Thursday, August 9, 2012

Can you spare 3 minutes... debunk the myth of "You didn't build that!"?

The Romney campaign has been flogging the notion that Socialist President Obama said to business owners, "You didn't build that [business]!" In fact, in context, the "that" in the sentence is clearly referring to"roads and bridges." Obama was talking about all the infrastructure that enables business to thrive.

But don't take my word for it. Take a look at the entire, unedited video of Obama's speech in Roanoke Virginia on July 13th that set off this little firestorm. If you don't want to watch it all, just grab the pointer and drag into 32:30. Then watch the next 3 minutes.

If you want to find reasons to prefer Romney over Obama, at least do so with a little integrity.

The rest of the speech is pretty damn inspiring, too, in this viewer's opinion.

A note: I received an anonymous comment that I will not publish, even though I don't find any of the content particularly objectionable. I don't blog anonymously, and I hold commenters to the same standard.


  1. Yes, Obama was referring to roads and bridges. But as Romney pointed out, the quote is even worse in context.

    The gist of Obama's argument is to lay claim to the fruits of a person's success. His excuse is that the person has made use of government provided services. But those services were already paid for: roads, bridges, schools, police, and fire are paid for by gas and property taxes (which companies already pay a disproportionate amount of). Other government services are paid for by corporate and income taxes. If you've complied with the law, the government considers your debt paid in full. And yet Obama is implying that successful people owe still more.

    To Obama, it doesn't seem to matter how much a person has already paid. The fact that he is successful means he owes more. That's greedy and tyrannical.

    1. Do you think that ANY level of income tax is justified? Or is it just a progressive income tax that that you find objectionable?

      There is a great deal of infrastructure in this country that was built largely with Federal money (such as the Interstate highway system). The top federal income tax rate has varied all over the map; from 1916 to 1981, it NEVER fell below 50%. The current rate is 35%. (Reference here.)While the bulk of the Interstate highway construction was being done (1950s and early 60s) the rate was over 90%.

      Infrastructure benefits all of us, but it is particularly important to business. So, yes, I think it's reasonable that successful business owners pay a higher tax rate to help support the services that are essential to that success. If this is "greedy and tyrannical", then every administration since 1916 has been greedy and tyrannical.

      I suspect that you and I could find common ground on a number of issues, though:

      * The corporate income tax should be abolished, and dividends taxed as ordinary income.
      * The federal income tax code should be vastly simplified, with essentially NO deductions or credits.