Did I Take the President’s Words Out of Context?

Earlier this week, I took offense when President Obama said,

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

So, I asked small business owners to send in photos of what they built with their intelligence and elbow grease… without any help from the government.  You guys responded with amazing photos, which were made into this awesome video.

Some of the comments suggested I’d taken his words out of context.  Here’s a helpful video of Charles Krauthammer explaining why this isn’t so:


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  • Betty Ledwith

    No you did not take Obama’s comments out of context. He is an evil guy and every one fell for his charm when they voted for him. I do not understand people and do not see why they voted for the guy. If any one decides to vote for him again, “please tell me one good thing he has done for the country.” Do not tell me ObamaCare for that is not good for any one. I hate to call a presient a ding bat, but in this case I am.

  • Diane

    The idea of autonomy denies that we are born into a world that existed prior to us. It posits an essential aloneness; an autonomous being is free in the sense that a being severed from all others is free. To regard oneself in this way is to betray the natural debts we owe to the world, and commit the moral error of ingratitude. For in fact we are basically dependent beings: one upon another and each on a world that is not of our making.
    Matthew Crawford

    • Joe Durnavich

      So what are you saying? Teachers, fire fighters, and constuction crews are pretty much all union labor. The unions are the ones that promised to secure fair and equitable contracts for them. They all agreed to the contracts and we paid the taxes to fund them. Why is there a problem now?

  • Jburgess

    You took it as I heard it

  • Jburgess

    And in response to kaitie smith I did not get where I am today bc of teacher help, teachers kept their jobs because they taught as they were paid to do. I am where I am today by helping myself, if you believe the success is due to the teachers ask the other students whom were in my home room and had all the same teachers. I’d be more than willing to give you an inmate number or two so you can see how they did not help themselves. Each determines their own success. (in no way do I not appreciate teachers, they know better than anyone that some kids try and some kids don’t yet all are capable )

  • http://timdenchanter.blogspot.com/ Tim D Enchanter

    This is the Antonio Salieri of the Occupy and Labor Movements … see the movie Amadeus to understand the Patron Saint of the Mediocre … http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=rwWW2DQS_DU&feature=col​ike

    • Matt Jacobs

      Interesting that you support a fictional claim with fiction. In reality, Antonio Salieri was far from mediocre. He was more popular than Mozart in his day, and an influential teacher, counting Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt among his students. His compositions fell into obscurity, while Mozart’s became more and more popular, but the man was far from mediocre.


  • Courtney

    You didn’t take it out of context. It’s the president once more shoving his foot down his throat.

  • Matt Jacobs

    It is dishonest, because it’s removing the context of what Obama was responding to. Obama was specifically responding to those who think it’s unfair for the wealthy to pay a larger share towards taxes than those who aren’t. The reality is, that those who’ve built businesses haven’t done so without relying on government infrastructure, at the minimum. To say that they built their business all on their own is not the whole story.

    He’s saying that smarts and hard work alone are not going to build a successful business. Without things like public education and all the infrastructure to move people and goods, they wouldn’t be able to build a successful business.

    And no, he’s not mocking hard work and intelligence, but only those who arrogantly belittle all the infrastructure and programs they relied on to build their business.

    • Joe Durnavich

      Matt, this has nothing to do with whether our public workers are appreciated or not. Here’s a bit of the speech: “And I understand why they wouldn’t want to pay more in taxes. Nobody likes to pay more in taxes.” Obama is grasping for a reason to not extend the current tax rates. He chose to make up this notion that businesses haven’t adequately appreciated roads and teachers.

      He is trying to turn the voters against the producers in this country. We should all be outraged that the President, of all people, is turning citizen against citizen.

    • wrenaroo

      Clarity. Amazing how all these good political Christians failed to give credit to God for their successes. NOBODY does it on their own! Businesses serve a public (without them, no business). Many of these businesses sell goods (somebody else manufactures or supplies parts for). There are employees that although may not be taking the financial risk of the owner, they are integral to the business being a success. This is the problem with our society as of late, too many people (and business owners, including corporate), thinking they solely are responsible for their successes. Instead of dissecting the President’s words, people should learn to say “thank you” to those who help us succeed.

  • Rita

    This is just inflammatory and out of context. Obama was making a point that “it takes a village” to do almost anything. For example, the people who work at McDonald’s are part of the equation for the success of the CEO. The individuals who built the roads that carried the truck that brough resources to your business are part of the equation. No man is an island. His exact words were “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.” Would you disagree?

    • Joe Durnavich

      We all agree that we do things together, but what’s the business about wanting to raise taxes on the more productive all about?

    • wrenaroo

      Well put. Thank you. And to Joe Durnavich: As a self-employed individual, the government takes almost half of what I make. I do not have tax shelter to hide behind, and no employees to burden with costs. Being productive is equal to golden parachutes, outrageous bonuses, and tax write offs. So, yes I do believe that those that make more should pay more. When your income goes beyond making ends meet like the non-existent middle class does now, then you can afford it. If you can afford a private jet, a yacht, or a second home abroad…you can afford your share of the taxes.

  • Jeanne Swaney

    The same ocean, fish, fibers, trees, fishing rights, roads, bridges, air traffic controllers, banks, stop lights, are there for everybody, right? Then you must AT LEAST give credit to the enterpreneurs who did something with what was available and BUILT a business to better themselves, their communities, and this nation. Not EVERYONE could do what the business owners did! Your argument doesn’t hold up – if the almighty government was so powerful, everyone and everyone could build a business. No, it takes a special person with talent, drive, ambition, and heart to want to succeed. The president and people such as yourself wants to cut into their success and give to those who want to sit back and reap their rewards. And another thing: your argument does not hold up when you think about businesses such as Ford Motor Company who didn’t have the “stop lights, air traffic controllers, roads, bridges, etc, (modern conveniences of today’s society) but yet they were able to succeed WITHOUT THE GOVERNMENT! The smaller the government and the bureaucracy, the BETTER! And finally, quit with the smug, elitist remarks (you DO recognize the words, don’t you?; and your opinion about Bristol’s job) – I’m sure she doesn’t need your thoughts on the matter; she’ll do just fine without advice from a person such as you.

  • Ba

    But she needs you defending her? To paraphase you, we will all do just fine without your advice.