April 25 2013

Different Rules for the Ruling Class

Carrie L. Lukas

Lawmakers who championed ObamaCare are now flinching at the idea of their staffs and families being subject to those annoying rules and costly mandates.  According to Politico:

There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.

The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere. Older, more senior staffers could also retire or jump to the private sector rather than face a big financial penalty.

There are consequences, you see, for Hill staff having to pay high health care costs.  The peons in the general public don’t get it:  Hill staff will change their behavior if they have to follow these rules and take part in this system.  These are consequences that somehow no one thought about when they were creating the law.

Congress is quietly trying to hash out an exemption for those in the ruling class, but policymakers are uncomfortable with how this might play out politically, and for good reason.  Americans should be disgusted by a political class that happily foists an onerous set of rules on the people generally, but then recoils from being subject to the same system.

Yet I worry that Americans have grown so used to this practice that it will hardly make headlines.  After all, we’ve already seen some of the President’s allies who fought for ObamaCare for the rest of us—the unions, the AARP, etc—line up for special exemptions from the law.  Americans are used to President Obama preening about the need for “shared sacrifice” before his family jets off for their ten millionth taxpayer-supported vacation.  

I hope, though, that some of this will sink in, and Americans will get tired of the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do rhetoric, which is particularly prevalant on the Left.  So often liberals seem to be very certain that they know what’s best for people generally--whether it's what foods people should be allowed to eat, or what our employment contracts should include--but then to view themselves and the people they know as exceptions. 

This is most easily visible in education policy:  The Left will oppose school choice programs and talk passionately about how such freedoms might facilitate the most actively engaged parents from leaving public schools that sorely need them.  Yet they have no qualms about taking their own precious juniors out of those public school systems.  Clearly that would be a sacrifice no one could expect, actually to place their own children in the crappy local public school with the masses.  Heavens no!  Yet we’ve grown so used to this, that no one even bothers to dwell on the hypocrisy of Chelsea, Malia, Sasha and all the other progeny of the politically powerful from opting out of public school. 

Yet we should reject this type of logic, and elected "leadership" who don't want to live under the rules that they impose on the rest of us. 

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