Mitt Romney

Obama Apologists Pounce on Mitt Romney "You Didn't Build That" Response

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but we'll tax it anyway

On Friday while trying to paint himself as the candidate of "working together," President Barack Obama said "if you've got a business—you didn't build that." His defenders were quick to point out that "that" referred to roads and bridges, or to the American system in general. He misspoke, they said, like when the president said "the private sector is doing fine" (walking back the comment despite having it defended).

Mitt Romney, of course, is sticking to the literal interpretation, that the president was telling businesses they didn't build their businesses. Kind of like the Obama campaign is sticking to the literal interpretation of Mitt Romney's relationship with Bain after 1999. Kind of, but not quite. Mitt Romney's relationship with Bain after 1999 was legally nuanced but not out the ordinary. Barack Obama's comments were grammatically "nuanced" but also out of the ordinary. Most people wouldn't construct their thought the way the president did, and less than four months out the sitting president should know better than to leave low hanging fruit, anyway. 

Yesterday, in the course of attacking the president for his poor choice of words, Romney said to business owners :"there are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepreneurs and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that. It's an important thing." Before that, he referred to "[t]he people that provide roads, the fire, and the police. A lot of people help, but let me ask you this, did you build your business?"

At Talking Points Memo, Benjy Sarlin writes: "Without the misleading idea that Obama was telling business owners they don't deserve any credit for their success, it's just two guys touting the benefits of the federal highway system."

That Mitt Romney believes in the government's power to create jobs and "fix" the economy too shouldn't surprise anyone paying attention. This is a Republican candidate who was for the 2009 stimulus before he was against it and hasn't shown any indication he doesn't believe in government spending.

Romney's acknowledgement that he agrees with the basic premise put forth by President Obama is more evidence that the two candidates are a lot less different than they're trying to appear on the campaign trail. The back and forth between apologists of team blue and team red suggests they're okay going along with that.

NEXT: More Evidence of Growing Citizen Resistance to Enforcing Ridiculous Laws Against Marijuana?

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  1. Romney deserves to lose. What a terrible, milquetoast, Democrat-lite.

    1. Q: What do you call a Democrat who acts like a Republican?

      A: A Democrat.

    2. Everyone who has a chance at winning deserves to lose. Welcome to democracy.

  2. there are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepreneurs and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs

    Well, Mittens, you “allow” people to have businesses? Thank you so much, my emperor! Thank you for allowing us to live!

    What a fucking abject tool. He had a chance to slam Obama on this and instead he basically agrees. We’re so fucked.

    1. I don’t see how he agrees with it. I really don’t. Yeah, if we lived in anarchy you probably couldn’t have a business. But so what? That doesn’t mean the government is responsible for your individual success and entitled to your wealth.

      1. The very word “allow” is repulsive. If you can’t see that, John, I don’t know what to say to you. He’s basically repeating Obama’s abhorrent opinions.

        1. It must focus group well with women voters. We are totally fucked.

        2. No he is not. Both admit that yes, we need a government and a rule of law to have businesses, which is true. Obama goes the step further and says that means you really don’t own anything you produce. Romney denies that. That is a big difference.

          the word “allow” is only repulsive if you are an anarchist. Otherwise, it is just stating the obvious, that it would be really fucking hard to have a successful business if you had no court system to enforce contracts, and no police or government monopoly of force to ensure the local war lord doesn’t come over and burn the place down.

          1. Romney is one of the warlords, John, right along with the warlord in chief, Obama. It’s so utterly sad that you can’t see that.

            1. That is just nonsenes. The words say what they say.

            2. Exactly. John has a problem with stepping back from the immediate context of things and seeing the big picture. The “anarchy” he fears, where the Rule of Law is ignored and the looters reign, is already here

          2. the word “allow” is only repulsive if you are an anarchist

            False. The word “allow” is repulsive if your default position is liberty.

            Liberty means being free to do that which is not prohibited.

            As opposed to tyranny where you may only do that which is allowed.

            1. See below. It is less repulsive than the usual “government builds the nation” bullshit.

              I am sorry guys, you need a rule of law and a stable government that ensures stability and domestic tranquility to have an economy.

              1. for now…

              2. Those things still don’t “allow” me to do anything. I am not waiting for some benevolent bureaucratic overlord to tell me I can start a business.

                1. In a sense they do. Take this sentence

                  If it is nice out tomorrow morning and not raining, the good weather will allow me to go for a run.

                  That is perfectly appropriate sentence. But it doesn’t mean the weather Gods are in control of my life. It just means circumstances or conditions have to be right for me to do certain things.

                  1. So you’re going to equivocate over the meanings of the word allow? I think it’s pretty clear which meaning Mitt is using in context.

                    1. So you’re going to equivocate over the meanings of the word allow? I think it’s pretty clear which meaning Mitt is using in context.

                      It is. And what makes it clear is the rhetorical question. Romney says A lot of people help, but let me ask you this, did you build your business?

                      And the answer to that rhetorical question is of course you did. So taken in context Romney means “allow” in the sense I use it above when talking about the weather.

                      It is as plain as day. You guys are just as bad as liberals and pretending it says something it clearly doesn’t.

              3. you need a rule of law and a stable government that ensures stability and domestic tranquility to have an economy

                You need an economy that produces wealth before a government can confiscate some of it in order to enforce contracts and property rights.

                1. Sorry guys, but John is right and Ed and the rest of you are wrong. The proper interpretation is that this sentiment is miles apart from Obama’s.

              4. Ayn Rand certainly agrees with John.

            2. there is an opposite to ‘allow.’ I don’t like the word choice, either, but every time I read about some guy getting jerked all over the place by a planning board, city council, building commission, or some other entity, ‘allow’ starts to become more of a reality.

            3. “allow” has multiple meanings. Romney certainly wouldn’t have responded to BO’s comment with the meaning you’re assuming.

              1. He’s clearly using “allow” as a synonym for “enables.” “Enables” would be a better word choice, but as John pointed out, this usage is not uncommon.

                I’m no big fan of Romney, but believing that he and Obama are sympatico on this issue is nuts.

          3. You are right, this is not one of the appalling things that Romney has said (but there are quite a few of them)

        3. He almost certainly means “allow” in the same sense that one would say “Earth’s ozone layer allowed life to develop on land.” No one would say that the ozone caused evolution to happen, but it was a necessary background feature.

          1. Then he is wrong.

            Government doesnt “allow” businesses to exist in that sense. Businesses can exist in anarchy.

      2. You don’t allow an economy. You enforce contract law and get the hell out of the way.

        1. In a sense you do “allow” the economy. The government doesn’t build the economy. It sets the conditions which allow the economy to grow itself. Saying that the government “allows” the economy is less offensive than the usual “government builds the nation” bullshit.

          1. Government doesn’t “allow” the economy, it facilitates it by enforcing contracts and property rights.

            Economies exist despite government. Take illegal drugs for example. Actors in that economy have to enforce contracts and property rights on their own, yet the economy still exists.

            1. Facilitates allows, you are really left with arguing that point? That is the best you got? You can’t come up with a better reason to bitch? Really? Come on.

              1. Words mean things, Tony.

              2. Facilitates has a completely different meaning and connotation than allows John. Being a lawyer, you should know that.

                1. I don’t know how that Cyrillic keyboard allows you to type those Roman characters so easily.

                2. Being a lawyer, you should know that.

                  Being stubborn and obtuse, he won’t admit it.

                  1. John’s interpretation is right. He is being stubborn because he is reading the quote correctly, and you are not.

                3. To me, “allow” sometimes has the connotation of “facilitate”, and I can’t be the only one. I’m no fan of Mittens, but that’s how I interpreted it.

            2. I, too, initially recoiled at the word “allow”, but have since come around to the John/Randian interpretation.

              Took me a while to get there, though. “Allow” is a pretty provocative liberatarian dog-whistle word.

          2. The economy exists in spite of the government in most cases. Last I checked people were still trading currency for illegal items like drugs.

            1. Sure you can have an economy without a government. You just have a poorer one. Property rights and the common law allowed the creation of a whole lot of wealth.

              1. And this is the definition of what government exists for. Why couldn’t Romney come out and say that? Why is he giving ground? The only explanation I can give is that he doesn’t believe that’s what government should be. Otherwise, it would be on his lips when he opened his mouth.

                1. The explanation I can give is that he didn’t want to come out looking like an anarchist and take attention off what Obama said.

                  1. Being principled and being the alternative are two different things. Romney is just a stalking horse for more big-government GOP as far as I can tell.

                  2. If he had said facilitates, or added that for after allows, we probably wouldn’t even be talking about this.

                    1. That is untrue…we would just be concentrating on how his previous positions and actions are contrary to the Libertarian ethos.

                      Look, there are two questions rolled into this statement:

                      1) In a society with lots of inter-dependencies, can we truly attribute our own successes to our selves?

                      2) Is there a role for government intervening in society to create conditions for success.

                      Obama: No, Fuck yes
                      Romney: No, yes
                      Libertarians: No, maybe a little
                      Anarcho Libertarians: No, Hell No

                      Romney doesn’t share the same views as Libertarians and Anarcho Libertarians. It is worth noting, but it is also not the same as conflating him with Obama.

                      Obama’s belief that individual accomplishments are merely the expression of Society is DRASTICALLY different from Romney’s belief that the government is justified in creating conditions for individuals to succeed.

          3. “Allow” offends me. The government is not the primary driver of the economy. At best, it’s a tool for providing defense and some social order through a legal system. However, it’s not the only possible tool, nor does it do much itself. Most of the things government claims as successes were done by private actors paid by the government with money taken from private actors. It’s telling that the government can’t do much at all without the private economy, isn’t it?

            Ideally, our government should play a secondary role, supporting society and the economy, not attempting to control them or weaken them. This idea that the government is the source of anything is absolutely ridiculous and puts us on a path to destruction.

            Romney should’ve pointed out that it is capitalism, not statism or socialism, that is inherently built upon cooperation.

            1. Furthermore, the government is supposed to be our servant. We allow it to exist as long as we think it’s legitimate. If most of us spontaneously decided it wasn’t, the whole thing would end at that moment. “We the people”, right?

              1. Furthermore, watch the video where Romney states that we pay for government employees and services and they don’t magically appear. Right after he explains how government allows us to have an economy we can thrive in. Your hangup with a particular word is not allowing you to view anything in context.

                1. Weak sauce. Romney is simply not strong on limiting government power or rolling it back significantly from impeding the economy. He wants high office, but he’s never articulated a strong position on why I should vote for him. Sure, he throws around some decent remarks on occasion and is certainly more business-friendly than Obama, but that alone solves nothing. I already prefer him to Obama, if that were the only choice.

                  I don’t reject Romney because of one word, anymore than Obama’s “You didn’t build that” is the reason for my opposition to him. It’s the whole package that I find troubling.

                  1. Okay, then your comments at 12:16 are weak sauce because it’s exactly what Romney says in the video, which is why I replied to it in the first place.

                    1. I just don’t see much sign that Romney is in favor of reining in government or really “allowing” freer markets. I’ve already agreed that he has better rhetoric on these issues than Obama, but he also keeps saying things that make it clear that he views the government as overly important to the functioning of society.

                      Personally, I think he’s less in the pro-state camp than Bush was, but he’s not the man we need right now. What we need is a president and Congress that will try to undo the damage the runaway government has done to our economy and our culture. We’re running out of time.

                    2. Not sure how anyone could satisfy your conditions. What do you propose to go on other than what someone says?

                      Romney: “I Believe In Free People And Free Markets”
                      http://www.realclearpolitics.c…..rkets.html

                    3. I’ll believe it when I see it.

              2. There is this fallacious undercurrent in the Warren/Obama argument where they are suggesting that “government” created the infrastructure out of its own resources, as opposed to utilizing the collectivized resources of its citizens.

                What we “owe” for the infrastructure has already be subsumed by what we paid for the infrastructure.

                It’s as if we paid to have a house built and the construction company think it owns part of the children that will ever been conceived and raised in it in perpetuity.

                1. It’s as if we paid to have a house built and the construction company think it owns part of the children that will ever been conceived and raised in it in perpetuity.

                  That was how tsarist serfdom came into being. Serf is a closer analogy than slave to what progressives (Mittens and McCain refer to themselves to that evil name as well) believe the roll of the people should be in their ideal society.

            2. would have been a hell of lot better to say that “good govt exists to safeguard the ability of entrepreneurs to take risks and to start businesses. It also makes wise use of the tax money generated by those business owners in providing public services.”

              1. would have been a hell of lot better to say that “good govt exists to safeguard the abilityleech off the success of entrepreneurs towho take risks and to start businesses. It also makes wise use ofspends some of the tax money generated by those business owners in providing public services, in order to win some people over, and to provide money to politically connected contractors, who can funnel some of those funds in the form of kickbacks back to the politicians and bureaucrats selecting the public works projects.

                FTFY

            3. The good old days. When legislators were working men who sacrificed some of their time to gather in a meeting place to hammer out the rules of the country.

              Now legislator is a full blown career path. And once you’re hired you get to leave your constituents behind to permanently live in a central location. The best part is you get to hang around with your fellow legislators and make all kinds of mutually beneficial deals while ignoring the whining coming from the place you used to call home.

    2. Neither of these turdblossoms should be pulling 20 percent or better in the polls. Fucking disgrace to the country is what they are. I hope they both contact Legionnaire’s Disease at the first debate. The process has gone horribly wrong. It should really go down to the Libertarian and Green parties. Both in their own ways better reflect this country than the two faces of the America’s Kremlin apparatchik party.

  3. Vote Kodos! Four years of Kang is enough!

  4. there are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepreneurs and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that. It’s an important thing.” Before that, he referred to “[t]he people that provide roads, the fire, and the police. A lot of people help, but let me ask you this, did you build your business?”

    And the answer rhetorical question is of course no. Romney seems to be admitting the obvious, that we have to have a rule of law and some basic form of government. But then at the end saying, that doesn’t mean you didn’t build your business or that the government is entitled to a share of it, which is very different from what Obama and Warren are saying.

    1. The answer to the rhetorical question is of course yes, I believe.

      1. Yes. Sorry. But nowhere does Romney say “you didn’t build that”. Nowhere does he say that the necessity of roads means that you are somehow not entitled or less entitled to the fruits of your labor. And that of course was the whole point of what Obama was saying. Romney comes back and says “sure government is important and we need it, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t really build your business”.

        Am I missing something here?

        1. Yes. You are missing the fact that he thinks he “allows” us to create businesses. Think about that. God-Emperor Romney is so magnanimous that he allows us to do things! What wonder! What excellence! He is truly a benevolent dictator.

          1. No he is saying the existence of a government and a rule of law is necessary to have businesses, which is true.

            1. Still though, this anti-individualist quote could have been flogged for days, it requires parsing and interpretation to get to the point where it looks like Romney is disagreeing.

              That’s why this is such a failure. Romney could have gone on a Dean-esque patter like “Obama doesn’t believe you can create anything without the government! Obama doesn’t believe anyone does anything on his own!”

              I mean, let loose.

              1. He could have done better. I agree. But I don’t think the quote means there is no difference between the two or that he was endorsing what Obama said.

            2. There are plenty of businesses that have operated outside of the law and been successful, in fact, some economist believe the gray market to be the only sector steadily on the rise of late.

              And, yeah, ‘allow’ is the operative word that shows how Mittens really thinks.

              1. And, yeah, ‘allow’ is the operative word that shows how Mittens really thinks.

                No he doesn’t. Read the rest of the speech I quoted below.

        2. John, your fundamental interpretation is solid, and it is (almost) the right sentiment. The problem is the delivery. First, use of the word “allow”; Second, why the Sam Fiddly isn’t Mittens amped about this quote? Where is hammer? Where is the fire?

          He’s barely defending freedom on the thinnest of words. That’s the problem. There’s no spirit to it.

          1. “Allow” wouldn’t be my choice of terms as a speech writer, but the context supports the meaning as utility, not permission. My antacid allows me to eat spicy foods sometimes.

            1. Yes, I realized that after I said it. The response still sucks.

        3. What we’re missing from his argument is the statement of the primacy of the individual. The statement that government does have a function but that function is absolutely limited under a proper reading of the Constitution. A statement of Lockean principles that property precedes government.

          1. So all you are left is the Romney is not a true Scotsman argument? Obama is trying to paint Romney as some kind of radical nihilist Libertarian. It was smart of him to give ground on the obvious point that, yes you do need government, and then come back and say “but that doesn’t mean the government owns you”.

            1. Romney is not a true Scotsman doesn’t express how wide of the mark he is. It’s not smart to give ground on this issue at all. It would be smart to give a passionate defense of the individual. At least Reagan really knew how to give lip service to these issues. Romney is weak tea by comparison.

              1. *That* right there is exactly my problem. Romney has no idea what the expression “make hay while the sun is shining” means. He refuses to press advantages.

                1. There’s such a thing as overpursuit, Randian. Radical defense of the individual is electoral anchovies.

            2. Why not say government serves us, not the other way around? Why not endorse voluntary cooperation as more effective than government coercion? Why not point out that private citizens funded and built those bridges and roads?

              I prefer Romney to Obama, because Obama has taken aggressive steps to expand government power and weaken the economy and Romney hasn’t (yet), but he needs to take a firm stand on limited government and free markets. Not necessarily a libertarian position, just what the GOP likes to pretend that it believes in.

              1. “Obama has taken aggressive steps to expand government power and weaken the economy and Romney hasn’t…”

                Um, Romneycare?

                1. Yes, but he didn’t do that to the rest of us. Yet.

            3. no, I think we’re left with Romney was handed a big-ass hammer to use on a board pull of protruding nails and chose to lecture on the utility of the hammer.

              He’s not running for glee club president and he’s not running against the class geek. Obama has the benefit of incumbency, and for the first time in his life, he has a record that an opponent can point to. Romney’s gentlemanly demeanor is not well-suited for this.

              1. That’s what’s frustrating. A strong GOP candidate could win in a huge landslide. Just on the economy and nothing else.

                Instead, we have a guy that people are still wondering how he won the nomination. Which, of course, has a lot more to do with the many candidates who sat out this election than anything good he’s done.

              2. “Big-ass hammer…”

                What have you heard?!

            4. By comparison I give you Reagan

              Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

              Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty

              Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.

              If the federal government had been around when the Creator was putting His hand to this state, Indiana wouldn’t be here. It’d still be waiting for an environmental impact statement.

              The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

              1. Exactly. For all his flaws, he said the right thing pretty often. Could use some of that from the GOP nominee.

    2. Totally OT, but I think the AM links is dead now.

      Info about Youk and chicken/beer. God how I hate Beckett.

    3. You’re doing the same thing Tony and the entire media arm of the DNC is doing. Romney didn’t say “you built your business, you took the risks and you deserve to keep more of what you earned,” he asked a question. Not a statement, a question. He had the opportunity to at least differentiate himself, but instead he pandered to the bureaucracy and left the question of “who built your business?” and by extension, “Who deserves the profits that are generated by your business?” open. He confirmed libertarians’ worst fears about him.

    4. Wait. Who provide “the fire”? Is he talking about the military or did he :gasp: misspeak?

      See? Shit like that happens all the time. Especially for people who talk on camera all damn day, every damn day.

      Can we please shut up about Obama’s one stupid sentence and focus on his thousands of stupid actions?

  5. Romney’s acknowledgement that he agrees with the basic premise put forth by President Obama is more evidence that the two candidates are a lot less different than they’re trying to appear on the campaign trail.

    John Jackson: “It’s time someone had the courage to stand up and say: I’m against those things that everybody hates.”
    Jack Johnson: “Now, I respect my opponent. I think he’s a good man. But quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said.”
    John Jackson: “I say your three cent titanium tax goes too far.”
    Jack Johnson: “And I say your three cent titanium tax doesn’t go too far enough.”

    1. Damn it!

      1. Too late, hot plate.

  6. Feel the wrath of balloon-juice

    To recap, A) Healy is attacking the President’s supposition that he’s had issues being taken out of context and getting his message across by providing a perfect example of taking the President’s message out of context, with our wonderful media regularly inventing such faux controversies out of whole cloth, and B) there’s little greater self-parody than writing lazy nonsense like this for an outfit called “Reason”. The context of that speech was of course that the President was referring to businesses not building those terribly soshulist public goods: roads, bridges, infrastructure, education, the internet, all anathema to the Reasonoids and their glibertarian ilk.

    Drink bitches

    1. Just for that they are going to send over another griefer to destroy the site.

      1. Where do you sign up for the DOD Project Troll grants?

      2. OT but I think AM Links is dead. FYI: Youk is considered to be the source who told the media about the chicken and beer thing in the first place.

        1. I saw that. No one likes a snitch.

          1. When it puts you up versus Beckett, the fans do.

    2. Fuck, he’s using scare quotes and calling us glibertarians all in one paragraph. He’s pulling no punches today.

      1. My liver is going to leap from my body and strangle me.

    3. two points:

      Businesses did partially build those roads – through taxation.

      Some roads are in fact built by private businesses. Grand Rapids has a wicked highway portion called “the S-Curve”. It was in need of a major uplift/redo since it’s 1960s construction.

      Construction delays were caused by river flooding during spring rains. A design mistake meant that one of the bridges in the structure was built a foot (30 cm) too low, and Grandville Avenue was lowered to compensate for the error. Before the opening, MDOT held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the freeway to allow local residents to walk along the structure on August 12. The first northbound lanes were opened to traffic in mid-August, three weeks ahead of schedule.[83] Lead contractor Kiewit Western, a company whose “employees have been known to work 13-hour days and 100-hour weeks”, accelerated their work schedule over the course of the project to compensate for the delays and still finish the venture early

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_131

    4. The context of that speech was of course that the President was referring to businesses not building those terribly soshulist public goods: roads, bridges, infrastructure, education, the internet, all anathema to the Reasonoids and their glibertarian ilk.

      See that straw man? You did build that. See that begged question? You built that, too.

      1. Except for the fact that it doesn’t make sense grammatically or contexturally for ‘that’ to be referring to the roads, and that Fauxcahontas doubled down and basically confirmed the Reason interpretation.

        1. Notwithstanding the fact that of course businesses did build their share of the roads, etc., through taxes, development fees, vehicle registration fees, etc. etc.

    5. with our wonderful media regularly inventing such faux controversies out of whole cloth

      He’s right, of course. The media has been especially hard on Obama. Why, there was the issue about, uh, well, uh, I mean, that one time where, umm, hold on, I’ll think of something.

      Meanwhile they’re totally letting Romney slide by totally not looking into his past to point out supposed inconsistencies in business issues they don’t understand.

      Also, they’re taking up all the president’s airtime by covering third party candidates and their campaigns, with stories about what’s-his-name and who’s-her-face.

      It’s totally, like, unfair, man.

    6. Went and posted this: Any way you slice it, the president’s comment was incredibly stupid.

      Nevermind the grammatical FACT that the word “that” refers to the noun proceeding it (which would be business). But even if you give the president the benefit of the doubt that he was actually referring to roads and bridges, he’s still bald ass wrong since business owners pay taxes just like you and me so they helped build those roads and bridges.

      Your complete and utter lack of integrity on trying to paint this as some kind of right-wing meme would make me weep for liberals if you weren’t all so smug and self-righteous.

      It’ll probably get marked as trolling and not posted.

  7. Shorter Romney: Now, I respect my opponent. I think he’s a good man. But quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said.

  8. How many jobs will Romney create with the tax cut he wants to give himself? Considering he likely paid $0 in some years, doesn’t that imply he was responsible for an infinite workforce in those times?

    1. You know, my rich boss (sole owner of the company which has an annual profit around $200 million), has never created a single job. Not the for the 2500 employees he has now. And certainly not for the 350 people we are hiring this year.

      1. And he never did anything for anyone but himself. All of those customers who get whatever product or service you provide are just being exploited. You guys are just selfless bastards.

        1. How about an annual parade for the rich. I’ll help throw roses. What has your wealth fetish got to do with sound fiscal policy?

          1. Sure Tony. Some guy like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates did more for the world than any government bureaucrat who ever lived. Our entire life and lifestyle exists because rich people built and created it.

            Turds like you only hate the rich out of jealousy and guilt .

            1. I don’t hate the rich nor am I jealous of them nor do I feel guilt about anything. I just agree with Bill Gates that the wealthy are not demigods, but owe their success in some part to luck and the existence of a functioning cohesive society.

              1. So of course it is correct to punish them by taking that wealth by force. Fuck off, slaver.

              2. a functioning cohesive society that they pay for. Or do you think it created itself?

                1. Bill Gates did not pay upfront for all of the aspects of society that aided his success. So you agree that people should pay taxes to maintain a society in which prosperity is facilitated. So it’s just a question of how much and what for.

                  1. Bill Gates did not pay upfront for all of the aspects of society that aided his success.

                    He also didn’t have a say in any of the aspects of society that aided his success. He has, however, paid billions of dollars in taxes over the years, managed thousands of jobs and provided billions of units of useful software to willing customers. So at what point will you admit that he has repaid his debt to society? How much more do you think he owes? I’m looking for a number here. What is Bill Gates’ fair share of the burden?

                    1. So at what point will you admit that he has repaid his debt to society? How much more do you think he owes? I’m looking for a number here. What is Bill Gates’ fair share of the burden?

                      It’s so quiet now I can actually hear electrons spinning.

                    2. Whatever his share is in a formula calculated to pay for the aspects of civilization we decide we want as a society without burdening anyone.

                    3. Whatever his share is in a formula calculated to pay for the aspects of civilization we decide we want as a society without burdening anyone.

                      Any amount greater than $0 is, by definition, a burden.

                    4. Anarchy is a bigger one.

                      No one should be taxed so much his lifestyle is changed, how about that?

            2. Turds like you only hate the rich out of jealousy and guilt .

              Winnah!

            3. Tony doesn’t hate the rich John. He hates the poor.

              Or maybe he just hates everybody.

              1. Mostly, he just hates himself.

        2. Just yesterday I literally had to force my software onto a customer’s PC.

          1. On the drive home today someone will point a gun to my head and coerce me into filling my tank with gas.

            1. and to buy food! Damn this body of mine for getting hungry.

            2. But do you really have that much of a choice but to buy gas?

              You guys are all in favor of coercion, say if a hoodlum wanders onto your lawn, or swarthy foreigners invade the nation’s shores. No coercion for you, except the most overtly violent sort.

              1. You don’t have to buy gas Tony. You could live in a world without cars. Or not own a car and walk. You buy the gas because you are better off doing it dipshit.

              2. But do you really have that much of a choice but to buy gas?

                Yes, I most certainly do. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 23. Didn’t need it. I chose to live and work in a city with lots of bike paths and bike lanes.
                At some point I made the choice to live someplace where I needed a car, but there was no coercion involved.

                1. In Tony’s world you are coerced into everything: eating, drinking, breathing. And the rich are somehow responsible for nature’s coercive forces.

              3. We are against the intitiation of force, which would be what the hoodlums and invaders were doing. But you already knew that, you dishonest prick.

              4. You guys are all in favor of coercion, say if a hoodlum wanders onto your lawn, or swarthy foreigners invade the nation’s shores.

                Hysterical queen is hysterical.

      2. And that’s why we should destroy Medicare!

        1. we don’t have to destroy Medicare.

          1. Yeah we do

            1. no – i mean it’s going to self destruct.

              1. Point taken

        2. Because before Medicare old people were dying in the streets…oh, wait..

    2. Considering he likely paid $0 in some years…

      Continue to manufacture facts like that and I am sure the DNC will offer you a job.

      1. Romney is more than welcome to prove me wrong.

        1. It is incumbent upon the person making the assertion to provide proof. If I assert ‘T o n y cornholes dead kittens every night’, you are not therefore required to somehow provide proof I am wrong. But of course you knew that, you dishonest douchebag.

          1. Wait, does Tony cornhole kittens every night?

            1. Well, he has failed to provide proof to the contrary.

        2. So let’s speculate that Romney at some point paid zero income taxes. I’ll speculate too: if he did it is because of some tax breaks instituted under a
          Democratic congress.

          1. And who cares? Is tax avoidance inherently unpatriotic? I take the mortgage deduction; does that make me less of a patriot because it reduced my tax burden by X%?

            1. Patriotism isn’t the issue really. That people like Romney are able to pay less of a percentage in taxes than average working people makes Romney a poster child for the unfairness of the tax code. Rick Santorum had him right on healthcare–now it appears he’s the worst person imaginable to run against Obama’s fiscal fairness rhetoric.

    3. How many jobs will Romney create with the tax cut he wants to give himself?

      Romney’s going to go lower than the Bush/Obama tax rates?

      1. Romney on taxes:
        Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates; Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains; Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains; Eliminate the Death Tax
        Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax(AMT); Cut the corporate rate to 25 percent; Strengthen and make permanent the RD tax credit; Switch to a territorial tax system; Repeal the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

        1. Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates

          So he wants to give everyone a cut in the tax rate, not just himself. Apparently Tony’s meme got assploded.

  9. I would like to point out to everyone that it is Thursday.

      1. So we have Mexican Monday, Taco Tuesdays and Enchilada Thursdays. I am starting to notice a trend.

    1. Thursday is a waste of time while waiting for Friday.

      1. Troll-Free Thursdays were a time-honored tradition around here. But some people have no respect for our native culture.

        1. John just keeps imposing his values on us, doesn’t he?

          1. Well, he is an imperialist warmonger. It’s only to be expected.

            1. T,

              Do you even know what those words mean?

        2. Shit, I totally forgot about that! No more T o n y fun for me.

    2. Which, as we all know, is the most racist of days. Look how at the distance it is keeping from Monday.

      1. And of course, tomorrow is Frig’s day.

          1. Fribsday is not until 2024.

  10. Oddly, I’d argue that both Obama and Romney mis-spoke, that Obama was referring to the roads and bridges and not the businesses themselves, and Romney most likeily meant to say “allows for” which is accurate and non-repulsive.

    Of course, even if Obama said exactly what liberals want him to have said, it’s still vile attitude founded on a strawman argument.

    1. Right, exactly. The sentiment driving one is abhorrent. The sentiment driving the other is actually laudable.

    2. I think you have it about right. He should have said “Allows for”.

    3. Perhaps they misspoke, but to make those particular mistakes in those contexts is highly strange. When you are taking over industries, raising taxes, expanding gov’t, etc., do you make THAT mistake? And then, when you are refuting THAT comment, do you accidentally let slip THAT verbiage?

      When you’re trying to get laid, you don’t accidentally infer that you are a rapist. You are extra careful to avoid it. I think these guys (both of them) are giving us fruedian slip-ish windows into their think by virtue of the kind of misspeaking they are doing.

      1. *thinkING

  11. Obamney and Rombama are polar opposites. It’s so hard to choose!11

  12. The ontological truth is:

    (a)almost exactly the opposite of what Obama said, and

    (b) even more devastating to the GOP’s oversimplified talking points.

    Just about all the public goods, and much of the ‘private’ goods in this country, were built with revenues from broad-based, barely progressive taxes, thrown into an indivisible public fisc. Hence, “you” (or your predecesors) built at least a teensy weensy little tiny bit of just about everything you see.

    There is a virtually seamless continuity between what the people have done collectively as a self-governing group and individually as self-directing citizens. Almost no part of one is untainted by the other. The decision to do more, or less, in one sector is of a piece with the decision to do more, or less, in the other.

    Invest publicly in a “smart grid” and you are sure to see private investment in opportunities that require a more reliable energy distribution system. Invest publicly in airport improvements and you are sure to see private investment in cheaper and more extensive air travel.

    On the flip side, if private investment goes into, say, making driverless cars technically feasible, you are sure to see government improving the road system to accomodate such vehicles. If private investment goes into making digital broadcasting feasable then — as you have seen before your very eyes — the government is sure to set up a system to accomodate digital broadcasting.

      1. Why would you read Gabe’s drivel anyway?

    1. And your point is…?

      This is basically on the same level as saying that a musical artist did not create a unique piece of music because someone developed the diatonic scale 1,000 years ago.

      1. It’s more like taking note of the interdependence of the archer and the fletcher.

        1. And still irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The driving sentiment behind the President’s statement is not interdependence of that sort. If it were, then the rest of the quote would not make any sense.

          1. You’re not making much sense, either.

            1. State your thesis plainly, then, since I seem to have failed to grasp it. You posited that ‘reality’ was devastating to the simplified GOP talking points, but you did not say how. I assumed that you were putting forth an interdependence argument, which had nothing to do with either Obama’s quote or Romney’s response. So, if you want to make yourself understood, try harder.

              1. I salute you for your pain tolerance, but why do you want to understand Gabe’s gobbledygook?

                1. I feel as if there is point in there somewhere, but if it is the same try, to quote RRR, to “make this ham-fisted piece of rhetoric into some deeply intellectual treatise on communitarianism.”, then I suppose I should not bother.

                  I thought Gabe was saying something else, and I would not want a visitor to the site stroking his chin and saying “oh, look ,that RAL really got them there!”

        2. It’s more like the fletcher coming back again and again to demand more money from the archer because the archer bought an arrow from him once and used it to take down a million dollar stag.

    2. Cool story, bro.

    3. Blah, blah blah.

      If the existence of public roads were the cause of financial sucess, then without exception ever single person who navigated so much as one foot in distance on a public road at any point in their entire life would be an exactly equal financial success down to the very last cent of net worth.

      They aren’t and it isn’t.

      Case closed.

    4. The ontological truth is:

      (a)almost exactly the opposite of what Obama said, and

      (b) even more devastating to the GOP’s oversimplified talking points.

      I love how Obama’s defenders are trying to make this ham-fisted piece of rhetoric into some deeply intellectual treatise on communitarianism.

      It was a college-freshman-level speech that showed all the superficial, intellectually lazy cardboard cutouts employed by the same. If Obama wanted to, or had the ability to explain it in that manner, he would have. This post hoc apologia is sycophantic Brainy Smurf bootlicking of the worst sort.

      1. Post hoc apologia is all they have.

  13. So, how’s everyone going to greet Obama’s second term? You gonna drink heavily, cry yourself to sleep, or find some way to make the best of it?

    1. The on-going creation of the vilest pornography I am capable of. Of course, that probably will happen whoever wins.

    2. There won’t be a second term.

    3. Not going to happen, especially with the economy looking to turn south some more before then. Romney has two big advantages–one, he’s not Obama, and two, he’s generally mild and inoffensive. The latter point keeps him from generating excitement, but I don’t see the Democrats and leftish independents turning out in droves to keep him out (or, for that matter, Obama in).

    4. I will buy both John and Pro L a fine bottle of scotch if Obama doesn’t win. What will you buy me if when he does?

      1. I’ll chip in for a midget hooker, but I get to use her first.

        1. There will be nothing left for the rest of us.

        2. A Lannister always pays his debts.

        3. Fine, I prefer sloppy seconds anyway.

        1. With room for the three of us?

    5. Some corners of the country will go on as they have always gone no matter who is at the helm of the country. This little slice of America called Massachusetts will probably notice no difference since it’s just a smaller version of Obama’s America anyway.

    6. By that point, hopefully, spending lockdown will be lifted, so I will start prepping for economic collapse and/or civil war.

  14. “Without the misleading idea that Obama was telling business owners they don’t deserve any credit for their success…

    But it’s not a misleading idea — it’s exactly what Obama said. Not only did he say they didn’t build their own businesses (or the infrastructure they use), he said that there was nothing special about their hard work: “lots of people work hard,” he said, as if staying til 7 at some Fortune 500 company because you rolled in at 9 and frittered away 3 or 4 hours trolling message boards, grabbing lunch and talking to your cubicle neighbors is the same as working 12+ hours a day getting a business going and risking your own capital every day.

    1. Careful of being “effort-centric” in your analysis.

      Some people work extremely hard and fail, while others work much less hard and succeed. There are a vast number of variables affecting outcomes.

      We strive for successful outcomes, not merely heroic efforts.

      1. Notice that all throughout no mention is ever made of working smarter, and with good reason. If Team Blue’s base glommed on to such divine revelation their collective head might likely explode. It’s better we leave them to toiling at hammering cured cement out of wheelbarrows or whatever dumb shit they do that they believe constitutes “working hard” than take such a irresponsible risk.

  15. Most people wouldn’t construct their thought the way the president did, and less than four months out the sitting president should know better than to leave low hanging fruit, anyway.

    Yesterday, in the course of attacking the president for his poor choice of words,

    Is Krayewski the new Weigel or something? The Obama apologetics here on Reason have got to stop.

    1. I didn’t read that as being apologetic for Obama.

      1. I didn’t either, but Tulpa has an Extra-Sensitive Offense-o-Tron, so I defer to him in all things partisan.

      2. It’s minimizing the significance. “construct their thought [in a certain] way”, “poor choice of words”… what we see in that quote is precisely what BO thinks. It’s not a miscommunication at all.

        1. So criticizing Obama for saying what he did is being an apologist? That seems … bizarre.

          1. Praising by faint damnation.

            1. Isn’t that still damnation?

              1. When it comes to BO, you can never have enough damnation.

          2. He’s criticizing BO’s presentation while implicitly separating that from BO’s actual thoughts on the matter. You know, the same way BO claims his biggest mistake was in how he presents his policies.

            1. Oh, um, yeah that certainly clears it up. You sure hit the nail on the head there.

              1. Good. The ferrets will not eat you when I come to power.

                1. Your ferrets are no match for my talking otters.

                  1. My ferrets are rodents of action, not words.

      3. Romney’s acknowledgement that he agrees with the basic premise put forth by President Obama is more evidence that the two candidates are a lot less different than they’re trying to appear on the campaign trail. The back and forth between apologists of team blue and team red suggests they’re okay going along with that.

        Come on. This is a night-and-day difference between the candidates and he’s minimizing it. That’s objectively pro-Obama.

        You really have to torture Romney’s comment to make it sound like he thinks people who build businesses have to give the credit to the govt, which is what BO was explicitly saying.

        1. “objectively Pro-Obama” how?

          1. If Teams A and B are about even at running the ball, but Team A is much better at passing it, and you outlaw passing the ball, that favors team B.

            1. What is the analogous “outlawing” here?

              1. It’s an analogy.

                Replace “outlaw passing the ball” with “ignore yards gained by passing the ball” and it’s closer, though it’s good enough as is.

        2. I agree that there is a substantial rhetorical difference between Obama and Romney. Romney’s on the reservation of big-government republicanism, which is a slower path to destruction. Obama’s an economic moron who thinks if he just drives at 90 mph, the car won’t fall off the cliff.

          1. Obama’s an economic moron who thinks if he just drives at 90 mph, the car won’t fall off the cliff.

            Actually, it’s more like Obama believes that if you drive the car at 90mph, it will be safer, save gas and control costs because of the speed-multiplier effect.

            You know what’s really great about the Obama administration? Every Keynsian crackpot has had a chance to test his or her ideas. The bad thing is that every Keynsian crackpot has had a chance to test his or her ideas.

  16. As much as I continue to hate the hooplah over You-Didn’t-Build-That-Gate, I have to admit that image is really fucking funny. I hope this becomes a meme…

    1. As much as I continue to hate the hooplah over You-Didn’t-Build-That-Gate,

      I hate you more than Roberts.

      1. I don’t get it.

        1. Bolding the Gate suffix wasn’t enough?

  17. Here is the rest of what Romney said

    The idea to say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motor, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John Pizza, that Ray Kroc didn’t build McDonald’s, that Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft, you go on the list, that Joe and his colleagues didn’t build this enterprise, to say something like that is not just foolishness, it is insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America and it’s wrong. [Applause]

    And by the way, the President’s logic doesn’t just extend to the entrepreneurs that start a barber shop or a taxi operation or an oil field service business like this and a gas service business like this, it also extends to everybody in America that wants to lift themself up a little further, that goes back to school to get a degree and see if they can get a little better job, to somebody who wants to get some new skills and get a little higher income, to somebody who have, may have dropped out that decides to get back in school and go for it. People who reach to try and lift themself up. The President would say, well you didn’t do that. You couldn’t have gotten to school without the roads that government built for you. You couldn’t have gone to school without teachers. So you didn’t, you are not responsible for that success. President Obama attacks success and therefore under President Obama we have less success and I will change that. [Applause]

    1. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think anyone could have said what he said who had actually started a business or been in a business. And my own view is that what the President said was both startling and revealing. I find it extraordinary that a philosophy of that nature would be spoken by a President of the United States. It goes to something that I have spoken about from the beginning of the campaign. That this election is, to a great degree, about the soul ofAmerica. Do we believe in an America that is great because of government or do we believe in an America that is great because of free people allowed to pursue their dreams and build our future?

      http://hotair.com/archives/201…..at-remark/

      Now explain to me again how Romney isn’t properly refuting what Obama said? Seriously? That sounds pretty good to me.

      1. Obama didn’t say anything remotely like “Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple” and you goddamn well know it.

        1. Yes he did. If you don’t believe me, take it up with Elizabeth Warren who said today

          Warren said during a campaign stop in Dorchester yesterday, “I think the basic notion is right. Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody. People worked hard, they build a business, God bless, but they moved their goods on roads the rest of us helped build, they hired employees the rest of us helped educate, they plugged into a power grid the rest of us helped build,” she said.

          http://legalinsurrection.com/2…..-election/

          Is Warren a rightwinger too Tony?

          1. People worked hard, they build a business, God bless, but they moved their goods on roads the rest of us helped build, they hired employees the rest of us helped educate, they plugged into a power grid the rest of us helped build,” she said.

            And nowhere in that statement does Fauxcahontas display an iota of awareness as to where the money to build those roads, pay those teachers, and lay out the power grid came from. It’s like she and Obama believe that money comes from elves and unicorns.

            1. Glad to see you endorse taxing the rich.

              1. Very few of us here are anarchists. Of course, you already know this.

                The point is that the rich already paid for all that stuff because the rich pay the lion’s share of taxes. If anyone needs to be reminded who built the roads and power lines its the political elite and the poor who depend on them.

    2. Why wasn’t any of this put in the post?

      1. I’d answer that, but someone would say I’m oversensitive or something.

        1. Oh stop being so sensitive. You can answer that.

      2. Alright, I admit the last part was pretty good, and well contradicts the poorly formed portion quoted above. Is it consistent with Romney’s political career, and the progressive rhetoric he used in, say, the race against Ted Kennedy? Of course, people, even middle aged men are allowed to evolve. Even his changes, like from pro-choice to pro-life seem sincere enough in the context that he did so, but if he is going to be president, what sort of commitment to the free market are we getting? 60 percent cronyism, 40 percent free market in policy decisions? Frankly, that’s much better than now. How about the regulatory state? Any chance he’ll roll it back? That is where I have my biggest doubts, and he will be like W., and the Dems will claim the Repubs of being laissez-faire all over again when nothing could be further from the truth.

        1. Romney sucks. I don’t expect anything out of him beyond what circumstances force on him. But I don’t think this post was fair to him.

  18. “Obama Ad Accuses Romney of ‘Launching a False Attack’ for Quoting Obama”
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/…..48762.html

  19. The fact that neither Romney nor Obama are anarchists means they will agree to some degree on the value of roads etc.

    But Romney came nowhere near the stupid in Obama’s speech. Obama’s first guess as to the wisdom gained by those who succeed in business, was “smarts”, with “hard-work” trailing in second place as apparently something that’s worthless because its universal. He doesn’t mention the word “risk” backhandedly acknowledges initiative, then spends all his time singing the praises of collectivist crap. Never mind that everyone else besides the successful entrepreneur can use that collectivist stuff too.

    That wasn’t nuance, that was hardcore confirmation bias.

  20. lol that sjsut too funyn dude.

    http://www.New-Anon.tk

  21. To me, this is not one of the appalling things that Romney has said (but there are quite a few of them)

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