After going over the transcript from President Barack Obama’s campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia on July 13, 2012- the know famous ‘you didn’t build that’ speech- there are a couple further points I would like to make. Picking up midway through his speech…
President Obama says- “We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more.”
It is common knowledge that under President Obama the amount of money that the federal government spends each year (outlays) has gone up by quite a bit. Under big spending Bush, the federal government spent $2-$3 trillion- but under Obama outlays have gone up to between $3-$4 trillion. In fact, in 2011 the federal government spent more money than at any time in history. If President Obama were telling the truth and cuts to federal spending had been made, spending under Obama would be less than under Bush- but not only is this not the case, spending is up dramatically versus spending under Bush. So not only is Obama not telling the truth about cutting spending to balance the budget- which was the point he was trying to make in his speech- he in fact has done the opposite of this and increased spending.
Obama’s point here is that government made cuts to spending and is willing to make more cuts, and so it is now fair to make the wealthy pay a bit more. But if government has not made any cuts and President Obama himself is the biggest barrier to making further cuts, it then follows that it would not be fair to make the wealthy pay a bit more.
But in reality President’s Obama’s lies and bad logic mean nothing at all unless he establishes a valid reason why the wealthy should pay a little bit more. So let’s read the logic behind why the wealthy should pay a little more…
President Obama says- “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t…”
Did you all catch the phrasing here? ‘Give something back.’ Wealthy, successful Americans- small business owners, those who have risen to the top of their industries through their hard work, farmers working the family farm, etc- these people need to give the federal government wealth ‘back’- as if the wealth that they earned was not earned fairly in the private marketplace by providing goods and services that people needed and desired or by working their tail off and putting in long hours. Their wealth- from their personal labor- is their own, and not something that they ‘took’ from anyone, much less something that they need to ‘give back to the government.’
Further, Obama suggests that as the deficits have skyrocketed under Obama and our nation has sucked down debt that our grandchildren are going to pay for that the rich haven’t ‘given back’ anything. According to a recent CBO report, over the last several years wealthy Americans’ earnings fell 37 percent. And their share of the tax burden has been steadily rising for years, yet more evidence that they have been ‘giving back’ more of the fruits of their labor to an Obama administration that is increasingly hostile to success and prosperity.
President Obama says “- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own.”
The phrase ‘you didn’t get there on your own’ was repeated twice, to emphasize the point that if you’ve been successful- if you have made money, done well, worked hard, built a business, sold a product, invented something, invested wisely, saved, or acquired wealth- then you didn’t do these things on your own and you owe someone else for your success. And it is no mystery who you owe if you’re successful- you owe the government your wealth, because the government let you make money, the government owns your labor, and you are simply a serf working the lords fields and anything that the lord lets you keep is a gift.
President Obama says- “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. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
As evidence that ‘you didn’t become successful through your own hard work and initiative but rather because somebody helped you along’ the President offers several pieces of evidence. The first is that ‘a great teacher’ helped you- but these teachers are paid to help all students, and we teachers help every student and try to leave no student behind, creating a great equal pool of talent and intelligence through our hard work. So this does not explain why some people are successful and others are not- a single great teacher somewhere along the line is not evidence that a person’s success is not their own. Obama offers further evidence as ‘American system’- but this line is simply rhetoric that actually has very little intelligence in it. His third reason is ‘roads and bridges’, and this is actually his best piece of evidence- but these were not ‘given as help’ to people by a benevolent government so that people could be successful- these were paid for by taxes by successful people who through their own hard work and intelligence became successful and so were able to give the government money to build roads and bridges. Obama’s last piece of evidence is ‘the Internet’- but this point is just totally laughable and simplistic (and utterly ripped apart here in the WSJ), as the federal government might have put some money into something that somehow eventually became a part of the world wide web, but in reality internet commerce was built by smart and hard-working people without the government meddling at all.
Let me remind you again of the whole point of this rhetoric- President Obama is attempting to lay out an argument why rich people should pay more in taxes. And yet as I read his speech and look over his logic, I am struck by the lies contained in it, the false premises, the bad logic, and the stunningly simple-minded lack of understanding about economics and our nation that are displayed in it.
Look- don’t take my word for it, read the speech yourself and arrive at your own conclusions. Romney doesn’t need to spend a lot of money in this campaign- simply take President Obama’s words and replay them to intelligent, thinking, tax-paying, liberty-loving adults, and he’ll win in a landslide in 2012.
Original Post: A Conservative Teacher