Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What do money, Winston Churchill, Obamacare and an informed public have in common?

It was Winston Churchill who noted that "The best argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter". As we await the Supreme Court decision, recent events are once again proving the truth of his assertion. 

It has now been two years since this landmark legislation,  and a recent Kaiser Foundation poll shows that fewer people today know what is actually in the bill than did when it was passed! This lack of knowledge parallels the decreasing public support for the bill. What is responsible for people dumbing down? A just released New York Times article documents that opinion about the Affordable Care Act is related to the money spent on advertising by its wealthy special interest group opponents.  Consider this:  opponents of the legislation have outspent those in favor by a more than 2:1 ratio since the law was passed, and more than 3:1 in the last year. The same study notes that since July 2011 there have been 164 different attack ads produced, and only 16 in favor.

It seems clear that wild spending by monied interests can sway public opinion on this and many other matters. Can it do the same with the Supreme Court? Stay tuned.


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