President Obama unveiled his newest proposal to regulate the health insurance industry on Monday. He is obviously extremely smart, but I am afraid that he does not have the common sense to come in out of the rain.

President Obama unveiled his newest proposal to regulate the health insurance industry on Monday. He is obviously extremely smart, but I am afraid that he does not have the common sense to come in out of the rain.

Rather than cutting his losses as the Clintons did when their proposed HillaryCare was batted down, he seems doggedly determined to die politically trying rather than admit defeat.

All recent polls show that a majority of voters oppose the basic tenets of the Democratic vision for our health care. But like a good teacher who knows best for his students, he wags his finger at me when he speaks to the country about this. I am just too thickheaded to draw the same conclusions about the problem and its solutions.

I have read a description of the new plan as giving the federal government the power to regulate the health-insurance industry as though it were a public utility. If you know anything about public utilities and the horribly contrived relationship they have between their stockholders and the state commissions, that should be enough to make you stop in your tracks.

But instead of launching into specifics here, I am going to discuss principles I believe must control the design of any solution, from the top down. The first is my own: There is no right way to do a wrong thing. For example, if your highest goal is equality for distribution of goods and services, then communism sounds really good.

The only problem? It does not work with the reality of human nature. Therefore, in many different places and situations in the past century, it has not worked. It will not work unless human nature changes, and I am not holding my breath for that. It is a wrong (or incorrect) thing. This is not a reference to immorality, just objective truth. That is why China calls itself communistic but is practicing more and more capitalism every day.

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was Feb. 12, and I want to remind us all of some wisdom principles he left to us. These have been called his ten guidelines and should be considered in light of the abject poverty he experienced personally.

 You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

 

 You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

 

 You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

 

 You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

 

 You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

 

 You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

 

 You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.

 

 You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

 

 You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.

 

 You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.


Do you think these have any application in 2010?