Rasmussen: 72% think small business owners did “build that”

posted at 2:01 pm on July 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama handed Mitt Romney a gift with his “You didn’t build that” comment, and not just Mitt Romney, either.  Scott Brown has begun using Obama’s quote to attack Elizabeth Warren, the undisputed source of that political argument in this election cycle, in the Senate race in Massachusetts, too.  I suspect that the quote will feature in other House and Senate races for Republicans as well, and help define this election cycle as a referendum on where voters believe economic prosperity originates — the public or the private sector.

If so, Republicans have a large advantage, according to Rasmussen’s latest poll:

Most Americans believe entrepreneurs who start businesses do more to create jobs and economic growth than big businesses or government. They also believe overwhelmingly that small business owners work harder than other Americans and are primarily responsible for the success or failure of their businesses.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe that people who start small businesses are primarily responsible for their success or failure. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 13% disagree. …

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters believe entrepreneurs who start small businesses do more to create jobs and economic growth than big businesses or government programs. Sixteen percent (16%) think big businesses do the most when it comes to creating jobs and economic growth. Eleven percent (11%) feel state and local government programs deserve the most credit, while seven percent (7%) think federal government programs have the biggest impact.

What about the other argument in Obama’s speech — the one that Jazz Shaw found most repellent?

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.)

Rasmussen says that fares even worse than the “you didn’t build that” comment:

Seventy-seven percent (77%) believe small business owners work harder than other workers. Just two percent (2%) think they don’t work as hard.

The poll has plenty of bad news for Obama.  More than 8 out of 10 likely voters followed news stories of Obama’s remarks either closely or very closely (84%), with 43% saying they followed the story “very closely.”  Majorities of both men and women believe that small business does the most to create jobs and economic growth, from a list of four options.

More to the point, six in ten women and slightly more men (63%) say small businesses provide a more valuable service to the community than either big business, federal government, or state and local governments.  In fact, the federal government comes in dead last overall on that question, as well as with both gender demographics.  That’s true in practically every demographic; the only demographics where it’s not are Democrats, self-professed liberals, and the political class — and in all of these, it comes in 3rd place.  Even the youngest voter demographic (18-39YOs) have a majority of 55% choosing small business on this question, and only 5% choose the federal government.

The verdict is harsher on Obama’s other comment about everyone working equally hard.  More than three-quarters of respondents believe small-business owners to work harder than the typical worker.  Every demographic in this poll has a majority that disagrees with the President.  Even Democrats (65/26) and liberals (67/25) disagree by wide majorities on this issue.

If Obama wanted to deliberately set himself on the fringe of economic thought in the US, he could not have succeeded better.  Republicans need to hammer this point repeatedly over the next three months, and make this election about statist vs free-market economics.


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And here’s The Economist on the brouhaha – not extaclty a liberal rag:

And you wonder why you have zero credibility?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on July 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Whether, as Del has pointed out, you’re talking about the first roads and bridges which were actually privately built, or even now. The government itself does NOT build any roads or bridges – they tax people and businesses to get the money to turn around and give a contract to a private company to actually build it (preferably by competitive award and not crony socialist sole source).

dentarthurdent on July 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM

In fact, the very early privately capitalized roads arose out of necessity-because of the poor record to that time of the smaller forms of Government (towns, cities) in originally trying to build the roads.

Yes, the Governments in fact did build roads first, but just briefly. They sucked at it, so the private entrepreneurs took over.

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM

You’re such a good one. The other one also just surfaced, RWM.

On me being “caffeinated” – who needs that? I’m naturally high. Nothing is more schadenfreudig than to serve the leftists their own pap/crap.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Del…the lapdog to Schadenfreude riff…
is that just your thing now?

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

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.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

Lets explore the bolded part.

What about the people who aren’t successful? Did they not sit in the same class as the successful person? How is that explained? Does this mean that teachers pick and choose who will be successful or not? Who paid for the infrastructure? People who pay taxes, or those who do not? By and large, the people who pay taxes are the successful ones, no?

What part of my success is attributed to the welfare system?

BobMbx on July 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

You’re Boring.

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM

So Barry please tell us what business you created that gives you the right, to tell others they didn’t make it on their own. Show us the roads you built for others, show us the planes, trains and ships you built. Show us the one tangible thing you have produced, besides the BS you keep slinging at others. Show us where you have added any value to the wealth of this country. You’re a taker, a parasite that takes from the workers and gives to the lazy, for your political gain. As they say “Game Over, Man !!”

stormridercx4 on July 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM

This “you didn’t build that” idea is not new. For instance, one of the first American arguments for the Value-Added Tax was given by Paul Studenski,a Russian emigre and economics professor, who said,

Government would be treated as an agent of production in private enterprise, just as the entrepreneur, the lender of capital, management, and labor. It would share in the earnings of the enterprise together with the other agents of production, in proportion to its contribution thereto and, moreover, would share in them at the same time as they do.

The necessity of government framework for a successful economy is one of the tenets of socialism.

John Mauer on July 23, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Del…the lapdog to Schadenfreude riff…
is that just your thing now?

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

You nondiscerning moronic tiny little brain.

Del is a highly intelligent fact-driven analytical person who holds his/her own with superb aplomb.

No one can assess leftists better than Del and hand them the perfect grades, every time.

Also, Del is a businessperson who made it on own efforts.

You and Obama should not be allowed to walk in Del’s path.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

One can debate the merits of that policy view, but it takes a gymnastic reading of the piece to conclude that Mr Obama is fundamentally hostile to the free market.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Perhaps the President should speak more clearly if he thinks he’s being misunderstood. Then we wouldn’t have to analyze every word in order to reach some conclusion on what he actually said. I’m still stuck on the idea that the folks who already pay the vast majority of taxes need to pay more to reach their “fair share” because they owe “us” (Big Brother) for their success — seems like they should pay much less if we’re looking for the “fair share”.

littleguy on July 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Del is a highly intelligent fact-driven analytical person who holds his/her own with superb aplomb.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Ha.
Sometimes Schadenfreude gets to be the lapdog.
Very sweet.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM

re.

The Epistemic Closure of the Left

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-epistemic-closure-of-left_23.html

M2RB: Dave Matthews Band

Resist We Much on July 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM

ep·i·ste·mic

[ep-uh-stee-mik, -stem-ik]

adjective

of or pertaining to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it.

Axe on July 23, 2012 at 4:55 PM

You make some fair points, but the above reveals all too clearly the baggage you carry when listening to anything Obama says.

It’s more fair to say that before his Administration, I disagreed with pretty much every Administration on some issue at some point during my life.

So if I happen to disagree with this one a lot more than prior ones, then that’s on the Administration not me. I am at least being consistent.

Again, I just don’t see how you’d take offense. Well, that’s not true. I guess I can see how you might be offended as there was a bit of the speech, taken out of context, that has been blown up into some sort of proof of Obama’s socialism and deep deep hatred of capitalism and American entrepreneurship…or something.

Okay, then….Let’s put aside everything else about this Administration…Party, Affiliations, all of it.

They have had 4 years, 2 of which he would have had NO problem getting any financial restructuring to “save us” from the Economic Hell that the prior Admin left in place.

4 years. They passed multiple spending bills and loan guarantees, etc and it *failed*. Unemployment still 5% over the prior Admin, etc etc.

Tell me…..forgetting who’s watch and who’s idea it was…do *you* support the person that came up with it?

How about a look at parts of the same speech –

“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.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

Issue with that?

Yes, because even the phrasing of that, isn’t correct.

My teacher may have taught me, but she was already paid to do so. To say it the prior way, it sounds as if i should be paying royalties to my teacher.

I think you and the President wanted to say “Inspired”.

Now with that mindset in play, when does it stop? With WHOM does it stop? I pay taxes, at what point do the people that pay the bill actually get to say “Enough”!

And here’s The Economist on the brouhaha – not extaclty a liberal rag:

Much of the conservative world, including the Romney campaign, seized on the bolded line, isolated from context, as an indicator of Mr Obama’s true feelings about capitalism and entrepreneurs—he discounts their efforts and feels entitled to the fruits of their labours. This is obviously nonsense. As both the context of the line and the content of the president’s policies make clear, he is not interested in shutting down private capital or confiscating profits. Rather, he is building an argument—clumsily here—that success is never an entirely individual act but is built on the efforts of many others and the joint investments made to build the infrastructure of the private economy. Therefore, his campaign ultimately argues, it is fair and sensible to raise the marginal tax rates of the very rich by a few percentage points in order to help balance the budget while maintaining investments in other priorities. One can debate the merits of that policy view, but it takes a gymnastic reading of the piece to conclude that Mr Obama is fundamentally hostile to the free market.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:27 PM

But The Economist having that POV, is missing a salient point.

The President, executing his ideas through his Party control of Congress for 2 years, were able to spend money on his ideas to improve the economy.

Now, look at the country financially speaking and tell me it worked.

BlaxPac on July 23, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Ha.
Sometimes Schadenfreude gets to be the lapdog.
Very sweet.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Del’s right.

You really are a bore. And not a very smart one.

But thanks for the laughs this afternoon – we all thoroughly enjoyed your abject stupidity and your attempts to turn yourself in to a pretzel in order to enlighten us on what your Messiah really meant.

Congratulations.

Note to Ed: get better trolls

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on July 23, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Perhaps the President should speak more clearly if he thinks he’s being misunderstood. Then we wouldn’t have to analyze every word in order to reach some conclusion on what he actually said.

littleguy on July 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The necessity of government framework for a successful economy is one of the tenets of socialism.

John Mauer on July 23, 2012 at 4:42 PM

The difficulty in arguing all this is that government has a legitimate role in life, and everything in life touches everything else. Sophistry is the resulting art. This whole painting is pretty easy to blur.

For example, it’s easy to be knocked around by the infrastructure argument. Someone points out that running water is a game changer for people, and without that massive convenience, all of life gets so much harder that time to start a business can’t be found, or can only be found through superhuman effort. So “government” is required to make it possible to start a business at all.

Those arguments can quiet the table. Until someone remembers their water bill.

Axe on July 23, 2012 at 5:06 PM

100 million of Obama dough down the drain.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Finally Americans get it.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Verb – I’ll spare you the lecture. I see the logic road you are going down, and it is very narrow and in fact works quite poorly with the argument you have advanced. His comments from a political perspective – regardless of how he wanted them to be understood – were about as stupid as Dukakis driving the tank.

Furthermore, even if your argument were to be accepted, and it is a stretch to accept yours over the more obvious one, for Obama to advance this, especially after Warren ran away from it after she dipped her toe into this rancid pool, is another example of how the brightest guy in the room isn’t.

Additionally, for a politician who is widely viewed to be very suspicious of business, unless it is adding to his re-election war chest, he is never going to receive the benefit of the doubt. The gaffe fits so perfectly because a substantial number of people realize that Obama really does feel the nation’s wealth comes from govt, not from the efforts of private citizens going about their daily business. His comment on hardworking and smart is perhaps the single most tone deaf statement made by any politician of my lifetime. He has single-handedly given the local democrat parties across the nation a massive lead weight to carry as the response from the small business community is one of amazement and anger. A small business community by the way that underwrites most of what each major political party does locally.

Obama articulated what most believe he truly feels, you are a ward of the state, to do the state’s bidding, and that the fruits of your labor are not your own. Clearly the leeches hanging on the welfare and disability rolls believe that. Obama has hinted at that on more than one occasion. You know what they say about handing out microphones, stupid comes out pretty quick.

I would say Obama pretty much screwed the pooch with this one, and no amount of excuse from you or the LSM is going to change that at all – we can argue about it here until the sun goes down – but he said it, and it has been understood to mean what most here say it means. It was played without splicing, and written within context, which is a lot more than what the NBCs, ABCs, CBSs and CNNs have ever done.

Zomcon JEM on July 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Obama is not that bright.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 5:13 PM

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on July 23, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Gee, what’s your take…on anything?

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Del is a highly intelligent fact-driven analytical person who holds his/her own with superb aplomb.

Schadenfreude on July 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Ha.

Sometimes Schadenfreude gets to be the lapdog.

Very sweet.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM

You just proved his point.

A+

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Verb – I’ll spare you the lecture.

Zomcon JEM on July 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM

But then…you didn’t.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

But then…you didn’t.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Your performance here today is the equivalent of that Buddhist in Viet Nam who self-immolated in the street.

Wonderful art, no point.

tom daschle concerned on July 23, 2012 at 5:28 PM

And here’s The Economist on the brouhaha – not extaclty a liberal rag:

Much of the conservative world, including the Romney campaign, seized on the bolded line, isolated from context, as an indicator of Mr Obama’s true feelings about capitalism and entrepreneurs—he discounts their efforts and feels entitled to the fruits of their labours. This is obviously nonsense. As both the context of the line and the content of the president’s policies make clear, he is not interested in shutting down private capital or confiscating profits. Rather, he is building an argument—clumsily here—that success is never an entirely individual act but is built on the efforts of many others and the joint investments made to build the infrastructure of the private economy. Therefore, his campaign ultimately argues, it is fair and sensible to raise the marginal tax rates of the very rich by a few percentage points in order to help balance the budget while maintaining investments in other priorities. One can debate the merits of that policy view, but it takes a gymnastic reading of the piece to conclude that Mr Obama is fundamentally hostile to the free market.

How is that supposed to be different than what we say he was saying? He is saying you owe the gov’t b/c the gov’t helped get you success and therefore you should be happy to pay more taxes. That is what we say he said and you claim he did not say.

And, that quote is a lie anyway. Obama is not arguing to raise the taxes on “the very rich”. He is looking to raise taxes on anyone making more than $200k single / $250k couple (and that will be lowered). Those figures aren’t “the very rich”. They are the “very middle class” or perhaps, depending on where you live, the upper middle class. but they are not “the very rich”. So, this economist piece is starting off in the tank by dishonestly claiming that.

but back to the main argument. Obama believes that if you are successful, you owe the federal gov’t. Why the federal gov’t? Why not charities? Why not your friends and family that helped you out?

It all goes back to the starting point for Obama and other leftists, that all good flows from the gov’t and therefore all praise (and money) is due to the gov’t.

No, this speech in and of itself doesn’t conclusively demonstrate Obama’s antipathy to free enterprise and capitalism. It is of a piece with his other statements, the people he associates with, and his policies. This speech standing alone, without the rest, would probably not be that objectionable all in all. When added to his resume, however, it shows what Obama really thinks.

Monkeytoe on July 23, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Verb – I wasn’t going to lecture on you on what he said regarding building business or roads and if he meant it or not – I guess you don’t read too well unless it is spelled out exactly as you need to hear it. It seems you have the same problem as that of which you accuse those who heard and read what Obama said about building your business. Take your pick, I wasn’t even arguing what exactly he said or meant – I even conceded it to you at one point.

I wrote about how stupid Obama was to say what he said however it would be interpreted.

Try again.

Zomcon JEM on July 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

verbaluce,

Even if I were to accept that the O’s storying was a bit constrained in telling but worthy philosophically, it doesn’t get a salute under any of the variously proposed iterations. If small business success is indeed largely dependent upon a support network of some type, infrastructure, education, fire and police protection provided by Uncle Sam- how did/does this country survive to this day?

My family has operated a small business in flyover country for the past 150 years or so. Had they not been successful I would not be here. When the family settled our lands there were no roads of any construct, government or otherwise, and the only trails were blazed by ourselves and neighbors. Water supply, sewage, electrical, mail service and educational institutions were individual indevours or tightly held collectives within the immediate community. When my ancestors needed to move product to market they organized with similar producers, rounded up the product, headed cross-country to the nearest point of sale … either Fort Worth, TX or somewhere in Kansas. No government assistance involved.

When I was a teenager we still has a party line telephone that served 12 families. We has a generator for power, mail service meant going to a unmanned post office with boxes 8 miles away on an unpaved road. The first publicly funded school was a one room affair that opened twelve miles away during the later 60′s.

We survived and progressed without government largess. Did our family, throughout many generations have support, help and mentorship? Hell yes, but it came from friends, family, faith and community.

Does anyone in the family owe a debt of gratitude to BIG Gov. HELL NO. We’ve all served, paid taxes, supported charity, maintained our faith in God, family and community without the largess of the government.

Whatever can be construed from O’s speech, we owe not a single iota of penance to him or his ilk. With that he is still welcome to flyover during his next trip to fairyland and we will afford him a suitably respectable one finger salute, guns and bibles in hand.

And you need to grab grab your bootstraps, pull on working attire, loosen your tighty whities so your balls can breathe, put down the “They owe me Koolaid” and get your lazy a$$ to work.

koaiko on July 23, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Barack Obama handed Mitt Romney a gift with his “You didn’t build that” comment, and not just Mitt Romney, either

Yep. Tactical error. Rush had it down today.

Now that Europe is sinking, the timing should have been set for an anti rich people Obama barrage so he can start promising redistribution up front of the coming election

This was to set the stage

Occupy Wall Street was part of the strategy but they didnt hire the right people. They should have kept out the white-college-activist mob and stuck to acorn busing. White college students with unknown sources of income are not a sympathetic group to minorities. Goes back to the Civil Rights era and the Sheena Queen of the Jungle syndrome (the white activists thought they were leading the minorities in the charge. Too patronizing)_

Obama’s handlers wrote language too ambiguous and now they cant re run. There are people who create businesses like Gates, and the guy with the gas station. People filled in the blanks and the handlers lost control of the image.

Work for a guy who cleans offices, and he will work you to death, along with his wife and nephew. Work for Bill Gates, and you are not one of the little people obama was trying to manipulate with his speeches.

Sometimes being a sneak does not pay

entagor on July 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

And here’s The Economist on the brouhaha – not extaclty a liberal rag:

And, I bet that you think Muffin Cameron is a right-wing conservative, too!

Obama: “You Are Nothing Without Government!!”

M2RB: Olive

The Late Steve Jobs Has A Few Words For Mr No-Jobs

M2RB: Simple Minds, Live Aid, Philadelphia, 13 July 1985

Resist We Much on July 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Your performance here today is the equivalent of that Buddhist in Viet Nam who self-immolated in the street.

Wonderful art, no point.

tom daschle concerned on July 23, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Most of the Leftist Trolls here Self-Immolate eventually. No need to ban them!

Del Dolemonte on July 23, 2012 at 7:17 PM

ep·i·ste·mic

[ep-uh-stee-mik, -stem-ik]

adjective

of or pertaining to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it.

I know. Obama is telling them to “hit the mute button” and not listen to any opinions, positions, stats, etc., that are in contradiction to what he says. He must really be worried about his reelection chances if he is too afraid that Americans might hear alternative solutions, actual data and stats, etc.

Resist We Much on July 23, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Obama is on T.V. now saying that his statement was taken out of context. It’s a “bogus issue”, he says.

Well…it was….and it is.

‘You didn’t build that’ was in reference to roads, bridges, etc. –

“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.”

Even clearer if you watch the clip.
But I understand that for many of you, it’s enough that you think that’s what he said and what you think he meant and what you think he believes.
Using the same leaps of logic, do you also think Romney isn’t worried about poor people?
Right.

verbaluce on July 23, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Uh, no. Let’s revisit and analyze.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help (who?). There was a great teacher somewhere in your life (who got paid with my tax dollars). Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive (thank you Founding Fathers). Somebody invested in roads and bridges (that would be me). If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that (I didn’t? Who did?). Somebody else made that happen. (Who?) 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. (Government? That would AGAIN be me)”

Fail, dude. Epic fail.

idalily on July 23, 2012 at 8:27 PM

All wealth is created in mining, manufacturing and agriculture. This is self evident when you consider that if you took everything away produced by those three industries you have nothing left.

How can government help promote the production of wealth? Consider a small town in the old west in need of being cleaned up, what do they do?

1. Hire a Sherrif so everybody does not have to have a body guard.
2. Build a school.
3. Add streets, sidewalks, utilities, etc.

Each of these things help commerce. They fuel the economic engine. They do not creat jobs or prosperity in and of themselves but they do help. Law enforcement, an educated work force, transportation systems and infrastructure all make commerce easier.

Government spending above and beyond this is a drag on the economy.

The private sector creates wealth. Goverment consumes wealth.

You cannot create wealth by consuming it.

End of story.

The Rock on July 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM

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