Progressives

You Own a Business? "You Didn't Build That," Says Obama

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President Obama in Roanoke, Virginia.

If there's a starker statement of philosophy — repulsive, Borg-like philosophy — than that offered up by President Barack Obama during a stump speech on July 13, in Roanoke, Virginia, I have yet to see it. Basically, in the course of the usual round of chest-beating and opponent-slagging, Obama ridiculed the idea that individuals can claim credit for their successes, and instead touted collective effort — with the government taking the lead, of course. As you might expect of a politician more concerned with reelection than accuracy, his chosen examples weren't as supportive of his case as his speechwriters intended.

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back.  They know they didn't — 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.  (Applause.)

     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.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

That "fire service" reference comes courtesy of Obama's speechifying outside a Roanoke fire station, I'm sure that the idea of a non-government fire department seemed ridiculous to whoever crafted that speech, but a few minutes with Google might have saved the president the embarrassment of using such an inappropriate example. I don't know about Roanoke, but the last time I was in Annapolis, Maryland, the walls of buildings in the old part of town still bore 19th century metal badges indicating the fire service that protected that property. For about 150 years, in continental Europe, Britain and the United States, such badges commonly indicated specific fire companies, or the insurance companies that would compensate responding volunteer fire brigades. The system had flaws, as does any, but not to the extent that was claimed when clever politicians turned fire protection into a "modern" government service — and, along with police departments, later joined by other municipal agencies, rich sources of lucrative patronage jobs (PDF).

As for the Internet … Are we still humoring people who pretend that the modern Internet, with multimedia browsers, world-spanning commercial opportunities and unparallelled opportunities for free expression is a triumph of government planning? Government might have created standards for connecting computers from different organizations, but, as Robert David Graham of Errata Security writes:

What's important about the Internet is that the OSI standard failed. It's not the standard of today's Internet. The government backed the wrong horse, so to speak. Instead, today's Internet is based on TCP/IP—a networking standard the government tried to kill off.

Most people concede that government played a major role, but as a participant in something that was happening anyway. Some commenters, such as Peter G. Klein, argue that the government's early involvement pushed the evolution of the technology behind the Internet in unfortunate directions. What's clear, though, is that what we value about the Internet, such as streaming video, vast quantities of free porn, easy shopping, sharing of data and the like are private developments by innovators and entrepreneurs.

True, it could be said to any of the entrepreneurs who built innovation upon innovation, "you didn't get there on your own." But that could be said of anybody who wasn't raised by wolves, though even then, the wild doggies deserve their due. That's because healthy societies are the result of voluntary, collaborative efforts that build on what has already been developed. People enrich themselves and others by cutting deals with others or by picking up the baton from those who have gone before — that doesn't entail some formless, endless obligation to the collective, embodied, of course, by the nearest politicians with their hands out.

"You're not on your own, we're in this together," says Obama. Well … Sort of. We all work at things that complement each other, simply because we won't get rewarded if nobody has any need for what we're doing. To the extent that government officials manage to properly perform jobs involving the maintenance of infrastructure that other people use while keeping the bridges to nowhere to a minimum … That's great! They paved the roads without screwing up! But they get paid for that, just like the phone company and the gas company, and Sprint doesn't constantly insist we kiss its executives' asses because our phones work from day to day.

There's something deeply disturbing in the world-view of those who would minimize the achievements of those who pursued the ideas, took the risks, invested the time and money and made things happen. And it's no more encouraging to hear such people claim individual achievements as the property of the amorphous collective led, always, by themselves. The only value in such pronouncements is the warning they offer to those of us who seek something with a bit more promise for anybody with a hint of self-respect and a whisper of inspiration.

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171 responses to “You Own a Business? "You Didn't Build That," Says Obama

  1. Remember folks, rich people made their money with the help of no one but themselves. They alone created the wealth they now hold and aren’t subject to laws that make them equal to less awesome people.

    1. Hey Fernando, maybe you could make some extra scratch sweeping out a food truck. Fuck off.

    2. Re: Fernando,

      Remember folks, rich people made their money with the help of no one but themselves.

      And your stupidity, that comes from Jesus.

    3. Remember folks, rich people didn’t compensate people who aided them in completely voluntary transactions when they made their money. Nope, they just held a gun out and robbed people like the government does.

      1. and apparently, neither the rich people nor anyone they employed paid any taxes along the way. Not on income, not on sales, not on property.

      2. Taxes is theft herp a derp.

        1. So they’re voluntary then, pal?

          1. as voluntary as you using the services they paid for.

              1. Dude that’s totally unrealistic.

                The agents didn’t shoot George’s dog when they dragged him off to jail @2:13.

            1. I’ve never used 1/2 of the government services. Does that mean I get to pay half my taxes?

              1. KPres|7.17.12 @ 10:15PM|#
                I’ve never used 1/2 of the government services. Does that mean I get to pay half my taxes?

                They’re not your taxes = someone else built them for you.

    4. An example of equality according to Fernando would be the rich paying 75% of their wealth in taxes and the guys who really made the rich rich paying nothing.

    5. Obviously stupid troll is obvious and stupid.

      Now, go get your shine box. My wingtips need polishing.

      1. But, remind him not to overdo the polishing. The fashionistas I know tell me that it is a fashion faux.

    6. Yep, and business owners didn’t fail on their own, everyone had a part in it.

      Let’s bring on the bailouts!!!

    7. Rich people paid for all the government services that helped get them rich, have paid for them over, and over, and over, and over, and over.

    8. Hi nando!

  2. “Did you escape from The Empire? You didn’t do that on your own. You probably had a wookie at the co pilot seat. Probably flying through government built hyperspace too. Quit taking all the credit, you conceited fuck.”

    1. Your teleprompter will freeze before the first applause line!

      1. “Your teleprompter can’t repel bullshit of that magnitudes!”

        1. “Your walking carpet needs to quit telling me to eat my broccoli.”

          1. “From my point of view, the Wealthi are evil.”

    2. I shot first assholes

    3. I shot first assholes

    4. I shot first assholes

      1. Just saying it a bunch doesn’t make it true. It was the scruffy-looking nerfherder.

    5. I shot first assholes

      1. A double-tap is considered prudent, quad-tapping is excessive.

        1. The 1% love to show off their excess. Time for a “progressive” tax on all multiple posts-35% on the 2nd, 58% on the 3rd and 91% on the 4th.

          Those bits didn’t get their by themselves, from the telecom provider who was given a sweetheart deal by the state government, to the contractor who tore up the brand new roads, to the cable company granted a monopoly, everyone had a part in it.

          1. Also, a 15% tax on my misuse of “their”.

            Mistakes were made, words were improperly used. They didn’t get made by themselves though, from the people who made the keyboard to the people that wrote the web front end software, mistakes weren’t made alone.

    6. Probably inherited all force ability from his rich daddy forcebucks, too. How many Bothans died so that Luke could live it up with Yoda on his planetary resort?

  3. There was something in the air that night, it’s bullshit, all right, Fernand-o-o-o …

    1. jdtuccille|7.17.12 @ 8:39PM|#
      “There was something in the air that night, it’s bullshit, all right, Fernand-o-o-o …”

      ‘Nando got busted last week; s/he’s a spoofer.
      Wouldn’t waste the time.

    2. Damn you, Mr. Tucksilly, I was going to use that reference!

    3. Great. Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head.

      1. And suddenly I heard in my head Obama singing the opening to this.

        I’m going to kill myself now.

    4. “It’s better to rook good than to think good.”

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

    If this country still had any allegiance to its founding principles, this statement, by itself, would be enough to sink Obama’s chances at reelection.

    1. That SHOULD be a career-ending statement along the lines of Rick Perry’s 3 agencies he’d like to eliminate, and only naming two.

      That anyone supports that O-hole amazes me.

      1. That anyone supports that O-hole amazes me.

        Me too. But the guy who comes along offering lots of free stuff is going to get lots of support nonetheless.

        1. when your MO is taking from Peter to give to Paul, Paul is always in your corner. And the numbers show Pauls gaining fast on the Peters.

      2. That anyone supports that O-hole amazes me.

        You forget he has a (D) next to his name. Democrats would vote for him even if he raped their children. Anything to keep that (R) with essentially identical policies from getting elected.

    2. If I can’t manage to build my business (regardless of how smart or hardworking I am), why can that other “somebody else” make it happen?

      1. Don’t question the wisdom of collectivism, dude. It takes a village, right? RIGHT?

        1. It takes a village, right?

          A village, led by a wise, knowing, and beneficent chief, someone who knows what’s best for his people, and who has the wisdom (and power, of necessary) to steer them right when they begin to stray.

          1. I can see him now, the wise philosopher king wearing a laurel crown, dispensing wisdom and justice from his seat under a majestic oak tree… while his druids build the wicker man to steer those who stray straight to the fiery hell they so richly deserve for not listening to their betters.

            1. Replace “wicker man” with “Supermax prison” and you’ll have pretty much hit the nail on the head.

            2. Do they brew elderberry ale to be past out to all the village for its health benefits?

              Gonna link again cause I love this shit:

              http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/12142/1555

              1. If you’re on Oahu at some point and near the Aloha brewpub connected to Sam Choy’s, try this, with and then without the scoop of vanilla ice cream:

                http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/3482/8344

    3. What really amazes me is that certain people (not you, but others) are confusing the “builders of bridges and roads” as Obama’s base of supporters. As Reason has pointed out many times, over 50% of Americans DO NOT pay taxes. I would bet that of the 50% that don’t pay taxes 90% are Obama supporters-maybe more. My point is that if you take what Obama said, it can be used as great fodder for taxing the poor, getting rid of dead weight, and “creating” more success in a down economy.

  5. You can only “Give back” if you have taken away. Most people just give.

    1. That whole give back phrase has always frosted my ass. Like my success is due to stealing from others instead of voluntary exchange.

      1. Im with you on this. Give back to people who never did a damn thing. Its sickening. Doing right by yourself and your family is virtuous. It does not get more virtuous by giving handouts to deadbeats. The Academic-Industrial Complex encourages charity because they directly benefit from it.

        When deciding to be charitable or not, ask yourself… if a tv preacher made the same argument would I buy it? I apologize for the rant, Im feeling a little “Anthemy” today.

  6. Society paid for that road. Society paid to send your employees to school. Society paid for the powerlines to go to his factory.

    We live in a society.

    1. ROADZZ DRINK!

      1. glugglugglugglug…

    2. Re: Fernando,

      Society paid for that road.

      There’s something even more disturbing in the world-view of those who would confuse “paying” with “taken from them by those thugs that then gave it to their unionized buddies so they built that road to nowhere.”

      Society paid for the powerlines to go to his factory.

      Yea, because, you see, only government braids wires.

      1. Apparently when factory gets built the utilities just run power to it out of the kindness of their heart. That, and society.

        Fernando is proof that we will never reach Peak Retard.

        1. sage, we’ve been over this. No matter how retarded a stupid sockpuppet is, you are the proof we will never reach Peak Retard. You’ve set the bar too high.

          1. Dude, he wears a helmet. In the shower. COME ON!

            1. Yeah, but…so do you.

    3. Ummmm….the power lines? Not so much. I kind of think the power company paid for them. In some cases, the owner of the factory paid to have the lines run to the property.

      And, exactly how much of the government’s budget goes to roads? Really, try to find a better straw man.

      1. I’m pretty fucking sure that Nikola Tesla and Westinghouse built the power lines.

    4. Technically rich people played for all that stuff.

      1. They paid for it too.

    5. Even if we accept your premise that society provided these things, that means that you are forever in society’s debt? Having paid for them in taxes while the services were being provided wasn’t enough?

      1. Yes. Every man a slave of another, with a caste of “enlightened” rulers making decisions for him on his behalf, wouldn’t be complete if we let some of them get away.

      2. I had the same thought.

        Accepting the premise, Government made the rich rich. The rich had no more choice than the poor.

        The only reason somebody is poor is that the govt never built a bridge by them.

    6. HAHAHA!!! Hey everyone! Over here! This is what weapons grade stupid looks like!

    7. Society paid for that road. Society paid to send your employees to school. Society paid for the powerlines to go to his factory.

      I love the implication that rich people aren’t paying for these things.

      Rich people are the ONLY people paying for these things.

    8. Taxes paid for that road. Taxes paid to send your employees to school. Taxes paid for the power lines.

      Who do you think pays taxes?

      1. You would think with all the taxes I’ve paid them, the government would stop insisting that I OWE them for that road they built 50 years ago.

    9. This is where Saddam sent all of his WMD’s. We just didn’t realize they were WMD’s of STUPID.

  7. There’s something deeply disturbing in the world-view of those who would minimize the achievements of those who pursued the ideas, took the risks, invested the time and money and made things happen.

    You now know our burden, J.D.

    *cough!* Tony *cough!*

  8. But the rich payed for the govt that “gave” them what they have
    Because transfer payments are, in effect, the opposite of taxes, it makes sense to look not just at taxes paid, but at taxes paid minus transfers received. For 2009, the most recent year available, here are taxes less transfers as a percentage of market income (income that households earned from their work and savings):

    Bottom quintile: -301%
    Second quintile: -42%
    Middle quintile: -5%
    Fourth quintile: 10%
    Highest quintile: 22%

    Top one percent: 28%

    The negative 301% means that a typical family in the bottom quintile receives about $3 in transfer payments for every dollar earned.

    1. When the top 1% pay 100% of the taxes, then they’ll have paid their fair share.

    2. Precisely.

      Whtever the government has ever done for me, I have PAID FOR THROUGH TAXES. So they can fuck off and stop claiming I owe them anything.

  9. It makes a sort of sense, actually. It lines up perfectly with Obama’s denial of any responsibility for the economic situation.

    “The economy sputtered into misery while you golfed every week and took vacations on the Riviera? You didn’t do that, you probably had an obstructionist Republican who made it happen.”

    1. Obama didn’t build this economy. Someone else made it happen.

  10. Because I’m a narcissistic fuck I’ll reprint my fix ’em up version from the Weaver thread:

    “Look, if you’re a failure, 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 dumb. There are a lot of dumbass people out there. It must be because I’m lazier than everybody else. Let me tell you something ? there are a whole bunch of lazy-ass motherfuckers out there. (Applause.) If you were a failure, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a public school teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American government that punishes success and rewards failure. Somebody stole a productive citizen’s money and gave it away failing banks and political cronies. If you’ve got a business ? I’ve got no idea what it’s like to be you. Somebody else might, but not me. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own, it’s a series of tubes. Government will eventually choke the entrepreneurial and creative life out of the internet. The point is, is that when we fail, we fail because of our individual initiative, and because we do things together. There are some things, just like giving speeches, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had write their own speeches. That would be a hard way to become president.”

    1. You didn’t build that post. Someone else did.

      1. Yup, and it was Obama. What an ingrate I am.

        1. I bet you didn’t give back and pay your fair share either.

          You’re what’s holding America back from being great again. I hope you’re happy.

  11. Instead, today’s Internet is based on TCP/IP – a networking standard the government tried to kill off.

    But remember, folks: Government built those roads over which we get the snail mail they so effortmorely deliver and which was so relevant in the building of the great Information Revolution – all according to Fernandito, the defender of society’s achievements.

    1. My favorite is when says something along the lines of “What about the postal service? You send letters and it only costs 45 cents. Why don’t you just use a private service if privatizing everything is so much better?”

      They either deny it when I reply that there is no choice as the USPS has a monopoly on 1st class mail, or they get huffy and go into instant defense mode where they start churning out all sorts of reasons why the monopoly is good.

      The other one which really shows how completely binary or small minded their thinking is when they reply (incredulously) along the lines of “Fedex and UPS send stuff everyday and they don’t get fined”. I’m forced to remind them that it’s not 1st class mail they’re sending except for things exempted as “time sensitive”.

      It’s fun. Try to get a statist into the position of advocating that you send your letters, bills, etc., through a private service. Their backpedaling and goal post moving can be a think of art.

  12. The other, much more fundamental reason to sneer at the “government made the internet” argument is because FOR A CENTURY the government made competing with ATT illegal.

    It’s really not very impressive that government was the innovator in telecommunications (and ultimately the internet is just a telecommunications system) when that same government has made it illegal to innovate in telecommunications.

    1. Next you’re going to say something crazy like “the only reason the government is the only one delivering letters is because they make it illegal for anyone else to deliver letters.”

        1. That company failing just proves that only the government can deliver mail.

    2. Excellent point. Also the ban on advertisement on line was still in effect well within the age of the modem.

    3. “Those internet pioneers didn’t pioneer. The government blazed that trail by permitting them access. If the government hadn’t gotten out of the way, the Internet never would have been invented”

      1. Those internet pioneers didn’t really invent anything, the government invented it by giving them reserch grants.

        The engineers and computer scientists who did the research are just interchangable nobodies. Nobody cares about them. Al Gore, however, should be idolized for handing out the money – that’s where the REAL innovation is!

  13. As someone who owns a fairly successful business, Obama’s right.
    I’ve learned from many people, and outside of technical matters, marketing, inventory control, etc, quite a bit of what I’ve learned is to arrange my business such that there is the absolute minimum interaction with any government agency whatsoever.

    1. Tell me more.

      Of course, I totally agree with the objective of arranging your business so as to minimize interacting with maobamacrats.

      1. Libertymike|7.17.12 @ 9:16PM|#
        “Tell me more.”

        Inventory is expensive; try to keep it at a minimum.
        Liquidity is expensive, but a lack of liquidity can be even more so.
        OK?

  14. I’d have to agree that the big damning line is ambiguous; Obama looks to be saying that successful people “didn’t build” infrastructure, not that they didn’t build their business.

    But, his claim that the government “created the Internet” for the purpose of business is an empirical matter, and he’s clearly wrong. And his segue into firefighting makes absolutely no sense. Is he suggesting that successful entrepreneurs do things on their own? Don’t they often, like… hire people? Work in partnerships? Seek investments and loans to get their business off the ground? I can’t wait for Obama to make the same speech in front of a Post Office, and assert that only government has delivered the mail.

    Anyway, as with Warren’s idiotic comment, Anthony de Jasay’s “Your Dog Owns Your House” is the definitive response.

    1. Anthony de Jasay’s “Your Dog Owns Your House” is the definitive response.

      He brings up the same point I did earlier: Even if we accept that “society” provided the infrastructure used to build the business, that doesn’t mean there is an eternal debt. You paid for those things when you used them, so you don’t owe “society” for them anymore.

  15. The other problem with Fernando’s argument is that if the business owner’s success is just the result of the fact that society built roadz and schoolz, then everybody should have a successful business.

    You have just as much access to the roadz and all those well-educated workers as anyone else, Fernando. So do people with Down’s Syndrome.

    Why isn’t everybody with Down’s Syndrome out there inventing new mousetraps? Don’t they have roadz to drive on?

    1. It’s because the rich are keeping them off the roadz.

  16. As for the Internet … Are we still humoring people who pretend that the modern Internet, with multimedia browsers, world-spanning commercial opportunities and unparallelled opportunities for free expression is a triumph of government planning?

    Even further most of the break through that the internet is when the government first connected a couple of colleges were already made. They used telephone lines and information being transferred over telephone lines existed for a long time before 1960s. And unless you were born in 2000 most people experienced the fun of dial up internet. The Pentium chip and 26k modems had more to with today’s internet then what the government did.

    Back to the previous inventions that made the internet possible. Why do you think news feeds are called “off the wire”? How many mass media characters of robber barons in the 1920s huddled over a machine spilling out stock prices have you seen? Ever hear of Morse code? The telegraph? How did local news papers print photos of events that occurred on the other side of the country let alone on the other side of the world before the internet?

    1. joshua corning|7.17.12 @ 9:12PM|#
      “As for the Internet … Are we still humoring people who pretend that the modern Internet, with multimedia browsers, world-spanning commercial opportunities and unparallelled opportunities for free expression is a triumph of government planning?”

      As I understand it, the government ‘invented’ the multi-nodule connections to prevent a loss of comm under a military attack. Goody.
      IOWs, they ‘paved a road’ as it were. What happened after that road was there had zip to do with the government.
      Bright folks took one look at that road and said: “WOW! Look what I can do with that!”
      The government took a look at what happened and said: “Hmmm. Wonder if we can tax that or regulate it.”

      1. More like the government cleared some brush off an animal trail and a bunch of people built a highway there.

        1. Brian D|7.17.12 @ 10:38PM|#
          “More like the government cleared some brush off an animal trail and a bunch of people built a highway there.”

          There’s many folks ‘way more knowledgeable about this than am I. Did the multi-nodule connections exist prior to the development by the defense dept efforts?
          If so, even that claim is bogus.

          1. If it wasn’t for government, you’d still be dodging injun arrows on those trails.

            1. OR……or, maybe, juuuuust maybe, without gov’t intervention, there might have been some white communities that worked well with the”injuns”, and had a voluntary trade system with them.

              Sure, there were plenty of assholes to go ’round back then, but it’s certainly possible, given the immigration of non-interference types during the 18th and 19th centuries, that there could have been settlements/towns that valued co-op with the natives.

              So, let’s not presume that the federal policy was such a plus all hte way around.

              1. Dammit, I tried to catch the “hte” before it posted…

            2. Too far.

          2. Did the multi-nodule connections exist prior to the development by the defense dept efforts?

            The internet is not Multi-nodule.

            It looks more like a tree.

            Sure it virtualizes it pretty well but for the most part it is a tree. Just like the telephone and just like the telegraph.

            Also any telephone system with more then one switch (think a line of telephone operators plugging holes with wires to make connections..anyone of whom could die on the spot without the system going down) then it is multi-nodule.

            Describing a network system with redundancy is more of an observation then an invention by the 1960’s.

      2. The government didn’t do anything. They just gave research grants to a bunch of nerds who had an idea for making computers talk to eachother over a phone line.

        To say the government invented the internet is basically like saying that the government invented cell phones – because somewhere along the line, some grad student got a research grant to develop a cell phone.

        Governments just fund things they don’t actually do any “inventing” at all. Let’s praise the real innovators – the actual unsung heros, that bunch of nerds whose names nobody knows who labored in anonymity in Bell Labs and in Universities around the country. Nobody even knows who they are!

      3. “The government took a look at what happened and said: ‘Hmmm. Wonder if we can tax that or regulate it.'”

        Fast forward to the FCC circa 2105…

    2. They used telephone lines and information being transferred over telephone lines existed for a long time before 1960s.

      Just wanted to note that the standard telephone is merely a device for transmitting, receiving, and broadcasting data; the internet as we know it today can just do it faster and with different data than back then. Government did *not* invent the idea of telecommunications.

  17. F**k Obama!

  18. Fire service became a collective endeavor because the prior owners sabotaged each other to profit from fire services to the fire-stricken.

    In fact, Dalmatians were deployed to sense that sabotage in firehouses by competitors who wanted the profit from their services.

    We should put it to vote again.

    1. Palin’s Buttplug|7.17.12 @ 9:20PM|#
      “Fire service became a collective endeavor because the prior owners sabotaged each other to profit from fire services to the fire-stricken.
      In fact, Dalmatians were deployed to sense that sabotage in firehouses by competitors who wanted the profit from their services.”
      Cite missing. Including cite that the ‘problem’ could only be cured by government intervention.

      “We should put it to vote again.”
      Yeah, like medical care is going to improve since it was ‘put to a vote’, right, shriek?

    2. I thought Dalmatians were bred to provide puppy-skin coats for fashionable libertarian moms.

    3. Dalmatians were employed because they get along with horses.

  19. They know they didn’t ? look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own

    Makes you want to just puke in your soup.

    Hey Fernando, your wrong. These those rich folks are “allowed” to be rich. They had to ask the government permission first. Like get a business license, an bar license, a license to sell booze. No, I think they have their money simply because fucks like you haven’t decided to vote to simply fucking take it.

  20. Troy muy grande boner|7.17.12 @ 9:27PM|#
    “Hey Fernando, your wrong.”

    ‘Nando was busted as a spoof last week. No use responding.

    1. The hell you say!

      1. Roll that R, ‘Nando!

        1. Mary got her “Mrs. Kravitz” handle banned so she’s falling back on this one. She can’t quit us, dude!

          1. Are you being purposely obtuse or are you just naturally a paranoid freak? I bet you think it’s mary when some hipster short order cook uses canned jalapenos in your huevos rancheros.

            I think you’re “Mary”: doth protest too much or some shit.

            ‘Nando’ is obviously a regular. It’s probably Jim.

          2. Epi,
            All the things that go bump in the night *aren’t* monsters under the bed.
            Do you think Mary is the only one capable of making silly comments?

            1. She’s the only one dumb enough to keep coming back for more.

            2. Mrs. Kravitz is definitely Mary. Check afternoon links for 7/17/12 where Mrs. Kravitz links to one of Mary’s new videos.

    2. In what thread was he busted? I love reading the outing of trolls.

      1. Randian|7.17.12 @ 11:06PM|#
        “In what thread was he busted? I love reading the outing of trolls.”

        Can’t remember just now, but it was a weekend thread and ‘Nando responded to my calling spoof by demanding I ‘roll the R for six seconds’.
        Or, just for the heck of it, how about this:
        Fernando|7.17.12 @ 9:38PM|#
        “The hell you say!”
        I’m calling spoof.

        1. My name is Fernando, not “Nando”

        2. Here’s the r-rolling comment. This one got silly pretty fast, I thought.

          1. I stand behind every commenter on that thread.

            1. Indeed you do, Fernando. Indeed you do.

  21. I wonder if this statement was floated out as a trial balloon to see just how much the party faithful will swallow whole. As it seems to have gone down without as much as a tear I imagine that the O will feel emboldened enough to shift from “Hope and Change” for the last campaign to “Bread and Circuses” for this one.

    1. They’re swallowing alright.

      1. Does that mean that liberals actually give the best blowjobs?

    2. Or, maybe not a test of the party faithful, we know where they stand, but of the general populace and the apologist media.

      An American president making such statements should be pilloried, but there has been a lack of outrage even by the right wing organizations. Looks like it’s working, not that I’m surprised.

    1. The Arizona Democratic Party says in a statement that Arpaio’s investigation is intended to draw attention away from problems within his own agency, such as hundreds of sex-crimes cases that the sheriff’s office failed to adequately investigate over a three-year period.

      Turn-about’s fair play, eh Fernando?

      Apaio’s uses Obama’s birth certificate to distract from his own incompetence. You use it to distract from Obama’s incompetence.

  22. All can use the roads and infrastructure. Those who are clever and work hard become successful. These successful then pay an extra share in taxes for infrastructure, available to all. These successful are thus providing the infrastructure to the others. Who is living off whom? BO’s got it backwards. That should be his motto, not forward.

  23. just how much the party faithful will swallow whole

    The party faithful have no gag reflex.

  24. I’ve got warm fuzzies because the dreamy Mr Obama is referring to me – the worker…oh wait a minute, it’s really a wave of nausea

  25. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.

    What a load of mealy-mouthed bullshit. “Thriving” is not unique to America (I refuse to treat seriously the notion that there is, or should be, an “American system”). There are people thriving in Mexico right now in the “Mexican system”, fat and happy thanks to bribes, murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. There are people allowed to thrive in China right now, who have the government’s license to exploit industries without competition and people without recourse so long as the Party gets a cut, under the “Chinese system.” Shika Dalmia, in the proper rotation of her Detroit-India axis, mentioned that people are allowed to “thrive” under the “Indian system” so long as they are babus, the petty local bureaucrats. But hey, Barry has given away the game. He wanted to “allow” people to thrive, as much as it pleases him to do so.

  26. this comment is kind of scary. There is only a thin line between this philosophy and building a berlin wall to prevent people from leaving.
    If you follow this line of reasoning, NBA players should move aside and let me play, because they dont deserve to play more than I do.
    From time to time Obama shows clearly his driving political motive: HATRED TOWARDS THOSE WHO DONT DEPEND ON GOVERNMENT

  27. A stranger gave you directions when you were lost on your way to work the first day. Therefore, you now owe certain strangers I’ll specify 50% of your earnings.

    1. If I paid half my salary to each person I asked for directions my great grand children would have to pay off my debts.

      1. Not that much though, jeeze.

  28. Got Tom Waits on now.

    Album: Small Change
    Song: Invitation to the Blues

  29. lol, Here is a big Middle Finger Salute to Obama!

    http://www.Privacy-Back.tk

  30. Those taxes pay for services which alleviate poverty. When we have too much poverty, everyone suffers. You’d be better off with no poverty. If we spend enough money we can get rid of poverty.

    1. Fernando|7.17.12 @ 11:23PM|#
      “Those taxes pay for services which alleviate poverty. When we have too much poverty, everyone suffers. You’d be better off with no poverty. If we spend enough money we can get rid of poverty.”

      OK, all you doubters, read this and call it something other than spoof.

      1. The last sentence really puts it over the edge.

    2. If we spend enough money we can get rid of poverty

      In the developed world poverty is more a function of poor choices than “bad luck”. No amount of spending will change that.

  31. Righty-fundy version:

    “If you were successful, God gave you some help. There was a great pastor somewhere in your life. God has given us this unbelievable American system that allows us to thrive like no other country on the face of the Earth. God gave somebody the gift for designing and building wonderful roads and bridges (well, except for the ones that collapse prematurely — those are invariably the work of Democrats).”

    “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that — God made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. The creative spirit, with which man was endowed by his Creator, allowed us to create the Internet, through the wise and just government he has given us, so that we might bring greater glory to Him, by the achievement of the greater level of prosperity that He wills for us all.”

    1. Hey, 10% flat tax sounds good to me.

    2. So….God sends “Tax Angels” to collect???

      Who knew?

  32. I always wonder why lefty Star Trek fans found the Borg so despicable.

    The Borg merely wish to attain perfection for everyone and have really good intentions. Their methods may be a little brutal, but you gotta break a few eggs to make a spectacular omelet, right?

    The Borg simply wish to make everyone equally perfect, what’s wrong with that?

    1. The Borg simply wish to make everyone equally perfect, what’s wrong with that?

      Not enough bureaucracy, apathy and celebration of ignorance. They place far too much emphasis on efficiency, not enough on endless overlapping committees with dubious mandates.

      Also = they seem to be mostly White People. Everyone knows there’s something wrong with that.

  33. . People enrich themselves and others by cutting deals with others or by picking up the baton from those who have gone before ? that doesn’t entail some formless, endless obligation to the collective, embodied, of course, by the nearest politicians with their hands out.

    Exactly. It’s like saying “I once did you a favor, so NOW YOu OWE ME FOREVER! And all your children and your grandchildren and every descentent unto the Nth generation shall be enslaved to me in eternal endebtedness, muahahahahahah!”

    Seriously, yeah the government built roads, but they were paid for multiple times over by the taxes of business then and after. yet somehow we’re STILL supposed to OWE our success to our benevolent overlords. Even if the Hoover Dam was built 50 years ago, with taxpayer money, we still owe them for that … FOREVER.

    1. I was writing a whole response, but remembered that someone else had said it much better:

      “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

  34. I think he was talking about an actual physical building.

  35. According to the CPBB 5% of our state taxes and 3% of Federal taxes go towards transportation spending, and that includes mass transit. We spend more money on financing our debt than we do on transportation, it’s fucking ridiculous that this is what statists point to for justification.

    I’d give half my right testicle to have our government in roads, courts and reasonable defense. Not holding my breath though.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=viewid=1258

    1. [Imagines some White House staffer opening a package with half a right testicle in it.]

      Worth a try! You first.

  36. Obama was completely off-base, but it’s true that no business succeeds in a vacuum. I would argue that a business’s customers are at least as important as the business’s owners when it comes to the success of the business.

    http://www.extraordinaryinsign…..uild-that/

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