The real question to ask, when taking a look at President Barack Obama’s recent remarks about business leaders, is why he felt it necessary to bash their success.
While speaking at a campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia on Friday night, Obama tried to explain why business owners should be taxed at higher rates. He explained, in essence, that their businesses aren’t their own – but rather were created with the help of others and the help of the government (and therefore are justified for being taxed more).
As Obama tried to explain in his own muddled way,
‘…look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.”
He continued, “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.”
Obama has been slammed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) for his remarks, and by many others. As NFIB president Dan Danne explained,
“What a disappointment to hear President Obama’s revealing comments challenging the significance of America’s entrepreneurs. His unfortunate remarks over the weekend show an utter lack of understanding and appreciation for the people who take a huge personal risk and work endless hours to start a business and create jobs.”
Mitt Romney’s campaign was, of course, quick to jump in and criticize. While Obama’s words clearly show how much he believes that the state creates jobs and wealth, Romney is spreading the message that individuals create wealth and help to breathe life into the private sector.
As Andrea Saul, Romney’s spokeswoman said, Obama’s remarks “reflect just how unqualified he is to lead us to a real economic recovery.” She said they were “insulting to the hardworking entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and job creators who are the backbone of our economy.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice-president David Chavern chimed in to say that the basic idea behind Obama’s comments “is really objectionable and offensive.” As Mr. Chavern wrote on a blog, ‘Success is apparently a collective effort – but where was that “collective” during the periods of risk-taking and failure? The vast majority of businesses fail. Period…And if the collective is really responsible for success, how come everyone isn’t successful?”
It does not seem that Obama will be forgiven for his words anytime soon…or that his arguments are helping with his cause of raising taxes on the wealthy.