Praise the Goodness of Our God King!

For from him and to him and through him is all business.

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

See, if you have a job, you didn’t make that happen. If you have a house and a car, you didn’t make that happen. Somebody else made that happen. Everything for the God King. Nothing outside the God King! Nothing against the God King! Praise his goodness to us for making us able to do business!

Update: A number of people (including John C Wright, no fan of Obama) are arguing that he is making the common sense point on behalf of solidarity: that no man is an island. Fair enough. As when Randian and related lunatics argue for subsidiarity, he is right as far as that goes. No man is an island. Nobody is an atomized individual who relies on nobody and nothing to pull himself up by his bootstraps to success (which is why Randian are lunatics to say so and why their cardinal error is to completely ignore solidarity).

So my question: can somebody find for me the passage in Obama’s speech where he also articulate subsidiarity as a counter point to his emphasis on solidarity. Because if he doesn’t, he winds up (particularly given his track record of smashing conscience and crushing individuals under the weight of his Caesaro-corporate police state, simply uttering some fascist boilerplate dressed up as the rhetoric of solidarity, just as Randian Selfism bearing a passing resemblance to subsidiarity.

Find me that passage and I will retract this blog post.

Upper update: A reader responds:

All of the following seem to me to have at least elements of subsidiarity:

When we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

And frankly, government can’t solve every problem.

They understood that succeeding in America wasn’t about how much money was in your bank account, but it was about whether you were doing right by your people, doing right by your family, doing right by your neighborhood, doing right by your community, doing right by your country.

Fair enough. Then I retract the complaint above. Sounds like Obama was making a reasonable point.

However, as a reader notes, the Prez should bear in mind all that “standing on the shoulders of giants” stuff and call off war on the Catholic Church and Catholic conscience since nobody has done more to lay the groundwork for the benefits we enjoy than the Catholic intellectual tradition that gave rise to the West.  Obama saws off the branch he is sitting on as he borrows from the tradition to talk about solidarity while making war on Catholic conscience.

Indeed, it is supremely ironic that this apostle of communitarianism is, when it comes to the exercise of the raw power to murder whoever he likes and call them “enemy combatants”, as solitary and unaccountable to another living soul as J.D. Rockefeller or Josef Stalin.  True, he does not exercise that power since he does not (yet) have total freedom from our system of checks and balances. But the obvious drive of his administration has been to perpetually seek more and more unilateral power.  You live in a glass house, Mr. President, when you preach about solidarity while seizing the power to jail and kill whoever you like with no accountability whatsoever.

  • MattyD

    Mark, I think you missed his point. He’s not asking that credit be directed toward *him*. Nor did he deny the legitimacy of individual initiative (he acknowledged it, in fact). If you listen to the whole clip, it’s fairly clear he’s calling bullshit — correctly — on this myth of the Heroic Solitary Business Creator that’s all the rage in certain circles (ie economic conservatives). He’s calling bullshit on the the Randian-Social-Darwinian glorification of the supposed solo achiever, independent from all community, absolved of all social and communal obligations. And, just in case you haven’t noticed, Catholic Social Teaching *also* calls bullshit on that myth.

    • David

      Well said. People are only reading the pull-out quote out of context and running with it.

      • Patrick

        Exactly. Obama’s whole quote actually sounds pretty reasonable to me.

    • ivan_the_mad

      While it is right to remind people that they don’t succeed in a vacuum, he doesn’t give them any credit for their success in his remarks, which is erring the other way. And I think this was purposeful, given this particularly risible quote: “Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.” Yes. ARPANET’s stated goal was to create something for companies to make money. Right.

      • Jmac

        Hey, at least he’s not taking credit for the internet. PROGRESS!

        On the other hand, I’m entirely certain that if it wasn’t for the public uproar over SOPA and PROTECT-IP, he would have quietly signed them into law.

    • Mark Shea

      Fair enough. He’s upholding solidarity. Can you give me the passage in the speech where he also upholds subsidiarity?

      • http://www.virtue-quest.com/ Robert King

        I’m not sure the goal is to look for subsidiarity – after all, no one can cover every topic in every speech, and I’d hate to set the precedent of nit-picking papal statements or bishops’ documents for “balance” of ideas. It’s entirely legit for a single speech to focus on one topic and to leave other topics for another day.

        The problem I see is that he’s not really talking about solidarity. He’s talking about government. Be grateful to the all-powerful State for all the good that you receive.

        Genuine solidarity is about the community, of which government is only one part. True: no one succeeds entirely on his/her own. But false: success only comes through government intervention. Rather, it is the community as a whole, built on the foundation of families, the framework of friends, and voluntary associations – and yes, government too, for providing safety and infrastructure and rule of law – that supports each individual’s success.

        But the closest he comes to acknowledging any good outside the State is “teachers” – which can not unreasonably be construed as “public school teachers, i.e., employees of the State”. And that’s the problem.

        I’d welcome real solidarity – with or without subsidiarity included in the speech. I oppose a faux “solidarity”.

      • A Philosopher

        Mark,

        All of the following seem to me to have at least elements of subsidiarity:

        When we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

        And frankly, government can’t solve every problem.

        They understood that succeeding in America wasn’t about how much money was in your bank account, but it was about whether you were doing right by your people, doing right by your family, doing right by your neighborhood, doing right by your community, doing right by your country.

        • ivan_the_mad

          Subsidiarity is about dealing with things at the lowest and least centralized level possible. None of those quotes deal with asserting subsidiarity. At most there are some echoes of solidarity. See Quadragesimo Anno for a more detailed explanation of Catholic thought on subsidiarity.

          • A Philosopher

            I_t_M,

            Of course none of the quotes is an outright doctrinal statement of subsidiarity (clearly that’s an unreasonable expectation from a particular campaign speech). Nevertheless, the emphasis on the role of the individual, on the limitations of the role of the state, and on the intermediate social organizational levels of family, neighborhood, and community all seem suggestive of some of the subsidiarian ideas.

            • ivan_the_mad

              As you noted,you’d need the discussion of roles and responsibilities proper to the various levels of society, and there’s none of that in your quoted excerpts or the excerpt in the linked article. He doesn’t say “The federal government is the level of society most suited to maintain the interstate highway system. Municipal government is the level of society most suited to coordinate waste disposal.” He reminds people that they’ve leveraged things they did not build for their own personal success. True as that is, it’s not an appeal to subsidiarity.

    • Franciscan

      It’s not *quite* as bad as the quote looks out of context. Yes, Obama has a point – to a point. No one is an island. No one gets anywhere completely alone. Sure. But the problem, imo, is that President Obama likes to talk about “us” vs. the individual pretty much only when he wants “us” (read: those who already pay little to nothing in federal income taxes) to force certain other individuals to pay more taxes. So, his “us” rhetoric here really just seems to be a psychological ploy – a manipulation. As such, perhaps his statement unintentionally exposed his true beliefs – rather like when he blurted out to Joe the Plumber that he was in favor of “spreading the wealth around.” It seems to me that his view of the collective vs. the individual is out of balance. The Church takes no dogmatic position on the correct way to help the poor. Liberals, like Obama, favor government intervention and forced charity (which is really an oxymoron) through taxation (which I think likely explains why liberals typically give less to charity than conservatives).

      I also think Brit Hume made a fair assessment of the problems inherent in Obama’s full statement, here:

      http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/brit-hume-on-the-record/

      Go to the 3 min 30 second mark and listen from there.

  • Andy

    From the same article – “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. ” We succeed when we work together – he is pointing out that our system has degenerated into a social darwinistic system and that is not what makes us strong. I don’t think Mr. Obama has been a good president, but this is not a any claim for self-deification. I think this is one of the few times where he is actually right, and comes close to Catholic teaching.

    • Franciscan

      Yes, close to Catholic teaching except for the fact that he would have the government too eagerly usurp the role and authority rightly exercised by the individual and lower levels of human organization – he violates Catholic teaching on subsidiarity – he perverts true charity by turning charity into a mandatory tax and those who receive into government dependents.

  • Art

    Obama is right about what is wrong, but wrong about what is right! Sure, we can thank our teachers, families, and friends for support that have been given to us. The initiative is always with the individual in making good sound decisions in order to achieve their goals, that I do not disagree with.

    His statement is a slippery slope and everything he said collapsed when he said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Really? If I have my own business, I didn’t build that, but somebody else did? Would he also say the test I made an A on and studied for was because somebody else made that happen?

    This guy is a class act politician that speaks out both sides of his mouth! Anybody that knows his past record suggests that he would reduce that students grade from an A to a C and give the student that made the F a C to make everybody “EQUAL”.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “Obama is right about what is wrong, but wrong about what is right!” A+

    • Ted Seeber

      Just to play the devil’s advocate, where would your business be without customers, without labor, without investors?

      • Art

        Ted knowing Obama and his background when he makes a ludicrous statement when saying, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” That is where Obama is wrong! Anybody that doesn’t live under a rock knows what he is alluding to, his intentions are not as pure as what the worshipers of Obama would like it to be. He has taken a corrupt element calling a spade a spade, and then attempting to make solutions to the problem which are often horrible.

        To answer your question, I could reverse the question and say where would the customers, laborers, and investors be without the business owner? Somebody or some people had to come up with the idea. Somebody had to have the initiative to do go down a path to sale a product.

        You must have at the very minimum have a good product as a business owner for there to be customers, laborers, and investors to maintain a business.

        Ted, nobody is denying that we as a culture all play a some part in a person’s success. Good parenting, stewardship in society, teachers, friends, and spouses assisted directly or indirectly to the success or non-success of that business. I never suggested we can make it through life without positive influences or proper moral upbringing or even not giving credit to others.

        My parents deserve credit for their support in my upbringing, but my parents are objective enough to know that I chose a path in my life and accomplished things by taking a personal initiative in doing so, the individual award is merited, and this in know way takes away from outside influences or assistance a long the way.

      • DTMcCameron

        I suppose the business owner without laborers, investors, or customers would simply be a prolific hobbyist. All the more power to him.

  • John

    Well, if you got an A on something, or better, if you actually learned something (which is not always the same as getting an A–”you can get all A’s and still flunk life”–Walker Percy) one would hope that a teacher had something to do with it, so, no, you didn’t do it all by yourself.

    • Art

      John, I am not refuting the fact that some professors/teachers are not better than others and that some classes in the same subject are not easier or more difficult. I realize that fact, because I have been through both.

      I have had classes where you learn more and got a C verses a class where you learn absolutely zero and still pass with an A. I also had classes where the professor or teacher was really good and you learned from them, I have had others where you can read the book and pass the class by reading on your own. The fact of the matter is to be objective and give credit where credit is due. There are different circumstances, but the end result is that the individual accomplished something whether it be earned or not the individual had to take some sort of action.

      So, yes you have to give credit to the individual for accomplishments. In sports they give individual and team awards. In academics they give individual and class awards. The point is you have to give credit where credit is due. Obama whether people like it or not spoke from both sides of his mouth and his philosophy is to make everybody “EQUAL”. We are not talking about justified equality either. We are talking about a socialism that the CHURCH rejects!

  • letterman

    I’m no B.O. fan, but really, the antecedent to “that” in context is at least ambiguous. Here’s a tic more context:

    “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.”

    Does “that” refer to “a business” . . . or does it refer to the “unbelievable American system” with its “roads and bridges”? The latter seems at least plausible. If he’d really meant “a business,” wouldn’t it have been more natural to say “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build it”? I think it’s more natural to read it as “Look at the great system all businesses rely on. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that system.”

  • Chris M

    Ok.. so no man is an island.. but that’s not to say no one can claim credit for their achievements without an “I’d like to thank the Academy” speech.

  • PJ

    What Obama is expressing is actually a pretty Catholic notion. We recognize that “no man is an island.” The truck driver did not carve, grade, and pave the roads on which he drives. The stock broker did not design, construct, and maintain the skyscraper in which he crunches numbers. The professional blogger did not invent the internet which he uses nor the language by which he communicates. None of us gave birth to ourselves. We are defended and protected by other people: cops, firefighters, soldiers. Even those skills which we call our own are received from God. There is only “I” in hell.

    • Franciscan

      Yes, close to Catholic teaching except for the fact that he would have the government too eagerly usurp the role and authority rightly exercised by the individual and lower levels of human organization – he violates Catholic teaching on subsidiarity – he perverts true charity by turning charity into a mandatory tax and those who receive into government dependents.

  • Michaelus

    Government schoolteachers, government money, government roads – not mothers or fathers or uncles or brothers etc. – not even co-workers or friends – no it is the Government that makes us. That is what he is saying. Shea is right in his take on this.

    Subsidiarity now!

    • Art

      BINGO! There is a fine line, and anybody that doesn’t live under a freaking rock would realize what Obama was getting at.

    • http://www.virtue-quest.com/ Robert King

      Exactly: it’s not solidarity. It’s a cult of the State.

  • DTMcCameron

    I tend to think he takes it too far, to an almost deterministic degree even, and so diminishes the action of the fundamental unit, the Individual. Were the speech to exist in a vacuum, it might be innocuousness enough, but when attached to his history, it takes on a sinister quality.

    “It is written, ‘Man does not accomplish on his own, but through the assistance and direction and discretion of every program and institution that comes from the government.”

    • Ted Seeber

      Unfortunately that’s what capitalism really means- the rule of capital.

  • http://www.sff.net/people/john-c-wright/ John C Wright

    I am no fan of Mr. Obama, indeed, I think he is the worst president since Woodrow Wilson, on whose shoulders I place the entire blame for all the modern corruption of our constitutional system. I think Mr. Obama is a fascist in the stamp of Mussolini, a would-be messiah who wished to have the government run the economy.

    Nonetheless, in all fairness (and I must grit my teeth to say so) all Mr. Obama here is doing is uttering standard political boilerplate language, which could come from either party, reminding individuals of their civic responsibilities.

    Each man builds his own business or does his own work, but a certain amount of infrastructure, public roads and bridges, the coining of money, the standardization of weights and measures, the policing of commerce to eliminate fraud, and so on, which makes the market possible creates an obligation to maintain the common land and public institutions. No one disagrees with this.

    The only disagreement is the role of the common infrastructure, and how intrusive the cost of maintaining it should be, and how much say the state has in how you run your business. This disagreement requires a nuanced discussion which cannot take place in the environment of overheating attack-rhetorical surrounding a crass modern mass-media political campaign, particularly one where one, the jackasses, side uses Mussolini-style “class warfare” rhetoric and tactics, and the other, the elephants, seems not to be reluctant to follow after.

    John C. Wright

    • Confederate Papist

      Go back a little further….try Abraham Lincoln.

    • http://www.virtue-quest.com/ Robert King

      I have no problem with him reminding us of civic responsibilities, and I agree that similar language and ideas could come from either party.

      The problem is that he (like most politicians, granted) needs to be reminded that civic responsibilities are a subset of community responsibilities. My duty to the State derives from my duty to my family and my neighbor.

      He doesn’t even need to emphasize the family and neighbor and broader scope of social community; I’d be happy if he’d simply acknowledge that it exists. I’d be ecstatic if he recognized that government and civic life derives from and is at the service of the community. Instead, he seems to present government as the source and entire purpose of the community.

    • Ted Seeber

      “No one disagrees with this.”

      I have met a lot of libertarians who *do* seem to disagree with this- most of them want to live in Galt’s Gulch.

    • Will

      Namecalling solves nothing.

  • Confederate Papist

    I don’t know how much longer I can take of this “Catholic Obama”….

  • MarylandBill

    I think the key objectionable point in the whole quote is “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that”. If he had said, “You didn’t build that alone”, or “You built it on a foundation built by others”, I would have very little problem with what he said.

    Lets remember, these things are rarely unscripted. If he said “you didn’t build that”, that is what he meant. Its the socialist notion that the bourgeois really add nothing to the economy are are simply parasites riding on the backs of the common working man.

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    “Obama is right about what is wrong, but wrong about what is right!”

    What Art said. When it comes to the criticisms of Big Business, a great deal of what Obama and the Liberals are saying is spot on. It’s their proposed solutions that are often insane. But the modern conservatives notion of, “There’s nothing wrong with Big Business. Just don’t look behind the curtain!” is equally insane.

    Our problem is that the self-appointed physicians of our society no longer have any idea what a healthy patient looks like.

    • Art

      Mark, no sarcasm here at all. I appreciate how you expounded my intentions. THIS IS EXACTLY what I am talking about! 10 KUDDO points!

    • Peggy R

      Modern or thoughtful conservatives do not favor Big Business necessarily. They favor market economics. Much regulation is designed to shelter Big Business from small competitors. Regulations thwart the small businessman greatly. NRO had a post on this distinction today. Check it out.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/309469/pro-market-not-pro-business-yuval-levin

      Crony capitalism has been engaged in by both parties for decades. Each party has its favored industries and firms that support one another’s agenda. That’s a political activity, not a conservative ideological principle.

      • Ted Seeber

        Romney can’t handle the subject because Bain Capital, like all venture capitalists, is part of the problem and utterly opposed to the obvious solution:
        Ban collective capitalism.

        I am just unsure how to do it without making all corporations other than the co-op illegal and tearing apart the stock market and financial industries.

        • Peggy R

          We need large investments to operate large businesses because of the costs and economies associat3ed with modern technology, This is not a problem with markets–technology requires it. I don’t want the stock market and financial industries eliminated. I don’t understand what is immoral about such investing—I am not advocating immoral or illegal conduct, but defending the mere existence of markets for funds. Many average citizens enjoy modest investment income from the markets, especially retirees. There are folks other than the wealthy who participate in the markets.

          I don’t know what you mean by “collective capitalism”. You are coining a new term here.

  • Ted Seeber

    Authentic Subsidiarity is illegal in the United States under the current Supreme Court interpretation of Article I Sections 8 & 10 and the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. You would need to repeal all three to gain subsidiarity.

    • http://www.virtue-quest.com/ Robert King

      Repeal the sections and amendments to the constitution? Or repeal the current interpretation of them?

      I don’t think a repeal is necessary. I do think a couple of well-crafted new amendments would be useful – which would end up repealing or overturning a great number of other laws and practices. An amendment defining more clearly the rights and limitations of corporations would be one. Another amendment might clarify the relationships between the branches of government – reversing the power grabs of the executive and clarifying the role of the courts. Perhaps another clarifying the relationship between the national government and the states? But I’m neither a lawyer nor a constitutional historian, nor even an elected official, so I won’t begin to suggest any actual wording.

  • beccolina

    If we are going to go down the road of “You didn’t do this yourself because other people created an environment that helped you succeed”, then we need to go farther back and acknowledge that the environment that helped create our country, and many of the great hings about civilization, was the Catholic Church. I believe that our gracious host here, Marc Barnes, and John C. Wright have all pointed out, at different times, the ways Catholicism created many of the good, civilized ideas that make the world better. But that isn’t what Pres. Obama meant. He is looking to the government, and his tone during this speech was sneering and contemptuous toward those who have innovated, risked, worked hard and achieved, with only token words to what they have done.

    • Peggy R

      Amen!

      See my comment below…filter wanted more text….i agree….

  • Peggy R

    While I agree that no man is an island (yes, we do help one another) and we are nothing and can do nothing without God, I don’t believe that is what Obama meant at all. He means the government and collectivism helped you make your successful business. He explicitly denies that the independent businessman works harder than those who work for others–maybe not 100% true in every case, but largely true. He denies the financial risks borne by the independent businessman. The independent businessman works and worries 24/7 to make sure all is functioning, customers are happy, getting financing, creating the product, promoting the business, etc. And he often has a family to feed and spend time with too. Supportive spouses help this along, sometimes doing books or other admin activities or just keeping the home fires burning. I know several small business people, contractors, for whom this is true. A small business is a personal undertaking. I have been a partner in a small business. I went part-time when things got tough and our household didn’t need the funds; officers forewent salaries to meet payrolls as well.
    Yes, no man is an island, we are interdependent, and people do help one another along the way, but we should not conclude that that is all O meant. He means collectivism and lack of independent spirit and effort.

    • Ted Seeber

      In this system of collective capitalism, where businesses *always* rely on outside help (and quite often, end up accepting outrageous intrusions into how the business is run to do it) I can’t find an independent businessman anywhere. I find quite a few who falsely claim to be so, but when I examine their businesses, I find they rely upon the public schools for education of their labor, the public roads for transport of their goods, the public taxpayer to pay for his business losses, the stock market for his financing, the police to keep him safe when he leaves the office, etc.

      Even as a contractor when I did it all myself, I was heavily reliant on others.

      The Independent Businessman is a complete and utter myth.

      • Peggy R

        So, you didn’t pay for the roads, police or schools either? You didn’t pay back loans or investors? You didn’t pay your employees? Every one else did it for you–at no cost to you? And when the bills came due, payroll came due, inspectors came by? Who met those obligations for you? When a customer complained about bad work product? Did some one else fix that for your–at their own cost? What about a lawsuit from an employee or customer? Did the bank take care of that at no cost to you? Who’s name is on the incorporation papers? If you went belly up you still owed any investors and creditors. Will O pick that up for you?

        We all contribute to infrastructure that we all use. That does not take away the sweat and investment by the independent/small (whatever makes you happy) businessman.

        Interdependency is not socialist collectivism or government statism. Government usually hurts small businesses by imposing regulatory burdens that protect larger businesses.

        • Ted Seeber

          “So, you didn’t pay for the roads, police or schools either?”

          Not in proportion to my use of them, no. Most of them were bought by previous generations who didn’t have an allergic reaction to the word taxes.

          ” You didn’t pay back loans or investors?”

          Only when I was profitable- that’s what bankruptcy laws are for.

          ” You didn’t pay your employees? Every one else did it for you–at no cost to you?”

          Hard to have employees as a one person consultancy; but loads of people did things for me at no cost.

          ” And when the bills came due, payroll came due, inspectors came by?”

          Software Engineering is one of the few unregulated industries left- there ain’t no inspectors. And to have payroll I would have had to have employees. Paid for most of my equipment up front out of savings. But then again, to do so I needed a stable money supply- which I relied on others to provide.

          “Who met those obligations for you? When a customer complained about bad work product?”

          I had two unreasonable customers who did that- I did what I could, then moved on to other contracts.

          “Did some one else fix that for your–at their own cost? ”

          Usually when that happens, the entire project gets trashed and written off on taxes.

          “What about a lawsuit from an employee or customer?”

          Never had one of those- but I do carry professional insurance against it.

          “Who’s name is on the incorporation papers? If you went belly up you still owed any investors and creditors. Will O pick that up for you?”

          Been belly up twice. 7 years of bad credit is good for the soul- it forces you to work in cash instead of debt; to practice thrift rather than collectivist capitalism.

          “We all contribute to infrastructure that we all use. That does not take away the sweat and investment by the independent/small (whatever makes you happy) businessman.”

          Correct. But neither does it enable the small businessman to say “I’m independent, I did it all on my own without help from anybody, and thus I shouldn’t have to pay any taxes at all”, which is the mantra I keep hearing from the libertarian Galt’s Gulch types. “I don’t need the government/ the common good” is a lie.

          “Interdependency is not socialist collectivism or government statism. ”

          Oh, it most certainly is. The NYSE and the Kremlin differ very little in their methodology. I’ve had far too many contracts canceled because somebody thought that it wasn’t worth the investment to see it any differently.

          “Government usually hurts small businesses by imposing regulatory burdens that protect larger businesses.”

          The only real difference between a small businessman and a large businessman is connections and bribe money. You wouldn’t act any differently if you were a large business leader either.

          • Peggy R

            So, you did bear the burdens, the costs and head-aches. Maybe some associates did things at no cost, but the lenders don’t. Customers expect results or won’t pay. I don’t know why you think you use the roads disproportionately to others. Public school buses crowd the roads as do employees of businesses and govt units, which I imagine outnumber the small businessmen. Housewives go out shopping and take kids here and there on the roads.

            —But neither does it enable the small businessman to say “I’m independent, I did it all on my own without help from anybody, and thus I shouldn’t have to pay any taxes at all”, which is the mantra I keep hearing from the libertarian Galt’s Gulch types. “I don’t need the government/ the common good” is a lie.—

            What businessman says no one ever helped him? His parents? A patient spouse? Lenders taking risks? Customers trusting a new business? These folks take risks too and don’t necessarily do it for nothing (non-family that is). What businessman says I should pay “no taxes at all”? I have never heard that one anywhere. Who said they don’t need the govt at all? Property rights and contract rights are important to business environment stability. Govt has a purpose, limited, but a purpose. O’s vision is an all-encompassing govt that takes away our initiative and will to work hard to achieve something. He spits on those who take risks to achieve and obtain more, something to call his own–one day if not today.

          • Confederate Papist

            We’re parsing words here.
            There is a purpose for government.
            Government needs revenue to functions, so it taxes. (Render unto Caesar)
            The problem has been, from the moment of the founding, what size should the government be?
            It’s bigger now than it ever has been in the history of this country. A revolution (secession from the British Empire) occured for less than what we’re experiencing now.
            When government got too big in 1860, another secession was attempted and brutally thwarted. Afterwards, with unlimited power, it’s growth steadily climbed, little by little, using Marxist terminologies and class warfare and it has culminated into what we have today.
            Now it seems like everyone who comments on this blog thinks exactly the way Marx envisioned, hate business…love government.
            He’d be so proud.

  • Brett Powers

    Nope. Regardless of context, a speaker with the acknowledged chops that The One has, this statement is inexcusable. He is a politician, and familiar with the sound bite. That was careless, reckless, condescending and a slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of small business owners.

  • Observer

    If he thinks he’s the god-king, then lot God handle him. I don’t think politikal rhetoric during campaigns is the evangelizing of the gospel. No one outright needs pol. persuasion to tell him or her that Ob isn’t a god (the people who believe it, will be the victims not those who don’t believe he is a god king.) God will sort out the matter (why we ought to be praying .for him and our country.) The real issue isn’t at all in the pol. arena whether he is a god or not (and protestant uprising through the pol. mass media can stop.) The real issue is whether he will govern. That’s all a president is required to do: govern (period.) People need to turn to God and permit charity to work it’s course. Ob needs a lesson on charity. His constituents, who had all the strange infactuation about him being their savior, need to see he is not. As Sir Thomas More had a dialogue in “A Man for All Seasons”…:

    Will Roper -WR (speaking of Rich who was spying on Sir Thomas More) Arrest him!
    Sir Thomas More: – STM For what?
    WR: Lbel. He’s a spy!
    Meg (Sir Thomas More’s daughter): That man’s bad!
    STM: There’s no law against than.
    WR: God’s law!
    STM: Then God can arrest him.
    WR: WHile you talk, he’s gone!

  • SecretAgentMan

    “No man is an island. Nobody is an atomized individual who relies on nobody and nothing to pull himself up by his bootstraps to success ”

    Yes, but how we get from that to individuals believing, like the creepy Obama charicature of Julia, that success is a manifestation of the state, and — as the President urges — that their property must be placed at the disposal of the state in return, only fascists can explain.

  • Will

    Some on this blog need to look up the definition of marxist and facist. It is easy to throw out insults.

  • http://g Hezekiah Grxarrett

    Will, SAM is using fascist dead on accurately.


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