A very tough WSJ editorial today looking at RomneyCare, but it was the summary that really caught me:

For a potential President whose core argument is that he knows how to revive free market economic growth, this amounts to a fatal flaw. Presidents lead by offering a vision for the country rooted in certain principles, not by promising a technocracy that runs on “data.” Mr. Romney’s highest principle seems to be faith in his own expertise.

More immediately for his Republican candidacy, the debate over ObamaCare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election. On that question, Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible. If he does not change his message, he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket.

If a series of studies somehow (unlikely) showed that high taxes and nationalization of business would produce a higher standard of living, would I be for those policies? I would not, because that sort of society would be a far more oppressive one where a person would not be free to pursue happiness as he or she saw it. ¬†While numbers should inform decisions, it’s not always about following the data wherever it takes you. Not at all. I remember talking with a libertarian econ professor who said he used to believe that his side “had the better studies.” As he got older, he became a bit less sure of that. But he also really didn’t care since at the core of cosmology was a belief in the value of freedom.