Obama: “If You’ve Been Successful, You Didn’t Get There On Your Own”

posted at 2:01 pm on July 16, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

In a Friday speech in Roanoke, Virginia, President Obama attacked the idea that the wealthy get that way on their own. From the Real Clear Politics partial transcript:

[L]ook, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Jazz Shaw tagged this part of the speech in a post on Saturday, and noted that President Obama is taking this part of his speech almost directly from the mouth of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. Back in 2011 Warren famously said the following:

“You [wealthy people] moved your goods on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces the rest of us paid for.”

This is a fantastic campaign line. Or, rather, it should have been, but as Jazz pointed out it fell down around Warren’s ears. Perhaps the rhetoric couldn’t stand up against the facts, such as the following:

1. The wealthy already pay more taxes than everyone else, both as a percentage of total federal taxes collected and as a percentage of their own income. So unless Obama is seeing different facts than the rest of us, upper-income earners are definitely not getting a free ride, or even half of a free ride, on the backs of middle-class earners. So the “somebody” who “invested” in “publicly funded widget XYZ” is actually the wealthy person Obama is bashing.

2. Unless wealth was earned dishonestly, it belongs first and foremost to its earner. Otherwise, we no longer have a country of free people earning money and paying a small amount of it (or, rather, what should be a small amount, and would be if our federal government was the size the Constitution dictated it ought to be) to taxes. Instead, we have a nation of people who earn money first and foremost for government. Combined with the recent Supreme Court decision that forced contracts are now legal (my interpretation, at least, of the practical implication of the Court’s decision that the mandate is a tax), this attitude by the highest office-holder in the land is quite dangerous. Not new, of course — liberals have used this language at least as long as I’ve been around, which is an ancient nearly-27 years — but dangerous.

3. I’ve long argued with liberal friends and acquaintances that even if  business owners (especially wealthy ones) don’t pay “enough” in taxes, their contributions to society through an expanded tax base, an expanded economic pie, providing income for employees and their families, providing employees with the opportunity to learn and use skills, etc. more than make up for any perceived lack of taxation. I have yet to convince any liberals of the validity of this argument, but hope springs eternal.

4. Tangentially-related, most of the social services and publicly-funded investments Obama is talking about aren’t even paid for by the people he is pandering to. In fact, the taxes covering those programs are largely paid for by the very people he’s bashing. As I wrote last week:

While almost all Americans do pay some sort of federal taxes – from taxes on cigarettes to payroll taxes…the 50% or so of taxpayers who don’t pay non-payroll income taxes benefit from federally-funded roads, education services, immigration control, the military and other federal services. Who, then, pays for these services? According to the Tax Foundation in an October 2011 report, “The top 5 percent earned 31.7 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes.” In short, most taxes for non-retirement social spending – the same social spending liberals are so keen on expanding – are being paid by those people liberals also say don’t pay enough in taxes – the top five percent, whose income was a relatively modest $154,643,000 in 2009, according to the Tax Foundation.

The facts stand on their own, and are more powerful than any rhetorical devices Obama or Warren can come up with — the wealthy pay their fair share, on average, and while the tax system is certainly deficient (it provides many well-connected rich Americans with special loopholes, and prevents 50% of workers from paying any non-payroll income taxes at all, to name but two flaws) it does not need higher rates while spending continues to grow unchecked and without proper oversight. Obama wants higher taxes? How about we cut spending by 20% or 30% as a trade-off or, better yet, simply eliminate loopholes and apply some of the extra tax revenue to deficit reduction and the rest to lower rates for everyone? Would that be the balanced approach he allegedly wants, and claimed to be for on Friday?


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Hey, why dont you show us your college transcripts to really see how that works about not being successful on your own!

Lynken on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Excellent, well reasoned response, Dustin.

This would have been the perfect graphic for the Main page:

Where does THIS statement fit?

with the subtitle, “Hint: More to the right than the center”

The other logical contradiction beyond the most successful PAY the most taxes?

American Exceptionalism built all the infrastructure with the taxes on the most successful Americans.

PolAgnostic on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Hey, didn’t we pay for your education? That means we control your brain. Oh just a small part, just a tiny, insignificant, delicious part. You won’t miss it at all.

xuyee on July 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

And you want to take credit for even a small portion of obamas brain for what reason?

chicken thief on July 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The government didn’t really get involved with building roads and bridges until the early 20th century. Until then, the vast majority of them were privately capitalized.

I know. I was really referring to the Romans and the Interstate Highway system that leftists love to talk about (which was a defense program).

Same with the railroads. The rail routes from the East Coast out to Chicago were all built with private funds long before the US Government started to bankroll the “Intercontinental” Railroad in the middle of the 19th century.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Yep. Same with hospitals. It’s funny how the leftists like to give the impression that the government created the health care system. I like to point out to them that there’s a reason most hospitals are named “Mt. Sinai” or “St. Someone of Somewhere”. Religious charities built many of them and private contractors the rest.

Government “investment” in health care, however, is also interesting in that it has only ever been beneficial when it came via military necessity. Outside of that, government meddling in health care has been singularly destructive.

The only government spending that has ever done anything of value is defense spending because it has to be done according to necessity and it must achieve certain goals and solutions, unlike regular government spending which just throws money at any hairbrained scheme that comes around and ends up wasting money and perverting industries.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

This is one huge load of offensive BS, but what I find particularly galling is Obama’s (and Warren’s) conception — and on the evidence, they really believe this — that if you ever use any public good, then the government owns you from that point, and has moral claim on anything you have or make.

jwolf on July 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

It goes even farther than that. The Left believes that all of your money (read: private property, labor) belongs to the government first. Then, they let you keep some of it.

visions on July 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

How on earth did businesses ever succeed before there were paved roads? Or roads at all?

Ward Cleaver on July 16, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Roads … another important advancement brought to civilization by military necessity. But military spending is the only thing the America-hating leftists douches want to cut to nothing.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM
The government didn’t really get involved with building roads and bridges until the early 20th century. Until then, the vast majority of them were privately capitalized.

Same with the railroads. The rail routes from the East Coast out to Chicago were all built with private funds long before the US Government started to bankroll the “Intercontinental” Railroad in the middle of the 19th century.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

The Roman Empire built roads throughout thier vast empire and they were all built at government expense. That was what allowed the Romans to hold thier empire so long because they worked to keep it together. However, in the end the corruption and increased welfare roles sapped the strength and the empire fell to the barbarians. Will our empire fall the same way. Et tu Brute?

logicman_1998 on July 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

He has it backwards. There would be no roads and infrastructure if not for hard working, business building individuals.

bopbottle on July 16, 2012 at 2:31 PM

From Daniel B. Klein, Santa Clara University and John Majewski, University of California – Santa Barbara:

Private turnpikes were business corporations that built and maintained a road for the right to collect fees from travelers. Accounts of the nineteenth-century transportation revolution often treat turnpikes as merely a prelude to more important improvements such as canals and railroads. Turnpikes, however, left important social and political imprints on the communities that debated and supported them. Although turnpikes rarely paid dividends or other forms of direct profit, they nevertheless attracted enough capital to expand both the coverage and quality of the U. S. road system. Turnpikes demonstrated how nineteenth-century Americans integrated elements of the modern corporation – with its emphasis on profit-taking residual claimants – with non-pecuniary motivations such as use and esteem.

Private road building came and went in waves throughout the nineteenth century and across the country, with between 2,500 and 3,200 companies successfully financing, building, and operating their toll road. There were three especially important episodes of toll road construction: the turnpike era of the eastern states 1792 to 1845; the plank road boom 1847 to 1853; and the toll road of the far West 1850 to 1902.

Curiously enough, the private turnpikes were a direct response to…

Prior to the 1790s Americans had no direct experience with private turnpikes; roads were built, financed and managed mainly by town governments. Typically, townships compelled a road labor tax. The State of New York, for example, assessed eligible males a minimum of three days of roadwork under penalty of fine of one dollar. The labor requirement could be avoided if the worker paid a fee of 62.5 cents a day. As with public works of any kind, incentives were weak because the chain of activity could not be traced to a residual claimant – that is, private owners who claim the “residuals,” profit or loss. The laborers were brought together in a transitory, disconnected manner. Since overseers and laborers were commonly farmers, too often the crop schedule, rather than road deterioration, dictated the repairs schedule. Except in cases of special appropriations, financing came in dribbles deriving mostly from the fines and commutations of the assessed inhabitants. Commissioners could hardly lay plans for decisive improvements. When a needed connection passed through unsettled lands, it was especially difficult to mobilize labor because assessments could be worked out only in the district in which the laborer resided. Because work areas were divided into districts, as well as into towns, problems arose coordinating the various jurisdictions. Road conditions thus remained inadequate, as New York’s governors often acknowledged publicly.

In other words, the private turnpikes were created as a response to the crappy roads the governments were building!

For Americans looking for better connections to markets, the poor state of the road system was a major problem. In 1790, a viable steamboat had not yet been built, canal construction was hard to finance and limited in scope, and the first American railroad would not be completed for another forty years. Better transportation meant, above all, better highways. State and local governments, however, had small bureaucracies and limited budgets which prevented a substantial public sector response. Turnpikes, in essence, were organizational innovations borne out of necessity – “the states admitted that they were unequal to the task and enlisted the aid of private enterprise” (Durrenberger 1931, 37).

I would suggest that our Hot Gas Democrats read more of this great piece. We all know you were never taught this stuff in Democrat Public School!

http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/klein.majewski.turnpikes

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

John Locke 2012! (I wish, heh):

Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.

Othniel on July 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

US Government started to bankroll the “Intercontinental” Railroad in the middle of the 19th century.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

That never gets old.

Lost in Jersey on July 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

If you been putting your extra cash into the stock market, if you’ve got a nice little portfolio — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it happen.

If you have been paying your mortgage on time for 30 yrs and paid off your house — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it happen.

If you worked your way through school and paid for all your tuition and books and living expenses without a loan or a credit card or a grant — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it happen

bitsy on July 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Its only been 2 days since he said. You’ve gotta give Romney a chance to formulate the best ways to attack it.
However, if he doesn’t start hitting it hard every day soon, I’ll have the same question.

dentarthurdent on July 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

So who shall we give credit for all of Husseins “accomplishments”, Karl Marx?

antipc on July 16, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Groucho.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Obama just spewed this particular gem on Friday. Anyway it’s hard to keep up with all the crap Obama comes up with.

claudius on July 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

PappyD61 on July 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM

barry is just a product of his environment…he’s not experienced enough, or bright enough, to critically analyze what he’s been taught.

to be fair, the academic left is mired in 19th polemic..and even the more more intelligent serious academics struggle with the history of the west, and it’s rapid economic growth which has been so generous with its benefits to the average person.

simpler people just open their eyes and say wow..the US really crushed the Soviets and so we need to be true to our legacy.

but, here’s a thought from a U of Chicago very smart person who is writing a series of books on the bourgeoisie …

What changed were habits of the lip. It’s not a “rise of the bourgeoisie,” but a rise in other people’s opinion of the bourgeoisie that makes for economic growth — as it is now doing in China and India. When people treat the marketeers and inventors as having some dignity and liberty, innovation takes hold. It was so to speak a shift in “constitutional political economy,” as James Buchanan puts the point. People agreed on the meta-rule of letting the economy go where it will. This contrasted with the earlier mentality, still admired on the left, that treats each act of innovation as an occasion to go looking for its victims. Victims there were, but they were greatly outnumbered by winners. It was ideas, not matter, that made the winners, and brought our ancestors from $3 to over $100 a day.

http://www.deirdremccloskey.com/weblog/2009/09/25/the-argument/

barry embodies those who dis-respect those that innovate and market…business is a dirty business to him

that is not progress…it is a retrogressing…eating all of our seed corn…for today’s benefit…and leaving nothing for tomorrow

it is beyond shocking that he gets more than 30 percent of the vote…people really are that stupid

r keller on July 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

We are talking Romney here. Nuff said. McCain 2.0.

kevinkristy on July 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Coming from Obama who wouldn’t know the first thing about starting a business. He’s a joke.

CW on July 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

“Because Romney is an idiot” is a phrase that will make it easier to last thru November.

lorien1973 on July 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Romney should be beating the crap out Obama over this!!! There should be non stop commercials playing this over and over and over again. Obama just showed his true colors. He couldn’t hide it any more and finally exploded.

brewcrew67 on July 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Not god Bless America, NO NO NO! God DAMN America! – Rev. Wright – Obama’s Pastor for 20 years.

brewcrew67 on July 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I started my business 20 years ago with $7k I had saved. Nobody gave me s*it. Later my bank gave me a credit line based on MY personal credit score so I could expand but that was not free at all. I had to pay for it! FUBO!!

faol on July 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

He’s just warming up the crowd to justify those tax hikes on “the rich” i.e. small business.

According to the Punk, they didn’t make it on their own, so the government is entitled to more.

Denigrate ingenuity, hard work and perseverance, toss in a heavy dose of class warfare, and voila! We have the Marxist in Chief, aka BO.

It’s always, always about taxes with this guy.

Cody1991 on July 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM
We are talking Romney here. Nuff said. McCain 2.0.

kevinkristy on July 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Actually, Romney has already responded, so give him some credit. JugEars’ blunder here only occurred as recently as this past Friday, so this is a relatively rapid response by Team Romney.

This needs to be the first of much repeated hammering by not only Mitt but also by GOP Super PACs. Hammer JugEars about this 24/7, all the way to November. TAKE NO PRISONERS!!

OneVision on July 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Obama: “If You’ve Been Successful, You Didn’t Get There On Your Own”

Obama: We’re all still waiting to find out how you got where you are.
No birth certificate, no college transcripts, no nothing.

timberline on July 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

ROADZ!!1! DERP

thirtyandseven on July 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Easy – private investment – as with the wagons, ships, railroads, etc.
Where did the government get the money to build the things they actually did build? – By taxing the people and business that were already successful.

dentarthurdent on July 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Yes, I know, which is why I clarified my post further down.

Dante on July 16, 2012 at 2:35 PM

.
The problem with these statements is that they are patently false to fact … especially in any fully developed country.

I am not going to engage in a discussion on this topic.

You are both letting your ideology override the overwhelming empirical data over centuries on the gross inadequacy of leaving the development of infrastructure to private investment (i.e. toll roads, etc.) with regards to meeting needs of the public (i.e. ability to defend coastal areas from invasion, general ease of access to markets for small entrepreneurs, etc).

The SCOAMF making one of his patented stupid arguments does not invalidate the need for INFORMED responses instead of ideological arguments.

Eminent domain has grown beyond it’s boundaries and needs to be curtailed (no better argument than the idiots in California looking to use it to “solve” the problem of people with underwater mortgages) but prior to its embodiment in law – private investors (i.e. robber barons) used their overwhelming advantages to thwart economic growth which would have competed with their EXISTING investments through innovation.

PolAgnostic on July 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

The founder of the company that I work for is probably one of the most liberal people I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. This statement from Obama has really ruffled his feathers. Heard him ranting pretty good about it on the phone this morning. If Obama thinks his base is going to nod their heads in agreement on this, he’s sorely mistaken. Some will, sure, but I’d wager it won’t be the majority.

I’m trying to hide my smirk, but haven’t been very successful.

tdpwells on July 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I wish Obama would just plainly announce his intention to nationalize our entire economy and get it over with.

bitsy on July 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Groucho.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Heh, at least Groucho was funny, there’s nothing funny about Hussein.

antipc on July 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Chairman Mao couldn’t have said it better himself!

maubman on July 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

John Locke 2012! (I wish, heh):

Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.

Othniel on July 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

That puts in mind this quotation:

“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name- liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny.”

Abraham Lincoln

Clearly El Presidente Downgrade and his cadre in the National Socialist Left would like to be able to do “as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor.”

They don’t care that almost half the country doesn’t pay federal income taxes, only that they can take from those who are still producing and condemn them as being greedy for wanting to keep more what they produce.

Clearly they are on the tyranny side of the equation of liberty and tyranny.

Chip on July 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Their must have been a shipment of nice fresh choom to the WH lately.

bitsy on July 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

When Obama gives a speech, it doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes lots of Strawmen willing to sacrifice themselves.

Mr. Wednesday Night on July 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I expect they are out interviewing the many small business men and women who’ll be starring in their ads from now until Election day. This has campaign nirvana written all over it.

JimK on July 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Breathe.
This is shallow Elizabeth Warren- OWS – 99% BS rhetoric.

You bite on this- you lose – suckahs.

Team Mitt needs to ignore this as much as Bain. Do NOT ask the voting public to parse the socialist ideology of Ocommie. Yes, with a learned voting public, you can refute the folly of this rhetoric. These liberal aholes still believe its the government’s money and none of it is generated by the private sector.

KEEP THE FOCUS ON THE COMMIE IN CHIEF !!! not Romney.

FlaMurph on July 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Just more of that rhetoric where Barry proves that he’s a UNITER, not a DIVIDER!

GarandFan on July 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.

That quote fascinates me. I’d love to hear what all the business people I know who worked 80 hour weeks to build their businesses think of this. As someone who worked my butt off (literally–my lower back took a year to heal after I left years later) as an employee at one of those new businesses, I do not think highly of the president’s assessment of my efforts.

And most of all I admire the risk that all these business owners took to build their businesses. Many ultimately failed, but their employees made decent livings and gained great experience.

juliesa on July 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

So the guy working 90 (or more) hours a week to keep his small business going, who pays all sorts of taxes on his employees as well as on his own income, who spends many hours of his time and thousands of dollars of his money complying with numerous government regulations, who stays up nights worrying about meeting payroll during the lean times, this guy didn’t build his business?

But the welfare queen living in Section 8 housing with her 6 kids by 6 different men, who pays her bills with her EBT card, who spends her days in front of her t.v. and talking on her “free” cell phone (paid for by the forced “donations” of people who pay for their own cell phones) — she did build the guy’s business?

Is that how it works, Barry?

AZCoyote on July 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I’d like to take this time to recommend this little book:

The Myth of the Robber Barons

Great, quick read and relevant to the topic at hand. Carry on…

visions on July 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

US Government started to bankroll the “Intercontinental” Railroad in the middle of the 19th century.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

That never gets old.

Lost in Jersey on July 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Some more examples of the Gubbmint’s “expertise” in building infrastructure can be seen in two cases relating to the Interstate Highway system.

Here in New Hampshire, the completion of one of our north-south Interstates, I-93, was delayed for decades thanks to the tree huggers who were afraid that the construction as it passed thru Franconia Notch would make the Old Man of the Mountain fall from its perch above on Cannon Mountain. As a result, that section of the road didn’t open until 1988, a full 20 years after 93 had been completed just to the south of that. And the Old Man fell down anyway, 15 years later. Had nothing to do with the road.

And in Hawai’i, “Interstate” H-3 was delayed a full 30 years by the tree huggers. It ended up being just another Interstate on concrete piers, as the Government apparently made no attempt to construct it in an aesthetic way.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Let’s see if you are successful you owe it all to government.

Can I assume the un-successful should also blame government, and not themselves.

I wager there are more un-successful than successful; Therefore government is the problem not the solution.

Dasher on July 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

I’m angry. I built my business by working seven days a week for years and years. I was here working, not Obama or anybody else. I built this business despite government, not with the help of the government. This jackass has to go in November.

txsurveyor on July 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM

As I’ve been saying in postings today, people were doing business in this country long before it was a country and long before “roads” or “da’ gubmint” existed. Here are some other important historical tidbits for Ochoomin’ who missed them bcuz he apparently spent history class in a purple haze:

The reason the Erie Canal was built in the early 1800s was to connect eastern ports to the Great Lakes to facilitate existing business and commerce and to transport the goods from those businesses faster and cheaper. Canals, roads, and eventually the railroads were all built or improved upon in order to shorten transport times and reduce costs in order to enhance the businesses that already existed and to assist even more commerce. Weren’t the railroads themselves built to turn a profit for somebody? Only after the automobile was created and the business was enhanced by the assembly line to make them more affordable and more common was there a need to build more roads and to improve on existing dirt roads so that more cars could be driven more easily and quickly–the roads weren’t built first.

Oh, and btw, wasn’t the need to standardize and regulate interstate commerce in the fledgling USA one of the reasons why a stronger document like the US Constitution was needed, written and adopted to replace the weaker Articles of Confederation? But why would we expect a phony fraudulent Constitutional scholar (sic) to know that?

stukinIL4now on July 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM

If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Let’s analyze this, shall we?

He was admitted to Harvard and to law school, because of his skin color. He became a State Senator, because of his skin color. He became a United States Senator, because of his skin color.

It looks to me like he and his skin color made it on their own.

That is, if you call Affirmative Action/Institutional Racism … making it on your own.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Can’t. Take. This. Parasite. Much. Longer.

nico on July 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

To some extent, what Obama said is true.

Without a social contract, without laws, and property rights, and courts . . . there would be little chance for these businesses to create wealth.

but, his formation begs the question – how much of what the gov’t does is essential or even necessary for that? Roads. National defense. Police. Courts. That is about it.

Are other things gov’t does necessary for the basic social contract that allows business to exist?

No. That is the problem with this argument. Liberals are arguing that b/c we have a social contract, we must fund every one of their idiotic schemes.

Monkeytoe on July 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I can’t wait for Obama’s speech in Cincy, OH is over today. The media is treating it like the second coming. I’m sure it will provide some OOTDs.

HellCat on July 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I’m convinced that Zero spends all day re-reading Commie literature.

Oh, and it takes a village, ya know.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

“Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”

No, Mr. Obama, government research created the Internet so we could more effectively kill our enemies. The idea was to create a computer network that connected universities and other labs doing research for the Pentagon that could withstand a nuclear attack on one or more of the nodes and still operate for the rest of the network. The multiplicity of routing paths means that a large part of the network could be down and the rest would still function.

Every example that advocates of big government cite as successful government investment in technology: the internet, integrated circuits used in the space effort, and the GPS system, flowed out of the federal government’s legitimate constitutional role of providing for our defense. That’s a far cry from the gov’t playing venture capitalist. I don’t know if Obama and other lefties don’t understand this or if they are deliberately conflating funding defense research with Obama’s version of cronyism.

The Internet and Solyndra are apples and rutabagas.

rokemronnie on July 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Excuse me for heaven’s sake…..Government was established by the people. It was originally and continues to be funded by taxpaying people and businesses (the private sector). Governmental budgets, deficits and even our national debt are funded by people and businesses (again the private sector). Some of our debt is being purchased by foreign governments and businesses. The money still comes from the private sector, people and businesses paying taxes in foreign countries. So, it is not difficult for us to expect our government to serve the people rather than the people serve the government. Please, someone inform President Obama, his economic team, and his political party.

Rodger on July 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

We owe the success of the Space Program to Eberhard Faber, and whoever made those slide-rules.

Dexter_Alarius on July 16, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Obama’s constituents are fine with Bread & Circuses…

workingclass artist on July 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM

“You [wealthy people] moved your goods on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces the rest of us paid for.”

Actually the wealthy paid those taxes to build those roads also. So are you insinuating that those who DON’T pay taxes shouldn’t be allowed to use the roads?

…I really wish someone would have called out Elizabeth Warren when she said that!

dominigan on July 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Obamuh is pandering to the very people who are the foundation for the malignancy known as Communism – that is, to those people who hate the success of others.

It is those people, and Obamuh, who desire that the fruits of the successful be redistributed to the pockets of those who resent the successful.

It’s just class-warfare, day [insert number].

OhEssYouCowboys on July 16, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Because Romney was not meant to win. There was a deal between the dem and rep establishment, that they hold the office till 2016 then the pub bites will hold it with jeb bush for 2 terms then the dems get it back.

I warned earlier, if you don’t see romney hitting back hard after being attacked or taking advantage of things Obama said there was a back door deal. It won’t matter how much Romney has we won’t spend it till the final 2 weeks. Of not all of it then it will go to Lindsey grahm and Collins and them.

Conservative4ev on July 16, 2012 at 3:41 PM

He’s right you know. We owe our success to the government… staying out of our business & our wallets that is. On the other hand many of our FAILURES we owe to the government also… when it throws roadblocks in the way & tells us what we have to do (with our business and our money).

PackerFan4Life on July 16, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Obama: “If You’ve Been Successful, You Didn’t Get There On Your Own”

That’s right! Republicans who worked to abolish slavery and pass Civil Rights legislation gave you the opportunity that enabled you to become President of the United States! You should thank them!

ROFL! Who am I kidding…

dominigan on July 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM

OhEssYouCowboys on July 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

You have a really good point, Poke. One reason Obama would think everyone had to be boosted along by a mess of government programs is that that’s the only thing he knows.

J.E. Dyer on July 16, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Has mitt hit back yet?
He needs to now!

cmsinaz on July 16, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Crickets chirping i bet… anyone know

cmsinaz on July 16, 2012 at 3:46 PM

That’s right you greedy tools. If the tax collector hadn’t been knocking the gold teeth out of the peasants, you wouldn’t have anywhere near that successful business you have now.

Red Creek on July 16, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Al Gore not avaialble for comment about who invented that Internet thing…

PatriotRider on July 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Guess that’s why in our trucking business we hafta pay out the a-hole in for all sorts of permits & fees & stuff. Cuz we didn’t build anything. So tax the living crap out of us. Thank you for reminding me, OBama, that my freedoms to pursue happiness only exists at the Federal Govt’s PLEASURE. Oh, & thank you for growing all of the grass that my cows eat Federal Govt. I couldn’t raise calves without you, taxing the $hit out of me!

BTW-I actually don’t need roads to raise cattle. I can drive them to market on foot. It’s only 30 miles to the nearest sale barn.
10 minutes ago

Badger40 on July 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

The government didn’t really get involved with building roads and bridges until the early 20th century. Until then, the vast majority of them were privately capitalized.

Same with the railroads. The rail routes from the East Coast out to Chicago were all built with private funds long before the US Government started to bankroll the “Intercontinental” Railroad in the middle of the 19th century.

Del Dolemonte on July 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

This is something people don’t talk about.
My ancestor Cornelius Vanderveer settled in E. KY after the Rev. War.
There were no roads.
He, & his fellow community members actually went out & helped build a road out of nothing. Felling trees, etc. to make a track for wagons.
Where was the Federal Government back then?

Badger40 on July 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Crickets chirping i bet… anyone know

cmsinaz on July 16, 2012 at 3:46PM

This was posted a little earlier:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/16/romney-campaign-calls-obama-remark-to-business-owners-insulting/

Night Owl on July 16, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Night Owl on July 16, 2012 at 3:56 PM

From that article I find very appealing:

“Obama is trying to create the intellectual space to take money away from people. He’s trying to say, ‘What you do on the playing field would never be possible without the help of the government,’” he said.

We all know it.
Obama is an effing Communist.

Badger40 on July 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Has there ever been an American politician with such contempt towards success?

I’m assuming Obama’s worldview is shaped by his own personal experiences. He has never been able to achieve anything on his own, so he can’t comprehend how anyone else could possibly do so.

In his view all successful people were handed that success just like he was. Therefore they should have to give more. Their “fair share”. Because hey, it was given to them by somebody else.

The man is as un-American as can be.

ButterflyDragon on July 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

It’s bad enough that we have a President who believes these things, but the supposedly American people who agree with him is the really scary thing. We can, with effort, get rid of him, but what is to be done about them?

Night Owl on July 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I am not going to engage in a discussion on this topic.

PolAgnostic on July 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Wise move.

Dante on July 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Thanks night owl….. been out of the service most of the day

cmsinaz on July 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

This guy is such a flaming a$$hole, and this line should prove that there is no doubt. This coming from a POS who NEVER even ran a lemonade stand, NEVER had a job where he had to produce something, has NO idea how the economy works.

I wish I could tell you exactly how I feel in words that would express that. But I’d get banned for sure. Obama is nothing more than a stinking piece of ^%$^$^&$%^% that should be #%^&^&%

NOMOBO on July 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Well- if were gonna play that game Obie….. you freakin phony-

DON’T WE REALLY OWE EVERYTHING WE HAVE TO GOD THEN ?

Really, Where did the sand come from to make the concrete ?
Where did the coal and trees come from ?
- you ignorant commie a$$hole.

You want Big Government to take credit for all that?

FlaMurph on July 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Thanks night owl….. been out of the service most of the day

cmsinaz on July 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

You’re welcome!

Night Owl on July 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM

DON’T WE REALLY OWE EVERYTHING WE HAVE TO GOD THEN ?……

You want Big Government to take credit for all that?

Odds are that the Parasite-in-Chief would consider these questions redundant.

nico on July 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

You didn’t build your business.

And the people who really built your business didn’t really build it, someone else built it.

And they didn’t build it either when you think about it, others did.

Akzed on July 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Obooba opining on anything having to do with economics inspires as much confidence as a doctor using goat entrails and dice to diagnose me.

Akzed on July 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM

DON’T WE REALLY OWE EVERYTHING WE HAVE TO GOD THEN ?

FlaMurph on July 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

No.

Dante on July 16, 2012 at 4:56 PM

As idiotic and insane as this sounds to normal people, we have to bear in mind that it makes absolutely perfect sense to liberals.

If you think of the government as God then, since it’s responsible for creating everything, it also owns everything. Ergo, you should be thankful for even the tiniest scrap it lets you keep. And if you are stingy with your sacrifices, you are being “greedy,” and even the most horrific wrath is fully justified.

logis on July 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I’m sure that when Obama is at his Hollywood fundraisers he reminds the famous and wealthy celebrities that they didn’t get there by themselves: they didn’t invent the technology of creating movies, they didn’t build the production companies or the theatres, etc., etc., etc. And to his famous and wealthy athletes who support him, I’m sure he reminds them that they didn’t get there by themselves: they didn’t take the financial risks to create the leagues and the teams, they didn’t they didn’t build the stadiums, etc., etc., etc.

I’m sure he says those things.

/sarc

Logic on July 16, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Marxist to the core…

d1carter on July 16, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Why can’t HotAir have a like button?

Colorado Anne on July 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Is it Hannity or Beck who always says it? “I never had a poor person give me a job.”

Colorado Anne on July 16, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Somebody invested in roads and bridges.

And since the politician who “invested” in bridges couldn’t build them himself, he paid some for-profit engineering firm to design the bridge, and paid some for-profit steel mill to make the trusses, and paid some for-profit concrete company to pour the foundations, and bought asphalt from some for-profit oil company to provide the road surface, and the laborers who actually built the bridge were paid to do it.

All these people made MONEY building that wonderful bridge for you, Bammie! But would they have built it for free? Probably not! Slavery was outlawed back in 1863, by a Republican President!

Steve Z on July 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Small businesses are making the concious decisiion not to hire not to purchase equipment not to take any risks until Obama leaves. We’ve never felt so personally attatcked by our so called leaders. I have disagreed with past presidents but have never felt like they wanted to destroy everything that I believe in. How did we get here in under four years? Obama and his ilk were insidiously infiltrating the education system and government while we were out working building something for ourselves and our families.

ldbgcoleman on July 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

We have to take into consideration who his audience was for this speech but what a slap in the face to the millions of hard working business people in this country who pay his dam# salary. His problem is that this is exactly the way he’s ‘made it’.

Kissmygrits on July 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM

He may have a passport, but Obama is not an American…nor does he believe in the American dream…

albill on July 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Colorado Anne on July 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

don’t do that…that’s a facebook thingy and they’re obama fans…don’t want to give them anything

cmsinaz on July 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Did you folks see him on the TV today, defending these statements at campaign stops or town halls? He seemed to get his dialects confused, slipping in and out of what Dingy Harry called “n___ dialect”, or maybe inventing some third dialect.

He was pronouncing some words like I’ve never heard them said before, by anyone.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Why isn’t Romney hammering Obama on a daily basis for this comment mindset?

VinceOfDoom on July 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

But I know what you mean, Vince.

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 6:43 PM

[L]ook, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

I’m always struck by how each concept he expresses always follows logically the one preceding it. /

And the minions applaud.

*facepalm*

Cleombrotus on July 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM

All these people made MONEY building that wonderful bridge for you, Bammie! But would they have built it for free? Probably not! Slavery was outlawed back in 1863, by a Republican President!

Steve Z on July 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

And let’s not forget where the gubmint got the money to do those things to begin with – by taxing the people and businesses that were already successful. The chicken and egg equation is pretty easy in this case – there had to be successful people with money to pay taxes first in order for the government to be able to do ANYTHING.

dentarthurdent on July 16, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Al Gore not avaialble for comment about who invented that Internet thing…

PatriotRider on July 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

DARPA may have invented the concept of the Internet. But they designed it primarily for military communications. Beyond that they didn’t have a clue. Eventually it was expanded to include universities that worked with the military on various projects.

So okay the government created the basic structure, but they were basically clueless. It took private interests, and profit motive to make it work for the masses. Since the profit motive entered the picture the growth of the Internet has multiplied beyond ones imagination.

But even without the original DARPA effort the Internet would have happened.

Dasher on July 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Why can’t HotAir have a like button?

Colorado Anne on July 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Or an Edit button.

Dasher on July 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I am not going to engage in a discussion on this topic.

PolAgnostic on July 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Wise move.

Dante on July 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Seconded.
After seeing Dante’s clarification, I think we’re on the same page.
I have no idea what PolAgnostic is thinking.

dentarthurdent on July 16, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Wellllll, since I can’t do it on my own without big nanny government holding my hand or making everything easy and possible for me, I’ll just skip that startup company I was planning and just let government do it.

Unless what the scumbag in chief really meant was that government can’t do anything without US, then I’m inclined to agree, at least on the point that it’s supposed to work that way.

But NOTHING works in obamacommies little world. Everything is welfare, foodstamps, crony paychecks, etc.

Wolfmoon on July 16, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Why can’t HotAir have a like button?

Colorado Anne on July 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Or an Edit button.

Dasher on July 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Please; this site barely runs, let’s not load it down with another bucket of software.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2012 at 7:10 PM

“You didn’t build that. “

But I can damn sure tear it down for you. 0

Bmore on July 16, 2012 at 7:18 PM

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Fine, how about one of these then? They are really quite impressive.

Bmore on July 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

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