If you need a reminder about what's at stake in this presidential election - about the two vastly different views of government that are being presented by the candidates - check out what President Obama said at a campaign event in Virginia on Saturday.
Echoing Elizabeth Warren ("there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own"), President Obama tells those who have been successful that "you didn't get there on your own." He also says "if you've got a business - you didn't build that." I think it will be news to the millions of small business owners in this country that they didn't actually create their business, "somebody else made that happen."
President Obama also dismisses the idea that you might have been successful because you were smart or worked hard. Irrelevant! Lots of smart, hardworking people don't succeed, therefore you only did so because someone helped you. Interestingly, Obama offers a teacher as an example of someone who might have helped you, seemingly contradicting his assertion that intelligence has nothing to do with economic achievement.
According to Obama, you can only be successful if "someone" (i.e. the government, with taxpayers' money) builds roads and bridges and creates the Internet and fights fires. I guess Obama thinks everyone who has succeeded in this country should be getting down on their knees and thanking the government for ALLOWING them to be successful.
The President goes on to list things "we do better together," such as building the Hoover Dam and sending a man to the moon, implying somehow that the building of a business is a similar effort. Does President Obama really not understand the difference between sending someone to the moon and building a profitable company? Can he not see that there are different levels of government involvement in those two endeavors (and therefore different amounts of credit owed to 'the collective' for the achievement)? Or does he absolutely understand this difference but choose to conflate the two in order to further his liberal agenda and help his reelection chances?
I'm all for "we're in this together" campaign rhetoric and I agree that all of us - no matter how much we've achieved in life - have been 'helped along the way' by others. But for the President of the United States to dismiss and diminish the individual successes of millions of business owners (who have created jobs and paid taxes, ultimately benefiting all of us), and imply somehow that they owe us, is alarming.