirees with good Medicare supplements from former employers and unions).
In one of his many stupid videos, Gruber had claimed to be in on the creation of the Cadillac tax and said they designed the 40% tax purposely to end employer sponsored insurance2. Presumably Gruber's little Excel spreadsheet3 is what determined that it would be 40% and not 30% or 50%. Lynch plowed important ground with his five minutes of questioning.
The Republicans, instead, kept harping on the same silly questions about Gruber calling people stupid. We all agree that the stupid people were those Democrats in Congress -- especially the no longer existing centrist-Democrat Catholic caucus -- that voted for it. So there was no offense taken here with Gruber's stupid remark. The Republicans should have been asking Gruber the obvious WWWWWH questions of
- Who in the administration Gruber work for/with? (Take names is the first rul of good questioning!)
- What modeling did Gruber discuss specifically and what projections did he supply? (How did the projections turn out? They were all wrong here in Massachusetts where he projected a 40% drop for 1% of the population forever and it turned out to be a less than 20% drop for one year. How can you be off so badly on 60,000 people and still get a contract to model 300,000,000 people?)
- How many emails went back and forth and where are the emails? (Did he Lois Lerner them?)
- Where were the meetings held beside the White House and what phonecon meetings did Gruber attend?
- Which software do Gruber use?
1Lynch says the Cadillac tax has already hurt his union brothers and sisters even though it does not go into effect until 2018 because employers are considering it in current negotiations. Even if you are not in a union, your employer is already doing the same
2I actually agree that employer sponsored insurance should be phased out; the problem is the Democrat's lack of transparency
3My theory is that Gruber will not show his work product to the Oversight Committee because it is based on a diddly little Excel spreadsheet my grandson could set up