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Philosophy of Obama vs. Franklin

As President Barack Obama struggles to sell his massive reorganization of the health care industry, it is important to understand what is driving him. This is a classic liberal vs. conservative battle, pitting government money for the poor against rugged individual competition in which the winners get more security than the losers.

Obama, of course, is a liberal guy - a community organizer who fundamentally believes that the American deck is stacked against many poor folks who, through no fault of their own, have been denied opportunities by society. So the president believes that it is government's responsibility to give those people as much money as possible. Free health care is free money.

That puts Obama squarely against Benjamin Franklin, who said, 'When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.' Franklin realized that politicians who attempted to buy votes by promising rich entitlements could not look out for the good of the entire country. Thus, an inevitable decline would occur.

There is no question the American health care system needs reform. But that can be accomplished with strict federal oversight on abuses in the industry and tax breaks for folks who put money away for their medical care. Of course, safety nets for the poor and destitute must be available, and those should come in the form of free government-run clinics.

But Obama wants to take it much further - he wants the government to control costs and give free health insurance to millions. That might very well bankrupt the U.S. You don't have to look any further than the universal health care mess in Massachusetts to see disaster ahead.

Even though he remains a popular politician, Obama is becoming increasingly estranged from the American people. According to a new Rasmussen poll, 69 percent of Americans believe the USA is a fair and decent country. Sixty-five percent want fewer government services and lower taxes.

Despite a hard sell from the hard left, the socialist vision of 'providing' for the poor is not taking root in America. Simply put, most folks support making your own way and do not believe the feds should create massive entitlements.

Here's the interesting question: How far will Obama push government-controlled health care? Will he risk his entire administration on it? Right now, the folks are extremely skeptical because the president cannot articulate specifics. I do not expect that to change.

America is the most successful nation the world has ever seen. It provides more freedom and opportunity to its citizens than any other place. But there are millions of Americans who have failed and will continue to fail to pursue happiness effectively. Obama wants to assist them using the nation's treasure, which is basically derived from its hardworking population. He wants to redistribute wealth in the name of compassion.

The argument has its emotion. But remember, Benjamin Franklin would not have supported national health care.

Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News.