Obama "You didn't build that"
RG Shakour is a beauty shop supply business on Route 9 in Westborough, MA. It is located in a non descript, one story brick building on the main commercial thoroughfare between Worcester and Boston. The only thing that distinguishes it against the other drab office and commercial buildings in this stretch is a large, white message board. The board usually features the company’s ads for sales or discounts. But for the past few weeks, the western facing side of the sign has this message: GOVT. DID NOT BUILD THIS NATION HONEST PEOPLE DID.
This is one small business’s reaction to comments made by President Barack Obama in front of a campaign audience in Roanoke, VA on July 13, 2012. In this speech , the president suggested businesses owe their success in large part to government. He demeaned and downplayed the effort and sacrifice made by people who have worked to build businesses. Here is part of Obama’s speech:
"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.
"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.
But many businesses did get where they are on their own.Jon Shakour president of the beauty supply firm, told the Worcester Telegram that in the 87 year history of the family business, they have never taken a government grant or loan. It isn’t the government that loses sleep over lost business or who sweats out making payroll every week. It isn’t the government that works 90 hour weeks to make a business successful. It’s hard working entrepreneurs.
And yes we all have had “help”. We drive to our jobs on roads and bridges we didn’t build. But we paid for them with our tax dollars. Those roads and bridges are patrolled by peace officers whose salary we pay. We send our children to schools we pay for, so they can continue to make America a success. We all have had parents, teachers and mentors who have helped us. It is one of the responsibilities of one generation to prepare the next.
That does not mean that the government does not play a roll in all this. Government contracts much of the work that needs to be done to private companies. (Companies which are started and maintained with private money) Many companies, large and small, rely on government contracts for their lifeblood, but they compete for them on an equal footing with other companies. The fact is government is not good at much, except for redistributing our tax money to private companies who are good at what they do. The Federal Government may have planned and paid for (with our tax dollars!) the Interstate
Highway system, but it was private businesses that did the actual building of the roads. John Kennedy may have challenged this nation to going to the moon, but it was North American Rockwell, Grumman, IBM, General Dynamics and other private companies that got us there. And yes Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and many other companies have made billions off of the internet, which was mostly developed by private companies under government contract.
Not surprisingly the president's comments set off a firestorm of debate. The Democrats said the President words were twisted and he was misinterpreted and taken out of context, while the Republicans slammed him for being offensive and out of touch with business owners. As Mitt Romney said recently,” He believes that people who build enterprises aren’t responsible for them” Even if the Democrats are right when they say the statement “you didn’t build that” was taken out of context, the entire speech was damning. It revealed his true ideology. As Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard said "…he’s elevating government spending and the presence of government above hard work and brains” Obama and the Left’s basic premise is that government should be involved in many if not all aspects of our lives. (healthcare, business, even how we raise our children) The society as a whole is more important than the individual. The Right believes that the rights of the individual are paramount and government should stay out of our way and let us do whatever is reasonable. Government should be small and just provide administration, planning, security (military, police, firefighting, courts,) and schools as well as the maintenance of our infrastructure.
This Presidential election is important and it comes down to two ideologies. If we reelect Obama, we, as a nation, will have decided that we value government and are willing to give up freedom for security. We have chosen a government that attempts to provide us with cradle to grave care. A government that attempts to provide everything but by it’s very nature will do none of it well. We will have a country where those who achieve will have to give a portion of their gains to people who don't. Or do we want a country where the government stands back and lets the individual attempt to succeed? Where the individual is responsible for himself and the others around him. A country where Jon Shakour and millions like him can build a business, employ millions and enjoy the fruits of their labors.