The Ingenious Stupidity of Barack Obama

Posted: Jul 27, 2013 12:01 AM

Editor’s note: John Ransom, despite the objections of his family; decided to take them on vacation. While waiting to be towed in to harbor on his Carnival Cruise, he will be indisposed. But let not your heart be troubled: Our loveable Townhall Finance Editor will return with mildly intriguing articles before too long. Below is what can best be described as a “Best of” article. (Although, that description is only being used for the sake of brevity.)

Until Mr. Ransom decides to join the real world and start working every day, check out our other top-notch contributors such as Daniel J Mitchell, Mike Shedlock, or – if you can bear it – feel free to read my commentary. Thanks for reading!

- Michael Schaus, Associate Editor for Townhall Finance

It’s almost as if the administration wears the conundrum like a badge of honor, like it’s an encomium. And perhaps it is.

But at some point the American people need to hear directly from Obama himself, so that he can answer the questions that reside in the back of all of our consciousness.

And the question is this: Are you really this stupid or is this part of some devious plan?

I’ve never before seen the opposition so paralyzed before missteps, blunders, gaffes, scandals, admitted incompetency, greed, overreach, mismanagement, lies, outrageous crimes and…did I say greed?

I hope I did, because I meant it.

What got me thinking about this was an interview I did with Cato’s Dan Mitchell- my favorite economist by the way- who thought perhaps that when Obama postponed the implementation of the big company mandate, requiring companies to provide healthcare coverage for employees under Obamacare, that Obama got what he really wanted.

“It’s going to have the perverse effect of throwing more people into these heavily subsidized, unworkable exchanges,” said Mitchell on our Tuesday broadcast ofRansom Notes Radio, “which may indeed be what the White House wanted all along, to create more dependency and more government spending.” 

Ingenious really.

No one saw that coming.

“The decision to delay this mandate suggests that, from the Obama administration’s uniquely informed vantage point, the chaos that will result from its delay will be less than what would result from implementing it when the law requires,” wrote Mitchell’s colleague at Cato,Michael F Cannon, who is probably the nation’s foremost expert on Obamacare. “The administration doesn’t go around looking for ways to make implementation harder. This decision can only be understood as an effort to take the path of least resistance – and if this is the path of least resistance, then Obamacare itself must be even more chaotic. This decision is the best window we have to see how nervous the administration is about what lies ahead.”

The story has been that Democrats forced the delayed because of worry that they would have to run on the chaotic implementation of Obamacare, including an idiotic “honor” system for federal subsidies.

Yes. The same accounting practice that led to the housing bubble- that is federally subsidized loans with no income verification, often called “liar” loans- is now coming to healthcare.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Remember "liar loans," the low- or no-documentation mortgages that took borrowers at their word without checking pay stubs or W-2s? ObamaCare is now on the same honor system, with taxpayers in tow.

People are supposed to receive subsidies only if their employer does not provide federally approved health benefits. Since HHS now won't require business to report those benefits or enforce the standards until 2015, it says it can't ask ObamaCare's "exchange" bureaucracies to certify who qualifies either.

HHS calls this "a slight technical correction" though it is much more than that. The exchanges will not only start dispensing benefits "based on an applicant's attestation" about his employment insurance status. HHS is also handing the exchanges "temporarily expanded discretion to accept an attestation of projected annual household income without further verification."

In other words, anyone can receive subsidies tied to income without judging the income they declare against the income data the Internal Revenue Service collects. This change has nothing to do with the employer mandate, even tangentially. HHS is disowning eligibility quality control because pre-clearance is "not feasible" as a result of "operational barriers" and "a large amount of systems development on both the state and federal side, which cannot occur in time for October 1, 2013." 

So, could it be that no one saw it coming because it was just SO stupid that no one could even contemplate the entire stupidity of it?

Yeah, I think so too. It’s almost as if Obama put the “O” in audacity.

As I watch the unraveling of the administration under the weight of poor foreign policy with Obama picking the wrong side in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, I wonder here too: Are these guys this dumb?

From any vantage point, empirical would have to say, yes; yes, they really are this dumb.

Because, the results rarely vary with the administration.

Stimulus doesn’t stimulate; banks are even too-bigger-to-fail; and joblessness is really going up even though the official number is going down.

So I think that Obama is stupid.

It’s just that he gets graded on a curve, and the GOP is stupider still.

The genius of Obama is that his opponents are so dumb.

And I guess that’s the same thing as genius-- in politics at any rate.