Victor Davis Hanson
Recommend this article

President Obama, in the tradition of progressive Democratic leaders, believes government should ask the more economically fortunate citizens to be responsible for helping the less well off.

But the president seems to fail to acknowledge that there are plenty of actions an individual can take to avoid becoming part of that growing crowd of "less fortunate." Instead, in Obama's world, there exists a simple zero-sum melodrama of victims and oppressors.

If recent poll numbers are correct, many Americans find that life in the real world is a lot more complicated than the near-constant us vs. them rhetoric about bad-guy insurers, surgery-hungry doctors, reckless financiers, greedy bankers, heartless corporations and tight-fisted employers who con and hurt the blameless good guys now in need of Mr. Obama's all-knowing benevolent government help.

Sean Hannity FREE

Surely life is too complex to be such a fairy-book morality tale.

Take finance. Of course, we are all still furious at the speculators on Wall Street for the September 2008 meltdown. But not all Americans took out sub-prime mortgages for homes at inflated prices. So why must some continue to pay their underwater mortgages to keep their homes, while others, as victims, may not have to?

Everyone should pay some income tax. So, why does the administration talk about raising rates sharply and adding even more taxes on the 5 percent who already pay 60 percent of all federal income-tax revenue?

Health care also is also poorly defined by Obama's simplistic view of a noble public victimized by a few greedy insurers. Some Americans budget $100 to $200 each month for high-deductible, private catastrophic health plans. That means they pass on some consumer purchases to ensure they won't get stuck without coverage for an unexpected operation or accident. In other words, people make choices on how they allot their resources, and are not always just victims who are cruelly denied, or cannot afford, some sort of basic health insurance.

One reason so many Americans were against federalizing their health care is that those who do avoid some medical risks -- alcohol and drug use, poor diet, obesity, or lack of exercise -- are, in some cases, asked to pay for the health problems of those who don't.

Recommend this article

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.