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Obama Doesn't Understand Business

Editor, The Herald:

I want to respond to your editorial criticizing Congressman Robert Hurt's interpretation of President Obama's now infamous Roanoke quip “You didn't build that.” I strongly believe that we must understand what the President meant because so much is at stake.

Mr. Hurt claims that President Obama was telling private business owners that their individual efforts did not bring about their successful businesses-in other words, that Mr. Obama believes success in America primarily comes from Government (capital “G” for President Obama's big government philosophy).

President Obama's position, which you willingly adopt, is that Mr. Obama is not referring to private business when he stated “You didn't build that,” but to roads and bridges, which were built by government.

I believe you are wrong. Let me make my case.

The other parts of the President's Roanoke speech provide context to “You didn't build that”-which you did fairly quote. This context supports Congressman Hurt's interpretation. You have to grant that the President's own words, even read in the most favorable light, discount the individual's brains and hard work behind a successful business. But it is helpful to listen to the speech instead of just reading Mr. Obama's words. The President's tone is clearly mocking the idea that brains and hard work are the primary drivers for success.

Not convinced? What of Obama's recent quote that the private sector is “doing just fine”-that it is the government sector which is hurting? Really?

Consider this line from the President's autobiography “Dreams from My Father” where Mr. Obama talks about his only job in the private sector: “I felt like a spy dropped behind enemy lines.” Private enterprise equals the enemy for Mr. Obama.

In his Roanoke speech, President Obama was clearly extolling the virtues of Government in America's free enterprise success. To try to prove his point, the President claims that the internet was designed by government “so that all companies could make money off the Internet.” Uh, no. The internet was a government military project (arguably government's highest duty) designed to allow communication in case of nuclear war. It was the private sector that created the wealth the internet now generates, e.g., Google, Facebook, Amazon.

Consider also the President's almost $1 trillion stimulus-which spent an astronomical amount of money that our country does not have. The money went to prop up Government workers and to political cronies of the President, when it was supposed to go to “shovel ready jobs” to get all Americans working. Where are these promised jobs? When pressed, the President joked, joked, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.” Does anyone find this even remotely funny?

The President's health care initiatives have Government taking over seventeen percent of the American economy, yet health care costs continue to sky rocket. Regulations generated by his administration are coming at a torrid pace, targeting fossil fuel exploration and delivery and depressing the private sector further. Unemployment has not been this bad since the Great Depression even after, or because of, three-and-a-half years of President Obama's policies.

To sum up the evidence to support Congressman Hurt, the President belittles an individual's contributions to a successful business. He has consolidated into Government a huge percentage of our economy with his Obamacare. He has run up unimaginable debts, for no discernible private sector benefit, that our children and grandchildren will have to repay. His regulations are strangling private enterprise. He promised to ameliorate political discourse, but he has actually coarsened the rhetoric as his reelection ads avoid his record and attack Mr. Romney for his private sector success.

It is said in Washington a “gaffe” is when a politician says something he truly believes in. Is there any doubt that Barack Obama thinks the solution to all of America's problems is empowering the Government, not the individual?

It is axiomatic that all Americans owe much to those that came before us, especially our parents, teachers, and mentors. The central conservative tenet is that this accumulated wisdom should be, well, conserved. We all also benefit from roads and bridges, police and firemen, and the brave men and women of our military. Government also has a role in helping those that cannot help themselves, although conservatives would find that role better met by families, charities, churches, and state and local governments, those that are closer to those that need our help. There is no debate on this from even the most conservative politician-this is where government is at its best.

Yet, the President was not espousing anything conservative in “You didn't build that.” Is America great because of Government or because of individuals? Barack Obama clearly believes the former. Conservatives like Robert Hurt believe the latter. Folks, this is not an academic exercise-these differing philosophies have the most serious consequences. Do you want to grow the Government so that it makes more and more of our decisions for us (how big of a drink you can buy), or empower individuals who strive for success (which is what our country wad founded on)?

Let those that have eyes, see, and those with ears, hear. Is President Obama's vision the America we know? The America we want?

Want to see our future under Barack Obama? Look at Europe now. Europe has crossed the Rubicon where government does not exist to serve the people-the people exist to fund an insatiable Government. This governing philosophy is fast reaching its expiration date. The consequences will be dire.

In November, we have our choice of visions for our country. Choose well.

Everett W. (Trey) Gee