0

So, who is this elusive 'somebody' Obama mentioned?

President Obama struck a raw nerve Friday when he made statements during a campaign swing through Pennsylvania that, in the eyes of many, denigrated entrepreneurship to little more than blind luck and the good works of every other person -- especially the government -- rather than the business person's own drive, sweat and initiative.

"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," Obama told a group of college students. "Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

"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.

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

What was left out was the rest of the story, as the late radio commentator Paul Harvey might have said. Who is the "somebody" that Obama referred to? His comments leave you -- and those college students -- with the feeling that it is the government, specifically the federal government.

It's not. The "somebody" who made all those things possible is the taxpayer.

How did the government build America's transportation system? It spent money sent to it by taxpayers, not the least of which were business owners.

How did the government fund the research that created the Internet? It spent money sent to it by taxpayers, which include business people.

How did that special teacher pay for his or her mortgage or rent, buy food and clothes, buy and put gas in the car to get to work? You know the answer as well as we do. Money was sent to the state, local and federal governments by the taxpayers, which include business people.

Government is not the benefactor of business. People and businesses that pay taxes are the benefactors of government. The idea that government has redrawn the symbolic Uncle Sam from a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work kind of guy to a free-spending dotty old uncle who ought to be wearing red and white fur and riding in a sleigh is abominable.

The facts are that no one is going to create a business just for you and hand it to you with a big, pretty bow under a lighted tree. Government has no business taking tax money from others and borrowing even more from foreign governments so it can drop cash in your hand just because you're a heck of a nice person. Government doesn't give Americans a blessed thing. It takes money in the form of taxes -- a procedure Washington has turned into a fine art -- and spends it. Government didn't give Americans bridges, roadways, airports, the Internet, schools, colleges, universities or anything else. We use and fund government to create the infrastructure we use.

At least that's the way it should work.

The problem is, we have given our government power that has gone to its collective head. In the minds of many in D.C., we are incapable of accomplishing the most menial of tasks without the watchful supervision of lawmakers, the White House and bureaucrats. Listen to both Democrats and Republicans when they talk about tax "cuts." Invariably they'll say, "We're allowing people to keep more of their hard-earned money."

Taxpayers are the ones who should be doing the allowing. Sooner or later -- we hope, at least -- Americans will figure out that we are the dog and that Washington is the tail, and it's been wagging us for far too long.

Comments

Abytaxpayer 1 year, 9 months ago

How do you tell a Romney supporter from an Obama supporter?

Romney supporters sign their checks on the front.

Obama supporters sign them on the back.

Everything you get from the

GOVERNMENT

was TAKEN from someone else!

1

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

That poster is PERFECT!!! A work of GENIUS!!

0

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

Obama's revealing his blatant COMMUNIST beliefs.

2

TheBoss 1 year, 9 months ago

The 'somebody' could be ... the "Tooth Fairy"? "Easter Bunny"? "Santa Claus" ? "Peter Pan"? ... or what he really is hoping for "Obama"

0

Cartman 1 year, 9 months ago

Kudos to the Herald Editorial Board! This nation was built on a work ethic that seems to elude our current President. His little Freudian slip explained a lot, regarding his belligerent attitude towards both business and traditional American ideals.

3

Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

To a limited extent, Obama has a valid point. Obviously, no man is an island. Albany is full of employers who make hundreds of thousands a year or more, cannot operate their own business if their lives depended on it, and who refuse to provide adequate pay or even health insurance.

But its a chicken and egg argument. From whose mind did the initiative spring? Would it have gotten done without their hard work? After all, when the note payment comes due or the business gets sued, who is ultimately responsible?

1

whodat 1 year, 9 months ago

Once again, you deliberately obfuscate the point. Admittedly, it was an awkward statement, inelegantly uttered. But extreme libertarian views to the contrary, Americans –individually and collectively--have benefited from government largesse. It is a cycle: taxes paid into government coffers, which in turn are spent on programs decided on by your representatives. Anyone who has benefited from public education, public infrastructure, federal/state grants and loans for college, SBA loans or services for their business, tax credits for their business, federal/state grants and loans for their business---has had help along the way. This is what Obama meant. And while you are wasting time trying to demonize Obama’s philosophy of government, you are selectively ignoring the fact that Republicans are blocking his (Obama) efforts to help small business. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/12/news/la-pn-republicans-block-smallbusiness-tax-break-on-procedural-vote--20120712

1

Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

thanks for telling us what obama meant. Did you call you and tell you?

0

buddy 1 year, 9 months ago

No one has to waste time "demonizing" Obama...that's is the one job he is very qualified to do himself!

4

Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Where did the government get the money that it provides for these programs?

2

Abytaxpayer 1 year, 9 months ago

Everything you get from the GOVERNMENT was TAKEN from someone else!

2

MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

YOU JUST PROVED HIS POINT.

0

Progressive 1 year, 9 months ago

More racist dribble from the dumb masses. No one is trying demonize Obama. The problem is when the FACTS are presented, the self-righteous left want to throw mud back in your eyes trying to get you to look the other way. For instance, why do you say "Republicans are blocking his (Obama) efforts to help small business"? Did you ever think it could be the Dems that are blocking progress by sticking with their socialist views? The Repubs are tyring to protect our freedoms and Obama has repeatedly shown he wants to become a dictator.

1

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

The top 5% of income earners in the USA pay 65% of all Federal Income Tax taken in by the Federal Government. That's FAIR????? ???? ????

0

FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

Elect Ron Paul President. Turn Republicans and Democrats upside down and you can't tell the difference. They're all the same. Reduce the size of government by reducing the intrusion of government. Term limits for Congress. Restrict former Congress members from lobbying. When the Republicans under Newt's contract on America pledged term limits, what happened? Shake the system up. Elect Ron Paul president.

0

Sign in to comment