…or why people like Henry Waxman, who think they can run the economy, are ignorant fools:
“What AT&T, Caterpillar, et al did was appropriate. It’s earnings season, and they offered guidance about , um, their earnings.”So once Obamacare passed, massive corporate write-downs were inevitable.
They were also bad publicity for Obamacare, and they seem to have come as an unpleasant shock to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who immediately scheduled congressional hearings for April 21, demanding that the chief executive officers of AT&T, John Deere, and Caterpillar, among others, come and explain themselves.
Obamacare was supposed to provide unicorns and rainbows: How can it possibly be hurting companies and killing jobs? Surely there’s some sort of Republican conspiracy going on here!
More like a confederacy of dunces. Waxman and his colleagues in Congress can’t possibly understand the health care market well enough to fix it. But what’s more striking is that Waxman’s outraged reaction revealed that they don’t even understand their own area of responsibility – regulation — well enough to predict the effect of changes in legislation.
In drafting the Obamacare bill they tried to time things for maximum political advantage, only to be tripped up by the complexities of the regulatory environment they had already created. It’s like a second-order Knowledge Problem.
Possibly this is simply because Waxman and his colleagues are dumb, and God knows there’s plenty of evidence that Congress isn’t a repository of rocket scientists. But it’s just as likely that adding 30 or 40 IQ points to the average congressman wouldn’t make much difference.
Well, they might at least be smart enough to know what they don’t know. You know, when the president claimed that he’d read Hayek? I don’t believe him. Or if he did, he didn’t read for comprehension.
I also think that they outsmarted themselves, and it’s going to justly bite them in their collective keister this fall. Outsmarting them is no big feat of course. Except for them.
[Sunday night update]
Over at Cato, David Boaz has further thoughts. And they’re a lot more intelligent (as usual) than commenter “Jim”‘s.