Dan Holler

Instead of understanding and recognizing the benefits of individual successes, President Obama made an argument in favor of collectivism: “This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team.” This is a vision that marginalizes individuals and instead focuses on the role of the government in everything from spending and investing to planning and implementation.

On this, Lincoln would vehemently disagree. He wrote, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.” America is a nation of innovation and entrepreneurship, not government intervention and central planning.

Look no further than America’s job-creating natural gas boom. Last week, President Obama said, “public research dollars, over the course of 30 years…helped develop the technologies” that led to the boom. It sounds nice, except it is wrong. CNN discovered “private industry pioneered the practice” in 1947 and in the intervening decades, the federal government spent more than a billion dollars in research. But it was not until the 1990’s, when “private industry began to step back into the business with new technologies that lower costs, leading to today's boom.”

President Obama is no historian, but he will spend the next 10 months talking about “defining issues”: inside Washington versus outside Washington; the 99% versus the 1%; compassionate capitalism versus vulture capitalism; etc. At its core, though, it will be about the proper role of government.

And President Obama’s record suggests there is almost nothing government cannot do better than you! To be fair, there is one thing that President Obama has done that could not have been accomplished by individuals: add more than $41,000 in debt for every single household in America.

Dan Holler

Dan Holler is the Communications Director for Heritage Action for America. Previously, he held numerous positions at The Heritage Foundation, most recently he was the Senate Relations Deputy. A Maryland native, he is a graduate of Washington College.