Yikes! As A Matter of Fact, You DID Build (Those Roads and Bridges!)

By Frank Hill

President Obama sure stirred up the hornet's nest last week when he told a small business group in Roanoke, Virginia:

'If you've got a business, you didn't build that!' 

What would you think he was talking about if you had nothing other than those 9 words to read?

The statement came across to many as further evidence that the President is hostile to the private sector, profits and the whole free enterprise system...

That one single statement, coupled with his stated incessant desire over the past 3.6 years to 'raise taxes on the wealthy'; 'make them pay their 'fair share' (whatever that is...someone please give us an exact number or percentage of income that can truly be considered 'fair') and his propensity to regulate everything under the sun in America sure seems like 'proof' to any reasonable observer, doesn't it?

To be fair about it, here is the exact transcript of what he said in its entirety:
"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me (one person exactly, Warren Buffett, our insert)-- 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. "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. (We thought Al Gore invented the Internet- our insert again) 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. "So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the G.I. Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.
That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President -- because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together."
We can see where he 'said':  'If you have got a business, you didn't build that'.  It is right there in the transcript for all the world to see.

Either President Obama's teleprompter went out-of-whack and he went off on a bad tangent ad-libbing or he has a very bad and probably now-fired speechwriter.

But to be entirely charitable, even though the fun thing to do would be to pile on in this political season, we will at least acknowledge that the President might have been referring to the fact that each individual business person did not build all the roads and bridges and the Internet on their own.

Which is sorta true.  But not entirely.

We think The President has bungled his own 19th century robber-baron populist attack on the job creators with this line of attack.  And he probably should stop it and cease and desist unless he wants to make a total mockery of himself in the business community at least.

The people who paid for all the roads with their hard-earned money through taxes paid to the government ARE THE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO TAKE RISKS AND PAY THE MAJORITY OF TAXES IN THE FIRST PLACE! 

Holy cow! Do we want these same people to do everything in this nation?

Let's look at the facts:

The top 1% of the income-earners in America pay 37% of all the federal income taxes.  That includes LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan...and you if you are making around $200,000 per year.

The top 5% paid 57% of total federal income taxes.  The top 10% paid a whopping 70%.  And the top 25% of all income-earners paid 87% of all federal income taxes last year.

On top of that, corporations paid roughly 6% of all federal tax revenues last year. Before they distributed interest and dividend payments where they were taxed again at the individual level.

Thomas Jefferson wrote about how the 'fairest' tax system would tax income derived from individual hard work and risk-taking investment only once and one time and one time only.  Which is why the consumption tax as a replacement to every tax in this nation seems to us to be the most American of tax regimens to implement.

Soon.  As in the next Congress under a new President.  President Obama would never go for it.

For the most part, these upper-income people are the very same 'company-creators' who also hire the vast majority of the 'rest of us' to work for them.  They pay us a weekly or monthly salary and our benefits such as health care, pensions or match your contributions to your 401(k) plan.

The same people President Obama was talking to in Roanoke last week.

So, in essence, the President and his handlers might have outsmarted themselves with this class warfare attack angle they are trying to use to divert attention from the abysmal economic record of this Administration, the worst coming out of a recession in modern American history.

The fact is:  'If you are a business owner, and are in the top 25% of income-earners in America today, yes, in fact, you DID pay for these roads and bridges and the Internet to be built with your hard-earned tax dollars you have sent over the years to Washington. DC!

Someone 'else' didn't do it.  You did.

If you didn't pay any federal income tax over the past 20 years, you did not pay one dime to support, well, anything we all take for granted in a free society such as ours.  Nothing for the common defense, nothing for education, welfare, agriculture programs, environmental protection, roads, bridges or the Internet.

The people who paid all of the federal income taxes did all these things for us.  Plus the kind and benevolent (and somewhat crazy, we have to believe) Chinese government who lent us roughly 30 cents on every dollar we spent on such things as infrastructure plus Social Security and Medicare (money is fungible) over the last 2 decades.

Our suggestion to the President and his handlers is to drop this silly attack on the American free enterprise system and the 'stars' of that show, the American entrepreneur and businessmen and women.

When he attacks the job creators and the business people on which our entire economy stands, he misses the mark and appears childish and out-of-touch.  In this case, he is simply wrong.


  1. So I went to work today. I'm building a brand new business. It's been almost a year in the making and the funding has been in the 6 figures. When I got there, I looked around and waited for the government to show up and help me. I waited for others who don't work for me to show up too. I then went in and paid some bills and waited for someone to put money in my bank account. I then added up what was left and what we need to pay in the coming weeks and I waited for the government check to show up to help. I waited for someone to make calls to my vendors. I waited for someone to contact our marketing and advertising firm to help me with our plan. I waited for someone to show up and ask to get me some coffee or see if they could help make life easier today. I waited and no one came. Only those who I am paying to do their jobs and they did GREAT! They will get their checks on payday and I'll go without for a while because there just isn't enough to go around...so the owner must do without. That's okay - because I'm building a new business and time will heal these lean years. '

    As for President Obama and your sarcastic attitude about business owners -- I can't wait for November 6. Every small business owner in America will be thrilled to go in their voting booth and pull the level for your opponent. Then maybe this country can get back to making the American dream possible again.

    You have done all you can to kill it BUT you can't kill the American spirit. It was breathed by God and He is bigger than you.

    1. this is absolutely priceless!

      You should post something on your own as a stand-alone on Left Coast Rebel or post this on Twitter or Facebook.

      If you don't want to, I might ask you permission to do it for you.

      This is choice.

    2. Great commentary John! I'm in total agreement with Frank, it's choice.

  2. Not to ignore you Frank, the article is spot on. Great points.

    1. thx Mr, Davies! Your article this morning is on target as well

      Keep it up!

  3. EXCELLENT point on who actually built the infrastructure. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

  4. By the way, Mr. Obama... that White House... you didn't build that. That $15 trillion economy that you think you can recussitate... you didn't build that. That health care you're trying to give away for "free"... you didn't create that.

    1. yea, but....President Obama did build....umm....he built a great campaign team in 2007-08, er, ah.....and then he...well...he.....ah......

      As Emily Litella used to say on SNL:

      'Never. Mind!'

  5. .

    Mr Obama said, "Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that." Mr Obama was clearly talking about the 'roads and bridges'.

    The saddest part of all this is Murdoch Media/Fox Networks know Mr Obama was talking about 'roads and bridges'. Murdoch Media/Fox Networks do not care that they are lying to _you_! Murdoch Media/Fox Networks know you (and thousands of other suckers) will soil yourself over the lie without thinking. An amazing thing is that you willingly and ignorantly believe the bull sh!t from Murdoch Media/Fox Networks that’s handed to gullible, low-information folks like you, and then parade your ignorance as though it’s something to be proud of.

    Integrity; you either have it or you don't!

    You have in front of you, a direct quote of what the man said. A second entity tells you the man said something HE DID NOT SAY, a lie. You knowingly choose to side with the liar for the sake of political expediency.

    What does this say about _YOU_, that you are willing to allow such illegitimate deceitfulness? Why would any honest people ever want to join ‘your side, if you are willing to align yourself with flat-out blatant liars?’

    Ema Nymton

    1. Soiled panties, from one who knows.

    2. Ema:

      I CLEARLY stated that Obama was alluding to the building of roads and bridges.

      BUT he screwed his own argument up by saying that the very businessmen and women he was speaking 'did not build those roads and bridges'!

      The hell they didn't! They paid for them with every dime they paid in federal income and state taxes they paid over the past 40 years!

      People who do not pay income taxes do not help foot the bill for these massive appropriations passed by Congress.

      Job creators and job-hirers like these small businesspeople do.

      So he was wrong to even try to slam the businesspeople for not 'doing their fair share'. They support this country and we ride on their broad shoulders every single day and night cause they do pay the bills for everything we all use.

  6. Of course to clarify Ema, that would be you.

  7. .

    "... we will at least acknowledge that the President might have been referring to the fact that each individual business person did not build all the roads and bridges and the Internet on their own.

    Which is sorta true. But not entirely."


    "So he was wrong to even try to slam the businesspeople for not 'doing their fair share'."

    Which. he. did. not. do!

    Again, you associate yourself with blatant professional liars (Murdoch Media/Fox Networks). Before going off half cocked and allowing yourself to be manipulated over something that DID NOT happen, maybe you should find a reliable source of factual truth!

    Ema Nymton

  8. President Obama consistently 'attacks' the income-creators, the job-creators, the business-creators in America and says 'they do not pay their fair share!'

    do a google search and see how many hundreds of thousands of times this POTUS has said that.

    What he, and apparently, you do not understand is that most businesses are small and they are subchapter S corps and therefore their gross incomes are in fact over $200,000 per year. Yet many of the owners don't even take out much a salary some years because they have to pay their bills and subcontractors to stay in business and live to fight another day.

    This is the most anti-business and 'un-business friendly' Presidential Administration in American history.

    No wonder no one is hiring anyone....they are scared to death of what comes out of his mouth and brain next.

    1. .

      "President Obama consistently 'attacks' the income-creators, the job-creators, the business-creators in America and says 'they do not pay their fair share!'


      This is the most anti-business and 'un-business friendly' Presidential Administration in American history."

      Source = Murdoch Media/Fox Network (Blatant flat-out LIARS)! Right?

      You align yourself with flat-out blatant liars MM/FX. If you had integrity, it is now compromised. And you expect people to listen you what you have to say?

      It does not matter what the truth is. MM/FX says it. I am outraged!!

      Ema Nymton


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